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March 21, 2023 - 10:27pm
posted by Press Release in NY-24, Claudia Tenney, news, congressional art competition.

Press release:

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24) today invited High School students from New York’s 24th district to participate in the 2023 Congressional Art Competition. The contest winner will have their artwork displayed in the U.S. Capitol for a year.

Started in 1982 by members of the U.S. House of Representatives, High School students across the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories are invited to participate in a nationwide annual art competition. Since its creation, over 650,000 high school students have submitted their artwork to the contest. 

“I’m pleased to announce the 2023 Congressional Art Competition for students across New York’s 24th District,” said Congresswoman Tenney. “This competition is an incredible way for students to showcase their artistic abilities. Every year, I am in awe of the talent of the students in our district, and I look forward to seeing all the great artwork that is submitted this year.” 

The deadline to submit artwork to be judged by members of the local art community will be Friday, April 21, 2023.

Additional information about the competition, including guidelines and student release forms required to participate in the 2023 competition, can be found at https://tenney.house.gov/services/art-competition or by calling Tenney’s District office at (716) 514-5130.

March 21, 2023 - 9:55pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Office of the Aging, batavia.


You live and work and hope to be healthy enough to remain at home in those disputable golden years.

Yet, it far too often becomes a conundrum of finances if you’re not. How do you afford to hire a home health aide, and if you can, will there be one available?

New York State reportedly has the largest shortage of these aides in the country, and there’s been an ongoing battle of wages that’s not likely to go away. Yes, Gov. Kathy Hochul granted a much-needed $3 increase in last year’s budget in an effort to catch up with the flagging workers’ wages from a few stagnant years.

And in this year’s budget, advocates and agencies are rearing the bullhorns once again to appeal Hochul’s proposal to eventually prevent home health aides’ wages from ever exceeding a maximum, thereby remaining as a bottom minimum wage earner.

Hochul’s budget plan calls for the minimum wage, which is currently $14.20, to be indexed to inflation and capped at 3 percent annually. Home care advocates argue if the minimum wage reaches $18, direct care jobs would once again become low-wage positions and make it difficult for the state to attract new workers to the field. 

Issued from the New York Caring Majority: “As New York’s population ages and the home care worker shortage grows, Governor Hochul is throwing gasoline on a fire” the organization said in a statement. “This budget will ensure the state’s home care shortage will only deepen in the years to come.”

While that’s an umbrella agency for the state, the issue is not any less crucial right here in Genesee County. Office for the Aging Director Diana Fox has said previously that low wages and the demands of the job have meant waiting lists for her agency’s clients.

Home care workers perform a variety of tasks, including personal care such as bathing, assisting with toileting, dressing, food prep, some housekeeping, and maybe errands, it depends on the person’s needs, Fox said.

Those needs are only growing, she said.

“Fair pay for home care workers is a very important issue as the amount that workers currently make is not fair considering the responsibilities that they have and the vulnerable population they are assisting,” Fox said to The Batavian. “Locally, statewide and nationally, there are not enough home care workers to cover the demand. The Genesee County Office for the Aging provides casework staff that do assessments for people that utilize our services to determine if someone is eligible for such assistance, and we have a waitlist for home health workers.

“Given that, our aging population is continuing to increase. I don’t see the need likely to go down. I think that it takes special, committed people to do this kind of work, and while wages alone may not draw people to the field, it is important for people to have a livable wage and to be compensated in a way that supports them to stay in the field.”

And there’s the conundrum: A growing older population in need of care and the need for a larger workforce to care for them. A group of older adults visited Albany on Monday to deliver more than 8,000 letters demanding that the House and Senate reject the governor’s proposed budget and instead move to raise home care wages.

There was not a local contingent in Albany, but OFA has signed on to be part of advocacy efforts, Fox said. So there’s an avenue to help support the cause for aging.

There is also the other end of having to pay for workers, which becomes an issue of having enough personal savings or using insurance, if anything will even cover this need (many will not). And then build a network to find workers because they won’t just be waiting for you. This is not something to be left for those golden years, as decisions only become harder.

Often it will take a crisis to force the decision, and being proactive is really the better way to go. This reporter knows all about it, and the situation can be sad, scary, confusing, and even maddening at times. Prepare. Research. Get answers. Have a plan.

There are programs and resources available at OFA, YMCA GLOW, Richmond Memorial Library, AARP, Alzheimer’s Association, and your medical practitioner for maintaining one’s mental, financial and physical health.

For more information from OFA, call 585-343-1611.

File Photo of a senior home visit program through Genesee County OFA.

March 21, 2023 - 4:00pm

March 21, 2023 - 11:00am
posted by Press Release in WNY Tech Academy, byron-bergen, news, schools, education.

Article based on press release submitted by BOCES.

Area students will participate in a two-day business pitch competition at the WNY Tech Academy in Bergen at the end of the month.

Five teams from local schools will participate in the "March Madness Einstein Days" competition.  

After two days of preparation, including research, planning, developing strategies, and developing their pitch, they will have eight minutes to sway judges that they have the best pitch and best technology-based business idea.

This event taps skills in public speaking, marketing and social media, and entrepreneurship, according to organizers.

"Einstein days are important for our program and students because they offer a full day for students to immerse themselves in team building, STEM activities and exposure to Work Based Learning opportunities," said Catherine Bennett, principal of the academy. "These three areas are a major focus of our school culture.  Einstein Days are offered one to two times per month for full days so we can devote our efforts in fostering the importance of that work.  It provides students with project-based STEM experiences, exposure to our business and industry partners and the career pathways they offer.  And each Einstein Day has an element of fun, collaboration and team play, so students bond as a tight school community."

The event is a hit with students.

"Einstein day isn’t just a normal day at Tech Academy," said one of the students involved, David Tetreault, a senior at Caledonia-Mumford High School. "It builds us young adults to communicate, value team bonding, and, most importantly, leading by example. These days make us prepare for proper management, communication and how to be amazing workers. I couldn’t even imagine a better way to do this. Taking one day out of the month to bring everyone together and put it into a fun-filled, learning environment is the most important and perfect way to do it."

On Einstein Day, regularly scheduled classes are on hold, and students participate in a variety of different lessons that range from career development to STEM to team building.  Through collaboration across courses and grade levels, students develop skills such as effective communication, creativity, problem-solving, teamwork, leadership, and conflict resolution.

"What do students get out of this event? Well, students will tell you they get a fun day off from classes," Lindsay Warner, a teacher at the academy. "What they really are getting is workplace readiness skills. Our students engage in critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving. They have to develop communication skills, collaboration, leadership, and social skills to work effectively as a group.  They have to think, be innovative, show confidence, and even a little competitiveness. These are all traits that employers in any industry would look for in potential new hires. You can train for technical skills. The ability to resolve conflict, work effectively with others, take direction, show initiative... those things aren't as easy to develop on the job,” explained Teacher Lindsay Warner.

The Western New York Tech Academy is an Early College High School (P-TECH) that serves 13 regional school districts in the region. The school offers a curriculum that emphasizes college-level coursework and unique learning opportunities to prepare students for high-skill, financially stable careers in growth industries. Students attending the academy can complete all necessary coursework for a high school diploma and also earn an Associate of Applied Science degree through Genesee Community College. 

While teams are presenting their pitch to the judges, the remaining teams will be participating in a March Madness competition, which consists of various games, puzzles, and problem-solving exercises throughout the academy wing at Byron-Bergen High School, earning points to supplement their pitch scores. 

March 21, 2023 - 10:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.


Anthony Armstrong

A suspect in a five-hour standoff at 46 Walnut St., Batavia, on Monday night,  is accused of taking a hostage and wielding a knife while barricading himself in an apartment he didn't live in.

Anthony Armstrong Jr., 34, of Rochester, is charged with burglary in the first degree, a Class B felony, unlawful imprisonment in the first degree, a Class E felony, criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree (a prior conviction) a Class D felony, menacing in the second degree, a Class A misdemeanor, and three counts of criminal mischief in the fourth degree, a Class A misdemeanor.

The incident began at 5:08 p.m. with a hang-up 9-1-1 call.

When officers arrived at the location of the call, they learned Armstrong and a tenant in the complex were arguing and the tenant wanted Armstrong removed. While officers were interviewing the caller, Armstrong entered another apartment without permission of the resident and barricaded himself inside, holding the resident against the person's will. 

Armstong is accused of being armed with a knife. He reportedly made threats to harm himself and placed the victim in fear.

While inside, he allegedly damaged property and refused to allow the victim to call for help.

The Emergency Response Team and Crisis Negotiations Team were dispatched, and Sheriff's deputies responded to assist.

The New York State Police assisted, and the SWAT unit from Monroe County was requested to the scene.

An ERT member began making regular announcements over the unit's loudspeaker system, informing the suspect that he was under arrest and needed to exit the building with his hands in the air.

The victim managed to escape the apartment through an upstairs window and was helped to safety by officers.

Shortly after 10 p.m., officers were able to enter the apartment and take Armstrong into custody.

Armstrong was taken to a Mercy EMS ambulance and transported to UMMC for evaluation.  He was then taken into police custody and arraigned in City Court. He was ordered held in the Genesee County Jail.

A statement from police reads, "The City of Batavia Police Department wishes to thank the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, Genesee County 911 Center, Mercy EMS, City of Batavia Fire Department, Monroe County Sheriff's Office, New York State Police, Genesee County Office of Emergency Management and Genesee County Mental Health for their assistance in helping to bring this situation to a safe resolution."

Previously: ER Team on site issuing an arrest to person inside Batavia residence

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March 21, 2023 - 8:00am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, City Schools, Juul Labs, vaping.


Batavia City School board members unanimously approved nearly $36,000 in settlement funds Monday from a lawsuit in which the district claimed injury, malice, oppression and fraud against Juul Labs.

As The Batavian first reported on March 7, the city school district was one of 143 districts involved in the lawsuit against the makers of the popular vaping products, alleging that the company “fraudulently and intentionally marketed” its products to children and that those products caused numerous health, financial and structural damages to the district and students.

According to lawsuit documents, the district has had to hire additional personnel, including the second school resource officer, divert current personnel to retain students on campus when possible, purchase extra equipment and supplies, repair damages, and deal with behavioral issues.

The expected proceeds were going to be invested into the city district’s “preventative and restorative” program called Vape University, Superintendent Jason Smith said. Operated at the high school, Vape U is a pilot program geared toward helping students with positive replacement behaviors for vaping.

“I will be meeting with staff in the coming weeks to discuss expanding the program,” Smith said Monday night.

High School Principal Paul Kesler said school leaders are hoping that parents “will reach out to us if they have concerns with their child vaping, so we can proactively help students before they would be caught vaping at school.”

During Monday’s meeting, high school leaders gave a brief overview of the university concept. Omar Hussain, high school assistant principal, noted that taking disciplinary action “without the restorative piece” was not found to be the most effective way to help students caught vaping on campus.

A program has been set up for every Thursday, based on referrals and a student survey, to provide education and mini-counseling sessions to help students deal with and eliminate those behaviors. So far, it seems to have helped, at least with on-site incidents.

"We haven’t had any repeats,” he said.

The settlement’s intent is to provide resources for schools to fund future expenses such as the cost of installing vape detectors in district bathrooms, hiring additional staff to supervise vaping areas on campus, hiring additional counselors to deal with what the plaintiff attorneys cited as well-documented social and emotional issues associated with nicotine addiction, and developing and operating educational programs about the harms of vaping.

In the 287-page lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, there are several paragraphs listing the ill effects of vaping and the alleged motives behind them. In one section, “JLI (Juul Labs Inc.) distinguishes itself, and established the patentability of its e-liquids, by reference to their superlative ability to deliver nicotine, both in terms of peak blood concentration and total nicotine delivery.

The rate of nicotine absorption is key to providing users with the nicotine “kick” that drives addiction and abuse. Because nicotine yield is strongly correlated with tobacco consumption, a JUUL pod with more nicotine will strongly correlate with higher rates of consumption of JUUL pods, generating more revenue for JUUL,” the plaintiff’s experts state.

“For example, a historic cigarette industry study that looked at smoker employees found that ‘the number of cigarettes the employees smoked per day was directly correlated to the nicotine levels.’ In essence, JLI distinguished itself based on its e-liquids’ extraordinary potential to addict.”

Another study, the case states, “corroborates the key result of the Phase 0 study that the 4 percent benzoate solution delivers more nicotine than a combustible cigarette. The Reilly study tested JUUL’s tobacco, crème brûlée, fruit medley, and mint flavors and found that a puff of JUUL delivered 164 ± 41 micrograms of nicotine per 75 mL puff,” it states.

“By comparison, a 2014 study using larger 100 mL puffs found that a Marlboro cigarette delivered 152-193 μg/puff. Correcting to account for the different puff sizes between these two studies, this suggests that, at 75 mL/puff, a Marlboro would deliver about 114-145 μg/puff. In other words, the Reilly study suggests that JUUL delivers more nicotine per puff than a Marlboro cigarette.”

To boil this down in layman’s terms, it would seem that if kids think they’re escaping the bad effects of nicotine by vaping, they are actually reaping nicotine rather high levels found in regular cigarettes, according to these studies. And the stronger the nicotine, the greater the pull for more, and the more likely an addiction forms.

Smith agrees with the negative impacts that vaping can have on students.

“We sadly have students that vape, and of course, it is detrimental to their overall health and well-being,” he said. “This lawsuit represented an opportunity for the District to perhaps ‘right some wrongs’ on behalf of our students.”  

Another discovery made by Juul’s own scientists in 2014 was that the amount of nicotine in its e-cigarettes delivered could be problematic, as scientists were concerned that “a Juul—unlike a cigarette—never burns out.” So the device gives no signal to the user to stop.

According to one source cited in the case, scientists “didn’t want to introduce a new product with stronger addictive power,” but upper management rejected the concerns that the scientists raised, and “[t]he company never produced an e-cigarette that limited nicotine intake.”

The defendants were found guilty of several infractions, including gross negligence, malice, and breach of duty. As a foreseeable consequence, “plaintiff has suffered and will continue to suffer direct and consequential economic and other injuries as a result of dealing with the e-cigarette epidemic in plaintiff’s schools, including but not limited to:

  • Discipline and suspensions related to incidents of e-cigarette use in Plaintiff’s schools have increased at alarming rates;
  • Because of the alarming rise of discipline and suspensions associated with student e-cigarette use, Plaintiff has devoted and diverted staff resources to develop a diversion program so as to allow students who are caught using e-cigarettes to remain in school and in class where possible;
  • Plaintiff has had to close certain school restrooms to deter the use of e-cigarette devices;
  • Because many students who do not engage in e-cigarette activities do not wish to use the school restrooms even to wash their hands, Plaintiff has rented multiple portable hand-washing stations that have been placed outside of restrooms in an effort to maintain student hygiene and prevent the spread of disease;
  • Students in Plaintiff’s schools have openly charged e-cigarette devices in classrooms, causing disruption and diverting staff resources away from classroom instruction;
  • Students in Plaintiff’s schools, addicted to nicotine, have demonstrated anxious, distracted and acting out behaviors, causing disruption and diverting staff resources away from classroom instruction and requiring additional time and attention for addicted students;
  • Plaintiff has had to devote and divert staff resources to intervening in student e-cigarette activities and coordinating necessary follow-up;
  • Plaintiff has had to devote and divert staff resources to conduct staff training on e-cigarette use;
  • Plaintiff has had to devote and divert staff resources to deploying student, family and parent-teacher education regarding the dangers of e-cigarette products;
  • Plaintiff has had to add an additional high-school vice principal to address issues related to student e-cigarette use;
  • Plaintiff has had to add additional school resource officer (SRO) personnel to focus on deterring and preventing student e-cigarette use.
  • Plaintiff has had to devote additional middle school guidance counseling resources to address issues related to student e-cigarette use;
  • Plaintiff has had to acquire and install numerous additional security cameras on its premises to deter e-cigarette activity;
  • Plaintiff has had to install additional signage on district premises to deter e-cigarette activity; and
  • Expending, diverting and increasing resources to make physical changes to schools and/or address property damage in schools.

When asked about the negative impacts of vaping for the March 7 story, Smith did not respond with any specifics. 

Photo: Stock image.

March 20, 2023 - 8:47pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, batavia, crime, Walnut Street.


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An Emergency Response Team is on-site at a residence on Walnut Street in Batavia and has issued repeated warnings to an occupant that "you are under arrest."

"Exit the residence immediately," a member of the team said through a public address system around 8:40 p.m. Monday. 

The occupant cannot be seen inside the property.

Law Street and the roundabout are closed to traffic. 

UPDATE 10:26 p.m.: Press Release

Currently the City of Batavia  Police Department, along with other law enforcement agencies, are investigating an incident on Walnut Street that began at approximately 5 p.m.

Initial call to the Genesee County 911 Center was a 911 hang-up call. Upon investigation by our officer it was determined that a crime was in progress. Officers attempted to interview an individual, however the individual retreated into an apartment and barricaded themself inside. The individual was armed with a weapon at the time of contact.

At this time all tenants of the apartment house have been evacuated and there is no threat to the general public. Officers are actively trying to negotiate with the individual to get them to surrender peacefully. All residents in the area are asked to remain indoors until the incident is resolved.

Further information will be released when the incident is brought to a resolution.

UPDATE 10:28 p.m.: Suspect is in custody and being treated in an ambulance on site. 

UPDATE 10:35 p.m.: Press Release

 At approximately 10 p.m. a male suspect was taken into custody.  The investigation is ongoing and the Batavia Police Department will release more information as it becomes available.

UPDATE 12:10 a.m. (By Howard Owens): Shortly after 5 p.m. on Monday, police were dispatched to 46 Walnut St., Batavia, following a 9-1-1 hang up call. The first officers on the scene determined a possible crime was in progress. Officers attempted to interview an individual at the address. The individual retreated into a second-floor apartment and barricaded himself or herself inside.  Police report the individual was armed with an unspecified weapon.  All of the tenants of the complex were evacuated.  Police stated during the incident that there was no threat to the general public. Officers attempted to negotiate with the individual.  The Emergency Response Team was dispatched. Batavia PD also deployed its MRAP. Eventually, the Monroe County SWAT unit also arrived on scene with two armored vehicles. Genesee County Emergency Management responded with its command unit. Emergency Management deployed its drone over the scene. A K-9 was also observed at the scene. Negotiators from Batavia PD and the Sheriff's Officer were on scene. At about 10 p.m., the subject was taken into custody. The process by which he was taken into custody is not known at this time and was not visible to a reporter observing the scene. The charges against the individual, if any, have not been released at this time.  After the subject was in custody, he was placed in a Mercy EMS ambulance for evaluation.  It's unknown if the subject was taken to a hospital.

The Batavian's exclusive photos from the scene by Howard Owens.  The photos show the SWAT team from Monroe County outside 46 Walnut St., Batavia.


March 20, 2023 - 3:00pm

Genesee County will sell at Public Online Auction 6 parcels of real estate which have been conveyed to the County by final judgment under tax foreclosure proceedings. This sale is ordered by the Genesee County Legislature and is in accordance with the appropriate provisions of the Real Property Tax Law. Bontrager Real Estate & Auction Service is pleased to host this internet auction at bontragerauction.com. Potential bidders may call Todd Jantzi at Bontrager Real Estate & Auction Service (585-343-4529) with any questions. 


March 20, 2023 - 1:36pm
posted by Press Release in news, 4-H Dairy Club, batavia.


Press Release:

The Genesee County 4-H Dairy Club was well-represented at the Finger Lakes Region 4-H Dairy Bowl Contest on Saturday, March 18 in Jordan Hall in Geneva. 4-H youth from across the Finger Lakes region competed in the event. Dairy Bowl is a Jeopardy-style competition that tests participants knowledge of dairy cattle facts, including breeds, equipment, nutrition and more. Top placing participants will have the opportunity to represent the region at the state level contest later this year. 

Dairy Bowl Results:

  • 3rd Place Beginner Team: Gia Zuber, Lilia Buckenmeyer, Veronica Wolcott and Lucy Kimball.
  • 3rd Place Junior Team: Owen Kimball, Tate Zuber and Annalise Sybertz.
  • 2nd Place Beginner Individual: Veronica Wolcott

The Genesee County 4-H Program is a youth development program for youth ages 5-18.  New 4-H youth members, adult volunteers and clubs are always welcome to join.  For information about how to join the Genesee County 4-H Program, please contact the 4-H Office at [email protected] or (585) 343-3040 ext. 101.  Enrollment information is also available on our website at http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu

Submitted Photo of Genesee County 4-H Dairy Bowl participants, from left, Gia Zuber, Owen Kimball, Lilia Buckenmeyer, Tate Zuber, Lucy Kimball, Annalise Sybertz, and Veronica Wolcott.


March 20, 2023 - 9:18am
posted by Mike Pettinella in Sports, Bowling, Genesee Region USBC.

Bergen bowler Harris Busmire continues to feast on the "home cooking" at Rose Garden Bowl.

Busmire, the longtime cook at the Viking Valhalla Restaurant at the Rose Garden Bowl & Volleyball Center, registered his second 300 game of the season last week -- finishing with the perfect game for a 733 series in the Wednesday Men's Handicap League. 

The big night raised the 58-year-old right-hander's average to 212 in the league.

In January, he posted a 300 game in the same league and in December, Busmire rolled an 813 series in the Thursday Owls League, also at Rose Garden Bowl.

In other action, Scott Gray of Warsaw posted his highest series ever -- 278-237-244--759 in the Thursday Owls League, improving his average to 195.

Elsewhere around the Genesee Region USBC:

  • Mark Brown of Attica spun 289 and 290 after a 206 opening game for a 785 series in the County Line Friday Trios League at Mancuso Bowling Center.  The 53-year-old righty recorded a spare in the first frame of the two big games before stringing 10 strikes and 11 strikes, respectively.
  • Traci Spanitz of Rochester rolled a 733 series in the Pizzaland Doubles League at Legion Lanes in Le Roy on Sunday, breaking the record for the highest three-game series by a woman in the eight-lane center's long history. Spanitz, a New York State USBC Hall of Famer, posted games of 268-238-227. The previous high series was a 730 by Naomi Hyde in December 2017.
  • Former Batavian Chris Colantonio and Mount Morris resident Dave DiSalvo rolled 800 series in recent action in the Saturday Night Mixed League at Mount Morris Lanes. Colantonio, who resides in Henrietta, had 803 on March 4 and DiSalvo had 815 this past Saturday.

For a list of high scorres for the week, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of the home page.

March 20, 2023 - 8:10am


If you want to know about recycling and solid waste management, Peggy Grayson is your go-to in Genesee County.

Just ask her a question. But be prepared because Grayson’s enthusiasm on the topic can take a while. And it’s that zeal that’s kept her in place as the county’s recycling administrator for the GLOW Region Solid Waste Management Committee for nearly two dozen years.

“It's been interesting, there are good times. The state is not as fun to deal with, but, you know, it's been fun. I'll miss the talking to people and things like that. I'm sure I'll still get stopped in the grocery stores, which is fine. It's kind of a hard habit to break,” she said of preparing for her impending retirement on June 30. “I'll still have my little sculptures made out of spoons and forks and stuff, and used clothing is a big thing with me.”

During her interview Friday at County Building 2 with The Batavian, the more she thought about interesting moments on the job, the more of them came flooding back. There's a recycling hotline that comes into her department, and Grayson takes -- and remembers -- the calls.

Like the time, right around the end of a school day, when someone called to ask if dental floss was recyclable. She gathered it wasn’t a serious question and that she was being pranked, so it made for a giggle.

Or the more serious time when a mom called wondering what to do with a bottle of some type of sodium material in oil that could explode if it came in contact with water. Her now-deceased son obtained it from a teacher and had kept it in the family refrigerator. So what should the mom do with it now? Grayson had to call a couple of resources to find the safest answer.

Or when a man called to say that he had all of the chemical ingredients to make fireworks and wanted to dispose of them. Grayson had to provide instructions to him for where to take them and follow up to ensure they were properly taken care of at an equipped county disposal site.

And then there were calls about cooking oil. And used paint. Box-style televisions. K-cups. Vaping cartridges, which is a newer item. Calls from Texas to a credit union with a phone number that’s just one number off the county’s, which sometimes ends up in a conversation about the weather “up there.”

Or calls about the items that folks just throw in those blue recycling boxes, thinking that anything will get recycled, including takeout containers with food inside. Or bags filled with dog poop (yes, true story, Grayson swears).

And when it’s not about matters legitimately pertaining to her department, it’s about something that’s a close second.

“I take calls every day, they think we’re a waste management company,” she said. “People constantly call. I was asked about cow mats. They are filled with tire chips, I’ve never heard of them. They wanted to know how to dispose of them. I tell people, ‘well, we use this stuff, but then we don’t want to get rid of it.’”

Apparently, that caller wasn’t so keen on having to pay for the disposal of his cow mats. Grayson said that, yes, there are items that you just can’t recycle and may have to pay to get rid of.

One may have thought that the recyclable and solid waste management field was a dry and boring one, right? Not for Grayson, who has plenty to tell her successor once hired. Applications are due April 7, and funds have been approved for her to train that person until she leaves.

A former teacher at the now-defunct St Anthony’s School in Batavia, Grayson has enjoyed the Conservation Field Days and Kinder Farming of her current job since they involve students. That allowed her “to teach and didn’t have to do the discipline,” she said. It put her bachelor’s in English from Geneseo State College to good use for two years before she opted to move on to selling real estate before pursuing a solid waste management tech and education degree at Rochester Institute of Technology.

“I originally thought I’d work for the DEC,” she said. “This job came open in August 1996. I got out of teaching, but I have used a lot of the teaching skills.”


Grayson sat at a table with plastic composters stacked beneath, waiting for an upcoming event. On top of the table sat a box for recycling phones and batteries, and walls were lined with posters about events and information regarding, you guessed it, recycling.

The department wasn’t expected to survive six months, she said, and “here it’s been 34 years.” If you’re a regular at recycling events — household hazardous waste collections, for one, you probably have seen or spoken to Grayson, who has been a regular at such events. In fact, she has already committed to volunteering for this year’s collection and has arranged the paint collection, electronics and composting events.

Margaret "Peggy" Grayson lives in Stafford. She raises sunflowers and gardens in grow boxes, planting cucumbers, beans, red peppers, small pumpkins and other veggies that pique her interest. She uses technology at work but has resisted it at home, she said. That means no Internet.

What does she have ready for her new trainee? Some apt advice.

“Treat your volunteers good. We feed them,” Grayson said. “I make cookies, they’ll have to take over my cooking duties, and attend the fairs … you’ll see people there you’ll never see the rest of the year.”

Top Photo of Peggy Grayson with a piece of artwork made by a Boy Scout troop depicting a recycling scene, and above, Grayson with a composter. Photos by Joanne Beck.

March 20, 2023 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in collectables show, news, batavia.


A sports memorabilia show held once a month at Quality Inn & Suites in Batavia continues to grow, said co-founder Norm Pimm at Sunday's show.

All 70 available vendor tables today were filled, and two hours into the six-hour event, Pimm estimated attendance already exceeded 1,000.

"We already have our April and May dates already booked," Pimm said. "So until they start the renovation of the hotel, we're gonna be here, and then hopefully they can squeeze us in and during the renovation, or we'll be back after."

The idea for the show started with a conversation between Pimm and Jen Oberlis, who owns a sports collectibles store in Spencerport.  Oberlis thought there might be a market for a collectibles show in Batavia, halfway between Buffalo and Rochester.

A lifelong collector who had been going to collectible shows for a while, Pimm introduced his son Brendan to the hobby.

"A couple of years ago, he got into collecting sports cards, and we would work together on it," Pimm said. "I was like, 'oh, let's get him into doing what I would do when I was his age, and he could make a bit of money for college or whatever he wants to do. So we started doing some shows and then decided to have one set in Batavia."

If the event keeps growing -- this was its fifth month -- the way it has been, Pimm anticipates expanding into an adjoining conference room at the hotel, which would mean the addition of up to 100 more vendors.

Photos by Howard Owens










March 20, 2023 - 6:20am
posted by Press Release in UMMC, batavia, news.


Press release:

Rochester Regional Health‘s United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) achieved Magnet recognition in March, a reflection of its nursing professionalism, teamwork and superiority in patient care. The Magnet Recognition Program® from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) distinguishes organizations that meet rigorous standards for nursing excellence.

Just 595 U.S. healthcare organizations out of over 6,000 U.S. hospitals have achieved Magnet recognition.  UMMC now joins other RRH hospitals that have a proud history of Magnet achievement, including Rochester General, Unity, Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic and Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, and our Primary Care and Ambulatory Specialty Institute (PCASI), which was the first primary care organization in the nation to achieve this prestigious designation.

“Magnet recognition provides our community with the ultimate benchmark to measure the quality of patient care,” said Sheri Faggiano, Chief Nursing Officer for United Memorial Medical Center. “Achieving Magnet recognition reinforces the culture of excellence that is a cornerstone of how we serve our community. It’s also tangible evidence of our nurses’ commitment to providing the very best care to our patients.”

Research demonstrates that Magnet recognition provides specific benefits to healthcare organizations and their communities, such as:

  • Higher patient satisfaction with nurse communication, availability of help and receipt of discharge information.
  • Lower risk of 30-day mortality and lower failure to rescue rates.
  • Higher job satisfaction among nurses.
  • Lower nurse reports of intentions to leave their positions.

Magnet recognition is the gold standard for nursing excellence and is a factor when the public judges healthcare organizations. U.S. News & World Report’s annual showcase of “America’s Best Hospitals” includes Magnet recognition in its ranking criteria for quality of inpatient care.

The Magnet Model provides a framework for nursing practice, research, and measurement of outcomes. Through this framework, ANCC evaluates applicants across a number of components and dimensions to gauge an organization’s nursing excellence.

The foundation of this model comprises various elements deemed essential to delivering superior patient care. These include the quality of nursing leadership, coordination and collaboration across specialties, as well as processes for measuring and improving the quality and delivery of care.

To achieve Magnet recognition, organizations must pass a rigorous and lengthy process that demands widespread participation from leadership and staff. This process includes an electronic application, written patient care documentation, an on-site visit, and a review by the Commission on Magnet Recognition.

Photos via UMMC




March 20, 2023 - 6:15am
posted by Press Release in GCEDC, Business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) is inviting community partners to join them for the GCEDC’s annual meeting on Friday, April 28 at Batavia Downs.

The theme of the annual meeting is #GrowingGenesee, highlighting the ripple effects of the past 20 years of economic growth and significant milestones with projects at STAMP, expanding workforce development, and economic growth across Genesee County.

“This event really provides us the opportunity to share our accomplishments over the last year and to express our thanks to all of our public and private sector partners,” said Peter Zeliff, Chairman of the GCEDC Board of Directors.

Registration for the event is available here.

The annual meeting’s keynote speaker, and the GCEDC’s partner of the year, will be announced in the coming weeks.

Past partners of the year include National Grid, Genesee Community College, Genesee County, City & Town of Batavia and the Batavia Development Corporation, National Fuel Corporation, the Town of Alabama, Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, and HP Hood.

“With projects like Plug Power and Edwards growing at STAMP, expansions by our manufacturers and a wave of downtown projects and new investment, there’s no better time to reflect on the previous year and the opportunities for future growth,” said GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde. “We are excited to share how Genesee County is growing and connect with our partners at the annual meeting.”

March 20, 2023 - 6:10am
posted by Press Release in Steve Hawley, 139th assembly district, news.

Press release:

“Between the governor's budget and the budget proposal from the Assembly Majority, more spending is on the agenda, and it's going to hurt New Yorkers,” Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C-Batavia) said. “Despite this dramatic inflationary period, the Majority is intent on asking New Yorkers to be taxed more in exchange for numerous programs that will likely never benefit Upstate residents. It is disappointing, irresponsible, and shameful!

“I don’t believe more taxes are the solution. I would like to see New York rein in its spending to more manageable levels, where the necessities are taken care of, and the rest is considered case-by-case. Banning gas stoves or giving free healthcare to illegal immigrants is not helping our bottom line. Our spending habits in this state are unsustainable, and if they continue, we’re only going to set ourselves up for failure,” Hawley concluded.

March 20, 2023 - 6:05am

Press release: 

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) and the Genesee County Office for the Aging (GCOFA) will hold a series of Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshops on six Wednesdays, at no charge, starting with an Introductory Meeting, April 5, 2023 and continuing with the Workshops on April 12, 19, 26, May 3, 10, 17 from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM.  Classes will take place at the GCOFA, at 2 Bank Street in Batavia, NY 14020, and Snacks will be provided.

Participants will learn how to manage ongoing health conditions such as: Arthritis, Diabetes, Cystic Fibrosis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Other Eating Disorders, and Asthma.

Those who attend will be shown practical steps to gain control of their daily health concerns.  Participants will learn about healthy eating, problem-solving, action plans, medications, weight management, physical activity, sleep and relationship communication skills.

Participants who complete the series will receive a great resource book and gift card. 

Pre-registration is required; please call Cathy DeMare at 585-815-8501, ext. 400, by April 5th.

For individuals with disabilities or language interpretation needs, requests for reasonable accommodations should be made with five days’ notice. If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, we respectfully ask you not to attend.

This program is made possible through funds from the NY State Office for the Aging, NY Connects, the Older Americans Act, the generous support of the Genesee County Legislature, and in partnership with Independent Living of the Genesee Region.

Independent Living of the Genesee Region is a member of the Western New York Independent Living, Inc. family of agencies that offer an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

March 20, 2023 - 6:00am
posted by Press Release in Claudia Tenney, NY-24, news.

Press release:

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24), recently co-sponsored three pieces of legislation focused on promoting transparency and defunding the World Health Organization (WHO). During the pandemic, the WHO showed that they are not an independent international public health cooperative, but rather simply a puppet of the Chinese Communist Party. Instead of listening to Chinese scientists warning about the dangers of COVID-19, for months, the WHO parroted CCP talking points including that person-to-person transmission was not possible.

First, H.R.79, the “WHO Withdrawal Act,” led by Rep. Andy Biggs (AZ-5), requires the President of the United States to remove the U.S. from the WHO and prevents taxpayer dollars from being used to fund the organization. This legislation would codify President Trump’s decision in 2020 to leave the WHO, which was reversed by President Biden.

Second, H.R.343, the “No Taxpayer Funding for the World Health Organization Act,” led by Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21), would avert any assessed or voluntary contributions from the United States to the WHO.

Finally, S.444, the “No WHO Pandemic Preparedness Treaty Without Senate Approval Act,” introduced in the House by Rep. Tom Tiffany (WI-7), deems any final agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response to be a treaty. Under Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, treaties require the consent of two-thirds of the U.S. Senate. This bill will prevent the Biden Administration from circumventing the Senate and arbitrarily deeming any final treaty an “executive agreement” which does not require Senate approval.

"Since the beginning of the pandemic, the WHO has proven that it does not have America's best interest at heart," said Congresswoman Tenney. "​​Through the disguise of the WHO, millions of taxpayer dollars have bankrolled the Chinese Communist Party's propaganda and have covered up the pandemic's origins. The WHO is not reformable. It is a privilege to join these three pieces of legislation that will ensure the United States leaves this CCP-puppet agency once and for all."

March 20, 2023 - 5:55am

Press release:

The GCREA (Genesee County Retired Educators Asociation)) will be collecting items to benefit the children involved with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates.) These children are often lacking in essentials in their living situations. The collection drive will be asking for socks, underwear, and personal hygiene items (toothbrushes, combs, body wash, deodorants, shampoo, etc.) for boys and girls ages 0-18.  GCREA members and the public are invited to drop off items in the Tonawanda Valley Credit Union lobby in Batavia from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 31.

March 20, 2023 - 3:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, batavia, news.

A house fire is reported at 10 1/2 South Spruce Street, Batavia.

The initial report was for involving a room and its contents.

The fire has reportedly spread into the attic.

All occupants are reported to be out of the house.

City Fire responding.  The second and fourth platoons have been recalled.

UPDATE 3:10 a.m.: Fire knocked down, checking for extension.

UPDATE 3:37 a.m. by Joanne Beck: The cause is reportedly unknown at this time, but the fire is believed to have originated outside of the house. The cause is under investigation.

UPDATE 3:53 a.m. (by Howard): National Grid requested to the scene.

Photos by Howard Owens.


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