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August 25, 2015 - 12:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, business, unemployment.

Genesee County's unemployment rate was reported at below 5 percent for the third straight month, with a July number of 4.7 percent.

The July rate is the lowest its been for the midsummer month since 2007, when the rate was 4.1 percent.

The 2015 figure is lower than a year ago when the rate was 5.0.

In all, the labor department currently lists 1,500 local residents without jobs and 17,800 with jobs.

The department also reports a total of 24,000 non-farm jobs in the county, up slightly from the previous July when there were 23,800 jobs reported. There were 24,400 jobs reported in the county in June.

The lowest recorded unemployment rate for July since 1990 is 3.4 percent. The highest jobs number for July since is 24,600 in 2008.

August 21, 2015 - 3:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture, Potatoes.

Press release:

Potato growers have an opportunity to view standard and new fresh market potato varieties and lines, hear how to reduce risk in this year’s late blight epidemic, and discuss Colorado potato beetle and other insect management. The meeting will be held Wednesday, Sept. 2, from 5:30 to 8:45 p.m., at Williams Home Farm, down the lane off Russell Road, across from the packing house at 5077 Russell Road, Marion.

Walter DeJong, Cornell potato breeder, and Don Halseth, retired Cornell potato specialist, established a variety trial and will be evaluating the maturity, yield and marketability of white, red and some specialty varieties and breeding lines. Growers will get to hear what’s been learned so far.  They’ll also have an opportunity to describe how the varieties they’re growing are performing.

Bill Fry, Cornell Plant Pathologist, will give an update on this year’s late blight epidemic, and provide recommendations on how best to protect the crop. Late blight has been confirmed on potatoes or tomatoes in many counties in Western and Central New York already, due to the never-ending rains from mid-May into July.

Finally, there will be a discussion regarding Colorado potato beetle control, lead by Carol MacNeil, CCE Cornell Vegetable Program, on what’s working, and what’s failing. A plan for rotating insecticides by Chemical Class to slow the development of resistance will be presented.

NYS DEC pesticide recertification credits and CCA credits will be available.

Cost: Receiving Veg Edge/CVP enrolled?1st person from a farm -- $5; additional people -- $10.
Not receiving Veg Edge/not CVP enrolled? $15.
Pre-register for dinner: Contact Carol MacNeil at: [email protected] or 585-313-8796 by Thursday, Aug. 27.  If you have special needs: Call a week ahead so we can accommodate you.

Interested in sponsor opportunities? Contact Angela Parr at: [email protected]

August 20, 2015 - 4:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, food processing, business, batavia, GCEDC.

Press release:

Genesee County has once again been recognized as one of the fastest growing “food processing employment leaders” by "Business Facilities," a national site selection publication.

Business Facilities provides annual rankings of metro and global areas in various categories, including food processing and job growth, among others. Genesee County ranked at number seven in a list of top 10 mid-sized metro areas for food-processing growth, making this year the fifth time in 10 years that Genesee County has earned national ranking in this category.

The agricultural, food and beverage sectors in Genesee County employ approximately 1,500 people. The region’s employment numbers continue to increase as economic development focused on agri-business remains a top priority of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors.

“The growth of the food processing sector in our region reflects the positive economic climate here which has been significantly enhanced through the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, the first agri-business site of its kind in New York State,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the GCEDC. “We are very pleased to be once again recognized by 'Business Facilities' as a leader in food processing employment and plan to continue expanding our efforts in this critically important economic sector.” 

The Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park encompasses 211 shovel ready, pre-permitted acres strategically located between Western New York and the Finger Lakes Region in Batavia, NY. 

The site provides access to a short and main line rail access to move products, and large capacity municipal sewer and water. Through the support of National Grid and National Fuel the site has an enhanced utility infrastructure.

Alpina Foods, LLC, a leading dairy producing company in Colombia and South America, opened its first specialty yogurt manufacturing plant at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in 2013. In 2013, PepsiCo, in a joint venture with German dairy company Theo Müller, opened a $206-million yogurt manufacturing facility, Muller Quaker Dairy.

Other key food processing and related companies in Genesee County include O-AT-KA Milk Products and Bonduelle USA, Inc.

For more information about the ranking in Business Facilities, please visit  http://businessfacilities.com/2015/07/metro-and-global-rankings/.

August 20, 2015 - 10:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake performing arts center, Darien, business.

A sold-out Chris Brown show at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center kept emergency responders busy for hours last night, but other than making for a long, tiring night, it wasn't that bad, said Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble, Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

There were no serious fights and there are no reports of serious injuries, and while there were 16 arrests at the show, they were mostly for run-of-the-mill offenses, from trespassing to unlawful possession of marijuana.

"Generally, it was a very pleasant crowd," Dibble said. "They were polite, for the most part, even when caught in traffic coming in, they mostly had a good attitude. Some of these people coming in waited a long time and for the most part they were very nice. They just wanted to get to the show like everybody else."

The traffic tie-ups were not unexpected, Dibble said. The traffic jams around the park were typical of a sold-out concert on a weekday night, when everybody gets off work and heads to the show instead of coming in over the course of the day, like on a Saturday or Sunday.

Traffic started to back up shortly after 5 p.m. and traffic jams slowed down concertgoers coming in from all directions. Three or four minor traffic accidents caused some blocked lanes and tollbooth workers at times had a hard time keeping up, causing traffic to back up on the Thruway.

"So many of the roads were built when that place was a swimming hole, a hot dog stand and a couple of lifeguards," Dibble said. "Those are the same roads then as they are today."

Dibble is aware there are still people who advocate for a return of private parking around the venue, but that's not the answer Dibble said. Those lots, he said, create more problems than they alleviate.

"I'm under the opinion after my many, many years out there that congestion on Sumner makes it worse," Dibble said. "You have masses of people walking on Sumner and mixing pedestrians and traffic isn't good. This is much safer. And then you had people pulling into private lots dickering with the people taking the money and backing up traffic. There's no way I want to go back. Darien Lake has the space available to handle the parking."

There's been talk for years about how to open up more entrances and exits to the lots, but there's no easy answer, Dibble said.

Colby Road isn't the answer because of the configuration of the roadway.

"Exiting, that would be good, but the topography of that road, the hills and blind spots, make that difficult and very dangerous," Dibble said.

Dibble noted that Cherry Hill Campground continues to accept concert parking and that doesn't really help matters.

"They get them in there and then abandon them there and that's a problem for us when it's time to leave," Dibble said.

Early in the evening, local emergency responders were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of medical calls, mostly for alcohol-related illnesses. That was a combination of the alcohol and the heat, Dibble said.

The county needed backup units from Erie and Orleans counties and patients were transported to multiple hospitals so no one hospital became overwhelmed.

Live Nation had two doctors in the venue, as is now standard practice for sold-out shows.

"There are a lot of things they're able to take care of right on property instead of transporting them," Dibble said.

Dibble didn't have a count yet on how many citations were issued for underage drinking, but they were numerous.

"Each band has its own personality and its own following and this particular band attracted a the type that was younger and there was a lot of underage drinking," Dibble said.

The early-evening enforcement of ABC violations helps cut down on problems later in the night, Dibble said.

"For the number of people there, it was really a good night, actually," Dibble said.

August 14, 2015 - 9:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Dunkin' Donuts, batavia, corfu, Stafford, Pavilion.

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For local Dunkin' Donut franchisee Mike Mikolajczyk, he thinks he's found the perfect location to open up a second shop, but the problem is, for the second time, land-use planners disagree.

In September of last year, the City Planning Board listened to objections raised by nearby residents and rejected a plan for a donut shop on West Main Street on a small lot between Five Star Bank and Barrett's Batavia Marine.

Mikolajczyk and his architect presented a new plan that they hope addresses traffic flow concerns to the Genesee County Planning Board, but the board voted to recommend disapproval of the site plan.

That doesn't kill the project. The City Planning Board can still approve the plan with a majority-plus-one vote.

The revised plan, said architect Kip Finley (photo), would allow for eight cars in queue before backing up into the parking lot, and the parking lot could accommodate an additional five cars before they would start backing up onto West Main. 

Mikolajczyk's existing Dunkin franchise location, on West Main and Ellicott Avenue, captures mostly westbound commuter traffic in the morning. The proposed new location, said Finley, would help the small business owner capture more business from eastbound commuters.

With the recommended disapproval, it's back to the drawing board, Mikolajczyk said, to try and come up with a project that planners will favor. It's important enough to him, he said, to keep trying.

"It's a good location for the type of business we are," Mikolajczyk said. "That's the best location. I don't want to do a location just for the sake of putting another one in, another Dunkin' in. I want to make sure I have the right location."

Other County Planning Board recommendations:

  • Approval of an area variance for a new barn in the front yard of 10528 Pavilion Center Road. The proposed barn meets setback requirements, but the Town of Pavilion's zoning code doesn't permit front yard accessory buildings. County planners said the proposed barn is not likely to have significant community-wide or local impacts and there are other properties in the area with front yard accessory buildings;
  • Approval with modifications for a special use permit for a restaurant as an accessory business to proposed hotel at 7758 E. Main Road, Le Roy. Planners want to see more parking for the business;
  • Approval for a solar array at 6332 Byron Holley Road, Byron;
  • Disapproval of a proposed subdivision for a 17-lot subdivision on Fieldcrest Drive, Corfu. Planners found the proposed subdivision plans do not comply with existing code because of a lack of detail in the plans. Planners also expressed concern about the lack of protection for federally identified wetlands on lots 9, 10, 16 and 17;
  • Tabled consideration of a variance for fence height at 8903 Route 237, Stafford. Planners were concerned about the lack of detail. The application lacked plans and pictures. Property owner James Pontillo said he turned in all of the required documents to the Town of Stafford. If he did, the documents were not forwarded to the County Planning Department. Pontillo said he would have his attorney provide the materials by the board's next meeting.
August 14, 2015 - 10:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in O-AT-KA Milk Products, business, GCEDC, batavia.

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With 344 employees, O-AT-KA Milk Products is already Genesee County's largest private employer, and CFO Michael Patterson promised the Genesee County Economic Development Center Board a taxpayer-assisted expansion will result in a workforce expanded by 21 positions.

The expansion, at a cost to O-AT-KA of $20 million, will result in greater efficiency, a product and market expansion and greater employee safety, Patterson said.

"This is a real game changer for O-AT-KA," Patterson said. "It will allow us to grow while we focus on efficiency and employee safety."

Patterson described the region as "heavy with milk," and the expansion will help O-AT-KA improve its capacity to create new products and expand into additional markets.

O-AT-KA is seeking $2.26 million in sales tax and property tax exemptions.

In making a motion to set a public hearing on O-AT-KA's application, Board Member Craig Yunker said, "This is really important to our region and our dairy industry, which is the back bone of our local economy. I don't know of a more important project."

The date of the hearing, which the board approved unanimously, has not yet been determined, but will be within the next two or three weeks so the board can vote on whether to grant the tax exemptions at its next meeting.

“This is a tremendous investment being made by one of the largest private-sector employers in Genesee County,” said GCEDC Board Chairman Paul Battaglia. “It also demonstrates a long-term commitment to our community by the company in building a state-of-the-art facility to enhance its manufacturing operations now and in the future.”

August 11, 2015 - 5:21pm
posted by Traci Turner in business, jobs, economy, career center.

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Local employers are faced with a new obstacle: too many job openings and not enough workers to fill them.

Due to a strengthening labor market, the number of people hunting for jobs is dwindling.

Genesee County's unemployment rate has dropped to 4.5 percent in June according to Department of Labor statistics. The county hasn't experienced an unemployment rate this low since October 2007.

With the unemployment rate at its lowest figure in eight years, positions are becoming harder to fill. Many local employers have increased their hiring since the beginning of the year. More than 300 job openings in the Batavia area are currently posted on the New York State job bank Web site. Some positions have been up for a couple weeks while others have been posted for months. 

Help wanted signs have even made a comeback as a way for employers to find workers.

"Employers put the help wanted sign out with the hope to attract a person who may not be Internet savvy, or a friend that will pass the information on to a person they know who is looking for a job," said Scott Gage, director of the Genesee County Job Development Center. "As the available talent pool gets smaller and smaller, you are going to see more of those help wanted signs because it is a low technology way to get workers."

Employers typically hire to fill entry-level positions and young emerging workers are their main source for these types of jobs.

Melissa Landers, human resource generalist for Batavia Downs Gaming and Racetrack, has been hiring a large amount young people to fill food and beverage positions for the racing season. Landers said it's hard to find workers because Batavia Downs is open every day of the year and people don't like to work overnights and holidays.

For jobs that require prior training or experience, Gage has recently seen the pool of available workers shrink drastically.

"Employers are having a hard time finding workers because there is such competition among themselves, especially for skilled workers," Gage said.

According to Gage, one of the hardest positions to fill is maintenance mechanics in the food-production industry. With the increased number of food-production companies in the county, mechanics that have experience repairing food-processing equipment are in high demand. The competition among employers has even caused wage rates to rise for the position. 

One reason for the shortage lies in the historical shift from an emphasis on trade skill jobs to jobs that require a college degree. Consequently, there is a smaller pool of workers who have vocational training. 

Gage frequently gets job orders from employers that are looking for people with vocational skills and students who have graduated from Genesee Valley Educational Partnership are strong candidates for these jobs.

"Emerging workers with vocational training have a leg up in the workforce," Gage said. "They are getting wage rates similar to students who have completed two years of college."

While employers look for applicants with training and similar work experiences, it's also important to find an applicant with a strong work ethic and positive attitude.

Shelley Falitico, director of Genesee ARC, looks for applicants that are compassionate and open to learning different approaches for working with people who have disabilities.

Due to a new two-year contract the ARC has signed with area schools, she has recently been hiring bus drivers to transport children with disabilities.

The positions Falitico finds most challenging to fill are physical therapists and speech pathologists. Competition is high for these positions and many qualified applicants relocate to bigger cities to work, Falitico said.

Colleen Flynn, community relations director at United Memorial Medical Center, said the hopsital will search a little longer to find an applicant who understands the importance of customer service with patients and knows how to work well in a team environment.

"It's important that they have the skills necessary for the position, but it's really about the attitude and the right kind of personality to round out the team," Flynn said.

With the recent growth at UMMC, the hospital has been having a difficult time filling specialized positions such as clinical laboratory technologists. According to Flynn, college students are not majoring in that field as much and there is a significant amount of competition among employers. Other positions such as clinical analysts and registered nurse specialities are also hard to fill because qualified applicants often live in larger cities.

"In our region, it's much harder to recruit people to come to a rural county than if you live in a highly populated area like Buffalo or Rochester," Flynn said. "When you are the only hospital in the county, you have to work harder to attract workers because they typically are not already here."

One of the Career Center's goals is to make the county more attractive to families and students graduating from BOCES and Genesee Community College. The center is also working with the Genesee County Business Education Alliance to develop highly skilled jobs and promote occupations where there are shortages. 

In the future, Gage foresees the employer base and job market in county continuing to grow.

"Based on what I'm seeing and local committees who are continuing to develop the job market in Genesee County, I think we are well positioned to bring new opportunities to the area," Gage said. "The county is becoming really competitive with other areas in the state and even nationwide."

August 11, 2015 - 1:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business, batavia, O-AT-KA Milk Products.

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider a project from O-AT-KA Milk Products at its Aug. 13 board meeting. 

O-AT-KA Milk Products plans to add 205,000 square feet of warehousing space to its manufacturing facility on the corner of Ellicott Street and Cedar Street in Batavia. The project is expected to create 21 new jobs and the capital investment is approximately $20.9 million.  

The GCEDC Board meeting is public and will take place at 1 p.m. on Thursday at the Innovation Zone Conference Room at MedTech Centre -- 99 MedTech Drive, Batavia, on the first floor, across from Genesee Community College.

August 8, 2015 - 9:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in foxprowl collectables, batavia, business, Ellicott Street.

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Brian Sandstorm and his son Luke pose for a picture with professional wrestler Eric Young today at the five-year anniversary celebration of Foxprowl Collectables on Ellicott Street.

In five years, owner Bill Hume has grown the inventory, the variety and the floor space of his store.

When I remarked, "you've come a long way," he said, "You know, passion and hard work. It's what I love."

In the seven-year history of The Batavian, this is the first time we've covered both the opening of a new business and its fifth anniversary.

Below, Hume with Young and Matt Troisi, owner of Limited Edition Collectables, who help Hume secure Young's appearance at Foxprowl today.

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August 7, 2015 - 5:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GLOW Corporate Cup, sports, 5K, batavia, YMCA, business.

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Photos by Shannon Dent.

Previously: Record-setting day for GLOW Corporate Cup

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August 7, 2015 - 9:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GLOW Corporate Cup, Merrill Lynch, batavia, business, sports.

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With 840 runners and walkers, 51 company teams and 42 corporate tents set up in Batavia's Centennial Park, the third year of the GLOW Corporate Cup proved to be the biggest yet.

The event, organized primarily by executives with the Merrill Lynch office in Batavia, will have raised more than $20,000 for the GLOW YMCA once receipts are tallied.

Batavia City Schools fielded the winning team and Corey Brown of Crickler Vending posted the race's fastest time at 17:42.

The organizers got a lot of positive feedback, said Joshua Dent, a VP with Merrill Lynch.

"If they're serious runners, the racers are very happy with the course Steve Tufts set up," Dent said. "It runs like a professional race. Then, unlike most races, there is this incredible after-party that makes it unique and different. The environment is fun. So we get the serious runners who are happy with the event, and then the businesses who participate and send walkers and then get to hang out after and listen to a band and they're satisfied as well. Those two aspect help make it a successful and unique event."

Dent looks forward to seeing the event grow, especially as the promoters work to attract more corporate teams from Orleans, Livingston and Wyoming counties.

It's gratifying to see the hard work of Tufts and John Ritter pay off in a big way for the GLOW YMCA, Dent said.

"It obviously means a lot to be able to give that much back to the community," Dent said. "The support of all the volunteers means so much. There's just an incredible amount of work that goes into putting this together. John Riter and Steve Tufts worked tirelessly to pull this off.

"It's not a one-day process. It's days and days and days. So to see the culmination, to see all the businesses that participate and do something that is fun and good for you and get the chance to hang out on a beautiful day and network, it clicked on all points."

UPDATE: Photos posted previously were from last year.

Top photo: City fire's team.

If you have photos to share, e-mail them this morning to [email protected]

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Upstate Toyota's team.

Three photos below, from Genesee Community College.

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Photo from Elizabeth Downie

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The Crickler Vending team. Photo submitted by Bob Brown.

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Reader submitted, but company ID not included. Will try to update when we get it.

August 6, 2015 - 4:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, chamber of commerce.

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The smoke-gray, vinyl-sided building may not look like much now, but when Genesee County Chamber of Commerce officials gaze upon the vacant house converted into office space on Park Road, they see a spruced-up facade and a big sign that says "Visitors Center."

It's been a decades-long dream for the Chamber to relocate its headquarters and visitors bureau to space closer to the Thruway exit in the Park Road/Oak Street area.

Now plans are coming together to purchase this building on Park Road across from the Sheriff's Office and just south of the Clarion Hotel.

The building isn't as visible as something right at Park and Oak, but it will still be plenty visible to visitors passing through Genesee County, said Chamber President Tom Turnbull.

"The location is right in the middle of everything," Turnbull said. "There are 800 hotel rooms right in the area. There's the Clarion, Batavia Downs, Alex's, Applebee's. It's where we want to be. It's someplace where we can capture people as they come into the area and bring them into the county. That's what we've always wanted to do. That's been the dream to get there."

There's a sign outside the current chamber offices in the City Church building on East Main Street that says, "Visitors Center," but tourists rarely stop there. There's also the visitors hut in the parking lot of the Holland Land Office Museum, but with the median on Route 5 restricting traffic flow, it's hard to access and is seldom visited.

Turnbull thinks the proposed location on Park Road will get more tourist activity and help the tourism staff and volunteers do a better job of guiding people to the abundance of sightseeing opportunities locally, from HLOM, to Darien Lake, to the Jell-O Museum to Genesee County Park & Forest and the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge.

"We want to get people out into the county," Turnbull said.

Turnbull has heard from the critics, the people who are skeptical or concerned about chamber leaving Downtown.

We can do more for Main Street out there than we can down here," Turnbull said, adding, "The chamber itself might be better off here, but tourism isn't. While the chamber can be good out there, tourism can be great out there."

The location, at 8276 Park Road, was first spotted on Google Maps when a committee of chamber members were scouring the area for a potential location.

Turnbull admits that at first he didn't see the potential for the building.

"My vision isn't very good," Turnbull said. "I looked at it and said it's an ugly old house, but start talking to people and they say you can dress it up and put a nice facade on it."

Ed Smart has been hired to do a feasibility study and initial architectural drawings so officials can see just what can be done with the building.

Turnbull remembers the chamber talking about a project like this in 2000, when he was president of the Board of Directors, and in 2001, the chamber was about to purchase the former armory at Oak and Park, but then the 9/11 tragedy happened and the federal government decided it wanted to hold onto its buildings. The INS now occupies that space.

Then in 2007, the chamber and Town of Batavia started talking about a joint facility a little further west on Park Road, where Park turns south and Veterans Memorial Drive splits off to the west.

The plan was to open a joint court facility shared with Elba and Oakfield. But Elba and Oakfield backed out of the project as it neared the approval stage, so its languished since, which is what sent the chamber on a quest to find another potential location to fulfill its dreams.

The chamber has made a purchase offer that is contingent on the outcome of the study.

The plan is to tap into the $500,000-bed-tax reserve to pay for the tourism bureau's portion of the project. This is the kind of project the bed tax is meant to help fund, Turnbull said -- and County Manager Jay Gsell agrees -- and so the chamber will seek County Legislature approval for the expenditure of nearly all of the reserve.

The bed-tax money can only be used for the facade to promote tourism and the downstairs portion of the building that will be used as a visitors center. That is the bulk of the cost of the project.

But since this project is primarily about promoting tourism, Turnbull said he expects tourism revenue to fund some 70 to 80 percent of the total project. The chamber itself will pay for the balance and he said that balance is within the chamber's financial reach.

If the project goes through, the new visitor center could open in about a year.

August 6, 2015 - 1:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in foxprowl collectables, batavia, business.

Press release:

Foxprowl Collectables is celebrating being open five years at 440 Ellicott St. in the City of Batavia, this Saturday Aug. 8. Former Heavyweight Champion TNA Wrestler ERIC YOUNG will be at the store doing autographs and taking pictures with fans from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.!

Foxprowl Collectables opened against the odds during the recession and the state's Ellicott Street lane reduction project. But it has since created local jobs and grown into a
Batavia attraction for many out-of-town and out-of-state consumers.

The event "Foxprowl-Con" promises to bring high-profile attention to the city and the store, continuing the rapid growth of Foxprowl Collectables.

Saturday's event will include free hot dogs and sodas, giveaways and more. See you there!

August 4, 2015 - 5:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Mercy Flight, batavia, Vinyl Sticks, business.

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Vinyl Sticks in Batavia finished a project for Mercy Flight today involving a retired helicopter that the Buffalo-based medical emergency organization wants to display at events and at its headquarters.

A BOCES class in Erie County restored and painted the exterior of the craft and then it was trucked to Batavia for Vinyl Sticks to apply the ship's decals.

Adam Lowder handled the project.

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August 4, 2015 - 3:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Rack Shack, batavia, business.

Their baby-back pork ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork, Southern-style collard greens, and five-bean chuck-wagon beans were beloved by those who enjoyed the food. But the location of The Rib Shack on Ellicott Street Road proved too difficult, so the owners have pulled up stakes and are looking for a new location, said co-owner Melissa Penders.

The lack of a lunch crowd in an isolated location hurt cash flow, Penders said, but part of the decision to close was landlord due to difficulties.

The landlord is Rosemary Christian. Jim and Melissa Penders claim she illegally evicted them.

Melissa Penders said she will be happy to meet Christian in court because she has all the cancelled rent checks. She said Christian is claiming they owe "a ridiculous amount of money," but that all of the rent was paid.

Christian said she doesn't care what Penders has to show in court, the restaurant owners owed her money.

Over the weekend, all the signs came down and on Monday the Penders tried to remove the rest of their equipment, Penders said.  

Christian called the Sheriff's Office, Penders said, and Christian confirmed that local law enforcement responded.

"They were robbing me blind," Christian said.

Christian claims the building was left in "a mess." Penders said Christian wouldn't allow her inside the building to complete a final clean-up.

Penders said Christian was pushing them to sign a new lease, but they didn't want to commit to being in that location for another year, both because of the lunch-crowd issue and because she didn't want to deal with Christian for another year.

"Rosemary is very difficult to deal with," Penders said.

She said Christian presented them with an ultimatum to either sign a lease or get out, they chose to get out. As they were on their way out the door, Christian issued an eviction notice.

Christian said there was no demand to sign a lease or close. This was nothing but an eviction, she said.

Meanwhile, Jim and Melissa are looking for a new location and running their catering business out of their home, getting their kitchen upgraded to commercial and health department standards. All of their obligations for weddings and graduations and other events will be met, she said.

NOTE: Deal of the Day buyers, Melissa Penders said if you hold on to your gift certificates, they will be honored with the restaurant reopens. The expiration date will be honored. They are also good toward catering services. However, per The Batavian's policy, if you purchased your gift certificate within the past 30 days, we'll refund your money. Mail the gift certificate back to The Batavian, 200 E. Main St., #5, Batavia, NY 14020. If you elect to hold onto your gift certificate, e-mail [email protected] and we'll send you a coupon code for a free ad posting on Batavia's List.

August 1, 2015 - 9:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Adams Welding, Stafford, business.

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Adams Welding & Fabrication hosted a customer appreciate/grand opening/sign unveiling party today at its location in Stafford. Standing with the glistening stainless steel sign are Tim Adams and Steve Foster.

Below, the celebration cake designed to look like a welding machine.

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August 1, 2015 - 11:39am
posted by Traci Turner in Le Roy, business, personal preference.

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(Kate Parmenter, Lori Steinbrenner and Julie Laurie)

Personal Preference Salon and Spa on Main Street in Le Roy held its 25 year anniversary customer appreciation celebration last night.

Family, friends, clients and even owner Lori Steinbrenner's cosmetology teacher came out to commemorate the accomplishment.

Steinbrenner and her three other stylists, Julie Laurie, Linda White and Kate Parmenter serve clients old and young. The salon offers hair styling and coloring services, manicures, pedicures and waxing.

“I love what I do so it’s not a job,” Steinbrenner said. “My goal is to form personal connections with my clients and make them feel comfortable.”

Steinbrenner has been working as a hair stylist for 34 years. She has lived in Le Roy her entire life and couldn’t imagine having her business anywhere else. Before owning her own salon, she worked for nine years at the same location on Main Street when it was formerly called Bev’s Beauty Shop. Steinbrenner purchased the salon in 1990 and renamed it Personal Preference.

“Le Roy is a warm, cozy and inviting community,” Steinbrenner said. “I plan on staying in business for many more years.”

In the future, Steinbrenner is looking to expand and offer massages and facials.

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(Lori Steinbrenner with her family)

July 30, 2015 - 5:15pm
posted by Traci Turner in batavia, business, BID.

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Tomorrow is Don Burkel's last day as the executive director of the Batavia Business Improvement District.

Burkel just has to tidy up his desk before he passes the torch to incoming director Laurie Oltramari.

Burkel was the first director of the BID and has been leading the not-for-profit organization for almost 17 years. He has witnessed Downtown Batavia undergo many changes.

"When I started as the director, there was a variety of retail businesses in the city," Burkel said. "Now there are fewer businesses and properties are harder to fill with retail."

Although there has been a decline in the number of businesses, Burkel has overseen many positive changes as well. Some of his favorite projects include the transformation of buildings on Main Street and Jackson Street.

"I will miss working with the people of Downtown Batavia and seeing various projects completed," Burkel said.

Burkel believes people should focus on the positive aspects of Downtown Batavia and all of the potential small business opportunities it has to offer. In the future, he foresees development of the old Carr building and the construction of a boutique hotel. He also predicts more pop-up businesses will come to Downtown.

"I want to thank everyone Downtown for supporting me," Burkel said. "I know the BID's Board of Directors and committees will continue to further the vision for Downtown Batavia. I look forward to their accomplishments in the future and as I always say 'Shop Downtown!' "

To kick off his retirement, he is traveling to Maine with his wife to do some kayaking. He also plans to continue his photography and expand his collection.

July 30, 2015 - 4:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture.

From Cornell Cooperative Extension in Batavia:

We are pleased to present a free on-farm event focused on pre-harvest considerations for corn silage and haylage. This is all made possible by the generous support of local farm equipment companies and agribusinesses. The date is Wednesday, Aug. 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mulligan Farms, Avon.

Our lead-off speakers in the morning will be Ev Thomas and Tom Kilcer. Together they have almost 80 years of research and teaching experience in the area of field crops.

An off-the-grill lunch will be followed by a short presentation and Q & A session by the each of the dealers representing the four major brands of forage harvesters.

These machine will be on site for your inspection and talking point clarification by service representatives.
 
No RSVP needed. No tours of the farm, PLEASE!

July 30, 2015 - 3:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake theme park, darien lake, Darien, business.

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A large screen TV reportedly fell into a wave pool at Darien Lake Theme Park earlier this afternoon and injured a 7-year-old boy. He suffered a cut on his leg.  

Darien Lake issued the following statement about the incident:

Darien Lake confirms that today at 12:30 p.m., the outdoor movie screen set up for Darien Lake’s “Dive-In Movie” series fell into the park’s wave pool.

The screen was installed at the deep end of the wave pool this morning, in the same location and with the same installation contractor and process used for previous Dive-In Movie nights. The cause of today’s incident is currently under investigation.

Darien Lake’s emergency medical personnel were on scene within minutes and treated three guests who received minor injuries. The park’s maintenance crew removed the screen and reopened the wave pool within one hour of the incident.

Tomorrow night’s Dive-In Movie, "Finding Nemo," will proceed as planned. We will work with our contractors to reinstall the screen with extra precautions to ensure this situation does not happen again.

- Chris Thorpe, General Manager, Darien Lake

Photo from our news partner 13WHAM.

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