Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

March 19, 2019 - 12:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Soil and Water Conservation District, news, notify.
img_4442bradsoilater2019.jpg
   Brad Mudrzynski

The job of Soil and Water Conservative, District Manager Brad Mudrzynski, told the Public Service Committee on Monday during a department review, is pretty straightforward at its most basic: Keep soil healthy; keep it on dry land; keep it out of water, so water is kept clean.

Mudrzynski became the director in January, the second since George Squires retired a couple of years ago after 31 years of service to the county, but Mudrzynski, who is from Elba, said the district has continued to operate without missing a beat.

Genesee County's soil and water district was established in 1944. Every county in the state has a soil and water district. The county budgets about $150,000 annually to fund the district. That pays for personnel, currently four full-time staffers and one part-time employee, and it's up to the district to apply for grants and aid to fund its programs.

"We have a good core," Mudrzynski said. "I hope I get to keep my core because they are really good people. They all know what they're doing."

The current staff is Molly Cassatt, a technician (the former director who volunteered to change rolls), Bob Berkemeier, senior technician, Tim Welch, technician, and Laura Bestehorn, clerk-treasuer.

In Genesee County, most programs are focused on agriculture but the agency also works with municipalities. For example, soil and water is using a $6,000 state grant to fund a hydroseeding program with the towns.

Hydroseeding, rather than just spreading grass seed on the ground, helps prevent runoff and soil erosion.

Other programs and services include tree and shrub planting, fish stocking, an Envirothon, recycling events, permit assistance, guidance for invasive species control, and erosion control design.

In 2018, the district secured nine grants worth $1.2 million.

Mudrzynski said soil and water districts are unique in the state because they operate as quasi-state agencies but with local control, which makes them more nimble and responsive to local needs.

March 19, 2019 - 11:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in infrastructure, news, county highway.

There are 95 bridges and 256 culverts in the county's infrastructure inventory and combined they're worth about $70 million, County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens told members of the Public Service Committee on Monday.

That's a conservative estimate, Hens said.

He arrived at the number based on the amount spent on bridge and culvert replacement over the past three years without adjusting for inflation.  

Genesee County is one of three counties in the state that are economically responsible for all bridges and culverts on non-state roads, including those in towns and villages. In every other county, towns and villages must maintain and replace old bridges.

It's been that way since 1939 when the board of supervisors passed legislation giving county control of bridges and culverts.

A bridge (defined as more than 20 feet long) can be expected to have a safe, useful life of 50 years. The average bridge in the county was constructed in 1968, Hens said.

To keep up with the replacement cycle of bridges, the county needs to replace two bridges a year but in recent years, with cuts in federal aid, the county has only been able to replace one bridge a year.

Typically, state and federal aid helps pay for bridge and culvert replacement but as that aid is cut back, the county may need to turn to other sources of local revenue, such as sales tax.

March 19, 2019 - 7:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pawn law, news, notify.
      Kevin Earl

A proposed local law aimed at curbing property thefts is back before the County Legislature after undergoing revisions to more narrowly focus its intent on pawn shops and other businesses most commonly favored by criminals to fence stolen goods.

County Attorney Kevin Earl worked with a variety of interested parties, including District Attorney Lawrence Friedman and Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster to draft proposed language that would still meet the intent of the legislation, but ensure it only hit its target without potentially adding an unintended regulatory burden to other local businesses.

The original bill was introduced in November and met some initial opposition from some members of the Legislature and some local business owners.

The key change of the law narrows the scope of the regulations to businesses known as "pervasively regulated." Prior case law has established that certain business activities can be monitored by the government without a warrant because of the nature of the business. In New York, these already include pawn shops, coin dealers, chop shops, and other enterprises that can be used as fronts for stolen property.

The change ensures the law can't be used to impose regulations on commercial thrift-type stores, used book and record stores, antique stores, or businesses that resell gift cards, among other establishments that might have been swept up in the prior broader language of the law.

Public Services Committee Chair Shelly Stein said during yesterday's committee meeting that it's important to remember the purpose of the law. 

"We are trying to assist victims of theft and robbery in the county," Stein said. 

Even so, the revised bill isn't supported by all members of the Legislature. Both legislators John Deleo and Andrew Young said they are uncomfortable adding another layer of regulation on private enterprise.

"We have one pawn shop here and we're creating more mandated laws when we get upset when the state puts mandates on us," Deleo said. "I don't think it's right. I have faith in law enforcement that if we have a problem, we can solve it. I don't care how much lipstick we put on this, I have a hard time buying into it. I guess I have more faith in law enforcement.

After the meeting, Young said he still isn't satisfied with the language of the law.

"It has been suggested that the decision to be made to pass this law is easy because it is simply to choose between victims of stolen goods and potential criminals," Young said. "I don’t agree that is what it is about. The decision to be made is to weigh the cost of additional government rules, regulations and reporting requirements against the value those government-imposed burdens provide towards assisting victims of theft. 

"The changes made make this law better and somewhat less intrusive. I am not sure we have reached the point where the value of this law outweighs the cost."

Another significant change is the elimination of the licensing fee for a qualified secondhand dealer.

"We did this to address the suggestion that this was only a money grab by the county," said County Clerk Michael Cianfrini. "We wanted to eliminate that concern."

Earl said he's confident that changes in the bill's language will help it withstand any potential Constitutional challenge.  

Niagara County passed a new law similar in language to the original draft of Genesee County's law and Earl said officials up there, after he shared his concerns with them about the local law, don't intend to make changes.

"Niagara County had nobody show up at their public hearing," Earl said. "There were no objections. It's probably a good thing we had objections up front or we might have had problems on the back end."

Brewster said just discussion of the law has compelled Pawn King on Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia, to start using Leads Online, a digital service used by pawn shops to enter items received into a searchable database. Law enforcement agencies can then subscribe to the service (there's no cost to the merchants who participate) so they can see what items are coming into the shop and check the list of items reported stolen.

Pawn King was already using the service in other counties where it does business because those counties legally compel Pawn King to use Leads Online.

Brewster said passage of a similar law locally will ensure Pawn King continues to use the service and will help ensure their compliance is thorough.

Businesses required to record transactions and hold items for at least 10 days under the law could lose their license and be forced to close if found out of compliance.

Mike Barrett, owner of Barrett Marine, said after the meeting that with the revisions, he's more comfortable that the new law. If passed, it won't apply to Barrett's business, but the owner of John G. Cooper Coin Shop in Le Roy said at age 76, this law may be a signal that it's time to retire.

Previously:

March 18, 2019 - 3:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, Imagination Station, child care, day care, preschool.

Press release:

Imagination Station Child Care & Preschool is expanding its operation and adding a new location in Batavia. Known as the “Batavia East Center,” the location is scheduled to open mid-May and is located at 5079 Clinton Street Road in Batavia, the former Grandma’s Lovin’ Care building.

The center will have a variety of new features for Imagination Station and upgrades from its current location in Batavia. The building will have cameras in every classroom, a private playground, and doors throughout which lead to the outside, and a brand-new school-age classroom in the lower half of the building, which will be over 1,000 square feet!

Imagination Station is upgrading the building to include painting throughout, all new window treatments, new flooring in needed areas, an improved parking lot, and all new equipment and furniture in the classrooms.

“It’s a beautiful building and we’re excited for children to be occupying it again!" said owner Kelly Kronbeck. "We’re giving the building some love and attention, then we’ll be ready to open in the spring.

"We look forward to being able to create a more intimate environment at each of our Batavia locations since overall they’ll both be smaller in size."

Imagination Station, which is a locally owned and operated child-care provider, currently has a total of five centers, including the newest Batavia addition.

The new and improved center on Clinton Street Road will accommodate children from the ages of 6 weeks to 12 years old and has capacity for 112 students. The center will consist of two infant classrooms, three toddler classrooms, two preschool classrooms, and one school-age classroom.

Imagination Station prides itself in offering an educationally based program that is safe for its students and professionally run for its families. They credit their success to the hands-on approach they take in running their centers, but also by offering a high-quality program at an affordable rate, which is about 20 percent lower than its competitors between Buffalo and Rochester.

Interested families can tour the existing location by setting up an appointment! Enrollment is now available for both locations and is being filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Please call 585-343-0990 or visit the company’s website at www.istationccp.com for more information.

March 18, 2019 - 2:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Darien.

Lee George Ezzell, 64, of Genesee Street, Darien, is charged with second-degree harassment. At 10 a.m. on March 17 on Genesee Street in Darien, Ezzell was arrested. It is alleged that with intent to annoy, harass, or alarm a person, he used an open hand to strike that person in the back of the head. Ezzell was issued an appearance ticket for April 2 in Darien Town Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Mullen

Joey Aaron Evans, 28, of State Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. At 4:03 p.m. on March 16, Evans was arrested after he allegedly stole two Dyson V6 vacuums from Walmart. He was arraigned then released on his own recognizance. He is due in Batavia Town Court on April 9. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy Michael Lute.

Mary Ellen Bruton, 63, of Gilman Road, Churchville, is charged with: driving while intoxicated; DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or higher; and having a vehicle stopped, standing or parked on a highway. She was arrested at 10:32 p.m. on March 17 on Park Road in Batavia following a traffic stop. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia Town Court on April 11. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy Jeremy McClellan.

Justin T. Gladney, 29, of North Spruce Street, Batavia, was arrested on March 13 at 11:37 a.m. on Hutchins Street in Batavia on three separate warrants issued by Batavia City Court. One was a bench warrant for failure to appear. The second was an arrest warrant for failure to appear on an appearance ticket. These were in connection to two petit larceny charges. The third warrant was for first-degree falsifying business records and criminal impersonation in the second degree -- for allegedly giving a false name to the police and while being fingerprinted at the GC Jail. Gladney was put in jail with bail set at $2,500 cash or bond on the first two warrants and bail of $15,000 cash or bond for the new charges that garnered the third warrant. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis, assisted by Sgt. Daniel Coffey.

Pablo Abdiel Cintron Guzman, 18, of Central Avenue, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. He was arrested at 4:54 p.m. March 17 on Park Road in Batavia following a traffic stop. He is due in Town of Batavia Court on April 4. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Mathew Clor, assisted by Deputy Andrew Hale.

March 18, 2019 - 2:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, elba, Announcements, meat raffle, elba sports boosters.

Elba Sports Boosters will hold a Meat Raffle on Saturday, March 30, at Elba Firemen's Rec Hall. It is located at 7143 Oak Orchard Road, Elba.

Doors open at 5 p.m. and first pull is at 6 p.m.

$10 per person donation to attend, or reserve a table for eight for $70. Price includes beer, soda pop, wine and a door prize raffle ticket.

There will also be a Freezer Full of Meat Raffle, a Wheelbarrow of Booze Raffle, and a 50/50 Raffle.

"Grab your family and friends, bring snacks, a cooler for your winnings, and plenty of $1 bills!"

For tickets, contact any Boosters member.

For advance table reservation or more information, call Lea Ann Hall at (585) 409-1312.

March 18, 2019 - 1:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in UMMC, Health Care, news, notify.

According to data compiled by the Center for Disease Control, a federal agency, and compiled by USA Today, United Memorial Medical Center has one of the best rates of mothers avoiding serious complications during childbirth in New York and the nation.

UMMC's severe maternal morbidity (SMM) rate for births to all mothers is 0.09 percent, compared to 1.8 percent for New York and a 1.4-percent rate nationwide.

SMM includes unexpected outcomes of labor and delivery that result in significant short- or long-term consequences to a woman’s health, according to the CDC.

The rate for UMMC is based on 2,341 deliveries from 2014 through 2017.

Dr. Tara Gellasch, chief medical officer for UMMC, and a physician at Batavia's Women Care Center, said UMMC's rating reflects the hospital's commitment to quality care and the support of the Rochester Regional Health system.

"Due to a myriad of potential conditions that can increase risk, maternal mortality is a growing concern in New York State and throughout the country," Gellasch said. "At United Memorial Medical Center, our providers and staff are trained to identify patients at risk so we can work with our Rochester Regional Health experts in high-risk obstetrics to provide these patients with the prenatal care they need.

"Our team is proud that we have kept maternal mortality rates consistently low and, as we do in all areas of care, we continue to evaluate our work and find ways to raise the bar for the future."

The severe maternal morbidity rate "is a composite measure of things that can go wrong at the hospital before, during or after delivery – heart attacks, strokes, blood transfusions, hysterectomies and other perilous emergencies that can permanently harm or even kill a new mother," reported USA Today.

Because the SMM rate is especially a concern for black mothers, the newspaper also reported on the rate and deaths for black mothers at UMMC during the study period.

The rate of episiotomy, an incision made in the vagina to assist during difficult births but not recommended by most health care experts, is 1.2 percent at UMMC compared to 7.8 percent at hospitals in 13 other states. 

The cesarean rate at UMMC is 18.5 percent compared to a national rate, among hospitals that report the rate -- some do not disclose it -- is 19.9 percent.

March 18, 2019 - 12:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, jobs, economy, news, notify.

While Genesee County's unemployment rate jumped to 5.0 percent in January it was still a point-and-a-half lower than a year earlier for the same month.

The Department of Labor released the county's unemployment rate on Friday.

January's unemployment rate is traditionally one of the highest rates of any month in the year and last year it was 6.4 percent.

In December, the local rate was 4.1 percent.

There were 30,000 local residents reported in the labor force for January of this year compared to 29,500 the previous January.

Of those 30,000, 28,500 had jobs compared to 27,600 with jobs the previous year.

The number reported without work but seeking employment dropped from 1,900 to 1,500.

As for the number of private-sector jobs in the county, there were 16,300 reported in January compared to 16,200 the previous year.

March 18, 2019 - 11:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.55, up 7 cents from last week. One year ago, the price was $2.55 as well. The New York State average is $2.66 – up 7 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.69. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.60 (up 10 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo- - $2.58 (up 7 cents since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.69 (up 10 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.67 (up 10 cents since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.67 (up 8 cents since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.66 (up 9 cents since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.68 (up 9 cents since last week)

Increasing demand for gasoline and tightening supply have helped to push prices higher this week. In its latest weekly petroleum status report, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released new data that shows the spring driving season is certainly ahead for American motorists.

AAA is seeing an increase in requests for maps and tour books to popular driving destinations including Myrtle Beach and Charleston, S.C.

Gasoline demand is up while total domestic gasoline stocks are falling. As demand strengthens and gas stocks tighten, pump prices will likely follow suit and continue to increase. A springtime jump in prices is typical with increased demand and the changeover to the more expensive summer blend gasoline in the coming weeks.

March 17, 2019 - 9:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, St. Patrick's Day.
Video Sponsor
March 17, 2019 - 7:33pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.

Brockport's Chris Bardol enjoyed a successful weekend of tournament bowling last week -- cashing big in a pair of events -- and kept the hot hand in league play by rolling a 290 game and 804 series in the G&W Vending League on Tuesday night at Rose Garden Bowl in Bergen.

Bardol's 290 was one of three registered over the past seven days, with Matt Balduf of South Byron hitting 290--712 in the Toyota of Batavia Thursday League at Mancuso Bowling Center, and Frank Jarkiewicz of Byron posting 290 in the Every-Other-Saturday League at Rose Garden Bowl.

At Mount Morris Lanes, proprietor Bob Santini rolled a 300 game on March 6 at his hometown center.

Other high series included Jason Quiliam's 279--792 in the Mancuso Real Estate/No Finer Diner League at Mancuso's, Charles Scheiber's 771 in the Thursday Owls League at Rose Garden Bowl, and Rob Stefani's 779 in the G&W Vending League.

For a list of high rollers, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page. 

To read about Bardol's tournament exploits and plenty of other local bowling news, check out Mike Pettinella's next Pin Points column this Thursday.

March 17, 2019 - 2:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, batavia, news, outdoors.

20190317_074843eagle.jpg

Frank Capuano took this picture of an eagle he spotted this morning feasting on a carcass in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

March 16, 2019 - 4:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Genesee Symphony Orchestra, pops concert, elba.

The Genesee Symphony Orchestra will present its "Made in America!" Pops Concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 31 in the Elba Central School Auditorium. It is located at 57 S. Main St. in Elba.

S. Shade Zajac is the symphony's music director and conductor. The concert will feature composer, percussionist and guest soloist Dave Mancini.

WBTA is the sponsor of the "Made in America!" Pops Concert.

The program is:

  • "The American Frontier" by Calvin Custer
  • "The Journey" by Dave Mancini
  • "Fiesta Latina" by Dave Mancini
  • "Psycho Prelude" by Bernard Herrmann
  • "Forrest Gump Suite" by Alan Silvestri, arrangements by Calvin Custer
  • Concert Suite from "Dances With Wolves" by John Barry
  • "Over the Rainbow" from "The Wizard of Oz" by Harold Arlen, arrangements by Chuck Sayre
  • "Star Wars Suite for Orchestra" by John Williams -- "Leia's Theme" and main title

Tickets are: adults -- $15; students -- $7; seniors -- $10; family -- $35 (parents and children 12 and under).

Tickets are available at Roxy's Music Store, GO ART!, The YNGodess Shop, Vinyl Record Revival, Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew, and on the symphony's website here.

This concert is made possible, in part, by the NYS Council on the Arts with the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature.

March 16, 2019 - 2:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, Residential Rehabilitation Survey.

Press release:

The City of Batavia is “All In” to revitalize our city through economic development and housing programs that will raise our standard of living and make our community one of the most attractive places, to live, work, and play.

The City is considering applying for Federal grant assistance to help income eligible owner-occupied single-family homeowners with essential home improvements.

Sometimes the smallest things we can do for our neighborhoods can have the biggest impact. Home improvements are a catalyst for changing the look and feel of a neighborhood and improving residents’ quality of life.

Here in Batavia, Summit Street is a perfect example of a street coming back to life with vibrancy and is now a model for other transformations across our City. When one resident makes improvements to their home, others follow.

Grant funds would enable homeowners to make home repairs with grant and deferred-loan funding. Any single-family homeowner is encouraged to apply.

If you own a single-family home in need of repairs please download the survey from the City’s “Useful Links” tab on the City’s homepage at www.batavianewyork.com. Click on Residential Rehabilitation Survey or pick up a survey in the City Manager’s office at City Hall.

Surveys will also be available at the Richmond Memorial Library (19 Ross St.) the week of March 18th.

The City’s goals include the following:

1.        Create a viable urban community with decent housing.

2.        Ensure a suitable living environment for all (safe, sanitary and habitable dwellings).

3.        Expanding economic opportunities for all including persons of low to moderate income.

4.        Rehabilitate the City knowing that it starts with one building at a time.

The City of Batavia is requesting your full cooperation to help us obtain housing rehabilitation grant funding. Please complete and mail in or drop off the surveys to the City Manager’s Office, One Batavia City Centre, Batavia, New York, 14020.

March 16, 2019 - 2:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in the batavian sessions, music, entertainment, hlom.

 

Video Sponsor

 

No Blarney! performed a concert of traditional Irish music Friday night at the Holland Land Office Museum.

Here are two videos from that performance, one of "Drink It Up, Man," and the other "Drunken Sailor."

Thank you to No Blarney! and the audience for allowing me to make these two videos. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

 

Video Sponsor
March 16, 2019 - 11:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A caller reports that a woman showed up at a residence on Williams Street in Batavia and knocked the windows out with a shovel.

She then left in a dark-colored Ford pickup truck.

Police are searching the area.

March 16, 2019 - 8:50am
posted by Billie Owens in scanner, news, batavia.

Law enforcement is responding to the Clinton Crossing Apartments on Clinton Street Road in Batavia after a woman called dispatch to report "a male subject is laying on her couch -- unknown who it is."

UPDATE 8:52 a.m.: The male, described as white with blond hair and a blond beard and wearing a "black hood" left the apartment and was walking toward Route 33 (Clinton Street Road). Law enforcement is now out with him.

March 16, 2019 - 8:37am
posted by Billie Owens in Pavilion, accident, news.

A motor-vehicle rollover accident is reported in the area of 11025 S. Lake Road in Pavilion, just north of Route 63. The vehicle went into water; unknown injuries or how deep the water is.

The roads in the vicinity are "nothing but complete ice," says a first responder, adding that the Mercy unit approaching should use caution because it's so slippery.

Another one says "(Route) 20 is no better than 63."

Pavilion Fire Department is responding, along with Mercy medics.

UPDATE 8:41 a.m.: Everyone is out of the vehicle and walking; injuries, if any, appear to be minor. The occupants are heading to a nearby residence.

UPDATE 8:42 a.m.: "No injuries." A deputy is going to stop at the residence to check on them.

UPDATE 8:43 a.m.: Mercy Flight had been contacted; then canceled.

UPDATE 8:44 a.m.: Mercy medics are to continue in non-emergency mode.

UPDATE 8:56 a.m.: A deputy calls for a tow of the vehicle, which he says is an SUV, 10 feet down an embankment, partially submerged in water.

UPDATE 8:59 a.m.: Two trucks from Stella's towing service will be responding with a 15-minute ETA.

UPDATE 9:13 a.m.: Stella's two trucks are on scene.

March 15, 2019 - 6:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, schools, education, news.

readingnightjackson2019.jpg

Children dance to the music of the Hill Brothers during annual Family Reading Night at Jackson School in Batavia.

The entertainment followed sessions of various people from the community reading to the children in their classrooms at the school.

readingnightjackson2019-2.jpg

readingnightjackson2019-3.jpg

Pages

Top Items on Batavia's List

Installer Assistant

Kreative Design Kitchen and Bath, Inc. Kitchen & bath dealership is looking for an individual to work with our installers as an assistant. The ideal person would be someone looking to make a career in the kitchen/bath industry. Responsibilities include maintaining our warehouse as well as handle all deliveries. Some experience preferred.

LPN needed for Home Care

I'm looking for a dependable lpn or lpn's for family directed home care through Aurora Home Care. Day eight hour shift on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thurs. available for an easy-going incomplete quadriplegic.Saturday's open also. If interested please call: (585) 356--4098 $19.89 hr.

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Copyright © 2008-2019 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button