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October 28, 2020 - 9:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, news.
Video Sponsor

After 23 years in law enforcement, Investigator Chris Parker hung up his badge today and was given a salute send-off by his fellow deputies along with troopers and Batavia police officers as he walked out of the Sheriff's Office.

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October 28, 2020 - 9:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Donald Trump, news, batavia.

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Mike O'Reilly lives in Queens, a borough of New York City that most in WNY think of as a liberal bastion. Yes, a Trump bumper sticker on your car will result in insults and raised fingers but there's more support there for Trump than you might think, O'Reilly said today standing next to his private plane wrapped to express his support for the president's re-election.

JBRGraphfx of Churchville wrapped the plane while it was the Genesee County Airport and O'Reilly has been on a tour of New York trying to do his part to flip the state from blue to red.

"I’m flying around the state," O'Reilly said. "I’m flying to as many airports as I can. I wanted to go to all of the airports but with the weather, I’m hoping to get 12 to 15 stops.  The media coverage has been great and people are getting excited. The whole idea is to get people to vote and not just Republicans, not just independents, not conservatives but Democrats because I believe that the Main Street Democrats, they’re not going for all of this looney, left-liberal stuff.

"They not going for doing away with securing our borders and law enforcement, defunding police. Democrats don’t want this. They want what Trump has to offer. They want a strong economy. They want good jobs. They want to be able to support their family. They want safe streets, good schools. That’s what Trump is offering and that’s my real appeal — Democrats in New York, come out and vote for Trump. It’s OK."

Photo: Mike O'Reilly, and Tim Jessop and Devin Jessop of JBRGraphx.

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October 28, 2020 - 7:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in John Kennedy School, Jackson School, video, batavia, schools.
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First responders turned out to Jackson and John Kennedy schools today to hand out candy to the students.

October 28, 2020 - 7:05pm

Genesee County and Randsco Pipeline, Inc., have agreed to put their quarrels on the back burner in order to proceed with a key segment of the county’s Phase 2 Water Supply project, a multi-million venture that is vital to supplying water to residential and commercial users.

The Genesee County Legislature this afternoon voted in favor of a late addition to its meeting agenda – a resolution to approve Work Change Directive No. 1 that directs the water and wastewater pipeline installation company “to promptly complete the work as specified in the (directive) by the completion dates (previously set forth).”

County Attorney Kevin Earl called what amounts to a ceasefire as “very positive because the county needs this portion of the project to proceed so that the rest of the project can be completed, with the ultimate goal of bringing more water to Genesee County.”

“This change directive was approved by the county and also was approved by Randsco’s attorney, so that means that Randsco is going to move forward with its portion of the project and both sides are going to reserve their rights to all issues,” he said. “Disputes regarding money or any other matters will be addressed afterwards.”

Edward Kowalewski Jr., attorney with Hodgson Russ LLP of Buffalo, drafted Work Change Directive No. 1, and it subsequently was reviewed and approved by County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens, Earl and Clark Patterson Lee, the Rochester engineering firm representing Genesee County on the water project.

Randsco Pipeline has contracted with the county to connect water main in the North Road and Vallance Road areas in the Town of Le Roy under the I-90 Thruway as part of the county’s Phase 2 Water Supply Project.

Last Wednesday, the legislature’s Ways & Means Committee passed a resolution authorizing Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein to sign an engagement letter with Hodgson Russ to provide legal advice concerning “serious disputes” with the contractor at the rate of up to $305 per hour.

Today’s action reopens the door for Randsco to resume the contracted work authorized by the legislature.

“This is good news,” Stein said.

The Batavian previously reported that the legislature approved a change to a contract with Randsco Pipeline, adding $125,000 to a pact for the installation of reinforcing sleeves on five tangential tee connections along the transmission main on North Road in the Town of Le Roy.

The modification raised the total contract amount to approximately $5.6 million.

Hens said that the change order related to the reinforcement of five tangential tees or hydrant assemblies off the 36-inch water main on North Road and to prevent any future leaks at the tees due to settlement or car accidents involving hydrants.

Randsco Pipeline’s work is part of a $23.5 million project that will add 2.4 million gallons per day to the county’s water supply from Monroe County Water Authority sources, essentially doubling the current output of 2.5 million gallons per day.

On Tuesday, Hens issued a media release, stating that water main work will be resuming on North Road between Conlon Road and Route 19 in the Town of Le Roy.

The road will be open to traffic, but there will be lane closures and temporary delays starting at 7:30 a.m. through 5 p.m. each day for the remainder of the week.

October 28, 2020 - 5:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news.

Press release:

On October 6, 2020, Governor Cuomo announced a new cluster action initiative to address COVID-19 hotspots that have or may be identified in certain areas of New York.

“Under the Governor’s initiative to prevent cluster activity it is important to understand the detrimental impact having a cluster can have on our counties,” stated Rochelle Stein, Genesee County Legislative Chair. “Currently, neither Genesee nor Orleans Counties have any such clusters/hotspots.”

We can take simple steps to continue our low positivity rates going forward.

According to the Governor’s release, the State has developed a science-based approach to contain these clusters and contain any further spread of the virus, including new rules and restrictions directly targeted to areas with the highest concentration of COVID-19 cases and the surrounding areas.

  • Under Executive Order 202.68, certain actives in cluster zones are restricted, and any permitted activities in such zones (Red, Orange, Yellow), must be conducted in strict adherence to Department of Health guidance.
  • For more information go to the Empire State Development guidance and the New York Forward website for updated information on locations of and operating restrictions within the clusters.

The Cluster Initiative will take the most significant action within the cluster (Red zone), moderate action in the area surrounding the cluster to stop the

The Genesee Orleans County Health Departments (GCHD/OCHD) uses 4 types of documents to provide important information to medical and public health professionals, and to other interested persons.

Health Alerts convey information of the highest level of importance which warrants immediate action or attention from New York health providers, emergency responders, public health agencies, and/or the public.

Health Advisories provide important information for a specific incident or situation, including that impacting neighboring states; may not require immediate action.

Health Guidance contains comprehensive information pertaining to a particular disease or condition and include recommendations, guidelines, etc. endorsed by GCHD/OCHD.

Health Updates provide new or updated information on an incident or situation; can also provide information to update a previously sent Health Alert, Health Advisory, or Health Guidance; unlikely to require immediate action.

“Healthy People in a Healthy Community”

spread (Orange zone), and precautionary action in the outlying communities (Yellow zone). Fines for the sponsors of mass gatherings in violation of state public health rules will be increased to $15,000. To see the restrictions within the clusters click here.

“As we continue to move forward through this pandemic and begin to see an increase in both testing and positive cases, we can expect to see changes in the cluster hotspots. Generally the zones are identified as a hotspot for a period of 14 days, but that is also subject to change if the hotspot doesn’t show improvement during that time,” stated Paul Pettit, Director of Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.

GO Health continues to remind our residents of the relevant Executive Orders and Public Health Laws to:

  • Limit gatherings, (the state maintains no more than 50 at any non-essential gatherings, fines may be levied to those ignoring this order);
  • Properly wearing mask/face coverings (nose and mouth covered) whenever in public indoors and outdoors, especially when physical distancing is difficult to maintain;
  • Frequently wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use hand sanitizer (that contains at least 60% alcohol) if soap and water are not readily available;
  • Consider alternatives to family and friend gatherings to decrease the risk of spreading the virus.
  • With the impending flu season, it is also important to get this year’s flu vaccine to help lower the risk of being hospitalized with serious complications of the flu.
  • As always, if you are experiencing any COVID-19 or flu symptoms – STAY HOME!

Symptoms for both COVID-19 (may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus) and the flu (generally sudden onset) can be similar and may include any of the following: fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headache; new loss of taste or smell (COVID-19); sore throat; congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea. Talk with your primary care provider before going to the office. If you are experiencing difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, and/or have bluish lips or face, seek emergency care immediately.

“We all want this to be over, but it will take time,” stated Lynne Johnson, Orleans County Legislative Chair. “We can get through this together if we take care of our health, limit contact with non-household members and be respectful and wear a mask/face covering when in public.”

October 28, 2020 - 5:42pm

Press release:

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) has introduced and cosponsored a series of bills to strengthen the economy andnational security by taking on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the People's Republic of China (PRC) on multiple fronts. Many of the bills were part of House Republicans’ China Task Force Report, which contains more than 400 recommendations to address the threat of China to the United States.

"China presents a clear threat to the strategic interest of the United States both at home and overseas, and we must act now to protect our economy and national security," Jacobs said.

"The CCP’s manipulative actions have made it clear they are not responsible members of the international community. This critical legislation I am supporting holds the CCP accountable, provides greater protections for Americans, and ensures we develop a strong economic position through advanced manufacturing."

The bill Rep. Jacobs introduced was the No Small Business Aid for China Act. This legislation would prohibit the Small Business Administration from providing aid, counsel or assistance to a small business with significant ties to China.

“My legislation ensures that American government assistance is used to support American small businesses," Jacobs said. "As we defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, my priority is a strong American economic comeback. That means ensuring money benefits domestic companies that need it most."

Furthermore, Rep. Jacobs cosponsored several other pieces of legislation:

  • H.R. 8238 – AIM Act – Establishes an intelligence office within the U.S. Department of Agriculture to counteract Chinese efforts to steal American agricultural technology and to evaluate threats to American agriculture.
  • H.R. 12 – The China Task Force Act – This is a comprehensive package of 137 pieces of legislation designed to protect American universities and intellectual property, bolster American manufacturing, and hold China accountable for their cover-up in response to COVID-19.

Highlights of the China Task Force Act:

  • H.R. 6421 Li Wenliang Global Public Health Accountability Act of 2020 – allows the President to impose sanctions on foreign individuals and entities involved in deliberate acts to conceal or distort information about a public health emergency of international concern, including COVID-19. 
  • H.R. 7178 – CHIPS for America Act – would establish investments and incentives to support U.S. semiconductor supply manufacturing research and development and supply chain security.

"I, once again, commend the hard work and dedication of the China Task Force for delivering a comprehensive report on the threat of China," Jacobs said. "Bringing back good-paying American jobs, protecting our economy and agriculture, and holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic should be top priorities for Congress. I will keep fighting with my colleagues to implement these vital policies."

October 28, 2020 - 5:34pm

Press release from Mark Glogowski, Ph.D., Libertarian candidate, 139thAssembly District

Dear Residents of the 139thAssembly District:

The Democrats and Republicans may be right! This may be the most important election year of your life -- but not because one of the two major parties will win. You are about to lose another of your constitutional rights -- your ability to form an independent political third party. 

Legislation was passed unconstitutionally earlier this year in the budget and much of that legislation itself is being challenged as unconstitutional.

The last section of the Governor’s budget (S7508B/A9508B, part ZZZ) threatens the very existence of the current political third parties. That legislation raises the bar for recognition so high that Independent Nominating Bodies (INBs) (third parties in the making) are unlikely to ever be able to get their candidates on to the ballot in NYS. The INBs were required to collect three times more petition signatures than the Democrats and Republicans and now are required to collect nine times the number of signatures. Since the population in New York State has been essentially flat since 1965, what is their justification for raising these requirements? 

This legislation is deliberate and is intended to eliminate current political third parties as well as all INB attempts to place candidates on the ballot. The Democrats and Republicans want political third parties gone. Why? Because, they just created a new taxpayer funded campaign slush fund. That fund will supply to both the Democratic and Republican parties over $125 million each for their candidates and they don’t want political third parties or INB’s to dip into “their” taxpayer funded political slush fund. For the details, read the two articles on “Legislative Tyranny” on my website.

When one considers that 1) many legislative bills are unconstitutional, 2) incumbent legislators used an unconstitutional process to increase their salaries, 3) this year legislators walked away from their responsibility to legislate and unconstitutionally gave their legislative powers and responsibilities to the Governor, and 4) elected officials used their legislative powers to eradicate their political competition and reap the benefit of an enormous slush fund themselves, why would anyone even consider rewarding an incumbent with reelection? Demonstrating their willingness to ignore the NYS Constitution -- not one incumbent deserves to be reelected. 

Our society slid down the slippery slope and is now imbedded in tyranny quicksand. You have witnessed, and probably felt the consequences of the government tyranny -- civil unrest, financial hardship. While you still can, vote for people in a political party who will not trade your rights for government benefits. Cast your vote for liberty. Vote Libertarian and help end the tyranny. 

I will work to restore county representation in the Assembly, will oppose the creation of a regional government being inserted between county and the State governments (a proposal my opponent cosponsored), will work to promote legislation that encourages homeschooling, will work to eliminate state mandates, and will work to get government to comply with the Second Amendment prohibition and restore your Ninth and 10th Amendment rights to defend yourself and your family. 

This year, vote Libertarian.

(To reregister to vote or to change your party affiliation click on this link:  https://voterreg.dmv.ny.gov/motorvoter/)

October 28, 2020 - 5:27pm
posted by Press Release in genesee county, news.

Press release:

As the Genesee County Manager, I am pleased to present the 2021 recommended budget.  This budget will fund the County government in an efficient and responsible manner.  The recommended budget stays under the NYS tax cap, while covering the lengthy number of expensive mandates of which we have little to no control.

Assembling a budget in the middle of a pandemic with uncertainties all-around has certainly been a challenge, but the staff from the Manager’s Office, Treasurer’s Office, Legislative Office, and Human Resources Department all came together to help me deliver my first recommended budget as County Manager.  These core central departments were instrumental in me being able to deliver a budget that stays under the tax cap while meeting the needs of the residents of Genesee County.

There were many factors working against the County in preparing this budget and County Departments and outside agencies were instructed to once again do more with less.  The recommended budget keeps funding levels flat for all of our outside agencies along with Genesee Community College.  We recognize that costs are going up for our local community partners and appreciate their ability to control their budgets without requesting more from the County.

County departments were instructed to be creative and think outside the box in trying to keep their net County support impact to the same level as the 2020 budget.  This was a near-impossible task for many departments when considering health insurance premiums were increasing 17.5% and retirement rates increased on average by 16%.  Despite these significant increases, I was pleased to see County departments hold the line on spending, which helped greatly in delivering a budget that stays under the tax cap.

Budget Highlights   

The 2021 recommended All Funds budget for Genesee County totals $142,953,227, which is $759,766 less than the 2020 adopted All Funds budget.   The 2021 recommended General Fund (operating) budget is $110,241,924, which is $3,767,378 less than the 2020 adopted General Fund budget. 

I am proposing a property tax levy of $31,451,727, which is an increase of $400,069 or 1.28%.  For the median residential household in Genesee County with an assessed value of $106,800, this amounts to $13.32 of property taxes.  The average County property tax rate in Genesee County would go down from $10.11 to $9.80 or 3.07% in the recommended budget.  For the median residential household in Genesee County assessed at $106,800, that did not have an assessment change from 2020, this will result in a net tax decrease of $33.11. 

The recommended budget includes usage of $2,334,857 of unappropriated fund balance, an increase of $534,822 from the 2020 adopted County budget.  While the fund balance utilization is a little higher than normally recommended, it is entirely appropriate to dip a little deeper into the “rainy day” fund during the current pandemic.

The 2021 recommended budget includes an increase in funding for our roads and bridges infrastructure by $1 million.  Deferred maintenance on the County’s infrastructure is getting to a critical point and the cracks are showing, as evidenced by the County getting nine red flag warnings on bridges throughout the County.  A red flag warning requires the County to address a deficiency within 15 days of notification and is a serious designation for a bridge to receive.  In past years the County would typically get one or two of these designations, so a 350% increase in such designations is certainly alarming.  This extra $1 million is the first step in addressing the deferred maintenance of the County road and bridge infrastructure.

Overall, there weren’t significant personnel changes made with County positions, but instead a prioritization of where staff can be better utilized.  The 2021 recommended budget includes the elimination of 5 full-time positions and 3 part-time positions and the creation of 3 new full-time positions and 1 part-time position.  One of the new full-time positions is a much-needed dispatcher for the 911 center.  As a way to minimize the impact to the budget, a part-time dispatch position was eliminated.  This additional full-time presence will provide greater stability to a critical public safety service provided by the Sheriff’s Office.  The new part-time position created is 100% grant-funded and will work out of the Genesee Justice Division of the Sheriff’s Office.

The remaining two full time positions are tentatively scheduled to be filled mid-year in 2021, only if the County is in the financial position to fill them.  As previously noted, this County has long done more with less, but this has come at a cost, and too often service to the community has suffered or the cost savings have been too short-sighted.  I am recommending the County creates a new part-time Veteran Service Officer (VSO) to assist our very dedicated full-time VSO and creates a Deputy Human Resources Director to assist our understaffed Human Resources Department.  In both cases, we have department heads doing exemplary work for the citizens of Genesee County but can do more if given the necessary resources to succeed.  Both of these positions are funded for just half a year and will be filled mid-year if the economic climate allows for it.         

Budget Challenges

There were many challenges in putting together the 2021 County budget that all came together for what seemed like a perfect storm: 

·      Reductions in State Aid – due to the financial impacts of Covid-19 on the New York State budget and the uncertainty of State aid reimbursements, we were forced to budget for across the board 20% reductions in State aid among all County departments.  This reduction in State aid resulted in more than $2 million in reduced revenue in the 2021 budget.

·      Reductions in Sales Tax – County sales tax collections in the 2nd and 3rd quarters are lower than the same time period the year before by more than 10%.  With the uncertainty of a “second wave” of Covid this fall and winter, and in working closely with the County Treasurer’s Office, we have conservatively budgeted for a sales tax figure that is approximately 7% less than the adopted 2020 budget.

Along with reduced sales tax revenue due to the pandemic, Genesee County has to contend with reduced sales tax figures from the State diverting monies away from Counties to pay for fiscally distressed hospitals along with aid to towns and villages.  In the fiscal year 2021, this amounts to the State reducing County sales tax revenue by $740,881.

·      Reduction in Interest Earnings – Plummeting interest rates have had a drastic effect on the County’s ability to earn a return on funds held in reserve or funds held until appropriated.  In the recommended budget there is a reduction of $550,000 in budgeted interest earnings, amounting to a 78.5% reduction.

·      Health Insurance Cost Increases – Rising health care costs in the County’s self-funded plan have caused a necessary 17.5% increase in plan premiums.  85% or more of that premium increase is absorbed in the various County departmental operating budgets, resulting in an overall healthcare cost increase in the 2021 recommended County budget of 10%. 

·      Retirement Cost Increases – The retirement rates released by the New York State Comptroller’s Office were on average 16% higher than the previous year.  This translates into significant employee benefit cost increases to County departments.

·      Mandates – Approximately 75% of the 2021 recommended property tax levy is made up of State-mandated expenditures to fund departments/programs such as Medicaid, Probation, the Jail, Public Defender’s Office, Assigned Counsel, Social Service programs, Mental Health, Early Intervention, 3-5 Preschool, and various others. 

County Responses to Budget Challenges

With the New York State tax cap in place, which penalizes Counties with reduced State Aid for enacting an override, options to meet the budget challenges are limited.  Genesee County has a long history of doing more with less, sharing wherever possible, privatizing operations, deferring needed capital improvements, modestly compensating employees, and providing virtually no post-employment benefits to staff.  After years of cutting to the bone the following actions were available to close the gap for the 2021 recommended budget: 

·      Fund Balance Utilization – The 2021 recommended budget utilizes $534,822 more in fund balance than the 2020 adopted budget, for a total of $2,334,857.

·      Raising the Tax Levy – The 2021 recommended budget raises the levy by 1.28% in 2021, below often referred to as the tax cap limit of 2.0%.

·      Reducing Revenue Sharing with Towns & Villages – This decision was deliberated by the Legislature in great length.  The financial landscape of the County was closely monitored over the last six months and after careful consideration, taking into consideration all of the revenues coming into the County, a figure of $10,000,000 of revenue sharing was deemed appropriate.  This amount is less than originally planned but is still a significant source of revenue for local Towns and Villages.

·      Line by Line Review with New Perspective – With new eyes involved in the budget process this year there were new ideas and solutions brought to the table that resulted in savings in various County departments.  Besides being my first budget as the County Manager, I was accompanied by the Assistant County Manager and Executive Assistant in every budget meeting, a first for both individuals.  A closer dive into the individual budget lines resulted in significant budgetary savings when aggregated.  We were also able to utilize greater sharing of resources between departments to capture more state aid and reduce the net county share in several cases. 

In Closing

While I am pleased to present a budget that stays within the confines of the New York State Tax Cap and effectively lowers the property tax rate by $.31/1,000, I am not blind to the significant impact the proposed tax levy has on the citizens and businesses of Genesee County.  My time as County Manager has just begun and I pledge to work with local governments, community not-for-profits, the business community, and local citizens on ways to spend these precious resources as efficiently as possible and ensure we are taking as little from the community as possible to meet the needs of Genesee County. 

I want to give a special thanks to Vicky Muckle, Tammi Ferringer, and Scott German for helping me to prepare my first budget as County Manager.  While all three provided many hours of counsel and debate on how the budget should be structured, Vicky had the pleasure of making countless revisions to the budget and as the seasoned veteran in the office, ensuring I stayed on task in delivering this balanced budget.  I also want to thank the Legislature and Chairwoman Stein for their guidance and feedback during this budget season. 

I now turn the budget over to the Legislature for their consideration and eventual adoption.  I look forward to further discussion with both Legislators and the community at large, to ensure that the budget meets the needs of this community.

October 28, 2020 - 5:10pm
posted by Press Release in news, covid-19, coronvirus.

Press release:

New Cases – As of 2 p.m. 

  • Genesee County received four new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in Batavia, Bergen, Darien, and Le Roy. 
    • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 40s, 60s, and 70s.
    • One of the individuals was on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Thirteen new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • Three of the positive individuals are hospitalized. 
    • Genesee County Health Department received one of Elba elementary students has a confirmed case of COVID-19. The last date the student was in school was Oct. 23. The Genesee County Health Department will be in touch with the students that were identified in our contract tracing efforts. Elba’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten program will be going to a 100-percent distance learning model until Nov. 9.  
  • Orleans County received six new positive cases of COVID-19.
  • The new positive cases reside in Carlton, Barre, Shelby and Murray.
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 40s, 60s and 70s.
  • None of the individuals were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
  • Sixteen new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
  • Two of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • Two of the positive individuals are hospitalized.
  • Orleans County was informed today, Oct. 28, that one of the Albion students has tested positive for COVID-19. The student is a hybrid learner in the Albion Middle School. Last day the student was in the school was Thursday, Oct. 22, all contacts have been identified and have been placed under mandatory quarantine.
October 28, 2020 - 12:25pm

Press release:

The Batavia Police Department has released an internet safety presentation for parents, guardians and community members today (Oct. 28).

The presentation is 46 minutes and 33 seconds in length and was made in conjunction with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and NetSmartz.org.

It features several tips for parents on how to help keep their children safe in the online world, and prevent sexting / cyberbullying.

The presentation can be found on YouTube here.

October 28, 2020 - 11:59am
posted by Press Release in crime, news, batavia, counterfeit bills.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Police Department has been made aware of small denomination counterfeit bills being passed at local businesses. The Batavia Police Department is reminding everyone to check their money carefully.

If you feel that you may be victim in receiving counterfeit bills, please report it to the Police Department at (585) 345-6350.

A few simple items to check for on U.S. currency that are hard to recreate on counterfeit bills:

  • Color Shifting Ink -- the bill denomination on the bottom right hand corner has the right color shifting ink.
  • Raised Printing -- To detect raised printing, take your fingernail and run it carefully down the collar/jacket. You should feel some vibration on your nail from the ridges.
  • Blurry Borders/printing/text -- significantly blurry borders, printing, or text, it is an automatic red flag.
  • Red & Blue Threads -- If you take a close look at an authentic bill, you will see that there are small red and blue threads woven in and out within the fabric of the bill.
  • Watermark -- In many of the new bills, the watermark is actually a replica of the face on the bill.

Information on the current counterfeit cases is not being release at this time due to the ongoing investigation.

October 28, 2020 - 9:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in TapGlo, business, Bethany, video.
Video Sponsor

Tom Stringham, an entrepreneur based in Bethany, inspired by a trip to Burning Man, imagined a new way to play ping-pong: Instead of trying to get the ball past an opponent, a player would instead use touch and finesse to strategically land the ball on colored squares, trying to blackout an opponents squares before the opponent did the same to the player.

The game is called TapGlo and it's manufactured in Bethany. The pandemic has slowed down sales but not Stringham's enthusiasm for the game.

October 28, 2020 - 9:46am
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.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Billie Owens:   [email protected]
October 28, 2020 - 8:56am

While unable to match the specific years with the locations, Genesee Country Farmers’ Market Treasurer Sharon Brent on Tuesday confirmed that the operation featuring the “fruits” of local growers’ and merchants’ labor has been quite nomadic over the past decade and a half.

Brent, asked to comment on Market Manager Elizabeth Carr’s assertion that the market has moved 11 times in 15 years, fired off close to that many sites -- and agreed with Carr, who spoke at Monday night's Batavia City Council meeting, that moving around so much is counterproductive.

“We were out at the (Batavia) Downs and at Kmart for quite a few years. While we have been under the city’s (oversight), we were moved 11 times in 15 years. I have been to every single spot they’ve moved us to,” said Brent, a Middleport resident who owns Schwab Farm Market in Gasport.

The list of farmers’ market locations, according to Brent, include next to the “kiddie stand” at Batavia Downs (for years), the Kmart parking lot, Batavia Downs parking lot, the Alva Place parking lot (previously), the former Super Duper site next to Washington Towers, the parking lot where Wendy’s Restaurant now sits, the Angotti Beverage parking lot and in a lot behind the Genesee County Courts Facility.

“We used to be in this (Alva Place) parking lot when we had an afternoon market that was from noon to 6 p.m.,” she said. “Since then we’ve moved all around the city … and you don’t build a market that way.”

And Brent echoed Carr’s hope that City Council would keep the farmers’ market at its current location: the parking lot at Alva Place and Bank Street.

“Of all the places we have been in the city, other than where Wendy’s is right now, this is the best spot we’ve been at – as far as customers liking it, parking, traffic, everything,” she said.

Brent said she wasn’t about “to buck” the city but said she’s talked to many residents who “can’t believe they want to put a police station here.”

When asked if the farmers’ market carried any weight into City Council decisions, considering it uses the parking lot at no charge, she said her organization was not given an opportunity for input.

“We were told this is where the police station is going to be,” she said. “Did they ask us if we wanted it to be here? No. I don’t live in the city, but I can see that they want you to play nice.”

She said that city residents should have a say in the matter, something that City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said has happened by virtue of a police facility task force that convened in 2015.

“We set up a police building committee years ago of citizens of the community and we left them alone to make recommendations. They recommended a Swan Street location and the second choice was Alva Place parking lot,” he said. “The first choice fell through as the owners didn’t want to sell it to us, so the second location on that list was Alva Place.”

Jankowski said City Council is following the task force’s recommendations.

“It’s property we already own … and we will need it in another year or so when we start construction on that building,” he added. “City Council makes the executive decisions and run the City of Batavia through the city manager. If they have a problem, contact City Council.”

Jankowski said he is disappointed in the farmers’ market stance.

“We notified everybody and the time to make mention of it was several months ago before we expended a lot of resources into that direction (a feasibility study) to put the police department there,” he said. “Even so, it’s a public safety building, it’s public property that we own, and we allow the market to have an event there every year. They fill out an event application and it gets approved because the lot is not being used right now.”

He said he didn’t think there were any promises made to the market, adding that its attempt to attract a Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant fell through.

The thought of the city veering off the course of placing the new police headquarters on the Alva Place parking lot is not a good idea, Jankowski said.

“If we had to spend $500,000 for a (privately owned) building lot, that would reduce the amount of money available for the building itself,” he said.

Jankowski said the city has offered to help the farmers’ market find a suitable permanent location, and welcomes the conversation.

“I think it’s actually a good thing that we’re having this conversation because it tells me that our downtown is thriving and it tells me that property in our downtown is at a premium and that people want it because it is a good thing,” he offered. “But I think the farmers’ market is a little out of line because they have been getting the use of that property at no cost and now we need the property for a public safety building and now they’re upset about it.”

Brent said if the market has to move again, she hopes that the location is in the center of the city and “not off the beaten path.”

A call to Beth Kemp, executive director of the Batavia Downtown Business Improvement District, for comment on the BID’s role in the future of the farmers’ market was not returned at the time of the posting of this story. Kemp also sits on the Genesee Country Farmers' Market Board of Directors.

The 2020 farmers’ market season opened on June 5 and the three-day operation (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Friday) concludes this week.

October 27, 2020 - 5:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron, news.
Video Sponsor

Chuck Hoover shared this video of a work crew a couple of times using a helicopter to work on the power lines going through Byron. The location was off Batavia Byron Road, near Route 262.

October 27, 2020 - 4:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

  • Genesee County received four new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in Batavia, LeRoy, and Pavilion.
    • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 30s, and 60s.
    • One of the individuals was on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Twenty-five new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • Two of the positive individuals are hospitalized.
       
  • Orleans County received six new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in Carlton, Clarendon and Murray.
    • The individuals are in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 60s and 80s.
    • None of the individuals were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Four new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • Nine of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
    • Two of the positive individuals are hospitalized.

Also, the Health Department released the following health alert:

“Individuals who attended a wedding on private property on Acton Road in the Town of Clarendon (Bergen mailing address) on Saturday, Oct. 17, may have been exposed to COVID-19,” said Paul Pettit, Public Health director for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments.

“A significant number of known close contacts have been identified through contact tracing and have been placed under mandatory quarantine or isolation. However, there are individuals that attended the wedding that were not part of the original guest list and those contacts may not be aware they may have been exposed to the virus.”

If you attended the wedding, continue to monitor your symptoms through Saturday, Oct. 31. If you develop symptoms, contact your primary care provider immediately and self-isolate until you receive your test results.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include but are not limited to: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.

To find a testing site, click here.

October 27, 2020 - 4:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in 400 Towers, news, covid-19, Halloween, pumpkins, batavia.

Photos and information from Heather Klein, 400 Towers case manager.

Some of our residents at 400 Towers in Batavia painted pumpkins. It was a fun way to have some activity for our residents during times of COVID-19.

One that stands out in particular (top photo) was made by a resident who painted a pumpkin the colors of candy corn and added a mask. 

Another resident thought it was a great reminder to the community to wear masks and suggested that we contact The Batavian.

The pumpkin painter of the top photo is Pauline Hensel.

Below, the top left and bottom right pumpkins were done by AJ Taylor. The top right and bottom left were done by Patricia (Pat) Larson.

October 27, 2020 - 3:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, road work, Le Roy.

From Tim Hens, Genesee County Highway Superintendent:

Water main work will be resuming on North Road between Conlon Road and Route 19, Town of Le Roy.

The road will be open to traffic, but there will be lane closures and temporary delays starting tomorrow, Oct. 28, at 7:30 a.m. through 5 p.m. each day for the remainder of the week.

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Parts Counter Person Needed

George and Swede Sales & Service, located in Pavilion, NY is seeking an experienced Parts Counter Person! Join our parts department team, selling products and services, ordering, receiving, unloading and stocking parts as needed, making hoses, and supplying technicians with parts. Must be able to regularly lift 50 pounds and be proficient with Outlook and Word. Must also be able to attend occasional out of town manufacturer/vendor trainings, and have a valid drivers license. Applicants should email resumes to: [email protected]

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