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Gary A. Graber Appointed to GCC Board of Trustees

By Press Release

Press Release:

Photo of Gary Graber courtesy of GCC. 

Genesee Community College is proud to announce the appointment of Gary A. Graber to a 7-year term on the Genesee Community College Board of Trustees effective August 16 through June 30, 2030. This appointment fills the vacancy left by Trustee Emeritus Laurie Miller.

Mr. Graber enlisted in the Naval Reserve (Seabees) shortly after graduating from Alexander Central School. During his seven years as a naval reservist, he began a forty-five-year career in the transportation industry as a driver and ended up as a terminal manager for a northeast freight carrier.

Mr. Graber was elected town justice for the Town of Darien, New York, taking office in January 1980. He is a past member of the Town and Village Court Education Curriculum Committee and has taught criminal and administrative courses for the New York State Judicial Institute and the New York State Office of Court Administration.

Justice Graber continues to be very active in the development and training of topics relating to commercial driver's licenses and commercial motor vehicles, including the development of sentencing charts which assist the New York courts in properly disposing cases that involve commercial motor vehicle equipment violations. As an alumnus and faculty member of the National Judicial College since 2008 he continually instructs judicial personnel both in their home states and virtually on all matters related to the commercial driver's license.

He is an honorary member and liaison of the New York State Magistrates Court Clerks Association. He is also a past president of the Genesee County Magistrates Association and has been a member of the New York State Magistrates Association for over 43 years, serving as a past president, vice president, and director in that association as well as continuing to serve on several committees. He retired from elected office in July 2023 after more than forty-two years of service. He now serves as a Judicial Ambassador, Alumnus, and Faculty Member for the National Judicial College, Reno Nevada; providing education to judicial stakeholders throughout the country.

Gary has received many awards, including the Leadership Award from the Genesee County Magistrates Association, the 2005 NYS Magistrate of the Year Award, the 2006 Criminal Justice Award from Genesee County Alcohol and Substance Abuse, and the 2013 Kevin E. Quinlan Award for Excellence in Traffic Safety in Washington DC.

Mr. Graber is also a proud graduate of Leadership Genesee Class of 2005 where he has since received the 2006 Outstanding Alumnus and Barry Miller Lifetime Achievement Awards.

For more information contact Vice President, Development and External Affairs Justin Johnston at (585) 345-6809, or via email: [email protected].

Arc GLOW celebrates staff, individuals and community

By Press Release
Submitted photo of (left to right): Doug Dunn, general manager for Casella Waste Management and Michael Stehman, Western Region vice president for Casella Waste Management,winner of Business Partner of the Year award; Martin Miskell, Arc GLOW CEO; Cheryl Englert, Arc GLOW Board of Directors president; Chuck Keenan, Board of Directors secretary and winner of Volunteer of the Year award; and Mary Lou Touhey, owner of Case Nic Cookies in Medina and winner of the Friend of Arc GLOW award.

Press Release:

Friends, families, and community members gathered at the Batavia Downs Wednesday evening to celebrate Arc GLOW’s inaugural Awards Banquet and Annual Meeting since their merger in 2021.

Over 250 people came, including Erik Geizer, chief executive officer for The Arc of New York; Merle “Skip” Draper, from state Sen. Rob Ortt’s office; Greg Torrey, from state Sen. George Borrello’s office; Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes; and John Deleo, Genesee County legislator. 

There was an art display from Elba Day Habilitation, and the centerpieces which people could take home were provided by the staff and individuals at the Washington St. Day Habilitation in Albion with the help of Pam Lamar, a retired Orleans County Day Habilitation coordinator. After dinner, Julie Johnston sang “Let It Go” from Frozen to a roaring standing ovation.
After speeches from local officials, the awards presentation began.

The Supported Employment Person of the Year award honors a person with a disability supported by Arc GLOW who has demonstrated a strong work ethic, dedication to their job, ability to learn new community employment skills and maintain successful employment. This year it was given to Michael Cuttitta.

“Mike worked in the work center at Hilltop for over 12 years before moving on to Arc GLOW’s supported employment program. He takes pride in his work and is focused. He always gets his job done with quality and efficiency,” said Kellie Kennedy, vice president of Day and Employment Services with Arc GLOW. “Last summer in July, Mike took a chance and decided to try out a contracted work opportunity. at Bristol ID Technologies in Lima. This chance transitioned into a permanent placement with Bristol ID this past fall.”

Day Habilitation Person of the Year honors a person with a disability supported by Arc GLOW who participates in day habilitation activities, strives to learn, and demonstrates effort and commitment to be included in their own communities. With her constant jokes and contagious smile, Dusty Sanford was given this award.

“Dusty loves attending the Elba Day Habilitation, and when she returns home she tells her house staff that she wants to return to day habilitation — even if she has to walk,” Kennedy said. 

Pre-Vocational Person of the Year honors a person with a disability supported by Arc GLOW with a dedication to learning about the world of work including new job skills, completing quality work, and showing attention to the task of learning. A worker at Orleans Enterprises and a participant at the HUB in Batavia, Larry Anderson was chosen for this award.

“He is dedicated to learning about the world of work, including new job skills, striving to complete quality work, and showing attention to the task of learning,” Kennedy said. “Larry represents the best of what the pre-vocational program has to offer. He takes advantage of what the program offers and the experiences in the community.”

Community Services and Self Direction Person of the Year honors a person with a disability served by Arc GLOW who shows outstanding participation and contribution to their community. The awardee shows initiative in trying new activities and gaining leadership potential through community involvement, and with her outstanding participation and contribution to her community, Aaries Fitzsimmons was given this award.

“Many would agree that Aaries is a community. With the support of her self-directed staff, Andrea, Aaries finds unique ways to give back to others one smile at a time,” said Jill Pegelow, vice president of Self Direction and Community Services. “The biggest impact in her volunteerism has been with the Batavia Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center. The staff and veterans always look forward to her seasonal handcrafted kindness and conversation.”

Aside from the VA, Aaries volunteers at Godfrey's Pond, her church, and bakes for various fundraisers. The Self-Advocate of the Year honors a person with a disability served by Arc GLOW who has grown and is meeting their personal outcomes. They also have positively influenced the lives of others. A member of the Self-Advocacy All-Star group for years, Robert “Bobby” Greer was chosen for this award. 

“He is very knowledgeable about advocacy and teaching new members what self-advocacy is all about,” Pegelow said. “Bobby participated in the Self-Advocacy Talent Show Fundraiser and attended the Self Advocates of New York State Conference in Niagara Falls. Bobby also volunteered at the Orleans County Fair Arc GLOW booth. He served on the agency incident review committee, he was engaged and provided great feedback.”

Pegelow said Greer is a great self-advocate, demonstrating the very essence of what staff are charged with doing and what Arc GLOW’s services are supposed to accomplish. KidStart Employee of the Year honors an employee who demonstrates exceptional support to children and families and is committed to assisting in all areas of their growth and education. With her exceptional support to children, Holly Green was chosen for this award.

“As the Head Start family advocate, she is often the first face families see and remains a pillar of support throughout their enrollment. Holly shows the same dedication and support to all of KidStart's staff by stepping in when needed and assisting with KidStart's many programs and events,” said Stephanie Metz, vice president of Children Services.

Green started in 1992 as an intern through college and helped to set up the very first Head Start classroom in Dansville. She was hired as a substitute for the classroom and did the building cleaning for a period of time. Eventually, she applied for a position as a teacher’s assistant at Head Start. Green took a break to go on maternity leave for her second child, and when another position became available, she returned full-time in September 2001 as the Head Start family advocate. Green also works part-time as a direct support professional. 

Residential Person of the Year honors a person with a disability supported by Arc GLOW who resides in residential services, grew in independence, and learned life skills. A resident of Turtle Rock IRA in Lakeville, Matthew Willson received this award.

“Matt has certainly come a long way in the time he has lived with us. He has grown in his independence, he’s learned life skills, made friends, and he enjoys being helpful,” said Deb Tuckerman, vice president of Residential Services. “Matt participates in the WOW program, and he and his habilitation staff have attended many events and fairs around the community.” 

Direct Support Professional Person (DSP) of the Year honors a DSP who provides a variety of activities to adults with developmental disabilities within a home setting, day programs or recreational activities in the community. The DSP would provide excellence support in living skills, personalized goals, arts and crafts, sensory activities, and facilitate individuals to take an active role in the community. 

With 19 years at Arc GLOW, Amy Beiswenger has been chosen as DSP of the Year. A DSP at Senior Open Road Day Habilitation in Mt. Morris, Beiswenger always provides activities in a home setting, day programs, or recreational activities in the community.

John Prospero, vice president of transportation and master of ceremonies, said, “Amy is the definition of an excellent DSP — she is someone whose dedication, advocacy, compassion, competence, person-centered approaches and collaboration results in improved quality of life, health and wellness, and/or opportunities for all that we serve. Amy makes this role look simple with her kind, no day is a bad day attitude. Amy used our services at ARC GLOW to bridge into the direct support professional world.” 

Employee of the Year recognizes an employee of Arc GLOW who is committed to the mission and vision. They demonstrate the values of diversity, respect, integrity, visionary, equality, empowerment, and excellence. Kristie Rada, nurse supervisor, the award recipient, is committed to Arc GLOW’s mission and values.

“She has demonstrated the values of diversity, respect, integrity, visionary, equality, empowerment and excellence. Kristie always goes above and beyond for this agency and for the individuals Arc GLOW serves,” Prospero said. “Her dedication, knowledge, professionalism, and commitment are only exceeded by her compassion, grace, and caring heart. “One of her peers said, ‘I have never seen any nurse as devoted to both the health care agency and individuals that are cared for — she is such an asset to this organization.’” 

The Friend of Arc GLOW Award is for a community friend and supporter of Arc GLOW’s mission and vision, and everyone at Arc GLOW knows of the Touhey family and Case-Nic Cookies. “The Touhey family is the true definition of a community friend and supporter of Arc GLOW’s mission and vision,” Prospero said. 

The Touhey family always can be found volunteering at Arc events or organizing fundraisers to benefit Arc GLOWs programs and other communities. Mary Lou Touhey constantly provides cookies for Arc GLOW’s fundraisers and events, and Nicole Touhey heads her own fundraisers. Her Have a Heart Campaign raised over $2,300 this year that benefited many programs within the agency. 

The Business Partner of the Year is for a business that supports Arc GLOW’s mission and vision through excellent customer service or providing work opportunities for employment. Casella Waste Management received this year’s award.

Martin Miskell, CEO, said over 40 years ago, the Arc of Genesee opened its trash recycling center to fill a need for the City of Batavia to help create jobs and produce a positive revenue stream for the organization. However, business models change and recycling was no longer providing the number of jobs it had in the past.

Selling the business was an easy financial decision, but a difficult one emotionally. After months of negotiations the decision was made to sell the business to Casella Waste Management. Casella kept everyone who had a job, the transfer station open and operated by Arc GLOW’s work crew with a job coach, and free trash pick-up at all of Arc GLOW’s Batavia locations in perpetuity, and a large discount at other locations served by Casella. Casella also gave Arc GLOW their lease at Apollo Drive in Batavia for their transportation department, which still has three and a half years on it for free.

“Casella is the true definition of a partner who supports our mission and vision through excellent customer service and providing work opportunities for employment,” Miskell said. 

Finally, Volunteer of the Year honors a person who is committed to Arc GLOW, volunteering their time by serving the local community and supporting the Arc GLOWs mission and vision. This year, it goes to Chuck Keenan, who serves on Arc GLOW’s Board of Directors as its secretary; is the chairperson of the Compliance Committee; and sits on the Vocational Committee, the Incident Review Committee, and Community Services. He also volunteers his time on various boards within his community such as the Developmental Disability sub-committee for Livingston County Community Services Board and for the Town of Groveland.

“Chuck wants to see Arc GLOW become a world-class agency in our field. As a result, he is very interactive with all of his committees/boards. He takes his role seriously,” said Cheryl Englert, Board of Directors president.

At the annual meeting, Cheryl Englert was re-elected board president, John Huber was elected vice-president, Charles Keenan was re-elected secretary, Eric Parker was re-elected treasurer and Ken Barchet was elected assistant treasurer.

Submitted photo of Vice President of Children Services Stephanie Metz with Holly Green, winner of KidStart Employee of the Year award.
Submitted photo of Vice President of Day and Employment Services Kellie Kennedy with Amy Beiswenger, winner of Direct Support Professional Person of the Year award.
Submitted photo of (top row, left to right) Michael Cuttitta, Supported Employment Person of the Year; Robert Greer, Self-Advocate of the Year; Matthew Willson, Residential Person of the Year. (Bottom row, from left to right) Larry Anderson, Pre-Vocational Person of the Year; Aaries Fitzsimmons, Community Services and Self-Direction Person of the Year; and Dusty Sanford, Day Habilitation Person of the Year.

GC 4-H seeking new members, adult volunteers and clubs

By Press Release

Press Release:

Are you interested in learning more about 4-H or volunteering for 4-H? Join the Genesee County 4-H Program for our Open House on Thursday, September 28 from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Kennedy Building, Genesee County Fairgrounds, 5056 East Main Street Road, Batavia.

Join us to learn more about 4-H and some of our different 4-H Clubs. Meet a pen of goats that our 4-H Goat Club will have on display! Meet Club Leaders from over 12 of our different 4-H Clubs, including our Fur & Feather Club, Goat Club, Family Consumer Science Club, Cloverbud Club, Sheep Club, and Swine Club!

Interested in volunteering or starting a 4-H Club? We will have information about how to get started.

The Genesee County 4-H Program is a youth development program for youth ages 5-18. New youth members, adult volunteers, and clubs are always welcome to join.

RSVP’s are not necessary. For more information, contact the Genesee County 4-H Office at 585-343-3040 ext. 101 or [email protected]. Or, visit our website

George Borrello releases statement regarding Associated Press article

By Press Release

Press Release:

“I am disappointed that a longstanding news service like the Associated Press (AP) has abandoned its responsibility to accurate and unbiased reporting as evidenced by today’s article, “New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is not trying to create ‘quarantine camps.’

Their so-called ‘fact check’ of the basis for Borrello et. al. v. Hochul is nothing but a political cover for the administration’s blatant separation of powers violation, a breach which was confirmed in a State Supreme Court decision in July 2022.

While the term ‘quarantine camp’ isn’t used in Rule 2.13 per se, the language in the regulation is very clear when it says the Commissioner of Health or local health department can issue an isolation or quarantine order, at whim, without proof of infection, and can force someone to remain in their home, or send them to ‘other residential or temporary housing… or other locations as the public health authority issuing the order deems appropriate.’ 

Call it whatever you like – quarantine camp, detention facility, field hospital, etc. – the bottom line is that Rule 2.13 authorizes the government to take such an action, which would be a gross abuse of due process and New Yorkers’ civil rights.

The article incorrectly states that the rule only clarifies powers the state already has. As Judge Ronald Ploetz cited, the rule, as written, ‘actually contravenes the [isolation and quarantine] procedures set forth in PHL 2120’ which was established by the New York State Legislature in 1953. The governor and the Department of Health cannot unilaterally change that law. Only the legislature possesses that power.

During the pandemic we saw governments around the world, and our own, overreach in ways we never could have imagined prior to March 2020. Those actions set a terrible precedent that will require us to remain constantly vigilant against constitutional abuses. That was the premise at the core of this court challenge. By focusing on sensational semantics, the AP’s article did a disservice to their readers and missed an opportunity to educate New Yorkers about what is at stake in this case.” 

5th annual GLOW with your hands expecting largest turnout to date

By Press Release
Photo of a group of students from 2021 GLOW with your hands by Steve Ognibene.

Press Release:

GLOW With Your Hands – Manufacturing is coming back to the Genesee County Fairgrounds on Tuesday, September 26, and is anticipating its largest turnout of students and vendors since its inception in 2019. Over 1,000 students from 29 school districts across the GLOW region will be arriving at the fairgrounds for the day-long career exploration event. 

Approximately 65 businesses will provide hands-on activities and simulations in the advanced manufacturing, agriculture, food production, and skilled trades sectors as well as the various branches of the military. Students will have the opportunity to learn about career opportunities in their own backyard that offer good-paying opportunities immediately after high school graduation.

“In 2022, approximately 3,000 students participated in workforce development events and programs, and we are on pace to host another 1,000 students at our event next week,” said Chris Suozzi, GLOW With Your Hands Co-Founder. “Thanks to the dedication of committee members, school engagement representatives, vendors, and other local workforce experts, we are building a workforce blueprint that regions across the state and country are modeling.”

LandPro Equipment and National Grid both return as the event’s Platinum sponsor bringing two popular vendor stations that students look forward to experiencing. National Grid will have its team members on site to simulate linework and LandPro will have members from its team operating various John Deere equipment. There also will be multiple trade and contractor organizations putting on displays of bricklaying, electrician work, pipe installation, and more. 

 “GLOW With Your Hands: Manufacturing allows the next generation of workforce candidates to interact with representatives from our local industry to experience the type of employment available right here in their own backyards where students can experience real-life examples of the type of work that could be available to them after high school graduation,” said Jay Lazarony, GLOW With Your Hands Co-Founder. “Since 2019 we have seen a 40% increase in participation at GLOW With Your Hands, and that is due to not only our community partners but companies investing in the GLOW region where our talented and educated workforce are prepared to meet the workplace demands of area employers.”

GLOW With Your Hands still has room for vendors, sponsors, and volunteers.  For more information please, visit to sign up!

A Letter from Santa: Just 90 Days Until Bob's Christmas Car Day

By Press Release
File photo of the 2020 car parade, by Stephen Ognibene.

Press Release:

Ho, ho, ho! The North Pole is buzzing with excitement because we're only 90 days away from the grandest event of the year – Bob's Christmas Car Day, hosted by Little Free Pantry Batavia! This annual celebration, where Santa spreads the magic of giving and joy, is set to light up Batavia on December 17 at First Presbyterian Church (exact time to be revealed later). Get ready, folks, because this year, we've got some North Pole surprises to share with our wonderful community.

Photo of Bob Zeagler by Howard Owens.

My trusty elves and I have been toiling day and night, ensuring that Santa's Workshop is extra special for this year's festivities. I'm telling you, the enchantment of the North Pole will be right there in Batavia, promising an unforgettable experience for all the boys and girls, big and small.

In a remarkable announcement, we're delighted to introduce our new partnership with the esteemed national organization This collaboration means that all the generous folks who support our mission of bringing smiles to faces and food to tables can now enjoy the gift of tax deductions. It's a win-win for all!

Over the next 90 days, expect a flurry of updates, surprises, and thrilling news about Bob's Christmas Car Day. Make sure you've got your sleigh bells ready because it's going to be a jolly good time. Don't forget to follow us on our North Pole communication channel, our Facebook page: [], for all the latest updates, straight from Santa himself!

Bob's Christmas Car Day, hosted by Little Free Pantry Batavia, is a testament to the incredible generosity and community spirit of Batavia during the holiday season. We're excited to share this magical day with all of you.

Senior wishes grants 'Wish' to Oakfield resident

By Press Release
Submitted photo of Donald Hall sitting on a Farmall-H tractor.

Press Release:

Donald Hall of Oakfield was recently granted his wish to sit on a FARMALL-H tractor one more time in his life. As a boy, that was the tractor that he worked with on a farm in Basom. Mr. Hall mentioned his wish to LaNora Thompson at a We’ve Only Just Begun luncheon he attended. LaNora’s husband Robert knew of a tractor collector in Elba. He passed the information along to our wish-granting committee and thanks to the kindness and generosity of John Torrey - Donald’s wish came true. Not only was he able to sit on a FARMALL-H tractor but he and his family were given a personal tour of the tractor museum.

Senior Wishes’ grants wishes to lower-income seniors living independently and to those living in care facilities in Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Genesee, and Wyoming counties. Wishes have included attending sporting and cultural events, visiting a loved one not seen in years, and re-engaging a senior in a hobby. Requests for needs are also considered.

Wish recipients must be 65+ and a resident of Western New York with an annual income under $38,000 for a household of one or under $44,000 for a household of two. Permanent residents of care facilities are exempt from the income qualification.

Founded by the United Church Home Society, Senior Wishes strives to bring special moments to seniors across WNY and allow them to feel seen, important, and not forgotten.

Halloween candlelight ghost walk October 21

By Press Release
File Photo by Howard Owens

Press Release:

The Batavia Cemetery Association is excited to announce that the annual Halloween Candlelight Ghost Walk will be held on Saturday, October 21. Join us for some spooky fun on a ghost walk through the Historic Batavia Cemetery on Harvester Avenue to meet the famous and infamous movers and shakers who not only shaped and influenced the City of Batavia, but the United States and the world.

The guided tour on candlelit paths will bring guests to hear men and women, who, for various reasons, held great power and exerted great influence in their day, were victims of tragic events, or both. Confederate Major Philemon Tracy, one of the few Confederate officers buried in the north; surveyor and land developer of western New York Joseph Ellicott, a man of great power and great flaws; and William Morgan, who disappeared and was allegedly murdered before he could reveal the secrets of the Masons, will tell their stories.

Listen to Utopian socialist Albert Brisbane; Mary Elizabeth Wood, the first librarian at the Richmond Memorial Library and founder of the first library school in China; and Dr. Martha Morgan, a compassionate doctor who spent most of her professional life working at the State Lunatic Hospital in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  

Meet Civil War General John H. Martindale, and maltster and brewer Eli Fish. Shipping and railroad magnate Dean Richmond and his wife Mary will greet guests in their beautiful mausoleum on the last stop of the tour.

Tours begin at 7 p.m. and run every fifteen minutes until 8:45 p.m. Admission is $15. Reservations are required. Proceeds benefit the upkeep and restoration of the cemetery. For more information, or to make reservations, go to

HLOM's murder mystery dinner is back, October 14

By Press Release

Press Release:

On Saturday, Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. at the Batavia Country Club, the Holland Land Office Museum is proud to announce the return of the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater with WNY Improv. This time they will be putting on "A Murderous Affair: The Truish Murder Mystery of Johnston L. Lynch".

Once a sanctuary of opulence and decorum, the Batavia Country Club becomes the eerie backdrop to the murder of Johnston L. Lynch, a lawyer whose gruesome end shattered the peace of this tight-knit community. 

"A Murderous Affair" isn't just another murder mystery—it's an immersive experience, an investigation into the shadows of Batavia's history, and a labyrinth of mysteries waiting to be solved. Put on your detective hat and be a part of this unforgettable event at the Batavia Country Club. Discover what truly happened in the enigmatic world of Johnston L. Lynch and make your own conclusion in this enthralling real-life whodunit.

Tickets are $75 per person. Museum members receive early sign-up. Choose from 4 different entrée options- Prime Rib, Chicken French, Crab Stuffed Fish, Pasta Primavera. Meal includes salad, roll, potato, vegetable, and beverage. A cash bar will be available.

Seats are limited. Please contact the museum at 585-343-4727 or [email protected] to reserve a spot. Please have your food preference ready with the reservation.

GCC students design spiritualism exhibit at the Morgan-Manning House

By Press Release
Photo of the Fox Sisters courtesy of Genesee Community College.

Press Release:

Genesee Community College students guided by Derek Maxfield, Associate Professor of History at GCC, will design a series of stations that guests are invited to tour during the exhibit from 6 - 8 p.m. each evening. To cap off the event, Maxfield will deliver a lecture on Victorians and Spiritualism on Wednesday, October 25 at 7 p.m. 

The exhibit and lecture are FREE and open to the public - though donations to the Morgan-Manning House are encouraged.

The Spiritualism movement in America began a decade before the American Civil War and seemed to seize the imagination of many into the twentieth century. The basic premise that it was possible for the living to communicate with the dead was popularized by two sisters from Hydesville, New York - the Fox Sisters. 

Spiritualism has a deep and complex origin story that reaches back to the 18th century with the work of Emanuel Swedenborg, a Swedish scientist-theologian. Once begun, the Spiritualism movement manifested itself in many forms - including seances, spirit writing, Mesmerism, and spirit camps. 

The diverse elements will be explored in a special exhibit at the Morgan-Manning House in Brockport October 23-25.

Tenney calls to consider an impeach inquiry into energy secretary Jennifer Granholm

By Press Release

Press Release:

File photo of 
Claudia Tenney

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24) questioned whether an impeachment inquiry should be considered to examine the unethical behavior of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm at a full Science, Space and Technology Committee Hearing.

Tenney’s query for an impeachment inquiry follows the Department of Energy’s Inspector General, sounding the alarm that one-third of DOE senior officials own stocks relating to their work. During the hearing, Tenney highlighted multiple situations where Secretary Granholm violated the law, had conflicts of interest, and lied to Congress under oath. 

This includes President Biden and Vice President Harris, who have repeatedly touted the company Proterra while Secretary Granholm owned stock in this company. On a separate occasion, it was reported that Secretary Granholm's husband owned Ford stock while the Secretary was serving and made tweets promoting Ford. Additionally, Secretary Granholm testified under oath that she did not own any individual stocks and only later admitted that she lied.

“Secretary Granholm has admitted to lying to Congress under oath and committing perjury,” said Congresswoman Tenney. “Perjury grants Congress clear grounds for impeachment. This is yet another example of the colossal ego and arrogance of the Biden Administration that Americans despise most. It is far past time that Secretary Granholm is held accountable for these clear crimes and conflicts of interest. Secretary Granholm has made our lives unaffordable and pushed a radical green energy agenda all while lining her own pockets on the backs of the American people. Enough is enough.” 

Watch Tenney’s full remarks here

Friends rally, set up fundraiser for Scottish teammate after accident

By Joanne Beck
Ethan Walker soccer
Ethan Walker of Aberdeen, Scotland, a student athlete at Genesee Community College, was in an automobile accident on Sept. 12 and is at Erie County Medical Center while his teammates rally for his recovery and help to raise funds to offset his medical expenses. 
Submitted photo

Ethan Walker, 17, was hardly a shrinking violet on or off the soccer field, standing six-foot-one, playing center back, and demonstrating talent and grit that made him a top recruit and fast friend from Scotland, Ben Bacon says.

“He was an absolute monster on the field. He was built like a rhino,” Bacon said to The Batavian of his teammate and fellow freshman at Genesee Community College. “His determination on the field was just outstanding. He’s just a beast. He’s one of those people who you will never ever, ever see him in a bad mood, and he’ll always have a smile on his face.”

It is perhaps Ethan who needs — and is getting — smiles, kind words and both moral and financial support in his great time of need after a major accident on Sept. 12. 

He was walking back to his dorm from an off-campus residence that night and was hit by a Toyota RAV4. Two of his teammates called for police and medical assistance, and he was transported by ambulance and then flown by Mercy EMS to Erie Community Medical Center and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, “where they fought to keep him alive,” Bacon said in an online post. 

“The medical staff said he was suffering from a shattered right scapula, dislocated right knee, tearing of all the ligaments in his right knee, multiple fractures in the right side of his face, skull fractures, as well as swelling and bleeding in the brain,” his post states. “Ethan’s mother was notified, and she was able to book a flight and get here from Scotland only a day later. You can only imagine what she was going through as her son was fighting for his life, and she was across the world from him.”

Bacon created that post as part of a GoFundMe fundraiser to assist his friend’s family with the medical expenses to come from Ethan’s care and treatment. Since he was here as an international student, he did what most students do and chose the cheapest insurance plan because no one expects something like this to happen, Bacon said. 

When the accident first occurred in the wee hours of the morning, only a small portion of students knew about it, and then as more people learned about it, they went from being shocked and distraught to “everyone wanted to help,” he said. “It brought the entire school community together.”

“It felt like one big family,” he said, that included students, staff, administrators, and family members. That big lug “built like a tree trunk” who would lift everyone up and “always bring the positivity” level up anywhere he went has now been getting it twofold from friends and strangers alike.

The fundraiser has gotten donations from 820 folks so far, many of whom are including prayers, thoughts and well wishes for a speedy recovery and to stay strong. A goal of $50,000 has been more than half met so far, with a total of $27,342, and Bacon wants to see it keep rising to alleviate at least one worry for the Walker family. 

Ethan’s girlfriend and dad also flew here shortly after the accident and have been staying nearby as he gradually begins to heal enough to return back home to Aberdeen, Scotland. 

International students are commonplace to the GCC soccer program, Bacon said, which has been very successful — it’s #2 in the nation as a D-3 sport — and has more frequently been recruiting overseas for players. There are only four American students out of a roster of 28 players, he said. The soccer coach is from Ireland, and the team captain is from Scotland. 

Ethan lived one floor above Bacon, and they’d meet in Bacon’s room, which was in the middle for everybody as a common room to hang out. “So he's in our room quite frequently, and he's one of the ones that I grew closer with,” Bacon said. 

What’s not to like? Ethan was a super hard worker and “a pretty standout guy,” he said. He traveled alone from his homeland to pursue his dreams of obtaining a good education while playing professional soccer, or “futbol,” as he’d say.

“He was constantly in the gym and doing everything he could to improve and be better,” Bacon said. “He’s a very intimidating person, but one of the happiest and nicest, friendliest people I've ever met, one of those kids that kind of just lifts everyone up and, like, makes the total aura and vibe around him kind of happier and better to be in. 

“He really just is always bringing positivity wherever he is, whether it's in the classroom, on the field, and just a conversation that he's having with a couple of the guys, wherever it is, it’s always boosting and making it a more respectable and positive environment,” he said.

He and his teammates have been visiting the patient as often as possible, and he was recently moved out of the ICU, a good sign of Ethan-like progress.

“He keeps improving every day,” Bacon said. “Everything seems positive.” 

While there have, of course, been negatives given such a tragic accident, Bacon has also gleaned the positives from so many people rallying together to support their fellow student and his family, he said. 

“We’re more than thankful and extraordinarily grateful for the school and community,” he said. “That would be lovely to reach (the goal), and we will keep raising it as much as we can. Once the donations are done, all will be transferred into his accounts to pay the bills.

“This tragedy was extremely unexpected, and on behalf of me and my family and Ethan’s close friends, teammates, coaches, and administrators, we wanted to set up this GoFundMe to help and assist Ethan and his family through this long, difficult, and painful process of recovery and healing, and getting Ethan back out on the pitch as soon as possible,” his online post states. “Ethan’s family and our college have been involved with me starting this fundraiser on his behalf from the beginning. Ethan is my friend and teammate here at Genesee Community College, and Ethan’s parents are here with us in the USA now while Ethan is in the ICU. Ethan will be the direct beneficiary of 100 percent of these funds, and his parents will personally ensure these funds will be deposited into Ethan’s account. We post this to remain in compliance with GoFundMe and to ensure there is trust between us and those of you who have been so generous!”

Go HERE for more information or to donate.

Submitted photos.

Ethan Walker in dress
Ethan Walker with players
Ethan Walker smiling at home
Ethan Walker #29

Growing Up At Godfrey's Pond in the 1950s and 60s, Part II

By David Reilly
godfreys pond aeral

Author's note: I am aware that there was discrimination against people of Italian and Polish descent (and possibly others ) in the 1950s and '60s that prevented them from enjoying what I did. I apologize ( I found out about it in high school) and understand if there is leftover bitterness. It seems that things have changed for the better today, and there are no longer any restrictions.

When I was a kid in the 1950s and 60s, I was fortunate to be in a family who had a membership at Godfrey's Pond ( See Part 1 History The Batavian Aug. 9, 2023) operated by the Genesee County Fish and Game Protective Association in Stafford. We enjoyed swimming, picnicking, fishing and boating. My mom's family, the Newhouses, who lived on North Lyon Street, were members (my Uncle Bob Newhouse, age 93, is a lifetime one), so when my parents got married, apparently, my dad got a Reilly membership for us. Being only a short driveable distance away, we spent a lot of time there in the summer months. Others in the Genesee County area have summer memories of Nu-Lake, Silver Lake in Wyoming County, Horseshoe Lake (which was mostly private), Boulder Park at Indian Falls or other places. I did visit a couple of those places, but my remembrances are primarily of Godfrey's Pond.

reilly godfrey's pond

Peck At The Pond, Rap On The Rump
My first memory of the Pond comes only from photos. There I am on the shore in a playpen, maybe about age 3, so it would be circa 1950. The little girl caged in there with me was the daughter of some family friends. Now, I have written many times about how shy I was as a child and teenager. Well, apparently, on this day, I somehow got my nerve up and there for all to see was my first kiss. The look on the girl's face tells the whole story in one word -- “Whoa!”

reilly kiss godfrey pond

I don't remember the kiss, but I do recall the swat on my behind. When I was probably seven or eight, my mom got out the photo and was teasing me a little with it. I got embarrassed, grabbed the photo, and tore it in half. Mom was not happy. I still have the torn and taped-together picture somewhere, but luckily an unripped version survived. Recently, I saw that the “ little girl's” mom passed away at the age of 99. I was able to contact her, and after expressing my condolences, I sent her the photo. I hope she was amused.

Swimming Stories
When I was small, we spent a lot of time playing on the beach at the “shallow end,” as everyone called it. As a fair-skin freckled redhead, this has probably come back to haunt me in my later years with frequent trips to the dermatologist. I'm pretty sure that there were no SPF sunblock lotions available back then, so I have become very familiar with liquid nitrogen treatments even though I avoided the sun like the plague as an adult.

I learned to swim at Godfrey's Pond (I remember as a real little kid being at the YMCA and going in the pool naked with a bunch of other little boys- what was that all about?) but like almost everything I did back then it was a battle for my mother. The day lessons were supposed to begin, I chickened out and hid in a closet outside the door of our upstairs apartment on Ellicott Avenue. She eventually found me, and after a lot of screaming and pulling, Mom finally got me out of there by threatening to call the priest from St. Mary's to come over. Of course, once I got there and got to know the other kids and the teacher, I was fine and really enjoyed it. Except for diving underwater – I had and still have bad sinuses.

I think the teacher's name was Mrs. Williams, and there were several steps to pass -- beginner, intermediate, and advanced. In order to pass the lessons ( I think it took me 2 years), you had to swim out to the overhead “wire” (I think an electrical line stretched across a section of the pond) and back with Mrs. Williams rowing beside you in a boat. It was maybe 100 yards. If you made it (I did), you received your swimmer's badge. Some really good swimmers got to apply for their lifesaving badge. You had to be able to surface dive down to save someone, and I couldn't do it. Blasted sinuses again.

One funny story I recall about swimming at Godfrey's: we took a friend one time, and we were going to swim out to the floating raft that was positioned probably 25 yards away. He swam halfway out, exclaimed, “ I can't make it!” and swam back. I'll let you do the math, but he got teased for a while about that one.

There were three diving boards at the deep end - low, medium and high. I was okay with the low and the medium, but I always had to hold my nose or wear nose clips because when my face hit the water, it felt like someone shoved a knife up my sinuses. The high board was a different story, though. Heights are not my favorite, and there was no way I was diving face-first from up there anyway. I don't think I ever dove head-first off the high board, but I would jump off occasionally just to prove that I wasn't a total chicken.

Godfreys pond

Fishing Forays
Just behind the “deep end ” swimming area was a line of trees, and then the terrain descended into an area we called “The Hollow.” At the back of the hollow flowed Bigelow Creek after the Pond water flowed over the dam. When I was 8, 9, 10 years old, I used to prowl along the edge of that small stream, fascinated by the fish I could see in there. I didn't have a fishing pole, but I got some fishing line and tied a hook on the end (probably not an improved clinch knot) and added a little sinker. I would spend hours, it seemed, tossing that line in the creek, trying to get something to bite. Mostly the fish were just Suckers, but one day I finally managed to get a little Perch to bite. I was so proud that I ran with it all the way to wherever my mom was to show off my probably six-inch fish. It wasn't much to brag about, but it was my first catch.

At some point, probably about age 10, I got a fishing pole and reel of my own. Nothing fancy, of course, just a little push-button spin-cast reel. I must have taught myself to cast because, without a doubt, my dad was the worst fisherman I ever saw. There is a famous legend about the “Gordian Knot,” which was supposedly tied by Gordius, the King of Phrygia, which was only able to be untied by the future ruler of Asia. Well, my dad came up with snarls in his line that would put old Gordius to shame. These occurrences resulted in an outpouring of “Judas Priests!” (my dad's faux cussing ) and “This goldarned stupid reel” that would send us kids scurrying for the hills.

Later in life, I had a small fishing boat and got up the nerve to take my elderly dad fishing in Lake Ontario one time. I was in the front of the boat, and the “Judas Priests” began in the back. I went to help, and somehow he had cast his line backward behind him. As I took the pole and reel to assist him I realized there was a fish on the line that had bitten on his worm. I handed him the pole, and he reeled in a decent smallmouth bass that he had caught completely by accident. Better to be lucky than good sometimes, I guess.

Once I got my own pole and reel, I graduated from the hand line in the creek to fishing in the actual pond. My go-to spot to try was on the bridge where the dam was, and I would cast my worm into the hole on the side where the water had carved out a deep pool before going over the falls. Since I was only 10 or 11 years old, I didn't have a lot of patience, so after the sunfish stole all my worms or I actually hooked a couple, I'd give up and go swimming or something instead.

Godfreys pond

But, one day, I could see a decent-sized largemouth cruising around in my favorite fishin' hole. I REALLY wanted to catch that bass. I might have cast 20 times, and it just wasn't interested, and I was getting frustrated. I almost wanted to say, "Judas Priest bass!” But I tried one last cast and could actually see the worm drifting right in front of the bass's mouth. “C'mon, bite,” I thought and BOOM! It did. I set the hook, and hand trembling, I reeled the bass up out of the water and swung it onto the bridge. As you can see from the photo, it really wasn't that big, but of course, I was thrilled and put it on a stringer to show my parents. Once I was older, I almost always practiced catch and release (I do not care for the taste of fish, and it's better to let them live and grow), but there was no way I wasn't gonna show that one off. I must have gone swimming afterward, though -- notice the nose clips around my neck.

I never really caught a big fish in Godfrey's Pond, but they're in there. Once in the fall, when the water got cold, we watched a guy fight a huge Northern Pike right in the usual summer swimming area. It put up a long fight, and when he finally got it in, it was definitely 3 to 4 feet long.

Godfreys pond

My last memory of fishing in The Pond was soon after I was married in 1972. My wife and I took my younger brother Jim in one of the rowboats across the pond to the south side where the railroad is. A bunch of trees on the embankment provided shade, and it must have been spawning time because we caught so many Sunfish and Bluegills that our arms got tired. This time we let them all go, though.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Godfrey's had a bunch of small rowboats which you could rent for a nominal fee. That's how I learned to row, and we used to cruise around the pond just getting exercise and horsing around. Sometimes fishing too. Eventually, we discovered that in the southwest corner of the pond, there was a cement culvert that went under the railroad tracks. It was put in to allow Bigelow Creek to flow through from the swampy wetlands between Horseshoe Lake and Godfrey's.

Godfreys pond

The Pond rowboats would fit through the passage, but you had to get down really low and fight your way through the spider webs. There might have been a bat or two in there as well. I guess all that made it more exciting. A couple of times, when we got to the other side, we told ourselves that we were going to row all the way to Horseshoe Lake, but the murky water between the reeds and cattails got shallow, and we never made it very far. I'm not even sure it's possible in a boat.

My younger (by 11 years) brother Jim tells a story that when he was a teenager, he took our Uncle George the plumber, not exactly the outdoor type, out in a boat and through that underpass and surprisingly, he really enjoyed it. When you think about it, I imagine a plumber would be used to dark watery places with spiders.

Picnics and “The Stand”
The Pond had plenty of fireplaces, picnic tables, and even a couple of covered shelters for larger family gatherings. My Gramma Newhouse and my mom, Anna Newhouse Reilly, were both good cooks, so we had plenty of picnics on nice summer days. Weekdays were the best because it could get really crowded on weekends. My dad was a notorious mosquito hater, and they loved the taste of him for some reason, so if it was a little damp and not windy, he'd be swatting like a madman. We still tell stories of how at home, if he heard one buzzing near his ear in the night, he'd keep us all up whacking the walls with a rolled-up newspaper until he got the offending bloodsucker.

After swimming (back then, everyone believed that if you ate before swimming, you'd get murderous cramps and drown), we'd always ask Mom for some change and go to the little refreshment store where the changing lockers were (I don't think I ever changed in there once -- we'd just wear our bathing suit under our clothes). We always just called it “The Stand”. We'd get a popsicle (grape was my fave), creamsicle, fudgsicle, candy or a little bag of chips. I think most things only cost a nickel or dime back then. “Ah, the good old days,” as everyone from back then says now.

Godfreys pond

The Worst Thirst
My mom was pretty strict and wouldn't let me get a two-wheeled bicycle until I turned 10 years old, which I did in January 1957. So sometime that spring ( we were living on Ellicott Avenue just before we moved to North Spruce Street), we went to J. Frank Dicks Bike Shop on the corner of Thomas Avenue by Corrigan's mom-and-pop store, and I got a bike. It was a three-speed, and it was referred to as an “English “ bike.

Once I learned to ride, I became obsessed with riding to Godfrey's Pond. I nagged Mom for a long time, and finally, she gave in – with one provision: She would not allow me to ride on Clinton Street Road (Route 33), which was the way we took in the car because of the busy traffic, especially big trucks. So we had to devise an alternate route.

After taking a test ride in the car, it was determined that I would pedal out the Bank Street Road, turn right onto Batavia Stafford Townline Road (no, I didn't remember most of this 66 years later, I had to look it up on my iPhone GPS), then left onto Fotch Road, left to Batavia Byron Road ( a lot of this route is going back south making it longer but safer in Mom's eyes, small country roads with little traffic), and finally onto Griswold Road which takes you to Godfrey's Pond Road.

I started out in the morning, and as I recall, the ride there wasn't actually too bad for a 10-year-old. It was about 8 miles, so I got a good workout for a kid. I felt pretty good about myself, too -- look what I did all by myself. Once there, I really don't remember what I did. It was a weekday, so I don't think any lifeguards were on duty in the morning, and I know I didn't bring a fishing pole on my bike. I guess I just hung out for a while before I started back.

I do remember one thing, though, and it was prophetic of my return trip. Somewhere by the dam and “The Hollow” was a natural spring pipe that people used to drink from. I thought, “I'll get a cool drink before I leave.” Why didn't I bring a canteen with water that I could have filled? This became a very important mistake on my trip home.

It was getting into the afternoon as I left, the sky was clear, and the sun was beating down. I think it turned out to be a pretty hot day. As I retraced my route, it was also more uphill --  a harder ride than the way there earlier. By the time I got to Bank Street Road, I was VERY thirsty. That's when the “Why didn't I bring a canteen ?” thought hit my brain.

You've all seen the movies and the cartoons where the parched travelers are dying of thirst, and the heat waves look like an oasis of water to them as they crawl through the desert sand dunes. Well, I wasn't in the desert or crawling (and definitely not dying), but that's how I felt. And then I made a second crucial mistake. Instead of turning onto Bank Street, somehow, I thought going straight on the Batavia-Elba Townline Road and then taking State Street home would be faster and easier. Wrong.

As I rode along, my lips felt like sandpaper. I had no saliva to swallow, and I was running out of energy. At one point, I peddled, very slowly at that point, past a herd of cows, and there was a tiny little stream of water there. I honestly considered stopping and at least rinsing my mouth. Thankfully I did not make that mistake. Can you imagine how sick I could have gotten from that?

Stock photo for illustration purposes -- not the actual machine that saved Dave's life.
Stock photo for illustration purposes -- not the actual machine that saved Dave's life.

Finally, I made it to State Street ( I must have forgotten to bring my cell phone to call home for Mom to come pick me up, too), and local residents know that is where the Batavia Airport is located. Somehow through sheer willpower (and walking my bike up hills), I made it there, and I was thinking, “They have got to have a pop (that's what we called soda) machine. Please!” And they did.

In my pocket, I had 2 dimes. The machine said 10 cents per bottle .” Yes! I'm saved, I'm not going to die of thirst”. I put in the first dime and pulled on the bottle. And – it wouldn't release. “No! This can't be happening!” One more chance. I put in the second dime, tugged on a bottle in a different row and out it came. I don't even remember the flavor or brand, but I downed that probably 8-ounce bottle like it was the last liquid on earth. Man, that tasted good! And cold.

So I was temporarily saved. But I still had a couple miles to go to Ellicott Avenue, and now I had a raging stomach ache from drinking the pop too fast. But off I went. As I got across the Thruway bridge and closer to the residential area, I came to the Little League Stadium on the corner of Bank and State Streets. I thought, “They have restrooms there! Please let them be unlocked.” And finally, I caught a break -- they were open. I went in and, using my hands as a cup, I drank from the sink faucet (I know-gross) until I thought I would burst. Again-dumb move as I barely made it home without vomiting.

When I got home, I put my bike in the garage and practically crawled up the stairs to our second-floor apartment. Mom was anxiously awaiting me and said, “Oh, I'm so glad you're home safe, Dave. How was your ride?” I was in no mood to tell the whole story right then, so I said, “It was fine. I'll tell you about it later. I'm a little tired right now.” I went right to my bed, and I think I was asleep in about 30 seconds. I don't know if I ever told her the whole story, but I do know that was the thirstiest I have ever been in my life before or since.

Return Visit
I did not go to Godfrey's Pond for many years. In 2016 I reunited with Jim Heatherman, an old elementary, high school, and college friend in Batavia, for lunch. I hadn't seen him in almost 50 years. Over lunch at T. F. Brown's (formerly Mancuso's Restaurant), we got to talking about The Pond. When he left, I drove there just for nostalgia's sake. I didn't stay long. I walked down by the swimming area (now closed due to pollution, a pool has replaced it), saw the old “Stand” and walked the short distance to the dam. I swear everything looked exactly the same. Even the old beat-up rowboats at the docks by the swimming area. The only new thing I noticed was there were two young girl lifeguards on duty, and they were wearing bikinis. That most definitely wasn't the case when I was a kid.

Godfrey's Pond certainly holds a lot of good memories for me and many others. I just wish all could have enjoyed it.

Sponsored Post: McCabe Enterprises Electrical Contractor is hiring

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Judge issues preliminary injunction, halting STAMP sewer line in Orleans County

By Tom Rivers
sewer pipeline stamp
Traffic was limited to one-way on Route 63 on Aug. 30 while contractors installed a new sewer pipe in the Town of Alabama.
Photo by Tom Rivers.

A State Supreme Court has issued a preliminary injunction and temporarily won’t be allowing a sewer line to be constructed in Orleans County, running from the STAMP manufacturing site about 10 miles north to Oak Orchard Creek.

Contractors started installing the 20-inch sewer main last month and are headed north along 63. They haven’t reached Orleans County yet.

Judge Sanford Church on Monday issued the preliminary injunction and set a court date for Oct. 23 at the County Courthouse in Albion.

Orleans County has filed a lawsuit against Genesee County Industrial Development Agency of Batavia, Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation of Batavia, Stamp Sewer Works, Inc. of Batavia, G. Devincentis & Son Construction Co., Inc. of Binghamton, Clark Patterson Lee of Rochester, and Highlander Construction of Memphis, NY.

Orleans contends the GCEDC didn’t properly form STAMP Sewer Works for the project and doesn’t have a right to seek construction easements in Orleans, which is outside Genesee County. Genesee never asked for Orleans permission to undertake the project, Orleans says in the suit.

Orleans economic development officials are also concerned the discharge of treated water from STAMP, at up to 6 million gallons a day at full capacity, could limit economic development efforts in Medina by overtaxing the creek.

GCEDC notes engineering reports say there would be another 10 million gallons of daily capacity for the creek from the Medina sewer plant if STAMP were at full capacity. The first two tenants at STAMP, Plug Power and Edwards Vacuum, would have a daily discharge of 50,000 gallons of treated wastewater GCEDC said.

GCEDC says it secured all required permits and approvals for construction and use of the force main for the sewer, including a right-of-way permit from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to cross the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge and a discharge permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge has temporarily paused drilling as part of the construction after sinkholes were observed in the right of way of the refuge.

There also are fluids associated with subsurface drilling that appeared on the refuge surface outside the perimeter of the right of way, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a statement on Tuesday.

Craig Leslie, GCEDC attorney, said in a Sept. 11 court filing, asked the judge not to approve a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order.

“Orleans County’s allegations are wholly inconsistent with the facts and the law and smack of a frivolous and politicized attack on the STAMP project,” wrote Leslie, an attorney with Phillips Lytle LLP.

Orleans County, represented by attorney Jennifer Persico of Lippes Mathias LLP, contends the Genesee agencies and others named and in the lawsuit “have been engaged in a conspiracy not only to violate General Municipal and Transportation Corporations Law but also to defraud the residents of Orleans County and citizens of New York State in general by misusing millions of taxpayer dollars to fund an unauthorized project all while acting outside of their respective authority,” according to the Orleans court filing on Sept. 11, seeking the preliminary injunction.

Photo and story courtesy OrleansHub. Tom Rivers is editor of OrleansHub.

O-A board hears presentation on $23 million capital improvement project

By Howard B. Owens
Richard Little SEI oakfield-alabama presentation
Richard Little, business development with SEI Design, during a presentation Tuesday to the Board of Education for the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District on a capital improvement project proposal.
Photo by Howard Owens.

The Oakfield-Alabama Central School District is considering a new $23 million capital improvement project that would modernize and reconfigure classrooms, replace outdated heating and air units, upgrade locker rooms, replace and upgrade athletic fields, and add new parking.

The district would need to issue $20 million in bonds to finance the project at a cost of $7.2 million in interest.

If approved, the district would use $3 million from the capital reserve fund as a "down payment" on the expenditure.

State aid would cover 93.4 percent of the $20 million, which would be reimbursed to the district over the life of the 15-year bond.  If the project is approved by the board, voters in the district will get a chance to vote yes or no in December.

Consultants from SEI Design Group, who have been working with the district's facilities committee, presented an outline of the proposal plan to the Board of Education on Tuesday.

A big reason the district can cover the local share of the school building project without a tax increase is that when the district bonded (borrowed money), the annual payment on principal was $350,000 less than budgeted, said Christine Griffin, district business manager.

That $350,000 in the 2023-24 budget was used to finance a playground.  Going forward, it could help offset the cost of the new capital improvement project, negating the need for a higher tax rate to cover the local share of the project.

Existing capital reserve funds would also help cover the local share costs.

Board members wanted to know what portion of the project is critical, that it must be completed soon, and the answer is pretty much all of the school building work.

The critical portions of the project include replacing the high school and middle school HVAC rooftop units, which are 30 to 40 years old.

"The biggest thing is going to be mechanical, electrical plumbing impacts," said Richard Little, business development with SEI. "These were items that were identified during the (committee). The HVAC rooftop units are either being worked on excessively or reached the end of their usefulness. We can't get parts, so we need to replace them. Those were flagged not only by the engineers but also by (the committee)."

Then in the science classroom, the concrete slabs have settled in areas creating uneven floors.

"We're going to have to tear the rooms out just to fix the slab settlement issue," Little said.

There is also work that needs to be done on the pool and on an auditorium wall, Little said.  There is also carpet that is worn out and needs to be replaced with new flooring (it won't be carpet, Little said).

"Once you go into a room and start working on it, once you've touched it, you are not going to be able to go back to that room for 15 years without being penalized or questioned," Little said, addressing state aid rules about school renovation projects. "So once we're in there, we're taking advantage of it and renovating more spaces. You can vary that if you want to. You can make different types of modifications, but it's just a good opportunity to get that funding from the state."

The school building proposal, if broken out into a separate ballot initiative, would cost $15.6 million.  The athletic field portion would be $7.3 million.  It would include a new oval track, new shotput and jump pits, as well as new softball and baseball fields.

The board will decide at its October meeting whether to ask the voters to approve the two aspects of the project separately or together.  

Trustee Matt Lamb expressed concern that there are people in the community who are hearing rumors that the district is considering a new football stadium, which isn't the case.

"I got a phone call from somebody who wasn't able to attend the meeting tonight and described the project as the football stadium project, so we just need to be careful that this isn't seen as the football stadium capital project," Lamb said.

Trustee Jeff Hyde noted that since Batavia High built a new stadium, Van Detta is in steady use for various events, not just school events. And though this isn't a stadium project, he said he thinks an upgrade to the track and ball fields help bring more visitors into Oakfield.

"I mean, if I'm a business owner, if I'm smart, if I'm somebody who wants more people in this town, this is something that may give it to us," Hyde said.

For a PDF of the SEI presentation, click here.

Spiritual Connections

By Press Release

Arbor House, 350 Bank St., Batavia. We are a community of believers and disciples of Jesus Christ. Arbor House was founded to be a place of safety, refreshment, and renewal for all. Each week we gather to hear the spoken Word, eat from the Lord’s Table, and enjoy fellowship with all who come. If you have been hurt by a church before, we want to be the place where you can find healing and hope. All are welcome! Service will be in person on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. and available live stream on Facebook. (350 Bank Street Road, Batavia) For more information about Arbor House visit

Alabama-Basom United Methodist Church, 1392 Lewiston Road, Alabama. Join us for worship at 10:30 a.m. This week our sermon title is "First Things First", led by Rodney Stringham (CLM).

Ascension Parish -- Roman Catholic Community, Batavia. We are open for Mass in the Church on Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m. Daily Mass Mondays at 5 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall. Confession time is Saturdays from 3:15 to 3:45 p.m. in Church. Please join us for our Sunday streaming Mass online at 10 a.m. We invite everyone to join us on Facebook: Please follow us on Facebook for any Mass time changes. Our webpage:

Batavia Assembly of God, 24 North Spruce St, Batavia. Join us for coffee in our café before our Sunday morning service that begins at 10:30 a.m. We offer "Movement Kids" (age 4 - grade 5) at 10:30 a.m. and "MVMT YTH" (grades 6-12) meet on Sunday nights at 7 p.m.

Batavia First Baptist Church, 306 E. Main St., Pastor David Weidman, where "Christ the Center, Love for All" is very evident to all who enter. We invite you to our Full Gospel Sunday services at 10 a.m.; The Thrift Shoppe is open Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., come and browse in our beautifully renovated space. Donations are accepted during business hours. You can also enjoy a light lunch at Lydia's Kitchen while you shop. Questions? Email: [email protected]. Call us at (585)343-9002.

Batavia First Presbyterian Church, 300 E. Main St., Batavia, invites you to join us for in-person worship on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. (Arise-relaxed with band music) or 10:45 a.m. (Sanctuary -liturgical and organ) or on Livestream via Facebook Live for both times at:  or

Batavia First United Methodist Church, 8221 Lewiston Road, Batavia. Our mission & vision statement:  “To be disciples, we must listen, learn, lead, and love our way to God.” Reverend Wayne Mort leads our worship service every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. in the church sanctuary. Childcare is offered  for children birth-3 years old and Sunday school is offered for children ages 4-14 years old. You can also find the service on Facebook. We invite you to learn more about Batavia First UMC by visiting our website at

Byron Presbyterian Church, 6293 W. Main St., Byron. Service and Sunday School at 9:45 a.m. Pastor, Rev. Michael Fry. Musical Director: Laurence Tallman. Scripture Readings: Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45 and Exodus 16:2-15. Message: “What Is It?” All are welcome! Our Turkey Dinner is coming fast. Sunday, October 15 from 11 a.m. until sold out $15/person. Full turkey dinner w/all the trimmings. Tell your friends and neighbors!

Calvary Baptist Church of Le Roy, 8703 Lake Street Road, Le Roy.  If you do not already have a church that you attend regularly, we would like to invite you to give Calvary Baptist Church a try.  It would be a pleasure to have you join us for worship and fellowship on a Sunday morning or at one of our other mid-week events. As a multi-generational congregation that enjoys our time together, our Sunday worship service typically includes singing a mix of both traditional and contemporary songs and hymns, a children’s message, and a sermon from the Word of God. Our Sunday worship service begins at 10:15 a.m.

City Church, 210 E. Main St., Batavia, is open for Sunday morning services at 8:30 and 10 a.m., and Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome to join us for worship and a message. We also have a noon Sunday service at our St. Anthony's location at 114 Liberty St. in Batavia. You can also connect with us online, through our Facebook page, or our YouTube channel.

Corfu United Presbyterian Church 63 Alleghany Road, Corfu. Corfu United Presbyterian Church welcomes all visitors to come to worship with us Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. in person or via our Facebook live stream led by Pastor Evan Wildhack. Our mission at CUPC is to connect with Christ, connect with others, and connect others with Christ. Children's Sunday school is held on the first Sunday of the month. Weekly Bible study is held Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. CUPC's food pantry is open on the third Saturday of the month from 9 - 10 a.m. CUPC is having a Chicken BBQ on September 16 from Noon until sold out. Pre-orders are recommended. Contact the church office by phone at (585) 599-6414 or via email at [email protected]. Office hours are Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Cornerstone Church of East Pembroke, part of American Baptist Churches USA, 2583 Main Road, East Pembroke. Our Sunday service is at 10:30 a.m. with Pastor Glenn Bloom preaching. Bible Study is every Wednesday at 10 a.m. We are a small church and welcome new members. (585) 762-8721

Darien Disciples Church, 1951 Broadway (Route 20), worship at 9 a.m. on Sundays. Prayer requests to Jerry at: [email protected].

East Bethany Presbyterian Church, 5735 Ellicott Street Road, East Bethany. Our Sunday morning worship service is held at 10:30 a.m. and is led by Rev. Dr. Shiela McCullough. Visitors are always welcome. You can find out more information on our Facebook page or by emailing us at [email protected].

Elba First Baptist Church, 31 S. Main St., Elba, is open for the main service in person at 10:45 a.m. on Sundays. For more information about our church go to The pastor is Michael Davis. Email: [email protected] / Phone (585) 757-2722

Emmanuel Baptist Church, 190 Oak St., Batavia. Join us for services in person or livestreamed via Facebook and Be part of the family today and join in the blessings of Jesus in your life!

EverPresent Church, 4 Batavia City Centre, Batavia(off of Bank Street). We welcome you to come to experience the Holy Spirit in a fresh way. Jesus wants to set you free from your bondages. Our regular weekly services are Sunday Service at 10:30 a.m., doors open at 10 a.m., and Wednesday at 6 p.m., doors open at 5:30 p.m. Visit the website for further information. For more information about our church go to: or our Facebook page.

Grace Baptist Church, 238 Vine St., Batavia. Sunday Morning Worship begins at 9:30 A.M. There are classes for children ages nursery – 5th grade during the 9:30 hour. The service is live-streamed at or view it on our Facebook page: Grace Baptist. Grace Student Ministries meets this Sunday Evening from 6-8 pm. See our website or our Facebook page for all the summer events for families at Grace. “Summer’s a Happening Place at Grace”.

Indian Falls Methodist Church, 7908 Alleghany Road, Corfu. We have our worship service at 10 a.m. on Sunday mornings, led by Rev. Karen L. McCaffery. This week's message is "Are We Faithful?". To view our services online please go to our Facebook page (Indian Falls Methodist Church) for Live Streaming. We offer Sunday School for all ages after the Worship Service at 11:30 a.m. Our Youth Group meets on the first & third Sundays of each month from 6:30 - 8 p.m. Join us for our FREE Community Dinner on Thursday, September 28 at 6 p.m.

Le Roy First Presbyterian Church, 7 Clay St., Le Roy. Sunday morning in-person worship at 10 a.m. followed by coffee fellowship. We are an open and accepting church of all people.

Morganville United Church of Christ, 8466 Morganville Rd, Stafford. Enjoy a Sunday drive and see our fall harvest along the way to our “God is still speaking” church.  Sunday service is at 10 a.m. and Pastor James Morasco will share “Rain, Rain Go Away.” Friend us on Facebook! or better yet, visit us any Sunday!

North Bergen Presbyterian Church, 7068 N. Bergen Road, Bergen, is open for in-person services at 9:45 a.m. Sundays. The phone is (585) 494-1255.

North Darien Bible Church, 9768 Simonds Road, Corfu. We are open! Sunday worship service begins at 10 a.m. Children's Church classes are available for children ages birth through sixth grade, including a classroom for children with special needs. For more information, visit our website. You can also watch LIVE on our Facebook or YouTube channel. Join us from 9 a.m. to noon on the first Saturday of every month for our free community closet, full of clothing, coats, and shoes for all. (585) 547-9646.

Northgate Free Methodist Church, 8160 Bank Street Road (North Campus), Batavia. It is all too easy to form misconceptions about God, who He really is, how He really loves, and what He really wants from us.  “We Were Wrong” is a message series designed to help us revisit, reevaluate, and correct our preconceived notions about God. “We Were Wrong” invites us to reconsider our perspectives on God, so that we can have a deeper, more authentic relationship with Him. Join us on this journey towards a more accurate and impactful understanding of the true nature of God! Join us Saturday at 6 p.m., Sunday morning at 9:30 and 11 a.m. For more information about Northgate Free Methodist Church and to watch our services online go to or

Oakfield-Alabama Baptist Church, 2210 Judge Road., Oakfield, NY 14125. Join us for Sunday School for all ages at 9:45 a.m., followed by our worship service at 11 a.m. every Sunday! Visit our website ( for additional information about our church, our beliefs, upcoming activities, and past messages. Men’s and Ladies’ Bible studies also meet Thursdays at 6:30 PM on the church grounds. We look forward to worshiping and fellowshipping with you! Questions? Email Pastor Matt Ervin at [email protected].

Our Lady of Mercy (44 Lake St. LeRoy) & St. Brigid (18 Gibson St. Bergen) parishes; Parish Office - 44 Lake Street, Le Roy. Weekend Masses Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (livestreamed); Sunday at 7:15 a.m., 10:45 a.m. (livestreamed), and 5:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Mercy. Also, Sunday at 9 a.m. at St. Brigid. Daily Masses Monday-Friday at 7:30 a.m. (livestreamed) and Saturday at 9 a.m. at Our Lady of Mercy and Tuesday and Thursday at 8:30 a.m. at St. Brigid. View on YouTube and Facebook. Please visit the parish website (

Resurrection Parish (St. Mary and St. Joseph churches in Batavia). Services livestreaming at 5:30 p.m. every Saturday from St. Mary's Church via Facebook, or view the livestreaming Mass on YouTube by searching for Resurrection RC Parish or visit the parish website. In-person Masses are 4 p.m. Saturday and at 11:30 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Church; and at St. Mary's Church at 7:30 and 9:15 a.m. Sunday.

St. James Episcopal Church, 405 E. Main St., Batavia. Join us on Sundays at 9 a.m. on zoom, 10 a.m. in the church building, and on Facebook Live. Links and the bulletin can be found on our website:

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 1 E. Main St., Le Roy, is open for in-person services at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. Communion will be offered to people in their seats and will only include bread. We welcome you to join us -- either in person or online. For more information, visit our website.

St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish, 18 W. Main St., Corfu. Weekend Masses are celebrated: Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at the Corfu Church Site; and at 9 a.m. Sunday at the East Pembroke Church site, 8656 Church St., East Pembroke. Weekday Masses are celebrated on: Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. in East Pembroke and Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Corfu followed by Adoration. Corfu Masses are also available for viewing on our YouTube channel. All information is on the church website and on Facebook. Email: [email protected] (585)-599-4833.

St. Padre Pio Parish, 56 Maple Ave., Oakfield OR Our Lady of Fatima Church, 65 S. Main St., Elba. Weekend Mass is celebrated on Saturdays: 4:30 p.m.-July & August @ Elba Site & 4:30 p.m.-Sept.-June @ Oakfield. Sunday, 8 a.m.-Elba, and Sunday, 10 a.m.-Oakfield. Weekday Masses are celebrated Monday: 6 p.m.-Elba site, Tuesday: 8 a.m.-Elba site, Wednesday: 7 p.m.- Oakfield site, Thursday: 8 a.m.- Oakfield site, Friday: 8 a.m.- Oakfield site.

St Paul’s Episcopal Church, 6188 Main Road, Stafford. In-person service, including Holy Communion, is at 9 a.m. Sunday mornings. All  Are Welcome. 

St. Paul Lutheran Church, Batavia, 31 Washington Ave, Batavia. This coming Sunday (September 24) we will celebrate The 17th Sunday After Pentecost.  The sermon theme: “Saints Honor Christ With Their Bodies” is based on the scripture from Philippians 1. Adult Bible Class resumed on September 10 with their study on Revelations. Our service begins at 10 a.m. or can be viewed 'live' on Facebook. Our Youth class meets at 9:30 a.m. Sunday School children will attend the service through the children's sermon and will then go to their Sunday school rooms for their studies. Communion is part of the service on the 2nd and 4th Sundays. Our Quilters group meets on Tuesdays from 9 - 11 a.m. God continues to bless us richly as we focus on Him and His plans for our congregation and community.

The Church In Alexander, 10540 Main St., Alexander. Join us for Sunday Worship at 10 a.m. weekly. For more information please visit our website at We offer a Free Food Pantry for people in our community, please call ahead if you need items from our pantry. For more information on Programs and services please contact us at (585)591-1765 or by email at [email protected]. Church office hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:15 - 11:15 a.m.

Trinity United Methodist Church, 75 Main St. in Attica, worships together at 10:45 a.m. on Sundays. All are welcome! Contact Frank White at [email protected] for a ZOOM link or for prayer requests.


"Spiritual Connections" -- The Batavian will post updates to connect people with their places of worship, religious services, fellowship opportunities, and/or spiritual advisors, etc. There is no charge for this service.

If you have information to announce, please email: [email protected]

Photos: Veterans on their way to D.C. for annual Patriot Trip

By Howard B. Owens
patriot trip 2023

Assemblyman Steve Hawley's annual fall trip for veterans to Washington, D.C., the Patriot Trip, rolled out of the Batavia Downs parking lot early this morning.

Photos courtesy Steve Hawley.

patriot trip 2023
patriot trip 2023

Top Items on Batavia's List

Licensed Dental Hygienist Position Available Robert S. Marchese, DDS Batavia, New York We are looking for a licensed dental hygienist to add to our team! Private practice with a wonderful team, a kind doctor and awesome patients! Full or part time position, 20 - 35 hours per week, no nights or weekends, paid holidays and time off, any experience considered, new graduates welcome to apply, willing to hire different hygienist for different days. Call us today - (585)343-8675 Or email your information to [email protected]
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Crossroads House is looking for a compassionate RN or LPN to provide dignified End-of-Life (EOL) Comfort Care to individuals who have received a three month or less prognosis. The Per-diem staff nurse must be able to work a minimum of one (24) hour shift per week. A shift consists of (5) hours in-house, (7:15 am to 12:15 pm), with the remaining (19) hours as on-call hours, working in-house as needed. Each per-diem staff nurse is required to work one (24) hour shift, one weekend day per month. This shift is split between being in-house and on-call, with the hours varying as needed. Must have a minimum of (1) year work experience, EOL experience preferred, training provided. If interested, please apply on-line at
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Crossroads House is a comfort care home for the dying, located in Batavia NY, and is looking for a compassionate caregiver to provide personal care and emotional support to our dying residents, consistent with Comfort Care Philosophy. Must have prior caregiving experience. Licenses or certifications are not required. Must be able to work weekends, overnight shift is required. (11pm-8AM) Day and evening shifts are also available on weekdays and weekends. Must be able to work as a team member and independently. If interested, or have any questions, apply online at or email [email protected]
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Crossroads House is a comfort care home for the dying. We are a non-for-profit organization that provides its services free of charge. We run on a supportive community and selfless volunteers. With out both of those we would not be able to serve our community. If you have a caregiver's heart and 2 to 4 hours a week, we would love for you to become a part of our Crossroads House family! No experience required, we will train you and provide mentors and experienced volunteers to guide you. Please go to to apply, click on volunteer tab to complete application or email [email protected]
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