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May 26, 2022 - 12:56pm
posted by Press Release in bdc, batavia, Tammy Hathaway, news.

Press release:

The Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) Board voted to hire Tammy Hathaway as the organization’s new director today at their May meeting.

Tammy has been well-known in the Batavia community as the Executive Director of the United Way of Genesee County. Her experiences in partnering with the City of Batavia includeing serving on the City’s Planning and Development Committee, currently is a member of the Batavia Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners, previously was a member of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative Committee and working with city management on the 485-r legislation exemption.

With a career history proficient in lending and grant administration, Tammy comes to the BDC with various skills to successfully collaborate with businesses to further the organization’s mission within the City of Batavia. She has a secure foothold in our community and has established strong core relationships throughout the City of Batavia and Genesee County.

“Tammy brings a wealth of knowledge and a passion for our community that will help advance the BDC’s mission to improve the quality of life in the City of Batavia through a number of economic development collaborations, programs, and initiatives,” said Lori Aratari, President of the BDC.  “We are very excited to welcome her and look forward to her leadership.”

“On behalf of the city we are excited to work with Tammy in this new position and have confidence that as a city resident, she understands the needs of both the business community and residents alike,” said Rachael J. Tabelski, City of Batavia City Manager.  “Tammy will be coming to the organization with a list of projects to finalize from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) and a 2020 Main Street Grant awarded to the City. She will also be responsible for promoting development at the City’s Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) sites and assisting businesses with loans and grants.”

May 26, 2022 - 12:00pm

Join Our Team!

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is hiring a Marketing Assistant for the Tourism Department. 

Details here: https://visitgeneseeny.com/about/join-our-team

To apply, please email a cover letter and resume to Sara Stockwell at [email protected] or mail to Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, 8276 Park Road, Batavia, NY 14020.

May 26, 2022 - 7:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in COVID-19, news.

After an eight-week run of higher numbers of known COVID-19 case counts in Genesee County, the number of new positive tests reported dropped significantly over the past week.

There were 170 new positive tests reported for the seven days ending Tuesday. 

The previous week, there were 261 new positive tests reported.

May 26, 2022 - 7:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in economy, jobs, news.

Genesee County's unemployment rate of 2.8 percent in April is the lowest early spring rate on record and just a tick higher than the previous low of any time of year -- higher than reported in December when it was 2.7 percent.

A year ago in April, the rate was 4.6 percent. 

The pre-pandemic low for April was 3.1 percent in 2019.

The NYS Labor Department reports 29,500 Genesee County residents are in the labor force, up from 28,900 a year ago and two hundred workers more than a month earlier.

According to the reported data, there are 800 county residents looking for work.  A year ago, there were 1,300 residents listed as unemployed.

The labor department also reports 22,300 non-farm jobs in Genesee County, up from 21,500 in April a year ago.

There are 17,100 private sector jobs compared to 16,400 a year ago.  There are now 5,100 government jobs in the county, which is 100 more than a year ago.


May 26, 2022 - 7:00am
posted by Press Release in batavia, news. Paolo Busti Cultural Foundation.

Press release:

The Paolo Busti Cultural Foundation Scholarship Awards Dinner will return on Tuesday, June 14 at 6:30 p.m. after a two-year hiatus.

The Foundation is excited to be able to celebrate their heritage together again. It promises to be a wonderful evening of friendship, pride, and, of course, delicious Italian food.

The dinner will be hosted at Terry Hills Restaurant.

Tickets are $35.00 and may be purchased from board members and Ben’s Appliance, East Main St. Batavia. 

The Foundation will also have tickets available to purchase for our Fall 20/20 Raffle, supporting our Senior Scholarships.  Students who received Scholarships in 2020 and 2021 are invited to attend and will receive a complimentary dinner ticket and recognition.  Please contact Michele Fuller at (585) 750-6350.

The Foundation is pleased to honor our 2022 Outstanding Italian-American  Ray San Fratello at this year's awards.

Outstanding Italian-American 2022 - Ray  San Fratello
After graduation from Notre Dame High School, Ray earned a degree from Erie County Technical Institute and Buffalo State University with majors in Metallurgy, Chemistry and Psychology.

Ray was also a graduate of the University of Delaware, where he studied US Chamber Institutes for Organizational Management. He also completed the Dale Carnegie course.

Ray worked as the City of Batavia's Assistant Recreation Director and was the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce president. He also worked at the South Lake Chamber of Commerce in Clermont, Fla.

Ray was a member of St. Anthony’s Church, attended St. Anthony’s School
and attributes his strong faith in God for his accomplishments and desire to
volunteer and make a difference.

Ray performed community service in both New York and Florida.

In New York, Ray is a Paolo Busti Cultural Foundation member and was a former member of the St. Nicholas Social Club.

Ray’s community service in New York was extensive. It included: Batavia Area Jaycees, Notre Dame High School Foundation Board, Leadership Genesee Steering Committee, “Genesee 2000” Strategic Plan Task Force, Batavia Development Corp. Board of Directors, Director of City of Batavia Men’s Softball League, Girls Youth Fast Pitch Softball Coach, Boys Youth Hockey coach, Business Education Alliance Board of Directors, GLOW Counties-School to Work Program Board of Directors and Chamber Alliance of NYS Board of Directors.

In Florida, Ray’s community service continued with Blessed Sacrament Church, Habitat for Humanity, Little League, and United Chambers of Commerce.

Ray feels strongly it was growing up in Batavia in a neighborhood composed of large Italian and Polish close-knit families like his. The Italian and Polish cultures “that rooted us together, taught me the importance of family -- immediate as well as extended -- how to be resilient, believe in team spirit, and to realize and appreciate how much was given to us and how we need to pay that forward to keep the spirit of our parents and grandparents alive through the generations” that guided him through the years.

Alexandria Root
Alexandria Root, a senior at Hilton High School, daughter of Joel and Roxanne Root of Churchville.   Alexandria’s grandparents are Diane Beradini Martino and the late Carmine ( Jerry) Martino of Batavia. 

Alexandria plans to major in biology at Nazareth College with a minor in dance.   Her goal is to attend medical school and study Neurosurgery.

Alexandria has been awarded Academic Merit Honor Roll maintaining a GPA of 95 or above for four years of High School, the President's Education Award, Salutatory Honor Group, National Honor Society, and  Spanish Honor Society.  She participated in the International Club, the After School Book Club, and Environmental Club.

Her volunteer hours consist of being an altar server at her church, St. Vincent DePaul, and has assisted in children’s liturgy for 8th thru 10th graders.  She was involved in the Best Buddies program.  She is presently running the library at the family services division at Monroe County Probation, Dancing for a Cause with churches and special events, assisting at her dance studio, and classroom assistant at Village Elementary School.

Alexandria's values were acquired in an Italian-American household.

“I have a strong work ethic and desire to succeed in all aspects of my life," she said. "I have witnessed my family working incredibly hard to live a fulfilling life."

Matthew Smith
Matthew Smith, son of Jason and Lori Smith, Grandson of Mary Calarco-Smith and James Smith. 

A senior at Batavia High School, Smith will be attending Nazareth College in the Fall of 2022.  He is enrolled in the physical therapy program at Nazareth College. 

Matthew desires to work at an outpatient clinic and remain local, helping his community after graduation.

Matthew has been actively volunteering in the Batavia community, delivering for Meals on Wheels, and the Link Crew, and teaching second-grade students at Resurrection parish in preparation for Reconciliation.  Matthew also checks in on neighbors to see if they need any assistance.   He volunteered for Make a Difference Day at the local Habitat for Humanity house.

Smith was accepted into the National Honor Society 2019 to present, is vice president of that group, student government from 2019 to present as a class representative.  Matthew has been on the High Honor Roll for four consecutive years, maintaining a 95 percent overall average.

Matt is a member of the varsity program at BHS, which includes cross country, indoor track, golf, and track and field.  A member of Ski Club and Tri-M. He also participates in the Batavia High School Band and Pit Orchestra.

Matthew’s love for his Italian Heritage is proven in his statement, “Growing up Italian is nothing but incredible! I could not imagine not spending as much time with my family as I do!”

Lucia Sprague
Lucia Sprague, a senior at Notre Dame High School, Batavia, ranks 3rd in her class.

Lisa Sprague, Lucia’s mother’s Italian Heritage, is a long line of Rapone’s and Pangrazio’s. They are residents of LeRoy.

 Because of Lucia’s passion for art, she has applied to Colgate University to continue her education as a film/media major

She is a member of the National Honor Society and the College Board National Hispanic Recognition Program.  

Lucia has been recognized for leadership at the HOBY Hugh O’Brien Youth conference and the Genesee County Youth Bureau Conference.  She received the Computing Medal of Honor from RIT, Wells College 21st Century Leadership Award, St. Michael’s College Book Award in Academic  Achievement And Social Conference, and U of R Leadership Award.

She has participated in varsity cheerleading, varsity swimming, Student Senate, Genesee County Envirothon Team, chorus, school plays, and Yearbook Club.    Also, she participated in DECA-Region 10 Winner, State Medalist Apparel & Accessories Marketing.

Lucia volunteers for Our Lady of Mercy Parish for various church activities, is a Paulo Busti Cultural Foundation newsletter distributer, and rakes leaves at the local cemetery.

Lucia’s thought of her Italian Heritage is a remembrance from youth when she recalls her family dancing the Tarantella. She said, “I know why my family looked so happy, it was a representation of our culture and everything we’ve learned about our family throughout our lives."

May 25, 2022 - 10:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, oakfield-alabama.


The Hornets went into their Class C sectional quarterfinals game against Cuba-Rushford today with their hitting shoes on.

The final score in their favor was 21-1.

Oakfield-Alabama knocked out 19 hits in the lopsided victory.

Aiden Warner had four hits and scored three times. Brayden Smith knocked in five runs on three hits and scored three times.  Kyle Porter also collected three hits along wth two RBIs and two runs scored.

Notching two hits each were Bodie Hyde, Cooper Colantonio, Gaige Armbrewster, and David Schnaufer.

Porter picked up the win.  He threw for 3 1/3 innings giving up one unearned run, no hits, walking four and striking out eight.

O-A plays Warsaw next.

In other sectional baseball games:

  • Norte Dame beat York 4-0 to advance in Class C.
  • Alexander lost to Letchworth 6-1 in Class C.
  • Batavia beat Geneva 16-2 in Class B.

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here.





May 25, 2022 - 8:53pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, County Legislature, ems.


Representatives of various emergency medical providers throughout Genesee County were given an appreciative nod of thanks Wednesday for the "vital public service" that they provide to local citizens. Genesee County Legislator Gary Maha read a proclamation in honor of the dedicated people who are part of the Emergency Medical Services of Genesee County.

The proclamation states that access to quality emergency care dramatically improves the survival and recovery rate of those who experience sudden illness or injury.

"Whereas, emergency medical services have grown to fill a gap by providing important, out-of-hospital care, including preventative medicine, follow-up care, and access to telemedicine," Maha said during a brief ceremony at the old Courthouse. "The members of emergency medical services teams, whether career or volunteer, engage in thousands of hours of specialized training and continuing education to enhance their lifesaving skills, and whereas, it is appropriate to recognize the value and the accomplishments of emergency medical services providers."

The emergency medical services system includes first responders, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, firefighters, police officers, educators, administrators, emergency medical dispatchers, pre-hospital nurses, emergency nurses and physicians, trained members of the public and other providers that work outside of a hospital, the proclamation states. 

Genesee County Legislature recognized all involved in county emergency medical services and acknowledged "the emergency medical services strong theme "Rising to the Challenge."

"As we encourage the community to show gratitude to our EMS for their hard work and dedication," Maha said. 

Photo above: Members of Genesee County Emergency Medical Services, including Sean Huggins and Craig Huntoon from the City of Batavia; Scott Buffin from Mercy Flight; Christopher Scopano of Le Roy EMS; Mike Heale of Elba Fire Department; and Sean Downing from Genesee County EMS, represent their units and colleagues as Genesee County Legislator Gary Maha reads the proclamation in their honor Wednesday at the Old Courthouse in Batavia. Photo by Howard Owens.

May 25, 2022 - 3:42pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, Shred Day, batavia, notify.


If you’ve been hanging onto old paperwork, uncertain about what to do with it, there’s an option for you this week. And it’s free.

Brighton Securities is hosting a Shred Day from noon to 2 p.m. Friday in the parking lot between its office at 212 East Main St. and Main Street Pizza Co., Batavia.

“It started out as a client appreciation event, and the shred truck is pretty big. We weren’t coming close to filling it,” Branch Manager Steve Hicks said during an interview with The Batavian. “Normally, we’ve been able to say, bring as much as you’ve got.”

The company decided to open up the event beyond clients to allow others the opportunity to get rid of unnecessary paperwork and make good use of the large shredding container. This is the 11th year for Shred Day — otherwise known as document destruction and disposal day — and Hicks has been there for most every one of them, he said.

A lot of small businesses take advantage of the service, though individuals are also welcome to bring in what they have, he said. With the prevalence of identification thefts, data leaks and various scams, he has observed a hesitancy to dump one’s confidential papers.

“I’ve noticed more of an increase, and people with sensitivity, in getting rid of them,” Hicks said.  “People are more sensitive to it.”

The company Shred Text does the work, and it’s a “secure, well-run” outfit, he said. People can feel confident that when they leave, their paper items will be shredded and disposed of properly, he said.

By the box or bag, it doesn’t matter how people bring their stuff in, he said, and there will be staff on hand to assist them. Some people have not even gotten out of their vehicles, as someone is there to grab their container and dump it.

“We’ve never filled the truck,” Hicks said. “We usually have snacks and water here. We do this rain or shine. Two or three years ago, it rained the whole time.”

Friday’s forecast hints at some similar wet weather, but feel free to bring your items for a shred.

Wondering how long to keep your personal or professional documents?
The following guidelines are from the Internal Revenue Service, via irs.gov:

The length of time you should keep a document depends on the action, expense, or event that the document records. Generally, you must keep your records that support an item of income, deduction, or credit shown on your tax return until the period of limitations for that tax return runs out.

The period of limitations is the period of time in which you can amend your tax return to claim a credit or refund, or the IRS can assess additional tax. The information below reflects the periods of limitations that apply to income tax returns. The years refer to the period after the return was filed unless otherwise stated. Returns filed before the due date are treated as filed on the due date.

Note: Keep copies of your filed tax returns. They help in preparing future tax returns and making computations if you file an amended return.

Period of Limitations that apply to income tax returns 
Keep records for three years if situations (4), (5), and (6) below do not apply to you.
Keep records for three years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later, if you file a claim for credit or refund after you file your return.
Keep records for seven years if you file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction.
Keep records for six years if you do not report the income that you should report, and it is more than 25% of the gross income shown on your return.
Keep records indefinitely if you do not file a return.
Keep records indefinitely if you file a fraudulent return.
Keep employment tax records for at least 4 years after the date that the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later.

The following questions should be applied to each record as you decide whether to keep a document or throw it away.

Are the records connected to property?
Generally, keep records relating to property until the period of limitations expires for the year you dispose of the property. You must keep these records to figure any depreciation, amortization, or depletion deduction and to figure the gain or loss when you sell or otherwise dispose of the property.

If you received property in a nontaxable exchange, your basis in that property is the same as the basis of the property you gave up, increased by any money you paid. You must keep the records on the old property, as well as on the new property until the period of limitations expires for the year in which you dispose of the new property.

What should I do with my records for nontax purposes?
When your records are no longer needed for tax purposes, do not discard them until you check to see if you have to keep them longer for other purposes. For example, your insurance company or creditors may require you to keep them longer than the IRS does.

For more information about the event, go to www.brightonsecurities.com

Photo: File photo of shred day in 2015. Photo by Howard Owens.

May 25, 2022 - 1:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.


A three-vehicle accident, believed to be with injuries, is reported at Lewiston Road and Batavia Oakfield Townline Road, Batavia.

A camper has rolled over and a person is believed to be trapped.

Town of Batavia Fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 1:39 p.m.: The location is in Oakfield's district. Oakfield Fire responding, Batavia to continue. Non-emergency response.  Minor injuries.

UPDATE 2:50 p.m.: The red Buick was westbound on Batavia Oakfield Townline Road and the white Ford pickup was north on Route 63.  The Buick pulled out in front of the pickup, according to Trooper Michael Machniak.  There were only minor injuries. All occupants were sign-offs.

Photos by Howard Owens




May 25, 2022 - 1:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Genesee County Sheriff's dispatch reports that he's received walk-up complaints of a person in a green hoodie and black pants on Main Street near Center Street walking up to people and spitting on them.

Batavia patrol officers responding.

UPDATE 2 p.m.: Sheriff William Sheron received a phone call reporting that a man was on Main Street spitting on people. He radioed the report to dispatch. Police on scene said that upon arrival, they were told that the man had spit on two women. The first woman had left the scene, and the second woman declined to press charges. The police interviewed the man and sent him on his way.

May 25, 2022 - 10:47am
posted by Press Release in news, batavia.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Water Department will be repairing a service line today at 9 Olyn Ave in the City of Batavia. There is the potential that the water may need to be shut off on Olyn Ave, from Holland Ave to Montclair Ave.

The length of time the water would be off is unknown.

Traffic will also be closed down to local traffic only on Olyn Ave, from Holland Ave to Montclair Ave while the repair is being made.

As always, when the water is restored it may be discolored. Please refrain from doing any laundry until the water runs clear.

We apologize for any inconvenience and the public’s patience is greatly appreciated. 

May 25, 2022 - 10:12am
posted by Press Release in Sheriff's Office, news.

Press release:

Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron, Jr. would like to inform the community that there will be an increased presence around schools in the county in light of yesterday's horrific tragedy in Texas. These patrols are in addition to School Resource Officers already in place in nearly all the Genesee County school districts. 

“We are committed to the safety of our children and all that is involved within our educational facilities and will continue the increased patrols for the foreseeable future.  It is of the utmost importance that any concerns of suspicious activity be brought to the attention of school officials or law enforcement authorities as soon as possible,” stated Sheriff Sheron.

May 25, 2022 - 8:15am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, city council, notify.

Tammy Schmidt has heard them. And so has Kathy Briggs. Resident complaints about torn up sidewalks and roads have been consistent for both City Councilwomen, they say.

“I’m getting complaints about roads in general,” Briggs said during this week’s council meeting. “Do they have some type of process (for selecting neighborhoods to repair)?”

Any citizens with concerns about potholes in the roadways can contact the city by phone, in writing or online to request a repair, City Manager Rachael Tabelski said. Work has been ongoing as weather permits, she said.

“As everyone knows, living in Western New York, we have two seasons: we have snow, and then we have construction. And right now, they're trying to get out and rehab the roads to the best of their ability,” she said. “They just finished Walnut, they just put the striping down. And they're looking to take on an extra project this year with those state touring route funds. So as soon as I have more details on that, I will bring them forward.”

Tabelski reviewed a 2021-22 sidewalk program that will mean pavement improvement for Miller, Columbia and Seneca avenues. Part of this program includes pairing sidewalks with their adjacent streets, so that an entire section is repaired at the same time, she said. It’s called the “Complete Streets” approach. These avenues are in addition to Chase and Fisher parks. The work will be funded through the city’s Consolidated Highway Improvement Program funded by New York State.

“So whenever we are able to repave or resurface a roadway, we also look at the sidewalks to make sure they are now (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. They have appropriate widths for wheelchairs and passing lanes,” Tabelski said. “And we'd like to move this project forward. And when the bids come in, we'll bring that back at a business meeting.”

Schmidt, who represents the Sixth Ward, said that she’s also been getting complaints about sidewalks and wondered how Miller and those other avenues were chosen first. She heard some strong concerns during a meeting she had with some residents, she said.

“The gentleman was so upset. The sidewalks and the streets in my neighborhood are worse than what I saw of the streets that I drove down on Seneca, Columbia and Miller,” Schmidt said. “So I guess what I'm wondering, what's the process of picking the streets? Because should we start with the worst ones first and work our way up? Or do we leave the worst ones the way they are?”

There is a capital street plan included in the budget book, Tabelski said. That plan has been followed for many years, she said, and city officials try to identify the streets that need immediate repair and pairing sidewalks with them for work.

“There is a rotation throughout the city. And if you want to sit down, we can look through that,” Tabelski said.

“So, yes, we do have a capital plan, and we do go through the streets. And they do with the Bureau of Maintenance and DPW every year and update that plan and bring more streets on. Unfortunately, we only get so much revenue for CHIPs every year, roughly $320,000. So we try to extend it as far as we possibly can between streets and sidewalks.”

There is a map (handed out during council’s last budget talks)  that illustrates where repairs have been made to streets and sidewalks in the last few years, she said.

“So you can have that to show constituents,” she said. “And it always comes up. We do have. I would say, some of the best sidewalks in Western New York. And if you've gone to other cities, I won't name them, but you can barely push a baby carriage down them. So we do try very, very hard to continue to get out there.”

City Council is expected to vote on bids at the next business meeting in June. Scope of work includes the replacement of approximately 6,400 linear feet of sidewalks and handicap accessible ramps on portions of Chase Park, Fisher Park and Seneca, Miller and Columbia avenues.

May 25, 2022 - 8:00am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, business, restaurants, batavia, notify.


As if jumping the hurdles of finding the right space, obtaining permits and making desired renovations wasn’t enough for Judy Hysek’s restaurant move, there has been the added stress of illness, little things going wrong and nailing down final details that pushed back her opening date, she says.

“Renovation was a huge part of it. We had to do a lot of electrical work, we got COVID in the middle of it. So that held us back,” Hysek said during an interview with The Batavian Tuesday. “It’s just a comfortable space that's a little bit different than anything else in Batavia. You know, I had a Pinterest vision in mind, and I didn't want to copy it exactly. But we got the vibe down that I wanted. I'm really happy with the way things have turned out.”


Her place, Eden Cafe & Bakeshop, has been settling into its new home at 242 Ellicott St., Batavia for about a month now since moving out of Eli Fish Brewery on Main Street. Her vision unfolded in colors of cream and rosy melon, light olive green and two shocks of cobalt blue from the wall artwork made of recycled plastic Domino sugar bags.

A possibly stereotypical description, perhaps, for a plant-based eating spot, but there is a light and airy feel upon entering. The light cream and melon furniture features a row of booth seating along the wall, with light oak-colored chairs on the opposite side. Flat tan baskets with bold black designs hang on the walls behind while similarly hued light covers — featuring what seem to be leaves that form a circular fixture — hang overhead.

Was her theme tropical? Apparently not, she said, though it emanates a slow-down vacation-type vibe, especially with the cluster of green plants and boutiquey seating in front of two large windows in front.

“It's not really what I was going for. I was just thinking like, boho chic,” she said. “Something not terribly trendy.”


For those who aren’t familiar with Eden Cafe, it offers a plant-based menu with a twist on some old tried-and-true dishes. There are cauliflower wings, breaded, baked to order and served with mild to hot wing sauce or a house-made sweet maple mustard or Cattleman’s Gold. Cauliflower is the new darling of the food industry, and cauli wings, as they’re called, offer a meaty-like bite with seasonings and a sauce.

There’s a selection of burgers — made with a Beyond Meat brand patty that Hysek said comes “really, really close” to the real thing — served with grilled pineapple, homemade pickled onions, teriyaki and mayo, or with a more traditional lettuce, tomato and French’s fried onions. There are also house-made chipotle black bean and chickpea patties, crunchwraps, salads, bowls and Eden’s popular carrot dogs.


Hysek’s original idea was to go more upscale with her new location, but customers threatened a boycott. They demanded her crunchwraps — the Southwest includes a black bean patty, seasoned rice, lettuce, tomato, onion and chipotle ranch — and carrot dogs.

Served in the size of a typical hotdog and marinated in a combo of liquid smoke and aminos with a piquant sauce flavor, grilled and served on a bun (homemade and perfected by Hysek’s father), it does replicate a chewy, smoky grilled hotdog. Want something adventurous? Try the Picnic, topped with a mix of house-made mac salad and crunchy potato chips, or the Sassy featuring homemade sweet maple mustard, pickled jalapeños and fried onions. People love the mac salad, she said.

Hysek hasn’t always been a vegan. It wasn’t until 2015 that she made the gradual transition after realizing that animals are animals, no matter whether a chicken or pig or her pet dog, she said. She had gotten some chickens in order to have fresh eggs, and the Batavia resident fed them every day. She started to make an association with them as living creatures, and how their body parts were something she had been eating.

"I was feeling them on my hands. I would feel them growing and I felt like, I finally made the connection and admitted, ‘Oh, that's a breast right there. Yeah, the drumstick that I like eating. And then I looked at my Chihuahua … so I stopped eating chicken. And then I stopped eating pork and beef and fish, and eventually just kind of went right into veganism.”

ball_cap.jpgThere will be no pressure to follow suit at Eden, but she does feel that most anyone can find something enjoyable to eat there.

“I think people would be surprised at what a good meal they could get, and please their palate even if they're not vegan or vegetarian,” she said. “I think if you have an open mind that you should find something that you really enjoy.”

She has a loyal following, and many of those customers will bring newcomers to try out the meals. Others will come to check out the plant-based options for lunch, dinner and/or dessert, she said.

“There was definitely a need for something like this in Batavia. I think there is a community for people who want to eat healthier or more plant-based foods,” she said. “And then I think there's definitely a crowd that's coming in and actually willing to give it a try.”

edencafemay242022_2200wide-2.jpgBusiness has been good so far, and Eden also does catering for up to 200 people off-site and up to 25 inside the cafe. Although the food is typically healthy, that doesn’t mean it’s boring or plain. Pies and cakes are regularly baked on-site and served by the piece, including the lemon meringue. A soft, fluffy meringue is piped onto a bed of sweet-tart lemon curd and tucked into a golden brown, homemade crust. None of it is made with animal products, she said.

Nicole DellaPenna is the head chef and manager, and there are prep and line cooks, plus a baker, to take care of demand, Hysek said. With an entrepreneurial spirit ever since she was in elementary school, Hysek started out collecting and then selling pencils and paper to her siblings. She has grown up to operate her first brick-and-mortar establishment, she said.

“Our volume has definitely increased since we left (Main Street); it's fantastic,” she said. “I was kind of, it's going to go either way, we have no idea how it's going to work out, and we're really happy with the (outcome).”

Eden Cafe & Bakeshop is at 242 Ellicott St., Batavia. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday for dining in or take-out. For more information, call (585) 815-4487.

Top photo: Judy Hysek, owner of Eden Cafe & Bakeshop, at her new location at 242 Ellicott St., Batavia. Cauli wings, carrot dogs, lemon meringue pie and strawberry salad are just some of the many plant-based dishes awaiting hungry diners.

Photos by Howard Owens.




May 24, 2022 - 6:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news.


Police officers unselfishly protect the community, Batavia Det. Matthew J. Wojtaszczyk said Monday at St. Joseph's Cemetery during a ceremony to honor those who worked the streets of the city and were eventually laid to rest.

"I want to sincerely thank everyone who had a hand in this process of locating and honoring former members of the city of Batavia Police Department," said Wojtaszczyk, who is president of the Batavia Police Benevolent Association. "They dedicated their lives to a career of service for our community. From the inception of our police department in 1915 to today, the world of policing has certainly changed. But a constant throughout time has been the continued sacrifice of our men and women in blue. The officers we honor today face the daily risks of being police officers. They knew that when they put on their uniform, they would selflessly protect our community and our citizens, and that often meant placing themselves in dangerous situations."

The ceremony's purpose, said Chief Shawn Heubusch, was to honor those who gave a good portion of their lives to protect Batavia's people and property.

"Members we're recognizing today spent a significant amount of time as members of the department," Heubusch said. "Generally, they all retired from the department with at least 20 years of service to our community, many in excess of that. There are approximately 50 deceased officers buried in four cemeteries across Genesee County, including 34 here at St. Joe's and in Elmwood Cemetery."

Flag holders and Batavia PD flags, donated by H.E. Turner Funeral Home, were placed at the gravesite of each of these officers.

"It took an extraordinary effort and commitment to research the names of our deceased brethren in their final resting places," Heubusch said. "I want to recognize the two individuals who rightly deserve our gratitude and thanks. That's Rich Schauf and Steve Robinson."

Steve Johnson, of H.E. Turner, said the funeral home stepped in to assist with the donation because of the company's history, going back to 1910, of supporting local law enforcement. 

"We're honored to be here to be a part of today's event, and are committed to ensuring that no Batavia police officer's final resting place goes without recognition," Johnson said. "To that end, I'd also like to announce that we have extended this offer to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office and both the Le Roy and Corfu police departments, to provide resources and funding for similar memorials at their officers' graves." 

At the gravesite of Anthony Horsch, Batavia's first chief of police, his great-great-grandson David Pixley noted that seeing the gravesite flags was meaningful to his family because so many of its members, in various parts of the nation, have or do serve in law enforcement. 

Wojtaszczyk said local officers were grateful for the recognition because they give up a lot to serve their community.

"There are many things a police officer knows when they sign up for this career,"  Wojtaszczyk said. "Police officers know they will work difficult hours. Police officers know they will miss birthday parties, family events and holidays. Police Officers know that at a moment's notice they will run toward danger without hesitation. Police officers know that we'll see people who are at their worst and perhaps lowest points. And finally, police officers know that we'll be expected to make split-second decisions that will be scrutinized and critiqued afterward. In spite of this, they all choose a life of service and sacrifice."

Table: Former Batavia PD officers whose gravesites are located locally.  Heubusch invited family members of former police officers were weren't included this year to contact the department to correct the unintentional oversight.


Date of Birth

Date of Death

Years of Service

James J. Aquino



1950 – 1974

Gasper S. Baudanza



1931 – 1969

Robert G. Casper Sr.




Robert L. DeFreze




Albert G. DelBridge




Larry J. Falkowski




John J. Gravante




Anthony J. Horcsh




William C. Krantz




Frank A. Lachnicht




Andrew J. McCulley




Anthony J. Monteleone




Peter N. Nichols




Richard F. Pastecki




Frank S. Rodon




Bernard J. Ronan




Frank J. Rugala




Edward J. Santora




Milford J. Smith




Grandview Cemetery:

Robert R. Currier




Earl F. Davis




Robert S. Dombrowski




Matty W. Hamera




Arthur J. Luplow




George K. McCurdy




Salvatore I. Sanfratello




Lloyd “Bud” G. Silvernail




Herbert Snyder




Richard F. Vanderwalker




Elmwood Cemetery:

William J. Lewis




Carl Salway




Charles Lewis Snell




Top photo: At the gravesite of Anthony Horsch, the first police chief of Batavia PD, he is saluted by his great-great-grandson David Pixley

Photos by Howard Owens


Chief Shawn Heubusch


Steve Robinson




Steve Johnson


Eugene Jankowski


Matthew J. Wojtaszczyk 





May 24, 2022 - 1:28pm
posted by Press Release in GCASA, news.


Press release:

Understanding the importance of enlisting all community segments to fight the scourge of substance use disorder, Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse leaders on Monday afternoon recognized its board of directors, staff, scholarship recipients and “friends” at the nonprofit agency’s annual meeting.

About 80 people attended the luncheon meeting at Terry Hills Restaurant.

Four individuals and one business were presented with Friends of GCASA awards:

  • Mickey Edwards, superintendent of Albion Central School (and former superintendent at Byron-Bergen Central School), Friend of GCASA Prevention;
  • One World Projects, Harvester Avenue, Batavia, Friend of GCASA Residential Services;
  • Hon. Sanford A. Church, judge for the Orleans County Court Multi-Bench in the Eighth Judicial District of New York (and former Orleans County public defender), Friend of GCASA Treatment;
  • Joy Mercer of Corfu, licensed mental health counselor, Friend of GCASA Treatment;
  • Charlotte Crawford of Batavia, R.N., interim executive director at Crossroads House and retired chief executive officer at Lake Plains Community Care Network, Friend of GCASA Recovery.

Four students each received $1,000 GCASA Foundation Scholarships as a result of their enrollment in fields related to substance abuse prevention/treatment:

  • Kendra Lonnen, a 2022 graduate of Lyndonville Central School, who will be attending Genesee Community College to study Human Resources, with a goal of becoming a social worker;
  • Sarah Volpe, a 2022 graduate of Elba Central School, who also will receive an associate’s degree in General Studies from GCC this summer. She will be attending Daemen University in the fall with direct entry into the Physician Assistant program.
  • Samantha Kabel, a 2022 graduate of Alexander Central School, who also will be attending Daemen University in the fall to study Pre-Medicine Biology;
  • Tess Pettit, a 2019 graduate of Albion Central School, who is graduating from Houghton College with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

“It is our honor and privilege to recognize the people that support the work that we do here at GCASA and to be able to assist in the education of those who are choosing to pursue careers that ultimately will make a positive difference in their lives of so many of our neighbors,” GCASA Chief Executive Officer John Bennett said.

Bennett underscored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on substance use disorder prevention and treatment, noting a remarkable spike in anxiety, depression and other mental health problems among those dealing with drug and alcohol issues.

“At the same time,” he said, filling vacancies for mental health and substance use disorder professionals has become a huge concern. The increase in individuals leaving and the lack of individuals coming into the workforce have created even more problems for a system hit hard by the pandemic.”

He said that the profession is bouncing back to some extent, but “the challenge of the next year or two is figuring out the new normal.”

Calling his staff “the heart and soul of this organization,” Bennett thanked GCASA employees for “persevering and keeping our doors open over the past two years.”

“You are truly amazing, and the board of directors and I appreciate you more than you can imagine,” he said.

Outgoing Board President Virginia Taylor, Ph.D., presided over the election of new board members and the slate of officers. Bennett commended Taylor, a Higher Education Administration consultant, for her dedication and passion for the GCASA mission during her six years as a board member.

Elected to three-year terms were Jerry Ader, Genesee County public defender; Don Allport, Orleans County legislator; Gary Graber, Darien Town justice; Gretchen Rosales, superintendent at Elba Central School; Jennifer Wakefield, GCC Foundation director of Development & Alumni Affairs.

Officers elected were Tim Batzel, president, Alexander Central business administrator; Katie Cotter, vice president, a specialist with WNY Independent Living, and Fred Rarick, secretary-treasurer, Batavia attorney.

In 2021, GCASA provided 812 comprehensive substance use disorder evaluations through its outpatient treatment services, with 249 admitted to the Batavia Outpatient Clinic, 191 admitted to the Albion Outpatient Clinic, and 124 admitted to the Opioid Treatment Program.

Forty-three individuals were admitted to the Atwater Community Residence in Batavia, with another 18 admitted into supportive living.

GCASA’s Prevention educators served 28,938 youth and adults in various programs, while the Genesee-Orleans-Wyoming Opioid Task Force membership stands at 441.

The Recovery Station on Clinton Street Road in Batavia served 477 individuals, hosting activities five to six days per week throughout the year, while Employee Assistance Program counselors provided services to 46 people.

Submitted photos.

GCASA ‘FRIENDS’: Joy Mercer, left, and Charlotte Crawford received Friends of GCASA awards on Monday at the agency’s annual meeting at Terry Hills Restaurant.

GCASA SCHOLARS: Recipients of GCASA Foundation Scholarships are, from left, Sarah Volpe, Kendra Lennon and Samantha Kabel.


May 24, 2022 - 1:18pm
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) cosponsored the Accessing America's Critical Minerals Act to boost domestic supply chains for critical minerals for advanced manufacturing and technology development.

“Right now, America’s adversaries, like China, are rushing to corner the market on advanced manufacturing – especially regarding semiconductors. This presents both an economic and national security threat to our nation, and we must take decisive action to increase our competitiveness and secure our supply chains,” Jacobs said. “One solution is to increase our utilization of the vast resources America currently harbors in terms of critical minerals. Accessing and utilizing American minerals ensures we end our dependence on hostile foreign nations for the raw materials necessary to produce advanced technologies, and it also has the added benefit of creating countless additional American jobs.”

The Accessing America's Critical Minerals Act specifically directs United States federal agencies to expedite the permitting process for mineral mining to allow for increased domestic production. Additionally, it sets up a channel for the Small Business Administration to communicate directly with Congress on the progress of permitting and streamlines federal agency involvement to improve efficiency.

“Securing supply chains and increasing domestic production of critical technologies is paramount to ensuring our long-term economic and national security. I am proud to join this effort to move us one step closer to increased domestic production. I will continue my effort to ramp up American advanced manufacturing,” Jacobs said.  

May 24, 2022 - 12:57pm
posted by Press Release in Macomber Road, infrastructure, news.

Press release:

Macomber Road, between Towney Place and Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road, will be closed today for a cross pipe replacement.  It will be closed through June 3, 2022.

It will be closed to all traffic.

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