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March 19, 2019 - 2:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GOW opioid task force, opioid epidemic, news, notify.

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There is a lot of attention paid to opioid addiction treatment, Dr. Richard Blondell told an audience at the City Church Generation Center in Batavia today, but not enough effort is given to preventing addiction in the first place.

"The bottom line of this opioid epidemic is we cannot treat our way out of this epidemic," Blondell said. "We cannot incarcerate out of this epidemic. We can't legislate our way out of this epidemic. What we really have to do is prevention."

Blondell is vice chair of addiction medicine and a professor in the Department of Family Medicine at SUNY Buffalo. He spoke today at a workshop for faith leaders sponsored by the Genesee-Orleans-Wyoming Opioid Task Force.

Drawing on science, history and statistics, Blondell made the case that it's very difficult to successfully treat somebody for opioid addiction; therefore, to end the current epidemic, society needs to produce fewer addicts.

That begins with doctors, he said but includes families and individuals who need to be more aware and better educated about addiction and prevention.

The causes of addiction are both genetic and environmental, Blondell said.

About 10 percent of the population is genetically susceptible to opioid addiction. Those people, when exposed to opioids, usually through prescription medication, are much likely to become addicts.

The addiction for them is a disease.

An addict has about a 5 percent chance of dying in any given year. 

"The average life expectancy of a heroin addict is about 10 years, most are gone in 20," Blondell said.

Much of the blame for the opioid epidemic can be placed on Arthur M. Sackler, a medical marketing executive in the 1950s who, among other things, introduced the world to Valium, the first multimillion drug.

"It didn't treat anything actually," Bondell said. "Even though Valium was the number one prescribed drug in the country it was not clear what disease it treated."

The Sackler family went on to own Perdue Pharma, the company that introduced OxyContin. 

That pain pill was sold to doctors as non-addictive if used for pain.

Then the insurance companies got involved, Blondell said. They stopped funding pain-management regimes, which could cost thousands of dollars but were effective, in favor of prescription pain medications. And if doctors didn't prescribe enough pain pills, they would get low patient satisfaction scores from patients who said, "he didn't do anything for my pain."  

Doctors started prescribing opioid-based pain medications "like skittles," Blondell said.

Patients who become addicted to pain pills often, usually, turn to heroin, which is cheaper and easier to get. About 75 percent of heroin addicts started with a prescription to either the addict himself or to a friend or family member.

There are two types of treatment for addicts, neither high success rates -- counseling or medication.

In counseling, an addict receives psychological therapy, or they might live in a home and where they can learn adult life skills but if they are physically addicted, brain condition related to addiction is not treated. That is where medication, such as methadone, come in.

Blondell said all treatment methods should continue but that isn't the final answer on the epidemic. We've never treated our way out of an epidemic, he said.

People who say addiction is a choice really don't understand opioid addiction, Blondell said.  

Everybody is addicted to something. Addiction is essential to survival. We're all addicted, for example, to water.

But what substances, such as illicit drugs and alcohol do, is trick the brain into thinking that substance is a higher priority than other addictions, such as food.

"So people say to me, this is a behavior," Blondell said. "It's not really a mental illness or it's not a disease. It's not a disorder. It's really just a behavioral problem. To which my question is, what organ in the body produces behavior? Is it the kidneys? Is it the liver? No, it's the brain. So it's the brain that produces the behavior that we see and pass judgment on."

If we're going to end the epidemic, Blondell said, doctors need to be more cautious and judicious in when and how they prescribe pain medications. Patients who receive them need to be better educated about taking the prescribed amount for only a short period of time. Parents need to ensure they control the distribution of pain medication to their teen children, and ensure they actually take them when dispensed so they're not hoarded so five or six can be taken at a time. Everybody needs to be better educated about the nature of addiction and how to avoid it.

March 19, 2019 - 2:16pm

From the GC Health Department:

According to the 2019 County Health Rankings, released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI) the Genesee and Orleans counties rank 42nd and 52nd, respectively, in overall Health Outcomes.

The Rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.

“As chief health strategists, we use the County Health Rankings to help us identify factors that are important for residents to live long and healthy lives and understand how we compare to other counties in the state," said Paul Pettit, director of the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.

"With this knowledge, we can take steps to improve the health of our residents. The county with the lowest score (best health) gets a rank of #1 for that state and the county with the highest score (worst health) is assigned a rank corresponding to the number of total counties ranked in each state. New York State has 62 counties.”

The rankings are broken into to two main categories, Health Outcomes, which include length of life and quality of life, and Health Factors, which include health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment. Genesee County ranked 42 out of 62 counties for Health Outcomes and 29 in Health Factors. Orleans County ranked 52 in Health Outcomes and 54 in Health Factors.

“The County Health Rankings show us that where people live plays a key role in how long and how well they live,” Pettit said. “The Rankings allow local leaders to clearly see and prioritize the challenges they face — whether it’s rising premature death rates or the growing drug overdose epidemic — so they can bring community leaders and residents together to find solutions.”

According to the 2019 Rankings, the five healthiest counties in New York State (NYS) starting with most healthy are Rockland, followed by Nassau, Westchester, Saratoga, and New York. The five counties in the poorest health, starting with least healthy are Bronx, Sullivan, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Niagara.

What’s new for 2019? This year’s Rankings explore severe housing cost burden and health. The 2019 Key Findings Report highlights the link between housing and health that the RWJF and the UWPHI are seeing across the nation. As housing costs have outpaced local incomes, many families not only struggle to acquire and maintain adequate shelter, but also face difficult trade-offs in meeting other basic needs.

Did you know that across counties increases in the share of households that are severely housing-cost burdened are linked to more children in poverty and more people facing food insecurity?

New measures this year that help to illustrate how counties are fairing including Severe Housing-cost Burden, Homeownership, and Life Expectancy. A new ranked measure included this year is Flu Vaccinations. In addition, an updated data source for the ranked measures of Preventable Hospital Stays and Mammography Screening are being used.

“The County Health Rankings show how Genesee and Orleans Counties rank on factors that influence its overall health ranking,” Pettit said.

For example, Genesee County has an improved Clinical Care ranking, scoring 40 this year as compared to 57 out of 62 counties five years ago. This improvement can be attributed to a lower uninsured population (under age 65) than the NYS average, as well as an increasing number of mental health providers available although still far behind the state average.

A similar trend can be found in Orleans County in regards to these two ranked measures. Additional strengths in Genesee County include a lower percentage of
children living in poverty, which is 15 percent as compared to the state average of 20 percent. As well, the high school graduation rate in Genesee County (91 percent) and Orleans County (89 percent) in 2019 is higher than the state average of 82 percent.

The rankings of Social Associations, Severe Housing Problems, and Long Commute-Driving Alone are also fairing well in both counties compared to the NYS averages. Orleans County has also improved in the Physical Environment and Health Factors rankings, by 11 points (21 out of 62) and two points (54 out of 62) compared to 2018.

Even with the above mentioned positive trends, both counties continue to have challenge areas and are still struggling with health factors specifically with adult smoking (Genesee – 20 percent / Orleans – 22 percent), adult obesity (Genesee – 35 percent / Orleans – 36 percent), physical inactivity (Genesee – 29 percent / Orleans – 31 percent), access to exercise opportunities (Genesee – 61 percent / Orleans – 70 percent), driving alone to work (Genesee – 84 percent / Orleans – 80 percent), and access to clinical care for primary care physicians, dentists and mental health providers.

Orleans County is also ranked as having a higher percentage of children living in poverty (24 percent) as compared to the state average mentioned earlier.

The Rankings have become an important tool for communities that want to improve health for all. Working collaboratively with community partners, Genesee and Orleans counties have a number of initiatives to expand health opportunities for residents, including providing the National Diabetes Prevention Program (Prevent T2), a lifestyle change program to prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes; the Get Fit! Program, an eight-week family-friendly physical activity and nutrition focused program; a tri-county Opioid Task Force; decrease smoking/nicotine usage through referrals and increase cancer screenings. \

“The Rankings data will be used in conjunction with additional local sources, such as the Community Health Assessment (CHA) Surveys and Community Conversations that are being collected and occurring now, to inform the 2019-2024 Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming (GOW) Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) which will be submitted to the NYS Department of Health this December, stated Pettit.

The CHA survey is available online in English and Spanish until March 31, 2019. Paper copies are also available at various locations in each county. The survey is anonymous and only takes about 15 minutes to complete and focuses on the health of the person taking it. If you are younger than 18, be sure to receive permission to take the survey from your parent(s) or guardian(s).

To access the GOW CHA survey visit here for English or here for Spanish.

The GOW Health Departments are also seeking to schedule Community Conversations with willing groups to learn what they feel are the greatest health concerns or issues in their community and thoughts on how they can be improved. Responses from the confidential surveys and conversations will help identify services that are working, need improving, or to be created.

The more members of the public who participate, the larger and stronger the “building block” of these plans will be!

To participate in a community conversation, obtain hardcopies of the survey, or have any questions about the County Health Rankings please contact your local health department.

  • Genesee County Health Department at: 344-2580, ext. 5555, or visit their website here.
March 19, 2019 - 12:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Soil and Water Conservation District, news, notify.
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   Brad Mudrzynski

The job of Soil and Water Conservative, District Manager Brad Mudrzynski, told the Public Service Committee on Monday during a department review, is pretty straightforward at its most basic: Keep soil healthy; keep it on dry land; keep it out of water, so water is kept clean.

Mudrzynski became the director in January, the second since George Squires retired a couple of years ago after 31 years of service to the county, but Mudrzynski, who is from Elba, said the district has continued to operate without missing a beat.

Genesee County's soil and water district was established in 1944. Every county in the state has a soil and water district. The county budgets about $150,000 annually to fund the district. That pays for personnel, currently four full-time staffers and one part-time employee, and it's up to the district to apply for grants and aid to fund its programs.

"We have a good core," Mudrzynski said. "I hope I get to keep my core because they are really good people. They all know what they're doing."

The current staff is Molly Cassatt, a technician (the former director who volunteered to change rolls), Bob Berkemeier, senior technician, Tim Welch, technician, and Laura Bestehorn, clerk-treasuer.

In Genesee County, most programs are focused on agriculture but the agency also works with municipalities. For example, soil and water is using a $6,000 state grant to fund a hydroseeding program with the towns.

Hydroseeding, rather than just spreading grass seed on the ground, helps prevent runoff and soil erosion.

Other programs and services include tree and shrub planting, fish stocking, an Envirothon, recycling events, permit assistance, guidance for invasive species control, and erosion control design.

In 2018, the district secured nine grants worth $1.2 million.

Mudrzynski said soil and water districts are unique in the state because they operate as quasi-state agencies but with local control, which makes them more nimble and responsive to local needs.

March 19, 2019 - 11:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in infrastructure, news, county highway.

There are 95 bridges and 256 culverts in the county's infrastructure inventory and combined they're worth about $70 million, County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens told members of the Public Service Committee on Monday.

That's a conservative estimate, Hens said.

He arrived at the number based on the amount spent on bridge and culvert replacement over the past three years without adjusting for inflation.  

Genesee County is one of three counties in the state that are economically responsible for all bridges and culverts on non-state roads, including those in towns and villages. In every other county, towns and villages must maintain and replace old bridges.

It's been that way since 1939 when the board of supervisors passed legislation giving county control of bridges and culverts.

A bridge (defined as more than 20 feet long) can be expected to have a safe, useful life of 50 years. The average bridge in the county was constructed in 1968, Hens said.

To keep up with the replacement cycle of bridges, the county needs to replace two bridges a year but in recent years, with cuts in federal aid, the county has only been able to replace one bridge a year.

Typically, state and federal aid helps pay for bridge and culvert replacement but as that aid is cut back, the county may need to turn to other sources of local revenue, such as sales tax.

March 19, 2019 - 7:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pawn law, news, notify.
      Kevin Earl

A proposed local law aimed at curbing property thefts is back before the County Legislature after undergoing revisions to more narrowly focus its intent on pawn shops and other businesses most commonly favored by criminals to fence stolen goods.

County Attorney Kevin Earl worked with a variety of interested parties, including District Attorney Lawrence Friedman and Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster to draft proposed language that would still meet the intent of the legislation, but ensure it only hit its target without potentially adding an unintended regulatory burden to other local businesses.

The original bill was introduced in November and met some initial opposition from some members of the Legislature and some local business owners.

The key change of the law narrows the scope of the regulations to businesses known as "pervasively regulated." Prior case law has established that certain business activities can be monitored by the government without a warrant because of the nature of the business. In New York, these already include pawn shops, coin dealers, chop shops, and other enterprises that can be used as fronts for stolen property.

The change ensures the law can't be used to impose regulations on commercial thrift-type stores, used book and record stores, antique stores, or businesses that resell gift cards, among other establishments that might have been swept up in the prior broader language of the law.

Public Services Committee Chair Shelly Stein said during yesterday's committee meeting that it's important to remember the purpose of the law. 

"We are trying to assist victims of theft and robbery in the county," Stein said. 

Even so, the revised bill isn't supported by all members of the Legislature. Both legislators John Deleo and Andrew Young said they are uncomfortable adding another layer of regulation on private enterprise.

"We have one pawn shop here and we're creating more mandated laws when we get upset when the state puts mandates on us," Deleo said. "I don't think it's right. I have faith in law enforcement that if we have a problem, we can solve it. I don't care how much lipstick we put on this, I have a hard time buying into it. I guess I have more faith in law enforcement.

After the meeting, Young said he still isn't satisfied with the language of the law.

"It has been suggested that the decision to be made to pass this law is easy because it is simply to choose between victims of stolen goods and potential criminals," Young said. "I don’t agree that is what it is about. The decision to be made is to weigh the cost of additional government rules, regulations and reporting requirements against the value those government-imposed burdens provide towards assisting victims of theft. 

"The changes made make this law better and somewhat less intrusive. I am not sure we have reached the point where the value of this law outweighs the cost."

Another significant change is the elimination of the licensing fee for a qualified secondhand dealer.

"We did this to address the suggestion that this was only a money grab by the county," said County Clerk Michael Cianfrini. "We wanted to eliminate that concern."

Earl said he's confident that changes in the bill's language will help it withstand any potential Constitutional challenge.  

Niagara County passed a new law similar in language to the original draft of Genesee County's law and Earl said officials up there, after he shared his concerns with them about the local law, don't intend to make changes.

"Niagara County had nobody show up at their public hearing," Earl said. "There were no objections. It's probably a good thing we had objections up front or we might have had problems on the back end."

Brewster said just discussion of the law has compelled Pawn King on Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia, to start using Leads Online, a digital service used by pawn shops to enter items received into a searchable database. Law enforcement agencies can then subscribe to the service (there's no cost to the merchants who participate) so they can see what items are coming into the shop and check the list of items reported stolen.

Pawn King was already using the service in other counties where it does business because those counties legally compel Pawn King to use Leads Online.

Brewster said passage of a similar law locally will ensure Pawn King continues to use the service and will help ensure their compliance is thorough.

Businesses required to record transactions and hold items for at least 10 days under the law could lose their license and be forced to close if found out of compliance.

Mike Barrett, owner of Barrett Marine, said after the meeting that with the revisions, he's more comfortable that the new law. If passed, it won't apply to Barrett's business, but the owner of John G. Cooper Coin Shop in Le Roy said at age 76, this law may be a signal that it's time to retire.

Previously:

March 19, 2019 - 6:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once registered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.

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March 18, 2019 - 3:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, Imagination Station, child care, day care, preschool.

Press release:

Imagination Station Child Care & Preschool is expanding its operation and adding a new location in Batavia. Known as the “Batavia East Center,” the location is scheduled to open mid-May and is located at 5079 Clinton Street Road in Batavia, the former Grandma’s Lovin’ Care building.

The center will have a variety of new features for Imagination Station and upgrades from its current location in Batavia. The building will have cameras in every classroom, a private playground, and doors throughout which lead to the outside, and a brand-new school-age classroom in the lower half of the building, which will be over 1,000 square feet!

Imagination Station is upgrading the building to include painting throughout, all new window treatments, new flooring in needed areas, an improved parking lot, and all new equipment and furniture in the classrooms.

“It’s a beautiful building and we’re excited for children to be occupying it again!" said owner Kelly Kronbeck. "We’re giving the building some love and attention, then we’ll be ready to open in the spring.

"We look forward to being able to create a more intimate environment at each of our Batavia locations since overall they’ll both be smaller in size."

Imagination Station, which is a locally owned and operated child-care provider, currently has a total of five centers, including the newest Batavia addition.

The new and improved center on Clinton Street Road will accommodate children from the ages of 6 weeks to 12 years old and has capacity for 112 students. The center will consist of two infant classrooms, three toddler classrooms, two preschool classrooms, and one school-age classroom.

Imagination Station prides itself in offering an educationally based program that is safe for its students and professionally run for its families. They credit their success to the hands-on approach they take in running their centers, but also by offering a high-quality program at an affordable rate, which is about 20 percent lower than its competitors between Buffalo and Rochester.

Interested families can tour the existing location by setting up an appointment! Enrollment is now available for both locations and is being filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Please call 585-343-0990 or visit the company’s website at www.istationccp.com for more information.

March 18, 2019 - 2:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Darien.

Lee George Ezzell, 64, of Genesee Street, Darien, is charged with second-degree harassment. At 10 a.m. on March 17 on Genesee Street in Darien, Ezzell was arrested. It is alleged that with intent to annoy, harass, or alarm a person, he used an open hand to strike that person in the back of the head. Ezzell was issued an appearance ticket for April 2 in Darien Town Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Mullen

Joey Aaron Evans, 28, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. At 4:03 p.m. on March 16, Evans was arrested after he allegedly stole two Dyson V6 vacuums from Walmart. He was arraigned then released on his own recognizance. He is due in Batavia Town Court on April 9. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy Michael Lute.

Mary Ellen Bruton, 63, of Gilman Road, Churchville, is charged with: driving while intoxicated; DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or higher; and having a vehicle stopped, standing or parked on a highway. She was arrested at 10:32 p.m. on March 17 on Park Road in Batavia following a traffic stop. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia Town Court on April 11. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy Jeremy McClellan.

Justin T. Gladney, 29, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, was arrested on March 13 at 11:37 a.m. on Hutchins Street in Batavia on three separate warrants issued by Batavia City Court. One was a bench warrant for failure to appear. The second was an arrest warrant for failure to appear on an appearance ticket. These were in connection to two petit larceny charges. The third warrant was for first-degree falsifying business records and criminal impersonation in the second degree -- for allegedly giving a false name to the police and while being fingerprinted at the GC Jail. Gladney was put in jail with bail set at $2,500 cash or bond on the first two warrants and bail of $15,000 cash or bond for the new charges that garnered the third warrant. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis, assisted by Sgt. Daniel Coffey.

Pablo Abdiel Cintron Guzman, 18, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. He was arrested at 4:54 p.m. March 17 on Park Road in Batavia following a traffic stop. He is due in Town of Batavia Court on April 4. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy Andrew Hale.

March 18, 2019 - 2:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, elba, Announcements, meat raffle, elba sports boosters.

Elba Sports Boosters will hold a Meat Raffle on Saturday, March 30, at Elba Firemen's Rec Hall. It is located at 7143 Oak Orchard Road, Elba.

Doors open at 5 p.m. and first pull is at 6 p.m.

$10 per person donation to attend, or reserve a table for eight for $70. Price includes beer, soda pop, wine and a door prize raffle ticket.

There will also be a Freezer Full of Meat Raffle, a Wheelbarrow of Booze Raffle, and a 50/50 Raffle.

"Grab your family and friends, bring snacks, a cooler for your winnings, and plenty of $1 bills!"

For tickets, contact any Boosters member.

For advance table reservation or more information, call Lea Ann Hall at (585) 409-1312.

March 18, 2019 - 1:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in UMMC, Health Care, news, notify.

According to data compiled by the Center for Disease Control, a federal agency, and compiled by USA Today, United Memorial Medical Center has one of the best rates of mothers avoiding serious complications during childbirth in New York and the nation.

UMMC's severe maternal morbidity (SMM) rate for births to all mothers is 0.09 percent, compared to 1.8 percent for New York and a 1.4-percent rate nationwide.

SMM includes unexpected outcomes of labor and delivery that result in significant short- or long-term consequences to a woman’s health, according to the CDC.

The rate for UMMC is based on 2,341 deliveries from 2014 through 2017.

Dr. Tara Gellasch, chief medical officer for UMMC, and a physician at Batavia's Women Care Center, said UMMC's rating reflects the hospital's commitment to quality care and the support of the Rochester Regional Health system.

"Due to a myriad of potential conditions that can increase risk, maternal mortality is a growing concern in New York State and throughout the country," Gellasch said. "At United Memorial Medical Center, our providers and staff are trained to identify patients at risk so we can work with our Rochester Regional Health experts in high-risk obstetrics to provide these patients with the prenatal care they need.

"Our team is proud that we have kept maternal mortality rates consistently low and, as we do in all areas of care, we continue to evaluate our work and find ways to raise the bar for the future."

The severe maternal morbidity rate "is a composite measure of things that can go wrong at the hospital before, during or after delivery – heart attacks, strokes, blood transfusions, hysterectomies and other perilous emergencies that can permanently harm or even kill a new mother," reported USA Today.

Because the SMM rate is especially a concern for black mothers, the newspaper also reported on the rate and deaths for black mothers at UMMC during the study period.

The rate of episiotomy, an incision made in the vagina to assist during difficult births but not recommended by most health care experts, is 1.2 percent at UMMC compared to 7.8 percent at hospitals in 13 other states. 

The cesarean rate at UMMC is 18.5 percent compared to a national rate, among hospitals that report the rate -- some do not disclose it -- is 19.9 percent.

March 18, 2019 - 12:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, jobs, economy, news, notify.

While Genesee County's unemployment rate jumped to 5.0 percent in January it was still a point-and-a-half lower than a year earlier for the same month.

The Department of Labor released the county's unemployment rate on Friday.

January's unemployment rate is traditionally one of the highest rates of any month in the year and last year it was 6.4 percent.

In December, the local rate was 4.1 percent.

There were 30,000 local residents reported in the labor force for January of this year compared to 29,500 the previous January.

Of those 30,000, 28,500 had jobs compared to 27,600 with jobs the previous year.

The number reported without work but seeking employment dropped from 1,900 to 1,500.

As for the number of private-sector jobs in the county, there were 16,300 reported in January compared to 16,200 the previous year.

March 18, 2019 - 11:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.55, up 7 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.55 as well. The New York State average is $2.66 – up 7 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.69. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.60 (up 10 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo- - $2.58 (up 7 cents since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.69 (up 10 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.67 (up 10 cents since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.67 (up 8 cents since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.66 (up 9 cents since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.68 (up 9 cents since last week)

Increasing demand for gasoline and tightening supply have helped to push prices higher this week. In its latest weekly petroleum status report, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released new data that shows the spring driving season is certainly ahead for American motorists.

AAA is seeing an increase in requests for maps and tour books to popular driving destinations including Myrtle Beach and Charleston, S.C.

Gasoline demand is up while total domestic gasoline stocks are falling. As demand strengthens and gas stocks tighten, pump prices will likely follow suit and continue to increase. A springtime jump in prices is typical with increased demand and the changeover to the more expensive summer blend gasoline in the coming weeks.

March 17, 2019 - 9:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, St. Patrick's Day.
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March 17, 2019 - 7:33pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.

Brockport's Chris Bardol enjoyed a successful weekend of tournament bowling last week -- cashing big in a pair of events -- and kept the hot hand in league play by rolling a 290 game and 804 series in the G&W Vending League on Tuesday night at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

Bardol's 290 was one of three registered over the past seven days, with Matt Balduf of South Byron hitting 290--712 in the Toyota of Batavia Thursday League at Mancuso Bowling Center, and Frank Jarkiewicz of Byron posting 290 in the Every-Other-Saturday League at Rose Garden Bowl.

At Mount Morris Lanes, proprietor Bob Santini rolled a 300 game on March 6 at his hometown center.

Other high series included Jason Quiliam's 279--792 in the Mancuso Real Estate/No Finer Diner League at Mancuso's, Charles Scheiber's 771 in the Thursday Owls League at Rose Garden Bowl, and Rob Stefani's 779 in the G&W Vending League.

For a list of high rollers, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page. 

To read about Bardol's tournament exploits and plenty of other local bowling news, check out Mike Pettinella's next Pin Points column this Thursday.

March 17, 2019 - 2:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, batavia, news, outdoors.

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Frank Capuano took this picture of an eagle he spotted this morning feasting on a carcass in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

March 16, 2019 - 4:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Genesee Symphony Orchestra, pops concert, elba.

The Genesee Symphony Orchestra will present its "Made in America!" Pops Concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 31 in the Elba Central School Auditorium. It is located at 57 S. Main St. in Elba.

S. Shade Zajac is the symphony's music director and conductor. The concert will feature composer, percussionist and guest soloist Dave Mancini.

WBTA is the sponsor of the "Made in America!" Pops Concert.

The program is:

  • "The American Frontier" by Calvin Custer
  • "The Journey" by Dave Mancini
  • "Fiesta Latina" by Dave Mancini
  • "Psycho Prelude" by Bernard Herrmann
  • "Forrest Gump Suite" by Alan Silvestri, arrangements by Calvin Custer
  • Concert Suite from "Dances With Wolves" by John Barry
  • "Over the Rainbow" from "The Wizard of Oz" by Harold Arlen, arrangements by Chuck Sayre
  • "Star Wars Suite for Orchestra" by John Williams -- "Leia's Theme" and main title

Tickets are: adults -- $15; students -- $7; seniors -- $10; family -- $35 (parents and children 12 and under).

Tickets are available at Roxy's Music Store, GO ART!, The YNGodess Shop, Vinyl Record Revival, Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew, and on the symphony's website here.

This concert is made possible, in part, by the NYS Council on the Arts with the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature.

March 16, 2019 - 2:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, Residential Rehabilitation Survey.

Press release:

The City of Batavia is “All In” to revitalize our city through economic development and housing programs that will raise our standard of living and make our community one of the most attractive places, to live, work, and play.

The City is considering applying for Federal grant assistance to help income eligible owner-occupied single-family homeowners with essential home improvements.

Sometimes the smallest things we can do for our neighborhoods can have the biggest impact. Home improvements are a catalyst for changing the look and feel of a neighborhood and improving residents’ quality of life.

Here in Batavia, Summit Street is a perfect example of a street coming back to life with vibrancy and is now a model for other transformations across our City. When one resident makes improvements to their home, others follow.

Grant funds would enable homeowners to make home repairs with grant and deferred-loan funding. Any single-family homeowner is encouraged to apply.

If you own a single-family home in need of repairs please download the survey from the City’s “Useful Links” tab on the City’s homepage at www.batavianewyork.com. Click on Residential Rehabilitation Survey or pick up a survey in the City Manager’s office at City Hall.

Surveys will also be available at the Richmond Memorial Library (19 Ross St.) the week of March 18th.

The City’s goals include the following:

1.        Create a viable urban community with decent housing.

2.        Ensure a suitable living environment for all (safe, sanitary and habitable dwellings).

3.        Expanding economic opportunities for all including persons of low to moderate income.

4.        Rehabilitate the City knowing that it starts with one building at a time.

The City of Batavia is requesting your full cooperation to help us obtain housing rehabilitation grant funding. Please complete and mail in or drop off the surveys to the City Manager’s Office, One Batavia City Centre, Batavia, New York, 14020.

March 16, 2019 - 2:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in the batavian sessions, music, entertainment, hlom.

 

Video Sponsor

 

No Blarney! performed a concert of traditional Irish music Friday night at the Holland Land Office Museum.

Here are two videos from that performance, one of "Drink It Up, Man," and the other "Drunken Sailor."

Thank you to No Blarney! and the audience for allowing me to make these two videos. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

 

Video Sponsor

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