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April 17, 2021 - 12:53pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in business, Rest & Revive Float Center, batavia.

Photo of business partners Brandon Buckel, left, and Gary VanValkenburg.

Gary VanValkenburg’s family has been in business in Batavia since 1960, during which time they have made numerous changes to adapt to economic conditions and times.

Now, however, VanValkenburg says it’s time to retire.

The business his father started as Central TV in 1960 is now known as Rest & Revive Float Center, which the 70-year-old VanValkenburg runs with a business partner, Brandon Buckel.

Several factors have contributed to VanValkenburg’s decision to put the business up for sale at this time.

'Plans of Retirement on Horizon'

First is the coronavirus pandemic, which forced them to shut down for 85 days, and secondly is the fact VanValkenburg’s wife is seriously ill and he is her primary  caregiver.

“I just can’t do both any more,” he said. “It is with mixed emotions we have decided to put our family property and business on the market, with plans of retirement on the horizon.” 

Back in 1960, Gary’s parents, Russell and Rose VanValkenburg, opened a television sales/service business in the basement of Mancuso Furniture on Main Street in Batavia.

In 1963, they tore down the front porch of their house and built a store in the front to sell televisions and stereos. In the early 1970s, Twin Fair opened up down the road from their house and were selling the same products for the prices VanValkenburgs paid at wholesale.

Once a Haven for Waterbeds

“My parents knew they had to go in a different direction,” Van Valkenburg said. “At that time, they were sleeping on a waterbed and it was their idea to open a waterbed store.”

That resulted in opening The Waterbed Store in 1974 at 596 E. Main St., where they sold all types of waterbeds. 

Gary grew up in his parents business, delivering mattresses with his father from the time he was 10. Gary became a plumber in Batavia, until giving it up to join his parents when they purchased a Waterbed World franchise out of Rochester in 1978, enabling them to sell all types of waterbeds, including name-brand furniture and accessories.

A year later, they opened a second Waterbed World franchise in Summit Park Mall in Niagara Falls. They had 45 complete flotation bedroom suites on display there.

The decision was made in 1986 to terminate the Waterbed World franchise and change the name to Waterbed Professionals.

In 1995 they began offering all types of sleeping surfaces, including name-brand mattresses, memory foam, latex, and adjustable air beds, along with waterbeds.

In 1996 they changed the store name to The Bed Room, as they were offering more than just waterbeds.

“We were the first retail outlet in Genesee County to offer Tempur-Pedic products,” VanValkenburg said.

By 2015, the mattress industry had begun to veer in a different direction, and it wasn’t positive, he said.

Looking for a 'Different Niche'

“We had to look for a new and different niche,” VanValkenburg said. “In 2016 I was having some health issues and my doctor suggested floating. I had no idea what he was talking about. I found a float center in Rochester and made an appointment. After my first floating experience, I felt great. I had no pain and no stress. I came back and told my partner that I think I had found our new niche.”

VanValkenburg and Buckel began to investigate the flotation industry and monitored the progress for a full year. It was on the upswing, as float centers were popping up all over the country and in Europe, VanValkenburg said.

In 2018, they closed The Bed Room and began construction of their new Float Center.

They opened for business in May 2019, and had been in business less than a year when COVID-19 shuttered the enterprise. Business is slowly returning, and they are booked into May, VanValkenburg noted.

“Over the last six decades our family has had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people and make long lasting friendships,” VanValkenburg said. 

His father died 10 years ago and his mother a year ago.

Until a buyer comes along, VanValkenburg said they will be open for business as usual. In spite of the changes made to comply with restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, business is good, he said.

Previously: Video: Ribbon cutting, Rest & Revive Float Center, Batavia, NY

Photo by Howard Owens.

April 17, 2021 - 12:08pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in GV BOCES, Culinary Arts, news, NASA Challenge.

A recipe created by three students in Genesee Valley BOCES’ culinary class has been selected as one of 10 finalists in the NASA HUNCH Culinary Challenge.

Isaiah Merrell, a senior from Byron-Bergen Central School; and Alexa Wolcott and Sara Logsdon, juniors from Pavilion Central School, participated in the national competition to create a meal for the astronauts in space.

According to information from Maggie Fitzgibbon, in Public Relations at BOCES, the students’ recipe hit a home run with the judges.

This is the fourth year Genesee Valley BOCES culinary students have participated in the competition, but the first time they have been a top finalist. Fitzgibbon said the competition was started by NASA more than 20 years ago to involve high students.

In a normal year, up to 80 schools might participate, but due to COVID-19 this year, only 26 teams competed, she said. The competition was canceled completely last year.

Recipe was Judged on Taste, Texture, Aroma, Appearance

During the challenge, the team of students prepped, prepared and served their recipe to a panel of local judges, who scored their recipe based upon taste, texture, aroma and appearance.

The scores were sent to the Johnson Space Center’s Food Lab in Houston, Texas, where they will be scored against the other teams from around the United States. The teams with the top 10 scores will move into the final round of the competition, which is expected to take place within the next few weeks. If chosen, their recipe could be sent to the International Space Station for astronauts to enjoy.

Chef Tracy Burgio, Culinary Arts instructor at the Batavia campus, shared how this team of students collaborated and were persistent in creating their recipe.

“This was a process of trial, error, reformulating and much tasting,” she said. “Isaiah, Alexa and Sara were determined to make this recipe the absolute best it could be. They did an amazing job preparing, cooking and presenting their recipe. I’m so proud of all their efforts.”

The panel of judges included Bill Hayes from Turnbull Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning; Tom Turnbull from Genesee County Chamber of Commerce; Eve Hens with Genesee County; Jorden Strapp with Genesee Valley BOCES; Ann Valento from Genesee Community College; Pauly Guglielmo, founder and CEO of Guglielmo Sauce; Denise Newman, Artesano bakery manager at the Rochester Institute of Technology; Christine Grout, senior development officer at St. Ann’s Community; Maggie Poray with Genesee Valley BOCES; and chef Jason Ball from Main Street Pizza Company.

Fitzgibbon reported that Hayes said he doesn’t like sweet potatoes, but that dish was so delicious that he ate it all.

NASA's Nutritional Restraints Don't Make Things Easy

Guglielmo, of the Guglielmo’s Sauce food development company, said his company has launched a number of new products over the last few years, and he understands the restrictions placed by NASA.

“It’s very difficult to work with these nutritional restraints set by NASA,” he said. 

The judges asked many questions of the team. Isaiah revealed how they arrived at their recipe.

“We were given the food category and guidelines from NASA HUNCH,” Isaiah said. 

The students said they put their heads together to develop their recipe. Each year the competition has a theme, and this year’s was comfort food.

“We wanted to make something we had growing up,” Alexa said. “We thought about it being winter and what food we leaned on to feel good.”

“We also wanted something unique to our region,” Isaiah said. 

Adding sweet potatoes to shepherd’s pie was a new twist, and it was achieved with a lot of trial and error, the students said. They are sweet and they wanted the dish to be savory.

They chose sweet potatoes because regular potatoes are too high in fat, Isaiah said. 

“The recipe took weeks to perfect,” he said. “I can’t even count how many times we made this recipe and changed ingredients. Even the day before the judging we added two other ingredients to boost the flavor.”

Their recipe had to contain no more than ¾ teaspoon of butter, 150 milligrams or less of sodium, and be between 200 and 400 calories. 

“We interpreted this recipe to have subtle flavors,” Sara said. “But we did add garlic.”

Recipe to be Processed and Packaged to Eat in Outer Space

Sara added that only certain ingredients could be used due to the recipe having to be processed and packaged for space travel and for astronaut consumption onboard the International Space Station.

The students’ sweet potato shepherd’s pie contains pepper, olive oil, onion, ground turkey, tomato paste, garlic, fresh oregano, frozen peas, frozen corn, carrots, fresh basil, rosemary, low sodium turkey broth, water, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, red wine vinegar and butter.

The students met with a chef in Louisville, Ky., via Zoom, who tried to replicate their dish from the NASA competition. 

“We documented every step for him,” Isaiah said. 

“The students participating in this challenge had a great opportunity to learn about NASA, what astronauts can eat in space, and why recipes need to be made a certain way, as well as all of the nutritional values that need to be tracked while living on the International Space Station,” said Jon Sanfratello, executive principal of the GV BOCES Batavia Campus.

“Over the years, NASA has been a great partner with our programs and has provided our students many learning opportunities.”

The top 10 winners will each receive a scholarship. The next level of the competition will choose the top three recipes, and those students will receive a bigger scholarship. Students whose recipe is the top winner will receive an all-expenses-paid scholarship to Sullivan University in Louisville.

Top photo: Chef Tracy Burgio points out meat options to three students in her culinary class at Genesee Valley BOCES who developed a recipe for astronauts. From left are Alexa Wolcott and Sara Logsdon, juniors at Pavilion Central School; and Isaiah Merrell, a senior from Byron-Bergen Central School.

Bottom photo from left: Alexa Wolcott, Isaiah Merrell and Sara Logsdon, students in the culinary class at Genesee Valley BOCES, and their instructor, Chef Tracy Burgio.

Photos by Virginia Kropf.

Photo below (submitted), the sweet potato shepherd’s pie, which three students in the GV BOCES culinary class created for NASA.

April 17, 2021 - 11:13am
posted by Press Release in batavia police department, news, DoorDash, accidents, batavia.

From the City of Batavia Police Department:

Batavia police are looking for assistance identifying a DoorDash delivery driver involved in an accident that occurred on Wednesday, March 17 at about 8:30 p.m. on Norris Avenue in the City of Batavia.

(Norris is east of State Street and runs north and south between Hart Street and Fairmont Avenue.)

The operator was driving a dark-colored, older-model compact truck.

Anyone with information, please email Officer Perkins at:  [email protected], or contact the Batavia Police Department at (585) 345-6444. 

April 17, 2021 - 10:56am

Scrap weighing you down? Well, put it to good use and donate it to benefit homeless pets at the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

It'll soon be time once again to Scrap for the Pack!

The metal recycling event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.mSaturday and Sunday June 19 and 20 in the shelter parking lot, 3841 W. Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia.

The scrap service will be handled by Ed Arnold EAS Scrap Processors of Corfu.

Accepted items include any kind of METAL: railings, doors, garbage cans, file cabinets, bicycle frames, gutters, pipes, poles, fencing, window frames, lawn furniture, tools, shelving, washing machines, dryers, stoves, wheel barrows, wagons, etc.

The Volunteers For Animals, who work tirelessly on behalf of the shelter animals, will thank you for it.

April 16, 2021 - 5:29pm

Alabama Hotel, 1353 Lewiston Road, Basom. Menu. Wednesday 4 to 10 p.m. for bar food and pizza dine-in, and takeout. Thursday thru Saturday 11:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. for full menu dine-in and take out. (585) 948-9994

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia. Indoor dining and take out. Tuesday & Thursday 11a.m. to 8 p.m. / Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. / Sunday 12 to 8 p.m. Menu. Now accepting reservations for parties of 5 to 10 people. Also, call-ahead seating for parties of up to 4 people within an hour of arrival. (585) 344-2999

Angry Charlie's Smokehouse & BBQ, 341 Ellicott St., Batavia. Authentic Eastern North Carolina BBQ. Eat in / Take out / Curbside pick up / Delivery. Open Tuesday thru Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (585) 322-5260

Batavia's Original, 500 E. Main St., Batavia. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. / Sunday 12 to 8 p.m. Heated patio. Daily specials. Online ordering, curbside pick up, dine in. No-contact delivery upon request. Menu. (585) 343-3303

Batavia Restaurant Supply Inc., 301 W. Main St., Batavia. All kinds of food, paper products, cleaning supplies sold, in addition to latex & mylar balloons, holiday & party supplies, restaurant equipment & supplies, and food-service smallwares. Hours are Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Closed Sundays. Website. (585) 343-2139

Blondies Sip-n-Dip, 670 E. Main Street Road, Batavia. Serving Hershey's hard ice cream with a large selection of delicious flavors and toppings, decorated waffle cones, specialty sundaes, milkshakes and more! Different soft-serve flavors weekly -- including dairy free! Currently open daily from 1 to 9 p.m. Take a walk on the Ellicott Trail and stop in for a treat afterward. Visit us on Facebook or Instagram.

Bourbon & Burger Co., 9 Jackson St., Batavia. Dine in or take out:  Monday - Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. / Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Sundays. Menu. (585) 219-4242

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia. Open Friday and Saturday nights only, 4 to 9 p.m. Call for reservations. Menu. (585) 343-7470

Chap's Elba Diner, 5 S. Main St., Elba. Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Menu. (585) 757-5001 or (585) 797-7505

Cinquino's Pizza, 314 Ellicott St., Batavia. Dine in, take out, curbside pick up. Delivery within Batavia city limits. Menu. Monday thru Thursday 11a.m. to 9 p.m. / Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. / Sunday 12 to 8 p.m. Order deadline is noon Friday for pick up Sunday or Monday. (585) 343-2447

Commit to Well, 301 North St., Batavia (YWCA side entry near driveway). Healthy meal prep service. Choose meals online, pick up (Sundays 10 to 11 a.m. only, or Mondays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., or 4 to 6 p.m.), and enjoy! Meals are $8 each, plus tax. New menu weekly. Email: [email protected]. (585) 409-5740

Dave's Ice Cream, 3872 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. Only locally purchased products, including Perry's hard ice cream in a wide variety of yummy flavors and toppings, plus homemade waffle cones. Different soft-serve flavors weekly; also sugar free! Open from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily. Visit online.

D & R Depot Restaurant, 63 Lake St., Le Roy. Dine in, curbside pick up, free delivery in Le Roy, $1/mile elsewhere (no minimum). Full menu! Open 7 days a week 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (585) 768-6270. Order online, or call (585) 768-6270.

Eden Vegan Cafe & Bakeshop, 109 Main St. (inside Eli Fish), Batavia. Takeout only. Pre-order via the website for pick up. Menu temporarily reduced. Hours Tuesday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again from 4 to 8 p.m. (585) 815-4487

Eli Fish Brewing Co., 109 Main St., Batavia. Dine-in, take out, and DoorDash delivery. Monday thru Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. / Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. / Closed Sunday. Menu. (585) 343-0008

Fishtales Hideaway, 107 Evans St., Batavia. Dine in and take out available. Open Monday through Thursday 1 to 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 1 to 9 p.m. Full bar. Here's our website and menu. (585) 219-4736

Islands Hawaiian Grill, 60 Main St., Batavia. Delivery, curbside, pick up, dine in. Tuesday thru Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. / Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. / Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Menu. (585) 483-3113

Mama Chavez's Taqueria, 7 Mill St., Le Roy. Takeout only. Tues - Fri. 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. / Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. / Closed Sunday & Monday. Daily specials. Call in your order for pick up (585) 502-5093.

Northside Deli, 162 Bank St., Batavia. Open 7 days a week. Monday thru Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. / Sundays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Full menu available to take out. Order ahead of time for fast service. Website. (585) 323-2888

O'Lacy's Irish Pub, 5 School St., Batavia. "Old-fashioned Comfort Food." Facebook page. (585) 343-3270

Oliver's Candies, 211 W. Main St., Batavia. Open 7 days a week, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Inside store shopping, curbside pick up. Ice cream parlor open. (585) 343-5888

Pok-A-Dot, 229 Ellicott St., Batavia. Open 7 days a week, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dine in, take out, order by phone, or order online for pick up at "The Dot." (585) 343-6775

Public Coffee Hub, 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia. Full-service cafe -- dine in or carry out. Also food truck drive-thru at 355 W. Main St., Batavia. Free WiFi at cafe & TapGlo ping-pong available to buy. Locally roasted beans, fresh baked goods, Montreal bagels, chai lattes, hot cocoa, and more. Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cafe (716) 392-2561. Food truck (323) 484-3482. Can text to order, too.

Roman's, 59 Main St., Batavia. Patio and indoor dining. Open Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Last reservation and pick up time is 8:45 / Closed Sunday & Monday. Menu. (585) 345-6788

Settler's Restaurant, 353 W. Main St., Batavia. Dine in. Pick up. Online ordering. DoorDash. Open Monday thru Saturday 6 a.m. - 8 p.m. / Sunday 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Menu. (585) 343-7443

Southside Deli, 300 Ellicott St. (corner of Liberty Street), Batavia. Take out only. Open 7 days a week: Sunday 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Tuesday thru Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. All deli and store items are available. Menu. Call ahead for quicker service. (585) 344-2220

Subway -- two franchises: the one inside Batavia Walmart, the other one at 8394 Alleghany Road, Pembroke, operated by Oakfield resident Doug Hendershott Jr. Open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eat in or take out. Order in person, online, or by phone. Walmart Subway phone is (585) 343-3023. Pembroke phone is (585) 591-1549.

Sweet Betty's, 15 Main St., Le Roy. Menu includes Perry's hard ice cream, soft serve, floats, etc., plus burgers, sandwiches, old-time candy, adult beverages. Fish fry on Wednesdays. Closed Tuesdays. Wednesday thru Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. / Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (585) 502-6084

T.F. Brown's, 214 E. Main St., Batavia. Delivery, curbside pick up, dine in. Monday thru Sunday from 12 to 10 p.m. Order online or phone (585) 343-1547.

The Coffee Press, 13 Jackson St., Batavia. Dine in or take out. Monday-Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Sunday. Menu. (585) 483-3096

The Original Red Osier Landmark Restaurant, 6492 E. Main St., Stafford. Open for in-house dine-in service Tuesday through Sunday 4 to 8 p.m. Curbside service available those days, too. Ordering starts at 1 p.m., pick up starts at 4:15. Specials can be viewed at [email protected] or on our Facebook page.

The Yngodess Shop, 73 Main St., Batavia. Curbside pick up, and free delivery with a $20 minimum (1 - 6 p.m.), call for more details. Sunday 12 - 6 p.m., Monday & Tuesday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Wednesday thru Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visit online. Call in your order. (585) 343-3170

West Main Wine & Spirits, 341 W. Main St., Batavia. Buy in-store or offering curbside pick up. Monday thru Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. / Sunday 12 to 6 p.m. (585) 344-2717

Willow Bend Inn, 3489 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. Bar is open Tuesday thru Friday. Dine in or take out in restaurant from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Check our Facebook page for different specials & menu every Friday.

************************************************

If you send us updated information about your establishment, we will add it to this list. There is no charge.

To be added, email details, including location, hours, a link for menu, and delivery/pick up/dine-in options to:   [email protected]

April 16, 2021 - 4:10pm
posted by Press Release in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

  • Genesee County reporting 17 new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in the:
      • West Region (Alabama, Darien, Pembroke)
      • Central Region (Alexander, Batavia, Bethany, Elba, Oakfield) 
      • East Region (Bergen, Byron, Le Roy, Pavilion, Stafford)
    • The individuals are in their 19-20s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 80s. 
    • Nineteen of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.  
    • Three of the current positive individuals are hospitalized. 
    • One of the new positive individuals is a resident of The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing.
    • We are saddened to report the loss of one community resident. The individual was over 65. We do not provide any further information to protect the privacy of the individuals and their families. Our deepest condolences to the families and friends during this very difficult time.

NOTE: There are 86 active cases in Genesee County and there have now been 121 deaths.

  • Orleans County reporting 16 new positive cases of COVID-19.  
    • The positive cases reside in the:
      • West Region (Yates, Ridgeway, Shelby)
      • Central Region (Carlton, Gaines, Albion, Barre)
      • East Region (Kendall, Murray, Clarendon)
    • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s.
    • Nine of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
    • Three of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
    • Two of the new positive individuals are inmates at the Albion Correctional Facility.
    • One of the new positive individuals is a resident of Orchard Rehabilitation & Nursing Center.
    • We removed one of yesterday’s positive individuals as they are not a resident of Orleans County.
April 16, 2021 - 4:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, arts, entertainment, news.

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Batavia High School's Production Club presents the musical comedy "Sister Act" this Saturday, April 17, in both a limited in-performance and an on-demand video, which will be available April 24.

For this Saturday's live performance, each member of the production is allowed to distribute only two tickets due to COVID-19 restrictions. The performance will be recorded and available for a limited time starting a week from tomorrow.

The stage production is based on the 1992 movie with original music by Tony- and eight-time Oscar winner, Alan Menken. The musical was nominated for five Tony Awards.

To purchase tickets for the recorded performance, click here.

Photos by Howard Owens, except full cast photo at bottom, by Steve Ognibene.

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April 16, 2021 - 3:15pm
posted by Press Release in Richmond Memorial Library, news, batavia, trustee election.

Press release:

For the second year in a row, the Richmond Memorial Library has prepared a budget that will require no increase in the tax levy.

Prior to the 2020-21 fiscal year, tax levy increases had been kept under 2-percent annually (well under the allowable Tax Cap and national rate of inflation) despite 7-percent increases to the minimum wage, fluctuating health insurance costs, and a greater share of New York’s pension liability. 

Because there is no tax levy increase to vote upon, there will be no budget vote – only the Trustee Election for one vacant seat on the Richmond Memorial Library board. The two candidates for this seat are Odilia Coffta and Catrina “Cat” Lasher.

Meet the Candidates!

Odilia Coffta -- I am the data administrator for the New York State Migrant Education Program. As the mother of two young girls, ages 5 and 10 weeks, I often visit the library and take advantage of all the great books, materials, and activities available in the children’s department. I am originally from Guatemala and have a master's in Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh. I want to join the Board because I believe libraries are a great resource for the community. I love the library and want to serve and support it as best as I can. (submitted bio)

Catrina “Cat” Lasher -- I grew up in Northern California and moved to New York eight years ago. I am a mother to two children ages 7 and 4 who keep me busy with running them to hockey, dance, and piano, in addition to volunteering at their schools. I’m a returning adult student at SUNY Empire College in the Community and Human Services department. I am the Birthday Party & Special Event coordinator at the Batavia YMCA, in addition to other roles I perform there. In the past, I coordinated a Free Forest School chapter in Genesee County and managed Batavia’s Buy Nothing group. Since childhood, libraries have been an important resource for me. These days I use the library to support my reading habit. My children and I ride our bikes to the library on a weekly basis in the summer. I’m very grateful to have such a wonderful place in our community. Some of my favorite things about our library are the craft programs and the Seed Library. I would like to become a library trustee because I believe that libraries support strong communities. As a library trustee, one of my top priorities would be to support access and inclusivity for all community members regardless of race, gender, orientation, age, socioeconomic status, or ability. (submitted bio)

The Trustee Election to fill one vacant seat on the Richmond Memorial Library Board of Trustees will take place on Thursday, May 6 at Richmond Memorial Library from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. It is located at 19 Ross St. in the City of Batavia.

Applications for absentee ballots are available at Richmond Memorial Library. If the ballot is to be mailed to the voter, the application must be received at the Richmond Memorial Library by 5 o’clock on April 27th. If the ballot is to be delivered personally to the voter, the application may be received up to 5 p.m. on May 3rd.

Residents of Batavia City School District who are citizens of the United States, 18 years or older, and are registered voters may vote on this year’s Trustee Election.

Note: Information excerpted from the Richmond Memorial Library 2021-2022 Budget Newsletter, which can be found in full on the library's website or at the library. 

The library is now open regular hours for limited services, including browsing and checking out materials, limited computer use, photocopying, faxing and placing holds on materials. Please observe all signage and policies when you enter the library! Information about upcoming programs can be found on our website at batavialibrary.org.

Richmond Memorial Library continually provides access to physical and virtual resources and services that meet the educational, informational and recreational needs of its diverse community in a safe and comfortable environment.

April 16, 2021 - 3:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Yngodess Shop, news, Batavia Players, arts, entertainment.

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Jilian Helwig won a large, wine-filled gift basket in a drawing yesterday in a drawing at The YNGodess Shop as a fundraiser for Batavia Players, which is moving its theater on Harvester Avenue to a Main Street location in City Centre in Downtown Batavia.

YNGodess owner Chris Crocker drew the winning ticket.

The raffle raised $5,800 for Batavia Players.

April 16, 2021 - 3:00pm

A statement from Kevin MacDonald, search consultant and GV BOCES district superintendent, regarding the Alexander CSD superintendent search:

"The recent Alexander Central School District Superintendent Search was a confidential search, and therefore, the names of the semifinalists were not released.

"Stakeholders provided input as to the qualifications, characteristics and qualities that they thought the next Superintendent should possess. These stakeholder input sessions were held virtually via Zoom.

"The Board of Education evaluated all of the search applicants, interviewed the semifinalists, and made the final candidate decision based up the input provided by the stakeholders.

"For clarification, the stakeholders were not involved in the interview process. We apologize for any confusion."

Previously: Jared Taft named Alexander superintendent

April 16, 2021 - 2:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, notify, town of batavia.

Leroy Thornton III, 30, of Ashland Avenue, Niagara Falls, was arrested April 15 on a Genesee County Court Indictment Warrant.

His arrest concluded an investigation into the transportation, sale and possession of "crack" cocaine in and around the Town of Batavia.

Thornton is charged with: criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree -- with intent to sell, a Class B felony; and criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, also a Class B felony.

He was arraigned in Genesee County Court, then released on his own recognizance.

The arrest was made by the Genesee County Local Drug Task Force with assistance from the Niagara County Probation Department. The Genesee County District Attorney's Office assisted in the investigation.

April 16, 2021 - 2:36pm
posted by Press Release in welfare fraud, news, byron, Department of Social Services, crime.

Press release:

Aurelio Aragon-Figueroa, 42, of Byron, was sentenced to three years probation in Genesee County Court on April 15.

In addition, he paid full restitution of $9,321 to the Genesee County Department of Social Services and will be disqualified from receiving Food Stamp (SNAP) benefits for a period of one year.

The sentence was a result of his guilty plea in February to: 11 counts of first degree offering a false instrument for filing; two counts of falsifying business records; and one count of third-degree grand larceny.

The charges were filed after a Social Services investigation revealed Aragon-Figueroa had submitted several documents that were altered to conceal household income.

Anyone wishing to report suspected cases of welfare fraud in Genesee County can contact the Genesee County Department of Social Services Fraud Investigation Unit at (585) 344-2580, ext. 6417 or 6541. All calls are confidential.

April 16, 2021 - 2:14pm

Press release:

This year's Earth Day Weekend cleanup project will focus on the new Ellicott Trail and the City of Batavia, Genesee County, and Town of Batavia are looking for volunteers to pitch in. 

Volunteers and municipal staff will join together to collect trash and debris along the Ellicott Trail on Saturday, April 24.

Assemble at 9 a.m. in the parking lot behind the City of Batavia Fire Station on Evans Street (behind 18 Evans St.).

Social distancing and COVID-19 protocols will be followed.

Gloves, trash bags, and a trail assignment will be given out to complete the five miles of Ellicott Trail. The disposal of all trash collected will be handled by City of Batavia Bureau of Maintenance.

Earth Day Cleanup is a coordinated volunteer event, providing opportunities for individuals and organizations to make positive, tangible impacts on our environment and to keep the Ellicott Trail clean.

“The City of Batavia thanks all those community members who are volunteering to cleanup and keep Ellicott Trail looking good this Earth Day Cleanup Weekend. Your help to keep our City clean and safe is much appreciated,” said Eugene Jankowski Jr., City Council president.

Vice Chairwoman of the Genesee County Legislature and City resident, Marianne Clattenburg, said, “by joining together and assisting in the cleanup effort we can give residents and visitors a better experience on the Ellicott Trail. I am excited to participate and hope community members and service groups will join us.”

“Ellicott Trail was built as a collaborative partnership between the City, Town and County and we will continue to maintain the Trail for public use and enjoyment," said Chad Zambito, Batavia Town Board member. "While this is the inaugural cleanup, there will be many more opportunities to volunteer and keep our collective community beautiful.” 

If you would like to volunteer but cannot attend the Earth Day Cleanup – Ellicott Trail, please sign up through “Friends of Ellicott Trail” with John Roche from Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle at: [email protected] or go to their website.

If you have any questions regarding this event, please contact Lisa Casey, confidential secretary with the City of Batavia (585) 345-6333.

April 16, 2021 - 1:54pm

Press release:

Residents of the Pavilion Central School District are invited to attend either one of two information sessions to be held at the Hollwedel Memorial Library on its decision to pursue becoming a school district public library.

The one-on-one meetings will take place on Saturday, April 24 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and on Monday, April 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the library, located at 5 Woodrow Drive in Pavilion. 

The meetings were announced in a mailing sent to Pavilion Central School District residents earlier this month.

They will be hosted by the Board President Joan Gray and Board Vice President Stephen Gould.

As a school district public library, the library would have a service area that aligns with the boundaries of the Pavilion Central School District.

The library’s budget and the board of trustees would be determined by a public vote. The library itself would remain housed in the same building and be staffed by the same professionals.

The school district would collect tax money for the library and turn the funds over to the Library Board. The school district would have no direct control over the operations of the library.

All recommended COVID-19 safety protocols will be followed for the meetings at the library. Please wear a mask for your visit.

Residents can find more information on the library’s website; ask questions via email at:  [email protected], or contact the library by phone at (585) 584-8843. 

Current library hours are: Monday and Wednesday 2 to 7 p.m. / Friday 1 to 5 p.m. / Saturday 10 a.m. to noon / Closed Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

April 16, 2021 - 1:43pm

Press release:

It is with a sense of regret, again, that the Board of Trustees of the Stafford Historical Society announces their decision to put on hold their fundraiser/community event: The 2021 Taste of Stafford, for yet another season.

Citing the uncertainties of COVID-19 guidelines, opening to capacity for public events, the need for additional planning, and the difficult economic year for our sponsors, we sadly have come to this decision.

The Taste of Stafford, started in 2005, was usually held in Ilette Park in July. We usually worry about the weather, but now we have more to consider in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Respectfully, 

Linda Call

Chairwoman, Taste of Stafford

Stafford Historical Society

The mission of the Stafford Historical Society is to document, preserve and present the history of the Town of Stafford through collections, exhibitions, research and educational programs.

April 16, 2021 - 1:35pm
posted by Press Release in news, national drug take back day.

Press release from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office:

On Saturday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Genesee County law enforcement agencies and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  

This service is free and anonymous; no questions asked.

Collection sites will follow local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations, which includes masks for citizens dropping off medication.

Bring your medications for disposal to:

  • Pembroke Town Hall, Route 5 at Route 77, Pembroke, to be received by GC Sheriff's deputies;
  • Alva Place parking lot, Batavia (across the street from Batavia Showtime movie theater located in the Genesee Country Mall). Sharps will also be accepted at this location only. Batavia police officers will collect the items;
  • Le Roy Police Department Headquarters, 3 W. Main St., Le Roy, to be received by Le Roy police officers.

Only pills, tablets, capsules, patches and other solids will be accepted at the collection sites—liquids and needles or other sharps will not be unless noted. Vaping devices and cartridges will be accepted provided lithium batteries are removed.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83,544 Americans overdosing during the 12-month period ending July 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in a 12-month period.

The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, but accelerated significantly during the first months of the coronavirus pandemic. 

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

April 16, 2021 - 1:12pm

Press release:

Sunday, April 25, is Neighborhood Mission Day and two local groups invite you to help people being released from the Buffalo Federal Detention Center in Batavia as they try to find their way back to their families.

At 12:30 p.m. that day, “Los Samaritanos” and the Country Neighbors churches of the Presbytery of Genesee Valley will be at the North Bergen Presbyterian Church to assemble bags of basic necessities and other useful items for newly released former detainees.

The church is located at 7068 N. Bergen Road in Bergen. The assembly event will be outdoors and COVID-19 safety protocols will be followed.

​"We normally give them a dignity bag, a meal, a coat, sometimes a phone card, and sometimes a place to stay for the night if their bus ticket is not till the following day," says Pastor Roula Alkhouri of the Batavia First Presbyterian Church, noting that she belongs to Los Samaritanos.

These items are needed:

  • Backpacks
  • Warm clothes
  • Snacks
  • Travel-size toiletries, including hand sanitizer
  • Flashlights
  • Water bottles
  • Large envelopes or folders
  • Multiples of $20 in cash ($20 per person)

Questions? Contact Pastor Jim Renfrew at (585) 548-2800 or Pastor Roula Alkhouri at (585) 343-0505.

April 16, 2021 - 11:41am
posted by Press Release in batavia, news.

Press release:

The Batavia Police Department is seeking public assistance in locating a missing 14-year-old girl. Elizabeth Jones was last seen on Wednesday, April 14 in Batavia. She may be in the Buffalo or Rochester area and is believed to be with a male.

She was last seen wearing a red and black hooded sweatshirt, sweatpants and carrying a blue and black duffle bag. Elizabeth is approximately 5' 04", 130 lbs., has piercings on both sides of her nose, and has blond hair.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call the Batavia Police Department at (585) 345-6350 or the NYS Missing Persons Clearinghouse at 1-800-346-3543.

UPDATE 2:50 p.m.: From BPD -- "Elizabeth Jones has been located and is safe. The Batavia Police Department would like to thank the citizens for all the tips that helped lead to her safe return."

April 16, 2021 - 10:10am
jake_taft.jpg
               Jake Taft

Press release:

The Alexander Central School District’s Board of Education has selected Jared ("Jake") D. Taft as the district’s next Superintendent of Schools. He expected to begin pending successful contract negotiations.

“Coming to Alexander Central as the Elementary Principal and then interim Superintendent has a great deal of nostalgia for me," Taft said. "This school district feels like home. Our school colors are the same as my childhood elementary school where my mom was also a teacher. My first childhood school experiences were in a school nearly identical to Alexander Elementary School.

“I am profoundly grateful, honored, and excited to serve as Alexander’s next Superintendent of Schools. I’m confident that we can tackle the important work ahead of us as we continue to navigate the new normal stemming from the pandemic. But I am sure Alexander has all of the sweat equity, grace and toughness to be successful, strong and even better than before."

“The Board of Education would like to thank the other finalists for their interest shown in this position," said Brian Paris, Alexander Central School District’s Board President. "This was an extremely difficult decision as all of the candidates are highly qualified individuals.

"We truly value the input received from the various stakeholders who met with the candidates to help us make a final decision. The board is confident that Jake Taft will lead our district through the issues we face in our region. With his leadership, we will work together to continue to deliver the best education possible for our students.” 

Taft currently serves as the interim superintendent of Alexander Central Schools, a role he has held since September 2020. Previously, from 2019-2020, he served as principal of Alexander Elementary School.

Taft began his career in education in 2000 as a teacher at Roy H. Mann Intermediate School in Brooklyn. He has served in principal roles at the Royalton-Hartland, Lackawanna, and Lewiston-Porter Central School Districts.

In each of these districts, he focused on developing positive, collaborative, and productive relationships to cultivate a culture of teaching, learning and caring for all.

Some of his 20-year career highlights include: evaluating and implementing the annual School Improvement Plan at Royalton-Hartland Middle School; supervising and coordinating the P-Tech Grant Program at Lackawanna High School; and providing instructional leadership to Professional Learning Communities to advance student learning at Lewiston-Porter High School. In 2015, Taft was awarded the Trocaire College Reflections Award for P-Tech. 

Taft earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice, and a Master of Science in Elementary Education from Niagara University. He also earned a Master of Science in School Administration and Supervision from Touro College. He is completing coursework for his Doctorate of Education.

He holds New York State permanent certifications in Elementary Education, and Special Education, and as a School District Administrator and Supervisor.

Kevin MacDonald, District Superintendent of the Genesee Valley BOCES, acted as the search consultant and noted that the search process was a true collaboration between the Board of Education and stakeholders.*

**************************************************************

*Clarification statement by Kevin MacDonald stating that stakeholders were not involved in the superintendent search interview process.

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