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December 8, 2019 - 4:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in American Legion Unit 576, Le Roy, St. Francis Cemetery, news.

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American Legion Unit 576 placed a wreath on the Monument at St Francis Cemetery in Le Roy this morning in honor of deceased veterans during the holiday season. Pictured are Regina Diskin, Cathy Christopher, Linda Horgan and Mary Ellen Joy.

Photo submitted by Regina Diskin. 

December 8, 2019 - 3:59pm

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Though their volunteer efforts have spanned a range of activities over many decades, both Tom and Lynn Houseknecht said Friday as they were honored by the St. Jerome Foundation with the annual Health and Humanitarian Award, that the greatest reward has been the friendships they've made over the years.

"Today, I have to tell the truth," Lynn said standing before a sold-out luncheon at Terry Hills, "and the truth is we met most of (our friends) through volunteering. And the fact is, they were already there doing it first and being incredible role models and certainly people we admired.

"And that admiration grew into friendship. We're so very, very blessed to have had so many good, kind, compassionate people as role models and now as dear friends and family. That is definitely the most precious gift of being involved in our community."

Tom said, "Honestly, you should all be standing up here right along beside us."

Among the many charitable causes the Houseknechts have supported, both through donations and as volunteers, are the Arc of Genesee Orleans, UMMC (and previously Genesee Memorial Hospital), Notre Dame High School, St. Joseph School, YMCA, CASA, Batavia Rotary Club, and Resurrection Parish among others.

"Chris Fix asked us why we chose to volunteer where we did," Tom said. "Our longest commitments have been to the hospital, which is important to us for the physical health of our family and friends and the financial health of the community. The Arc, of course, holds a long family history and a special place in our hearts. Education, both public and Catholic, is the route of success of our kids and everyone else's."

Previously: Tom and Lynn Houseknecht to be honored with The Jerome Foundation's Health and Humanitarian Award

December 8, 2019 - 3:00pm


Commonly Asked Workers’ Compensation Questions:

Q. What is a Workers’ Compensation claim?
A. A Workers’ Compensation claim is a legal action that occurs when you get hurt during the course of your employment. In New York State you cannot sue your employer. When you get hurt at work, the Workers’ Compensation system provides for lost time financial payments and medical treatment required as a result of your work-related injury.

Q. How do I know if I have a Workers’ Compensation claim?
A. If you sustain an injury during the course of your employment, you should contact our office for a free case evaluation as soon as possible. We can help you determine if you have a Workers’ Compensation claim and assist you in filing the proper paperwork.

Q. How long do I have to file a Workers’ Compensation claim?
A. You are required to report your injury to your employer within 30 days. There is also a two-year time limit to file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board. Failure to adhere to these time limits can result in a denial of your claim.

Q. Is a Workers’ Compensation claim my only recourse if I am hurt at work?
A. In New York State, you cannot sue your employer. In some circumstances, a personal injury lawsuit can be filed in addition to a Workers’ Compensation claim. This includes, but is not limited to, injuries sustained in a work-related motor vehicle accident, constructions injuries, or injuries sustained at a location not owned by your employer. Our team of attorneys at Dolce Panepinto will assess your claim to ensure that every legal avenue available to you is pursued.

Q. How much does a Workers’ Compensation Attorney cost? 
A. Workers’ Compensation fees are generated on a contingent basis. This means that we only receive payment if we generate money in connection with your Workers’ Compensation claim. More information on contingent fees can be found here. Additionally, our attorneys can explain our attorney fees in greater detail.

Q. Do I need an attorney?
A. While an attorney is not required, it is strongly recommended that you retain an attorney. The Workers’ Compensation Law is complex, confusing, and often difficult to navigate. The insurance carrier will have an attorney fighting on their behalf, we recommend that you have an attorney fighting on your behalf. Having an attorney means ensuring your rights are protected, maximizing your benefits, and making sure your questions and concerns are addressed.

Dolce Panepinto works tirelessly to protect the rights of injured workers by making sure that those responsible are held accountable. If you or a family member are injured at work, or in your private life, contact us today for a free case evaluation at 585-815-9003. For further questions regarding Workers' Compensation Law or to contact Dolce Panepinto: click here.

December 8, 2019 - 2:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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        Terrance Falk

A 21-year-old Rochester man with ties to Batavia is charged with gang assault and harassment in connection with an incident on Highland Park on Oct. 4.

The Batavia Police Department released information on the arrest today.

A codefendant in the case, Riley Mayer, 21, of Batavia, pled guilty in Genesee County Court on Thursday to a charge of assault, 2nd

A third suspect has not yet been charged, according to District Attorney Lawrence Friedman. 

The victim in the attack allegedly suffered serious injuries.

Falk was arrested in October and arraigned Oct. 7 and ordered held on $5,000 bail or $10,000 bond. There is no information immediately available on his current bail status.

Falk's current address is on Woodsmeadow Lane in Rochester.

He reportedly lived in Batavia in August 2018 when he was charged with disorderly conduct and harassment at a concert at Darien Lake. He reportedly lived in Brighton in September 2015 when he fought with a guard in the Genesee County Jail. In December 2014, he was accused of damaging property in Le Roy. There's no information immediately available on the disposition of those cases.

December 8, 2019 - 1:34pm
posted by Philip Casper in winterfest, Le Roy, news.

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Christmas was in the air in Le Roy on Saturday for the community's annual Winterfest, which included the traditional visit by Santa at the Moose Lodge.

Above, Willow is delighted to tell Santa what she wants for Christmas.  

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Tanner chillin' with Santa.

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Zayden with Santa.

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December 8, 2019 - 1:22pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in corfu, pembroke, Darien, indian falls, living manger, nativity, Christmas, news.

Photo: James Childs, 9, left, and Charles Stringham, 9, are shepherds posing with sheep belonging to Ed and Julie Keller, of Corfu, during the Living Manger Saturday night in Pembroke Town Park.

CORFU – For the third year, several churches in the Corfu/Pembroke area have combined their efforts to enact a live nativity scene in the Pembroke Town Park.

From 5 to 7 Saturday night, members of the Indian Falls United Methodist Church, High Point Community Church and North Darien Bible Church donned Biblical attire and took up their roles as shepherds, angels, Wise Men and Mary and Joseph.

Corfu Presbyterian Church also provided assistance, said Meagan Stringham, who helped organize the event with Celinda McQuistion.

There was no charge to drive through the displays, but donations were accepted for the Corfu Presbyterian Church food pantry.

Bales of straw were piled high along the driveway and a variety of live animals, including sheep, goats and a donkey nibbled at the bales.

Dan Spoth, of Clarence, said the Phelps family brought in a goat and the donkey, while two sheep came from Ed and Julie Keller, of Corfu.

After driving past all the stations set up, drivers could stop at the last tent to enjoy a hot beverage and cookies.

Photos by Virginia Kropf.

Below, Christina Sosnowski, rear, Allie Stringham and Jessica Soskowski are three angels.

Bottom, Sisters Makena (kneeling), Brooke and Josie Reding watch two goats eat in one of the scenes of the nativity.

December 8, 2019 - 12:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl, news, batavia.

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Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with a few superheroes, made his annual visit to Foxprowl Collectables on Ellicott Street on Saturday.

Submitted photo.

December 8, 2019 - 12:38pm

Press release:

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today (Dec. 8) announced that, following his intense advocacy, Congressional lawmakers are nearing an agreement that would offer 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all federal employees to care for a newborn or adopted child, including the 114,386 workers* throughout New York State, in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Under current federal law, federal civilian workers are only eligible for three months of unpaid leave, often leaving them in financially precarious or unsustainable positions.

When passed, the bill would secure paid parental leave for all federal employees for the first time, bringing the federal government’s parental leave laws into the 21st century and on par with the vast majority of developed nations around the world, allowing new parents to give the appropriate support, love and care to their newborn children.

“The U.S. is the only industrialized nation that does not have paid parental leave," Senator Schumer said. "It’s high time that we caught up. And as the nation’s largest employer, the federal government offering 12 weeks to its millions of employees across our nation and here in New York, is a step in the right direction.

"From one end of the state to the other, no matter if you are a TSA or customs agent at JFK Airport, working on Fort Drum Army Base, or at Buffalo (or Batavia) VA Medical Center, you deserve time to take care of and support your new loved one and family, without worrying how it might impact your ability to put food on the table.

“That’s why during negotiations for this year’s NDAA, I made securing paid parental leave my very top priority, and fought with everything I had to secure it. I’m proud that my efforts, and the efforts of thousands of others, have helped make paid leave for federal employees a reality. I will not stop fighting until this benefit is provided to all workers nationwide.”

*Below is the breakdown of New York federal employees by region, according to New York Department of Labor:

  • NYC: 48,193
  • Long Island: 15,679
  • Hudson Valley: 11,177
  • Western New York: 10,002
  • Capital Region: 7,182
  • Central New York: 5,239
  • Finger Lakes: 5,161
  • North Country: 4,978
  • Mohawk Valley: 2,828
December 8, 2019 - 8:00am
posted by Billie Owens in Christmas, nostalgia, batavia, news.

Story by Dave Reilly. Photos courtesy of Dave Reilly.

(Warning: Christmas spoilers are contained in this article.)

When people reminisce about Christmas when they were little, different remembrances about the holiday come to their minds. The tree, the dinner, the church, and the presents they received are all standouts.

The best thing about Christmas for me is the magicality of it for kids. When I was young I fell hook, line, and Rudolph for the whole thing. Santa Claus, the reindeer, the sleigh -- all of it. Then, when I became a dad and had little ones of my own, it brought me back to my own childhood to see the awe and wonder on their faces on Christmas morning.

My Santa-believing years were mostly spent at 26 Thomas Avenue where we lived from when I was 1 to 8 years old. My parents, especially my mom, really stoked the imaginations of my younger brother Dan and me with the fantasy aspect of Christmas.

In the days leading up to Santa's visit we were encouraged to write and mail our toy list to the North Pole, first dictating to mom and later scratching out our own missive complete with misspellings. Then, we would walk holding mom's hand to the nearby mailbox to send them off. I guess now kids would text Santa or maybe the Jolly Old Elf is on Twitter.

Putting up the tree is not a great memory though. Going to pick one out at the tree lot was fun, usually combined with stopping for hot chocolate. But, once we got it home it was my dad's responsibility.

Troublesome Tree Stands

Apparently no one had yet invented an easy to use stand and this task was rife with a lot of yelling and epithets. My dad's favorite was “Judas Kraut!” We knew things were really going badly when we heard, “Oh fall down why don't ya!” Usually we'd retreat to our room to avoid this yearly outburst.

Almost worse than erecting the tree was the putting on of lights. First, the snarled wires, which had somehow become entwined like a ball of snakes up in the attic since last year, had to be untangled. Then, those who lived back in the '50s will remember that if one bulb went out they all did. Consequently, an exhaustive and profane process had to be carried out to find the faulty offender. I was never good at science so I'm not sure of why this was electrically speaking, but it sure caused dad to give off sparks.

Once the tree was up and lit (temporarily until another bulb shorted out the whole string) it was mom's purview to decorate it. As you can see by the accompanying photos, this meant applying mounds of silver tinsel. If the old theory of improving TV reception by putting aluminum foil on the antennas was true, Christmas trees back then were capable of picking up alien signals from distant galaxies. There must have been ornaments under there somewhere but who could tell?

Keeping Score on Outdoor Decor

A week or so before Christmas, we'd all pile into the family car (probably a Pontiac) to drive around Batavia and look at people's outdoor displays. My mom would bring a pen and paper and we'd give scores and vote on whose decorations were the best.

Since it was 65 or more years ago now, I can't recall any streets or houses which stood out except for Redfield Parkway. This street is in the western part of the city by the racetrack and the Veterans Hospital and has a median down the middle. Almost every house would put a tree on their front lawn and light it up in different ways. Individually each house wasn't much to see, but taken as a whole it was impressive.

I haven't been in Batavia at Christmas for a number of years, but I think this neighborhood tradition is still going on.

Christmas Eve Day must have been a real challenge for my (and all) moms. The anticipation of Santa coming was almost too much to bear. Activities had to be found for us so we wouldn't go completely out of control. You know how your puppy gets when it's been in a crate all day waiting for you to get home from work? That was us minus the barking and jumping. Well, the barking anyway.

So the day would be spent baking and decorating cookies and getting Santa and the reindeers' snacks ready. Cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer were placed on the hearth with a note. One year mom apparently thought it would be cute for me (Dan was too young) to write a poem about Santa.

Santa Claus lives way up north,

On Christmas Eve he goes forth,

To bring presents to girls and boys,

Books and balls and lots of toys.

You better watch out,

And you better not cry,

Or Santa right by your house

Will fly.

If you are good,

Do not fear,

Santa will come down the chimney

This year.

OK, it didn't win a Pulitzer Prize, but it was cute, wasn't it?

The Grip of Insomnia

Like many parents ours had to struggle to get us to sleep on the Big Night. The tactic of telling us that Santa wouldn't come if we were awake only seemed to make our eyes bulge wider. My mom told us that if we were really quiet we could hear the bells of the reindeer jingling. I was positive a couple of years that I actually heard them on the roof, but when I got up and looked out the window there was nothing there but the cold dark night.

To make it even harder to drift off into dreamland my mom had a tradition, maybe from Denmark from where my grandparents emigrated, to hang our stocking on the foot of our bed instead of the hearth. Imagine trying to fall asleep when you thought Santa would imminently be standing right there in your bedroom.

I swore that I never closed my eyes, but all of a sudden at 3 or 4 in the morning I would check my stocking for seemingly the 20th time and it would be full! Talk about magic! Then I had to restrain myself from looking through everything until morning.

One thing I could count on being in there once I learned to read was a Hardy Boys book. I loved them and for my parents' benefit it served the purpose of keeping me busy all day. I would usually have read the whole book by bedtime on Christmas night. Besides the book and maybe a small toy, the rest of the stocking was filled with nuts and tangerines. We weren't wealthy by any means.

Sneaking a Peek

One Christmas Eve, or more accurately early in the morning, I couldn't restrain myself and decided that I just had to see Santa. I tiptoed, probably in my slipper socks, to the stairs and positioned myself where I could see the tree.

I'm not sure how long I sat there, but at some point my dad discovered me and shooed me back to bed. He probably admonished me that if Santa had seen me he would have gone back up the chimney without leaving any presents. Dads are well known to be more blunt than moms about such things.

After all that anticipation, Christmas morning was almost anticlimactic.

The Big Bonanza

Nonetheless, we kids were up at the crack of dawn dragging a half-asleep mom and dad behind us down the stairs. Like in most every other household there ensued a hullabaloo of torn wrapping paper, opened boxes, and Oohs!, Aahs!, and Oh Boys! galore.

Presents for little boys in those days would certainly include cowboy gear, including the dreaded cap pistols with mom's admonishment, “Those are for outdoors only!” Also in the Santa bonanza would be baseball mitts and/or bats and footballs and equipment, including one year my prized red helmet, which I reminisced about in a previous story.

If you look carefully at one of the accompanying photos you can make out a toy gas station. Today it would possibly be an electric charging station for the kids' toy Prius or Tesla.

My parents' gift from me consisted of a construction paper covered packet in the shape of an angel or a bell made at school. Inside I would promise them a bunch of rosaries and prayers (pretty sure I never paid up) with a message that the nun would have us copy from the blackboard: "Dear Mom and Dad, Thank you for all you do for me. Your son, David Reilly.” (Good thing I put my last name so mom and dad wouldn't think some other kid named David made it.)

Round Two -- Cedar Street

After mom calmed us down enough to eat some breakfast, we were lucky enough to embark on a second round of gifts at our Aunt Kate and Peg's house. My dad had two sisters who never married and lived together in the family home at 27 Cedar Street (previously mentioned in "The Blizzard of '66") where they grew up. They doted on Dan and I (they embarrassingly referred to us as “Honey Boys”) and somehow persuaded Santa to make a stop at their place, too. So, the ripping and tearing and opening and shouts of “Yippee!” took place all over again.

Later in the afternoon, usually at our house because mom was the only family member who could cook, we'd sit down to Christmas dinner. This was somewhat of an adventure in itself.

Our Uncle George was a plumber and to be blunt, he kind of smelled like it. So Dan and I would jockey for position at the table so as not to sit by him. His wife, Aunt Helen, apparently had a food issue and while we ate turkey with all the trimmings, mom had to fix her what seemed to be a shriveled piece of some kind of meat. When we got a little older Dan and I would joke that we needed to get it analyzed by a laboratory to see what it actually was.

Once every few years my aunts would cajole everyone to have the dinner at their house. This announcement always led to loud protesting and whining including by my dad and they were his sisters.

They were raised in the Irish style of cooking, which meant boiling everything in water. This included the ham. Just the odor would make us gag. I think there were a couple of years when all I actually ate was those little gherkins that came in a jar. At least they weren't boiled.

Finally, as Christmas night arrived, the big day began to wind down. Uncle George and Aunt Helen headed home in the plumbing truck and my dad had to drive aunts Kate and Peg to their house as they both lived to old age without ever learning to drive.

Christmas Concludes

Little brother Dan conked out somewhere and would eventually be carried up to bed. I would be curled up in a quiet spot absorbed in whether Frank and Joe Hardy would solve the case of “The Sinister Sign Post.” I assume that our parents were relaxing, too, and breathing a sigh of relief that it was over for another year.

Between the ages of 8 and 10 we lived for a couple years on Ellicott Avenue and then when I was 10 we moved across town to 122 North Spruce Street. Of course, Christmases continued on with many of the same people and traditions.

But at some point, like all kids, I realized the truth, and the magic of Santa vanished. Thankfully, the enchantment returned in the 1980s when my children were born and I got to again suspend reality for several years through their wide and happy eyes.

December 7, 2019 - 10:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GSO, Genesee Symphony Orchestra, news, music, arts, entertainment.

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The Genesee Symphony Orchestra performs its annual holiday concert, "A Nutcracker Holiday," at 4 p.m., Sunday, at Byron-Bergen High School, conducted by S. Shade Zajac.

Performances include "Christmas Concerto" by Corelli, "Sleigh Ride" by Leroy Anderson, "Piano Concerto No. 2" by Saint-Saens (featuring Amy Feng, GSO Young Artist Winner), T"he Nutcracker" by Tchaikovsky, a holiday selection featuring the Pembroke Elementary Chorus, and Christmas Festival by Leroy Anderson.

Tickets are adults $15, senior $10, and students with ID are free.

Byron-Bergen High School is located at 6917 W. Bergen Road, Bergen.

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December 7, 2019 - 2:52pm

Submitted photo and (most of the) information:

The Pembroke Corfu Darien Kiwanis Club is hosting breakfast with some special friends on Sunday and you're invited.

Santa Claus and his seasonally intermittent chums Cindy Lou and The Grinch (left to right, inset photo) will be there as guests, so bring the kids and cameras! There is a free gift for each child, too!

Breakfast will be served from 9 a.m. to noon in East Pembroke at the St. Maximillian Kolbe Parish Hall, located at 8656 Church St.

There will be pancakes, sausage, applesauce and a beverage.

Cost is $6 for adults; $5 for children age 6 to 12; children 5 and under eat free.

The Kiwanis Club is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and community at a time. For more information about the PCD Kiwanis, call Pat at 762-8429.

FWIW: The Grinch might not be too thrilled about attending, but he said he'd be there, albeit begrudgingly. (Not much of a smiler, that guy.) Miss Cindy Lou Who, of Whoville, on the other hand is perked up by the prospect and the chance to show off her distinctive coiffure with yuletide touches. Santa, of course, is an old pro at these kinds of photo ops and doesn't mind sharing the limelight.

December 7, 2019 - 12:18pm

Submitted photo and press release:

The Boy Scouts of America, Iroquois Trail Council, is pleased to announce the Grand Opening of its Volunteer Service and Training Center, located at 102 S. Main St. in the Village of Oakfield on Saturday, Dec. 14.

Doors will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. A commemorative ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. 

The Council secured the location following an exhaustive search of properties in and around the Batavia area, which is central to its five-county service area.

“This location allows us a stand-alone space that can be customized for our unique needs in a much more cost-effective manner than either a new build would cost or continuing to lease space,” said Scout Executive Jim McMullen. 

“Our Council’s Board of Directors felt this was in keeping with the 'Thrifty' point of the Scout Law.

“We are excited to work on creating a dedicated space that can be used for the many programs and volunteer leadership training that our Council offers, and support our many member families, all while lowering annual operating expenses,” McMullen said. 

The property also provides ample grounds for an outdoor training area where leaders can learn the basics of outdoor teaching methods.

Although a significant lead gift helped to make the Service Center purchase possible, the Council is seeking contributions to help make the space fully functional.

For information about named gifts and other giving opportunities, please contact McMullen at 585-409-5828.

December 7, 2019 - 11:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, basketball, sports, batavia.

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Batavia couldn't quite close the gap at the end Friday night in their home opener against Honeoye Falls-Lima, falling 59-57.

Zach Bilebarto had a big game for the Blue Devils, scoring 25 points while hitting seven three-point shots. Caden White hit three three-pointers and finished with 13 points. Camden White scored 10 points and had eight rebounds.

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

To view or purchase prints, click here.

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December 6, 2019 - 6:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in NY 61st Senate District, Joan Elizabeth Seamans.

Previously submitted photo and press release:

Joan Elizabeth Seamans announces her candidacy for the New York Senate District 61.

She is a 25+year business owner in Amherst, a former trustee for the Village of Williamsville and former president of the Williamsville Business Association.

Seamans ran a very strong race against Senator Michael Ranzenhofer in 2018 and had the closest margins in more than 10 years.

Wishing Senator Ranzenhofer all the best as he retires at the end of next year to enjoy more time with his family, Seamans says she looks forward to bringing the voices of those across this diverse district to Albany.

December 6, 2019 - 4:14pm

Submitted photos and press release:

The story of the nativity, with all of its simplicity and grace, is featured in the Dec. 13 and 15 Christmas concerts of the Genesee Chorale.

Director Ric Jones has selected Ottorino Respighi’s “Laud to the Nativity,” and several old favorites with new arrangements he believes will delight the audience.

Concerts begin at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 at Grace Baptist Church, 238 Vine St., Batavia, and at 4 p.m. Dec. 15 at The Grove UMC, 11004 W. Center Street Ext., Medina. Tickets are $10 and are available through the Chorale website genesee.chorale.com, or at the door.

The Respighi work, Jones said, is a master choral work that hasn’t received the attention it deserves.

“Respighi uses elements of Renaissance music throughout the work, with dance-like madrigals and Italian carols,” Jones said. “The accompaniment of the work was unique with him using a chamber sextet as accompaniment.

"Lastly, the theme of the work was great. It uses the poetry of 13th century Franciscan monk Jacopone da Todi. The text focuses on the angel, the shepherds, and Mary.”

The story is told through three soloists – a soprano representing the angel, a mezzo-soprano representing Mary and a tenor representing a shepherd – and full chorus, with instrumental accompaniment by a sextet drawing from talented local players, and Chorale’s pianist Douglas Hanson.

Mary Wojciechowski (inset photo, right) sings the soprano (angel) part. Wojciechowski has experience in musical theater, opera, jazz and classical voice, and has produced and starred in several jazz concerts.

She has been featured with the Brockport Symphony Orchestra, the Brighton Symphony Orchestra, the Gateswingers Big Band and the Rochester Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra.

On stage, she’s performed such roles as Adele in "Die Feldermaus," Sister Angelica in "Sister Angelica" and the Countess in "The Marriage of Figaro."

Mezzo-soprano Mariami Bekauri (below left inset photo) sings the role of Mary in “Laud to the Nativity.” She has been praised for her “warm” and “handsome” tone, and last month made her debut in the titular role of Rossini’s "La Cenerentola" with Buffalo Opera Unlimited.

She is appearing as mezzo-soprano soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s holiday concerts this month.

She is a graduate of Fredonia School of Music and currently teaches in the music department at Buffalo State College, Houghton College Buffalo and the Fredonia School of Music.

Tenor John Clayton (bottom left inset photo) performs the role of the shepherd in the Respighi piece.

He has been described as a gallant singer with the ability to “put the audience in standstill” and was designated “one of Buffalo’s top vocalists” by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. His is a familiar face on the Buffalo stage, with appearances in more than a dozen operas with Nickel City Opera, Opera Sacra and Buffalo Opera Unlimited.

Clayton often appears as a recitalist or concert soloist with choruses, including Orff’s "Carmina Burana" with the Genesee Chorale a few seasons ago. He recently returned from Italy where he debuted as Don Ottavio in Mozart’s "Don Giovanni."

“This piece has challenged the Chorale in the sense of style,” Jones said. “The piece uses so many different elements and styles that fold in to one another, and that is challenging.”

It is also a challenge to put the music of chorus and instrumentalists together.

“The Chorale has risen to these challenges and I think they will present a moving musical work that depicts the Christmas season,” Jones said.

“Laud to the Nativity” is sung in English translation and constitutes the first half of the program.

The remaining pieces include a new arrangement of "Silent Night" by Dan Forrest, using the traditional text and melody wrapped in what Jones describes as a “beautifully unique harmonic setting.” "Rise Up Shepherd" gets gospel-style treatment, and remaining selections feature new harmonies.

December 6, 2019 - 3:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in snow removal, city public work department, batavia, news.

From the city department of Public Works:

With the arrival of significant winter weather, the City of Batavia Department of Public Works would like to ask for the public’s cooperation as we all try and navigate these storms.

Private plowing contractors should be aware that plowing snow into the street or onto the sidewalk is not allowed and creates dangerous conditions for motorists and pedestrians.

Property owners are ultimately responsible for clearing sidewalks adjacent to their property.

The City supplements sidewalk plowing as crews become available and as need dictates, however, this can only be completed after streets and municipal parking lots are plowed. School routes and main road sidewalks are then given priority.

We appreciate everyone’s efforts managing these snow events.

December 6, 2019 - 3:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in michael ranzenhofer, news, NY 61st Senate District, notify.

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer issued the following statement this afternoon (Dec. 6):

“Today I am announcing that I will not seek reelection and will retire from the NYS Senate at the end of next year," Ranzenhofer said. "It has been the highest privilege to represent the many communities of WNY and I am proud of what we have accomplished together on behalf of residents.

Despite my decision to retire, I will continue to fight for the residents of the 61st Senate District throughout the remainder of my term. After many years of serving the community, I look forward to spending more time with my family.”

In addition to being a legislator, the senator is a partner with the law firm Friedman and Ranzenhofer.

Submitted file photo of Honorable Janet DiFiore, chief judge of the State of New York, administering the oath of office to Ranzenhofer on the floor of the State Senate for the 2017-18 term.

December 6, 2019 - 2:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in pearl harbor, veterans, World War II, steve hawley.

A statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) on tomorrow's anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor -- Dec. 7, 1941.

“The attacks on the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor will forever stand as a chilling and infamous day in American history," said Assemblyman Steve Hawley. "Over 2,000 men and women lost their lives defending America’s freedom on this day, but their courage and memory reminds us that our nation is strong, persistent and full of time-honored patriots who will always be ready to stand guard to defend it.

“As the son of a World War II veteran and a veteran myself, I can attest to the dedication and sacrifice of our state’s veterans and active service members and hold them dear to my heart as I strive to give them a voice in Albany. It is important that we take time this weekend to recognize the brave men and women who perished some 78 years ago and thank current service members who are defending our nation at home and abroad today.

“I would like to recognize and thank all surviving World War II veterans and their families for what they have done to protect our country. The men and women of the Pearl Harbor attacks will never be forgotten, and their legacy will always serve to remind us to remain vigilant but forever proud to be an American.”

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