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News roundup: Early morning wind storm knocks out power for thousands

By Philip Anselmo

WBTA's Dan Fischer reports that remnants of what was once Hurricane Ike lashed out winds of up to 60 miles per hour that cut through the area, knocking down trees and electrical lines and leaving nearly 600 people in Genesee County without power this morning. Elba Central School has closed this morning as a result of the storm. Most folks were expected to be back on the grid by 8:30am.

Another 1,800 folks were without power in Orleans County, plus another 500 in Wyoming County.

Most of the debris was cleared off the streets early this morning in Batavia.

Rochester's Democrat & Chronicle reports power outages for more than 45,000 people in and around the city, and many traffic lights were still out during the morning commute.

Heading west, the Buffalo News tallied 14,000 folks who were still in the dark in the region as of 8:30am. That wasn't even the "bad news."

The bad news, for those still without power this morning, was that National Grid, on its Web site, cautioned that full power might not be restored until late Tuesday night.

Muckdogs sweep Jamestown to win NY-P crown

By Howard B. Owens

In front of nearly 1,400 screaming fans, Adam Reifer struck out Justin Bass to secure the Batavia Muckdog's first league title since 1963 with a 9-3 victory over the Jamestown Jammers.

With the third strike of the third out in the top of the ninth, fans and players alike went wild as young men in red jerseys swarmed the field and piled on top of each other in front of home plate.  In the stands, fans screamed, hugged and high-fived.

Within minutes, league president Ben Hayes presented the championship trophy to manager Mark DeJohn.

The Muckdogs won game one of the three-game series in Jamestown on Friday night. Saturday's game was rained out.

The game was close up until the bottom of the eighth inning when the Muckdogs blew the game open by scoring five runs.

Jamestown had scored two runs in the top of the inning to make it 4-3.

Frederick Parejo went 4-4 and Shane Peterson picked up three hits.

The starter and winner was Hector Cardenas who went six innings and gave up only 1 run.

If it all turned out, we'll post some video from tonight later.

UPDATE:  I shot video with two cameras.  One was a little Flip so I could post something quickly.  That hasn't quite worked out. For some reason, YouTube keeps throwing an error when I try to upload it.  Google Video took it just fine, and you can view it here.  We'll see how it goes with the other video, which includes some interviews.

UPDATE II: Still having trouble with getting a video to upload to YouTube.  The quality of this on Google just isn't very good, but here's the longer video with interviews and such.

UPDATE III: Wow, I kept getting these upload errors, but all this time -- the first video did upload and process just fine.  Here's video #1 -- shot with the Flip just to get a quick video of the final out.  The second video finally did upload and is processing now.  I'll embed either when it's ready or later in the morning (late tonight now, so I might sleep in a bit).

UPDATE IV:  Ok, here it is ... the longer video with interviews (Ben Hayes, Dan Mason, Brian Paris and Bill Kauffman):

UPADATE V: Nice summary of the Muckdog's post season on Also, long story on, with some nice quotes from Shane Peterson.

Pembroke's 1-2 punch KO's Alexander

By Brian Hillabush

 With Andrew Wright and Mike Dibble in the backfield, the Pembroke football team will keep defenders on their toes all season long.

Alexander had no answer for the two runners as the Dragons picked up an easy 56-13 win.

"We were fortunate to have Dibble and (Joe) Striegel last year," Pembroke coach Chip Foster said. "Now we add Andrew to the mix this year and we are liking that 1-2 punch. We will move Andrew around a little bit, but when you put them two in the backfield together, other teams don't really know what to do."

Wright's numbers were insane.

He only ran the ball eight times, but scored four touchdowns and finished with a whopping 165 yards.

Dibble had 10 touches, gaining 90 yards while getting in the end zone twice.

J.P. Phillips had 26 yards and a TD and David Kleckler went 2-of-3 passing for 110 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

The game was a rout early as Josh Hanel had an interception and returned it 42 yards to the Alexander 5-yard line to start the game. Wright had the touchdown run.

Ben Marion, Matt Phelps and Sam Martino also had interceptions and Pembroke led 56-0 at the half.

Ryan Piechocki had a 37-yard touchdown run for the Trojans, who fall to 0-2.

Pembroke is now 2-0 and rolling.

"After the kids work in the preseason and play two games, it is great to be 2-0," Foster said. "Everybody wants to be back in the playoffs and Class C is so competitive that we want to have a home game. That is the kid's goal and they are working hard towards it."

Muckdogs rained out

By Brian Hillabush

Tonight's New York-Pennsylvania League championship series game is rained out and will be made up at 6:05 p.m. Sunday at Dwyer Stadium.

The Muckdogs lead the series 1-0 and if a third game is necessary, it will be played on Monday at 7:05 p.m.

Kickers can sometimes win a game

By Brian Hillabush

With the rain coming down in buckets Saturday afternoon, it was difficult for either the Notre Dame or Attica football teams to hold onto the football.

But on one key occasion, the Fighting Irish won the game because of the job of the long snapper, holder and kicker.

Matt Thompson's extra point in the final minutes wound up being the play of the game as Notre Dame edged visiting Attica 27-26.

Holder Kevin Francis had issues holding the placement on Thompson's two previous kicks - a shanked 42-yard field goal attempt and an extra point attempt which turned into a botched play.

But after Francis scored a game-tying touchdown with 2 1/2 minutes left, Rick Lair had a perfect snap to Francis, who placed the ball for Thompson, who cashed the game winning kick.

"I just knew I had to dry my hands, relax and get it down so Thompson could kick it," Francis said. 

Thompson has hit plenty of big kicks for Notre Dame in his high school career, but this ranks at or near the top for the junior.

"I had faith in Rick Lair and Kevin Francis," Thompson said. "I just went through my routine, followed through and made it. It was any other PAT. I knew what I was doing."

The kick was the biggest play, but there were several in the comeback effort by ND, one that could have possibly escalated the Fighting Irish into league title contenders. 

"In this league, any win is coveted," ND coach Rick Mancuso said. "The competition is very steep. We are very fortunte to have come out in the second half and put forth the effort we needed to do for the win. I'm very proud of these guys."

The larger Attica squad got a 12-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Rollings to Brock Minnick early in the first quarter. After the extra point attempt was missed, Notre Dame answered back with a Mike Pratt 1-yard TD run.

Thompson added the extra point for the 7-6 lead.

Attica then started taking control of the contest.

Shawn Dupuis returned a punt 65 yards for a score, Luke Pariso intercepted a pass and Dave Jennings scored to give the Blue Devils a 20-7 halftime lead.

Pratt - who finished with 115 yards and three TDs on 22 carries - dove in from a yard out to start the second half after Francis returned the opening kickoff 60 yards.

Notre Dame got an intereception by Greg Barr and was off and running again. After Pratt ripped off a 31-yarder, Kevin Schildwaster dove in the end zone after finishing off an 11-yard scamper.


The rain had turned from a slight drizzle into a full-out downpour at this point.

This was when the extra point snap was bobbled and Thompson had to throw the ball way before the old "linebacker kills kicker" thing happened.

Attica and Notre Dame had some struggles until the rain started slowing down a little bit early in the fourth quarter.

Rollings had a 70-yard run on a quarterback keeper for Attica. Notre Dame was penalized half the distance to the goal line because of a facemask call.

On a first-and-goal at the 5, Andy Ruddock eased his way into the end zone. The conversion run failed and Attica led 26-20 with about 10 minutes left.

The two squads exchanged punts and the Fighting Irish started a drive with just over six minutes left on the clock at their own 42, knowing it was now or never.

Without a touchdown, they were going to fall to 0-2 and basically be eliminated from contention in the race for the Genesee Region League title.

There weren't any big yardage plays, but there were two big penalty plays on the drive.

Attica was called for pass interference after an incomplete pass on a fourth-and-3, then jumped offsides on the next play.

Junior quarterback Nick Bochicchio couldn't get a grip on the ball on a first-and-goal from the 9, but shoveled it to Francis, who took scored a touchdown that tied the game at 26 with 2 1/2 minutes left.

"It was raining the entire second half and we weren't throwing," said Francis, who caught six passes for 32 yards. "We tried to catch them off their feet. Bo didn't really throw it, it was like a baseball toss. I saw an opening and got in."

Thompson, who is a true kicker and attended several camps over the offseason, then drained the kick.

Attica did have a chance as Rollings tossed a 32-yard pass to Dupuis and then had a 10-yard run.

But an offensive interference call set up a fourth-and-very long, which was incomplete ending the game.

Bochicchio followed up his 27-of-34 for 182 yards performance in a loss to Pembroke with an 8-of-11, 66-yard day against Attica (1-1).

The Fighting Irish are now 1-1.

Responding To Mike Wrona

By Robert Harding

After Alice Kryzan's primary victory on Tuesday, I went over to see what Mike Wrona had to say. After all, Wrona is a vocal Kryzan supporter and has criticized me for my support of Jon Powers in the past. What I discovered is that, even with his candidate winning, Mike Wrona still wants to divide us instead of unite us.

Wrona wrote a post that called Kryzan a "big winner" on Tuesday. He also decided to take jabs at myself and my friend Alan Bedenko, a fellow blogger and Jon Powers supporter. He also seemed to question whether or not we are progressive. I don't know how that does anyone any favors in this situation, but it's not exactly what you should be doing after your candidate wins a primary. Wrona also said that we fell for the "Iraq War veteran label." There is no "label" when you are a veteran. If you are a veteran, you ARE a veteran. It's not a label. It's an honor. Wrona also asserted in that post that the local party leadership in all seven counties picked Powers because of money and "form over substance." Actually, Wrona is wrong. The four rural counties backed Powers first and it was because he is genuine, listens to voters, is very approachable and personable and wanted to go to Washington to be our representative. He traveled every corner of this district early on and that didn't change throughout this campaign. So Wrona clearly does not understand why the party leadership backed Powers.

Wrona wrote another post about Kryzan getting the DCCC's backing. He started off the post by saying "better late than never." Better late than never? Why would the DCCC back a candidate who showed virtually no fundraising ability after being in the race since September 2007 (technically) and a candidate that was very quiet in this race until about a few weeks before the primary? I remember seeing Kryzan at an event in June. It was the Wyoming County Flag Day Party. I guess she had a few supporters there and that's where she stayed. I never saw her walk around the room to introduce herself. Whether it was a pro-Powers crowd or not, people still would have greeted her and treated her with respect.

In that same post, Wrona makes a blatantly false claim. He claims that Charlie Mallow, the current chair of the Genesee County Democrats, said he would be supporting Chris Lee in November. This is not true. What Charlie said is in this post on The Batavian. If you notice, there is an update in that post which reads, "Some will seek other options but, the vast majority will sooner or later support her before Election Day. We are Democrats; we have an ideology that puts us more in line with Kryzan than Lee."

That was his response after he was asked whether or not the county would run away from Kryzan in November. I guess Mike Wrona didn't like that answer so he decided to make up his own. That's unfortunate, especially when he also suggests that Charlie's county committee should act (Charlie has already said that he's not going to serve as county chair again) as well as the state party AND even the governor. Wrona sure went to great lengths to spread a lie.

I will always be a fan of Jon Powers and most importantly, a friend of Jon Powers. But I have never, EVER been a sore loser. I reached out to Alice's campaign Wednesday morning and sent along my congratulations. I have been in contact with them and they seem to be very receptive of rural support and maybe even some netroots support. This is not an easy time for me. I will honestly say that I'm not in Alice's corner yet, but she is a better option than the Republican and she is better than Jack Davis. I can't just throw away 14 months of support for Jon Powers in only a few days. It will take time to get over this tough loss and then refocus our attention on the key races in our state and in our area.

My suggestion to Mike Wrona would be to be more of a uniter and less of a divider. This isn't the first time he had posted fabrications on his blog about myself or someone I know. I usually tell Republicans that we can all have our opinions but we can't have our own version of the facts. I shouldn't be saying that to someone who touts himself as a progressive Democrat. If Mike Wrona wants his candidate to win, he needs to help Kryzan embrace others who were Powers supporters and Davis supporters. Kryzan won with 41 percent of the vote. That means a majority of Democrats in the 26th did not vote for her. She needs to appeal to these people. I don't think she wants one of her supporters saying the things Wrona has said. It does her a great disservice when she and her campaign are working hard to try and contact key people in this area, especially rural chairs like Mallow.

Pal-Mac shocks Batavia in OT, 34-33

By Brian Hillabush

The Batavia football team played like a team that should have won the game, but left the VanDetta Stadium field Friday night waterlogged with a heartbreaking 1-point loss.

Visiting Palmyra-Macedon scored and converted an extra point in overtime and the Blue Devils also scored, but a fumbled placement of the ball on the extra point wound up costing them the game.

For a program that is trying to turn the corner and start winning games, Friday night has to be one of those losses that the players put out of their minds. That's the best thing you can do after a loss this difficult to take.

"I don't know what other teams do, but we'll get back out on the field at 9 a.m. (Saturday) and get back to work, get ready for Waterloo (next week)," Batavia coach Dan Geiger said.

"I will tell (my teammates) to keep their heads up," Williams said. "Geneva went 0-2 last year and wound up being state semifinals. We have to keep our heads up and be ready for Waterloo."

Williams had just seven carries in the opening week loss to Le Roy, but was easily the best player on the field for both squads Friday night.

The senior had 17 rushes for 154 yards and four touchdowns, while intercepting a pass, stopping Pal-Mac on a key two-point conversion and recovering two fumbles.

It would be shocking if this game did not earn Williams Offensive or Defensive Player of the Week for Class B.

"This is definitely the best game I've played," Williams said. "I had a game last year where I came back from an ankle injury and scored three touchdowns. It wasn't just me tonight. D'Aurizio did his part in driving up the field. Coach told me to just use my speed and get to the outside."

Pal-Mac scored right away as Dave VanLaeken ran one in from five yards out.

Williams made his first significant mark on the game just one minute later when he ripped off a 62-yard touchdown run, bouncing to the outside and blowing past every defender.

"Coach told me to do what made me special and use my speed," Williams said. 

VanLaeken helped his squad take a 14-7 lead with a 9-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter.

The Blue Devils pounded out a 77-yard drive on their next possession as Geiger mixed the carries up with Williams and D'Aurizio each making big runs.

D'Aurizo finished with 17 carries for 94 yards.

Williams scored on a 5-yard scamper, with D'Aurzio punching in the two point conversion just before the half, making the score 15-14.

The score remained the same after the third quarter because Batavia stopped a big drive by Pal-Mac by causing a fumble.

But after penalties pushed the Blue Devils into a third-and-25 situation, Pal-Mac quickly scored when VanLaeken dove in from a yard out.

With the score being 20-15, P-M went for two.

Quarterback Pete Valade found Ben Zink with a pass at the 1-yard line and Williams made a two point saving tackle at the goal line.

It felt as if a Batavia victory was meant to be as Williams returned the following kickoff 78 yards for a score. The Blue Devils were stopped inches short on the two point conversion attempt and had a 21-20 lead.

D'Aurizio caused a fumble on Pal-Mac's next drive and Williams scooped it up and ran 36 yards, setting up a Joe Canzoneri 1-yard quarterback keeper for a TD. The extra point attempt was wide right and Batavia had a seven point lead.

Pal-Mac answered back with just seconds left on the clock.

It took less than three minutes to march down the field and VanLaeken scored again, this time from three yards out and just seven seconds left on the clock.

A too many men on the field penalty pushed the extra point attempt back five yards, but Nick Bauer hit the kick to tie the score at 27.

Batavia had one play to try and score but after Williams nearly broke away, he was stopped for a 20 yard run.

Keegan Kinslow had a 6-yard TD run in the opening possession of overtime, with Mauer hitting the kick to give Pal-Mac a 34-27 lead.

Williams then had a 17-yard scoring jaunt for Batavia in its possession, but with the rains getting heavy, the placement was fumbled and a pass attempt fell to the ground incomplete.

D'Aurizio led the defense with 12 tackles and Troy Ireland added 10. Joe Stachowski had six tackles.


(Note: no photos from the game because my camera got drenched and I lost everything)


Curtis homers in ninth to give Muckdogs game one victory

By Howard B. Owens

Jermaine Curtis homered in the ninth inning Friday night to give the Batavai Muckdogs a 4-3 victory of the Jamestown Jammers in Jamestown.

The come-from-behind victor gives the 'Dogs a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three New York-Penn League championship series.

Trailing 3-2 entering the ninth inning. the Muckdogs got to Jammers closer Jared Yecker (nine saves during the regular season) for three hits and two earned runs, including Curtis' blast.

Start Scott Gorgen twirled six spectacular innings of shutout ball and left the game with the lead, but relief pitcher Ramon Delgado surrendered all three of the Jammers runs.  Because Delgado was still on the mound to open the bottom of the ninth, he gets credit for the win tonight.

Poetry reading pitcher Jason Buursma picked up his second post season save by retiring the final Jamestown hitter.

The long-time Western New York rivals meet again Saturday night at Dwyer Stadium for game two of the series.  Game time is 7:05 p.m.

Batavia game coverage tonight

By Brian Hillabush

Check out the site later tonight as I will have results from the Batavia High football game along with results from other area contests.

Museum Directors Make Bet on Muckdog & Jammer Series

By Patrick Weissend

Holland Land Office Museum Director, Patrick Weissend, made a bet with Jamestown musuem director, Joni Blackman. Mrs. Blackman is the director of the Fenton History Center in Jamestown.

When the Muckdogs win, Blackman will have to give Weissend some korvburgers. Korvburgers are a late 1800s southern Swedish style sausage celebrated by descendants of Swedish immigrants in Jamestown.

If the Jammers win then Weissend haas to give her Oliver's Candies and Kutter'sCheese Curds.

Below is a picture of the two fighting over who is the better team.



Questions for Jon Powers...

By Philip Anselmo

We've been trying since the results of the Democratic primary for the 26th Congressional District were announced Tuesday to get some questions answered by the campaign for Jon Powers. We have not received a response from the campaign, and no one else involved could answer our questions.

So we thought to post those questions here on the site and maybe get a response that way. Powers garnered a lot of support in Genesee County, and we thought folks would be interested to know what their candidate would do now that he lost the endorsement in this race.

Initially (Wednesday), these questions were sent to the campaign:

1. Following last night's defeat in the primary, what are Jon Powers' plans for the rest of the election season? Does he have any plans to enter any other races in the next few years? Try again for Congress? Run on another party's endorsement for this same seat?

2. What happens with all of the funds raised by the Powers campaign? Will that money go to another campaign or to the Democrats in general? If not, where does it go?

UPDATE (By Howard):  What I want to know:

1. Will Powers still campaign as  Working Families candidate (even though WF has apparently endorsed Kryzan)?

2. Will Powers endorse Kryzan?

Ellicott Street gets a facelift

By Philip Anselmo

Work begun this morning on the Ellicott Street sidewalk renovation project in downtown Batavia. Proof of this was the brief blackout this morning when construction crews struck an unexpected power line.

The Batavian sat with Batavia Business Improvement Director Don Burkel this morning to find out some details about the project—we also got a photo of the plans: a section of the project at the intersection of Liberty and Ellicott streets (see below).

"We want to create a pedestrian area that is safe and attractive so that shoppers will want to come downtown to Ellicott Street," he said.

Making things attractive means breaking up the existing sidewalk, putting in new concrete pavers, adding some trees here and there, putting in some curbing and bumpouts, even a gazebo. Work stretches from the Evans and Court streets interesection east down Ellicott to the interesection with Swan Street.

Burkel said the project should be complete by the end of November and that there should be no interference with traffic in the meantime. Anyone interested in the project or any other downtown initiatives for that matter should visit the BID's Web site.

Funds for the project came mostly from a street enhancement grant from the Federal Highway Administration, said Burkel. They pitched in $500,000. The BID gave $150,000, and another $100,000 was supplied by the city.

Sleds of Stafford Snowmobile Show

By Philip Anselmo

Don't forget! Sleds of Stafford Snowmobile Club will be holding the second annual Vintage Snowmobile and Snow Show Saturday at BW's Restaurant in Pavilion, rain or shine—and it's looking more like it will be rain. You can find BW's at 11070 Perry Road.

Admission is $2 per adult, and kids 12 and under are free. All proceeds from the event will benefit Mercy Flight. Register between 8:00 and 11:00am. Judging starts at 11:00am.

Check out the Sleds of Stafford Web site for all the details.

News roundup: Wal-Mart shrinks, public market grows — life in Western NY

By Philip Anselmo

A Wal-Mart store in the works for the village of Le Roy may be the company's first ever to be shrunken down from its original size, according to the Daily News. Of course, that doesn't mean it still won't be a "Supercenter"—retail's answer to the question: What if people could buy socks, tomato sauce, a new bike and a gardenia all at the same store? So yes, the store planned for West Main Street in Le Roy will still be a Supercenter, only getting reduced from 163,700 square feet to 138,000.

Claims made in the article that this will be a "more environmentally-friendly" Wal-Mart seem somewhat dubious. Check out this quote from Le Roy's Code Enforcement Officer Gene Sinclair:

"It's still going to be a Supercenter, just smaller," he said. "The parking lot is more environmentally friendly, with four islands and a natural filtration system of trees and shrubs."

"We're told it's a new design for their stores and the first in the United States like this."

It's wonderful that everybody has caught the going green bug—especially the marketing departments of massive corporations—but I think we have to draw the line at "environmentally-friendly parking lot." Hasn't anyone ever listened to Joni Mitchell? What did they pave to put up a parking lot? Yep, that's right: paradise.

Anyway, good for Le Roy. Now they've got a Wal-Mart to go with the new Walgreens. Speaking of the Walgreens... construction of that is on hold now owing to a "blizzard of asbestos" encountered during the demolition of the old Masonic temple and its neighbors. (Hmm. Is there any connection between this blizzard of asbestos and the blizzard of words Charlie Gibson attributed to Sarah Palin last night?)

In other news, Tom Rivers paid a visit to the Rochester Public Market where a lot of Genesee County farms head every weekend to ply their wares before the big city crowds. It's another great article from a talented writer about a fun topic. So read it.

Attica resident Roddy Harris wrote a postapocalyptic novel about a brother and sister who try to rebuild their lives after 99 percent of the world is killed by terrorists who release "vast amoiunts of chemical and biological agents into the atmosphere." The article's headline is misleading: Attican pens 9/11 book. That's just not true. While the article begins by saying that Harris "turned his thoughts and feelings about the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, into a novel," the novel is not about 9/11 at all. The book is titled: After Terrorism: A Survival Story. It's available from Publish America.

Former Chairman of the United States Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors Paul S. Speranza told an audience at Genesee Community College yesterday that if the state wants to fix its economy, communities need to join together.

Speranza said New Yorkers need to move beyond parochialism and regional feuding. Speaking with one voice and forming coalitions among groups with divergent views is the way to get the state's economy back on track and to improve its quality of life, he said.

Paul Mrozek does an excellent job covering the speech, so be sure to check out the article if you're interested.

We encourage you to get out and pick up a copy of the Daily News at your local newsstand. Or, better yet, subscribe at

Video: Their Courage, Our Commitment: Flight 93 Service of Remembrance

By Mollie Radzinski

This past week, I had the privilege of spending Patriots Day in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the site of the crash of Flight 93, to commemorate the lives lost there on September 11th.  I was there as a reporter for my student-run tv station here at school, and I consider myself so lucky to have had the chance to be there.  It was one of the most, if not the most, remarkable, amazing experiences of my life.  Thus, I would like to share with you all my first news package from the trip, so you all can share a little bit in the experience as well.  So here it is, filmed, reported, written, edited and produced by me; I hope you enjoy:


No need to be scared—Give blood

By Philip Anselmo

An article in the Democrat & Chronicle yesterday procalimed that a "shrinking pool" of blood donors in the New York and Pennsylvania region is "making it harder for the American Red Cross to collect blood year-round." Blood types were rationed on three occasions this past summer, according to the article. Of the 38 percent of Americans who are eligible to give blood, only about 5 percent actually get out and do so. Supplies for all blood types except B- and B+ are low and if not soon replenished could lead to a blood emergency. On and on the article goes, citing bleak figures and the need for more people to get out and give blood.

Joe Naples said that isn't necessarily the case in Genesee County.

"We didn't have to ration here," said Naples, the account manager for the Blood Services Division of the American Red Cross. "Batavia is a great town to do blood drives."

Batavia may not turn out the most bodies, he explained, but there is a very high per capita participation" and the donors are very loyal.

"We see the same people coming by each time," he said.

Nevertheless, more donors are always needed.

There are two ways to find out where drives are going on in your area, said Naples. (A list of upcoming drives in Genesee County is listed below.) You can visit Donate Blood Now online. Or you can call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE.

For some folks, finding out if they are eligible to give blood might be the first step. Judith Nagel is the executive director of the Genesee County Chapter of the American Red Cross. She says that folks can call that same 800 number to find out if they are eligible.

Most people are, she says. You have to be 17 years old and 105 pounds and generally healthy. Anyone who may have recently been tatooed would have to wait some months before they can give blood. But there are many people who think they may not be eligible when, in fact, they are. There are some medication restrictions, says Nagel, but people on high blood pressure meds, diabetics and recovered cancer patients are all eligible to donate.

So what keeps people from the needle? Well... that's just it: the needle.

"Fear," says Nagel. "But once you donate, the prick is so momentary."

Besides, she says, donors are pampered. Once they give up their pint they get cookies and juice and a sticker and a whole cast of folks waiting in line to give them kudos.

"I mean really, who can turn down cookies and juice," she says. "All the Lorna Doones you can eat. The feeling of giving the gift is so amazing that once you get over the fear of getting pricked by a needle, the reward is tremendous."

If you're finally willing to take that plunge, here's a list of upcoming blood drives in Genesee County (note there are two drives today in Batavia and Oakfield):

September 12 (today):

  • Oakfield United Methodist Church, 2 S. Main St., Oakfield: 1:30 to 6:30pm
  • Batavia VA Medical Center, 222 Richmond Ave., 9:00am to 3:00pm

September 26:

  • Pembroke Community Center, 116 Main Road, Corfu: 1:30 to 6:30pm

September 27:

  • Stafford Fire Dept., Route 5, Stafford: 9:00am to 2:00pm

September 30:

  • Chapin Manufacturing, 700 Ellicott St., Batavia: 9:00am to 2:00pm

October 6:

  • Pavilion Fire Dept., Route 19, Pavilion: 2:00 to 7:00pm

October 7:

  • Northgate Free Methodist Church, 350 Bank St., 2:00 to 7:00pm

School District Ratings

By Mark Potwora

In its final round of rating local schools this week, Business First newspaper has released its survey of area school districts. Topping the list for the fifth year in a row as the best school district is Williamsville, followed by Clarence. The newspaper also ranked Clarence as the most cost-effective district.
The top ranked school district in Genesee County was Pembroke at number 19.
Batavia came in at 38 out of the 97 districts rated.

Fellows v. Blacksmith: Number 15 in "What Made Genesee County Famous"

By Philip Anselmo

Coming in at No. 15 in the Holland Land Office Museum countdown of The Twenty-Five Things That Made Genesee County Famous is the only court case to have orginated in Genesee County that was heard by the United States Supreme Court. This was in 1857.

It all started when a representative of the Ogden Land Company, Joseph Fellows, tried to take the land of the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. Tonawanda Seneca Sachem John Blacksmith wouldn't have it. (A sachem is a sort of Native American king, by the way.) Blacksmith sued the land company and his case was eventually heard by the supreme court.

If you want to know what happened next, check out the full article by Museum Director Pat Weissend. While you're at the the museum's Web site, you can isten to podcasts of some of the other big things that made the list of The Twenty-Five Things That Made Genesee County Famous.

Driving in Batavia

By Melissa George

Just something I saw today....when the traffic lights go out, due to what ever the people of Batavia not know that when the lights are out...the intersection becomes a FOUR WAY STOP.  The amount of cars speeding through the intersection of Main/Bank this morning was amazing.  I did see all the school buses stop...but the amount of cars just speeding by not stopping was amazing.

Palin stumbles in first televised interview. Just the jitters? Or more?

By Philip Anselmo

They're saying Sarah Palin stumbled, struggled, sidestepped, misstepped and was caught off guard in an interview with ABC's Charles Gibson that was aired in part last night. It should however be noted that none of the reports failed to note her confidence and poise on camera despite what her interviewer exasperatedly called her "blizzard of words."

From the New York Times:

Ms. Palin was clearly caught off guard when Mr. Gibson asked, “Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?” Seeking direction, and perhaps time to formulate an answer, Ms. Palin leaned back, smiled stiffly and said, “In what respect, Charlie?”

Initially unwilling to define the doctrine, Mr. Gibson said, “What do you interpret it to be?”

Ms. Palin asked, “His world view?”

Mr. Gibson said, “No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war.”

Ms. Palin responded: “I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation.”

Mr. Gibson, finally defining the doctrine as “the right of anticipatory self-defense,” still struggled for a direct answer, asking twice more if she agreed with it before Ms. Palin answered: “Charlie, if there is a legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country.”

From the Los Angeles Times:

By turns tense and combative, Palin, 44, used two interviews with ABC anchor Charles Gibson to display her grasp of issues central to the vice presidency.

She acknowledged that, other than a trip last year to see troops in Iraq, Kuwait and Germany, her only visits abroad were to Mexico and Canada. And she said that she had never met a head of state but that she did speak last week with President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia.

On the issues, Palin said that "we (as Americans) do not have to stand for" Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, Georgia and the Ukraine should be welcomed into a NATO alliance and "man's activities certainly can be contributing to the issue of global warming."

What do you think? Was Palin a bumbling boob, a confident rock, a candidate to be proud of or one to be feared? Where do you think she will go from here?

UPDATE (by Howard): Here's the interview:

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