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Mancuso Group to create new service for artisans at Harvester Center

By Howard B. Owens

BATAVIA, NY -- Patricia Hawley, who has a long history of working with the arts community in Genesee County, has been hired by the Mancuso Business Development Group, to create an artisan center at the Harvester Center on Harvester Avenue.

Harvester, formerly known as the Batavia Industrial Center, is the world's first business incubator and helped launch a number of successful businesses since its inception 50 years ago.

“Creating this center is a huge step forward for a community that is so richly steeped in a tradition of fine artists," Hawley said in a statement released by the Mancuso Group. "I’m thrilled to join such a great team of innovative thinkers where, together, we can make art happen.”

Hawley, who submits occasional pieces to The Batavian on issues related to localism and the locavore movement, has extensive experience in arts management, having worked at Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council & Genesee Center for the Arts in Batavia and Genesee Country Village & Museum in Mumford, Mass. Hawley studied communications at SUNY Brockport and volunteers for various organizations including Orleans County Adult Learning Services, Genesee Symphony Orchestra and the Genesee Country Farmer’s Market Association. She is also the owner of Fountain of Youth Organics in Brockport.

From the Mancuso press release:

It is expected that the participants in the new artisan center will be able to take advantage of the programs, rental space, shared equipment, support services and management guidance that contributes to the success of the other entrepreneurial businesses at the BIC.

Patricia Hawley is married to Ted Hawley, current president of the Batavia Rotary Club and a member of the Genesee County Planning Board. Ted is brother of Steve Hawley, our current Assembly representative.

Santa's Coming To Oliver's Candies

By Jeremy Liles

Santa is coming to Oliver's Candies at 211 West Main Street Batavia on November 21st. (this Saturday) from 10am till 2pm.   There will be a petting zoo, Santa (every kid gets an Oliver's Candy Cane) and the Jaycees selling hot dogs, popcorn and hot cocoa.

Bring your kids and camera's!

Ribbon Candy is ready!  Hand made candy canes, Christmas gifts and so much more . . .!

   

(photo's from 2008)

City ambulances up for auction today

By Howard B. Owens

The retired ambulances of the discontinued service of the Batavia Fire Department are up for auction today.

The ambulances and related items are being sold through the Teitsworth auction site.

A 2008 Ford F350 XLT w/McCoy Miller body and a 6.4-liter diesel engine is bringing in the highest bid so far -- $10,000. The next highest bid is $3,500 for a 2005 Ford F350. The auction closes in a little more than 5 hours.

Power loss reported in Darien and Corfu

By Howard B. Owens

We just heard that there is some level of power outage in Darien and Corfu.  An official reported, "half power" in those communities.

The stoplight routes 33 and 77 is apparently out and a deputy has been dispatched to control traffic.

The power outage has not yet been reported on National Grid's Web site.

UPDATE 12:24 p.m.: Power outage reports are starting to pop up on National Grid's map.

UPDATE 12:31 p.m.: There is reportedly a low flying helicopter from National Grid in the area checking power lines. Also, county dispatch has been told it will be at least an hour before power is restored.

UPDATE 12:46 p.m.: Sheriff's Deputy reports that the traffic light in Corfu is working again.

Attica police officer accused of trying to drag GCC student into undercover work

By Howard B. Owens

Bianca Hervey, a 20-year-old student at GCC and former Batavia resident, was put in an awkward, and potentially dangerous, situation by the Attica Police Department recently, according to the Buffalo News.

Hervey, who's only apparent criminal record is a traffic ticket or two, and who was not known to police as a drug user, was apparently coerced into becoming a snitch -- going undercover to help catch drug dealers.

Now, there is little disagreement that illegal drug dealing is a bad thing, but the News rightly editorializes against the Village of Attica Police Department for employing tactics that sound much like those used by the Stasi, the East German Secret Police.

... the apparent drafting of a neophyte drug informant is not only cruel behavior, it is astoundingly bad police work. If the relevant officials are unwilling to strongly renounce what could have been an anomalous misstep in an otherwise professionally run operation, then their own professional judgment must be called into serious question.

The idea that law enforcement officers chasing drug dealers can do absolutely anything they want is itself a kind of drug, one that is as addictive and as destructive of society as any amount of heroin or cocaine.

Hervey was saved the fate of entering an underground world she knows nothing about because her attorney father was able to intervene, but the News reports an unnamed young man was not so fortunate, and now he fears for his safety.

Officer Christopher Graham, who is also the officer accused of trying to recruit Hervey into undercover work, reportedly told the young man that the minor charges against him could keep him out of the military. He offered the youth a way out -- help catch a drug dealer. The young man followed through, according to the News, but when the police asked him to get involved in a second drug deal, the informant refused to cooperate. A short time later, he was arrested for failure to appear on the original charges.

Informants are used by law enforcement all the time. It was an informant that helped local law enforcement break up an apparent meth ring here in Genesee County last week. But reliable informants are usually people who step forward on their own because they know something, or are people recruited from the drug world they already know. 

It seems to smack of incredibly poor judgment and an abuse of power to try and recruit informants from among young people who have little experience either in the drug world or in dealing with the criminal justice system. We trust our local law enforcement officers use better judgment.

Police Beat: DWI charge for North Street resident

By Howard B. Owens

Thomas M. Lashure, 42, of 218 North St., Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, failure to submit to breath test, failure to keep right and failure to use a turn signal. Lashure was stopped at 12:54 a.m. by officer Dan Coffey for alleged traffic violations.  Coffey arrested Lashure on the DWI charges following the traffic stop.

Michelle Lynn Sanders Evans, 28, of 115 S. Main St., lower, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Evans is accused of shoplifting from Wal-Mart.

Kelly Anne Morrison, 36, of 115 S. Main St., upper, is charged with petit larceny. Morrison is accused of shoplifting from Wal-Mart.

Today's Deals: Center Street, Alex's, Delavan's, T.F. Brown's and more

By Howard B. Owens

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $25 gift card for $12.50.

Margarita's Mexican Restaurant, 15 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: When you're looking for an authentic Mexican meal, Margarita's is the place to go. The food and atmosphere are perfect and the service is always outstanding.

T.F. Brown's, at 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's." We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Delavan's Restaurant and Tavern, 107 Evans St., Batavia, NY: To me, Delavan's is one of those restaurants where you want to eat frequently until you try everything on the menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

South Main Country Gifts, 3356 Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Handcrafted items, gifts with a regional flair, candles, teas and spices -- South Main has a wide selection to please most any interest. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Jackson St. Grill, 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Try the fresh, skinless haddock fish fry on Fridays. We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

Great Kutz, in the Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Men, enjoy a $5 haircut again with this offer exclusive to The Batavian. (gift card can be applied toward other services, but not products).

Blue Pearl Yoga, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: Exercise your soul as well as your body in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. We have a gift certificate for a seven-week  session (one class per week), which is a $56 value, for $28.

Carlson's Studio, 39 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Family photos are more than just photographs. When you need photos for that special occasion, Carlson's is a great choice in Genesee County. We have a $100 gift card for $50 ($2 PayPal service fee).

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, NY: People come from all over the region for a fine dining experience at Alex's. It's best known for its ribs, of course, but Alex's seafood is also a favorite of the restaurant's diners. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

NOTE: If you've never bought Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and process, click here.

SOLD OUT

Masse Gateway Project takes first step on development approval process

By Howard B. Owens

However slowly and incrementally, the ball is rolling forward on the Masse Gateway Project.

Tonight, property owner Tom Mancuso presented preliminary development plans to the Batavia Planning Board. The plans, sort of a rough sketch of the project, are the first step in an approval process that will involve a few agency reviews and more than a couple of public meetings.

Tonight's meeting was an opportunity for the planning board to see the plans for the first time and offer feedback, before Mancuso invests fully in project planning.

"We’re trying to move forward as quickly as possible, so the first step was to come here and get a review," Mancuso said after the meeting. "We need to do that before we do an application for a demolition permit, which we would like to do as soon as possible. We’re just finalizing construction funding. And just trying to get the appropriate approval so we can move forward as quickly as possible."

Mancuso said he hopes to have a demolition permit within 30 to 60 days.

The Masse Gateway Project will open up the former Masse/Harvester manufacturing plant to an entrance off Masse Place. The initial opening and refurbishing of the buildings around the entrance will potentially bring new business tenants into that part of the facility and help spur further redevelopment of the property into a mix-used business park.

The project is funded in part by a $1.5 million RestoreNY grant.

Mancuso said there is a lot of interest in the space from prospective tenants, but they do want to know when space will be available.

"The activity’s been good," Mancuso said. "It’s just that the hold-up that will continue to be an issue, is the delivery date. People need to know when we can get them in there and we can’t tell them that right now. There’s plenty of interest. It’s going to be a neat looking space. We’re going to be stymied until we can give them a delivery date."

The project plans will need to be reviewed at a city and county level for environmental impact, drainage, parking, Main-Street access, signage, use of utilities, lighting and code compliance. There are unlikely to be many applications for variances from current code, Planning Board Chairman Ed Jones noted, but he also suggested the City Council may want to take an active role in the environmental review process.

"Given that the source of the funding is coming from the city, this may very well be something that the City Council may want to take on as lead-agency status," Jones said. "This is going to be a high visibility project."

Assembly Republicans call on Paterson to cut spending

By Howard B. Owens

Assemblyman Steve Hawley joined his GOP colleagues in the Assembly Minority Conference in providing Gov. David Paterson a list of proposed spending cuts.

The cuts, if accepted, could save the state $3.5 billion.

"The Governor has asked each conference to present cost-saving ideas and for years we have had a list of ideas ready and waiting.  This is the third set of common-sense cost-saving solutions we have presented to the Governor and other legislative leaders.  Our plan has no new taxes or fees, these are not proposals for new revenue; the state does not need new revenue, it needs to stop spending the same way families and businesses are already doing,"  Hawley said in a statement.

The proposed cuts include:

  • Eliminate $130 million in unspent pork barrel accounts in both houses;
  • Reduce redundancy in state agencies
  • Eliminate undispersed contracts.

Full press release after the jump:

Along with the entire Assembly Minority Conference, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia) today presented a new list of solutions that would help close this year's budget deficit as well as set up the state to guard against future deficits with long-term cost savings.  In total, the plan could save over $3.5 billion mid-year and is the third proposal submitted by Hawley and his colleagues for the consideration of the Governor and other
legislative conferences.  To date, neither majority conference has publicly proposed any cost-saving solutions.

"The Governor has asked each conference to present cost-saving ideas and for years we have had a list of ideas ready and waiting.  This is the third set of common-sense cost-saving solutions we have presented to the Governor and other legislative leaders.  Our plan has no new taxes or fees, these are not proposals for new revenue; the state does not need new revenue, it needs to stop spending the same way families and businesses are already doing," said Hawley.

Among the proposals are initiatives to eliminate $130 million in unspent pork barrel accounts in both houses as well as a miscellaneous member item payment to the City of Yonkers for $4.5 million.  Hawley stated, "Albany is asking every New Yorker to make sacrifices.  It is outrageous that there is 'extra' cash in these accounts for members to spend on pet projects at home. Downstate leaders should not be allowed to hold onto this cash.  They should be forced to make the same spending sacrifices as the rest of the state, especially the Western New Yorkers they are so willing to increase taxes on - from utilities to license plate mandates.  This irresponsibility needs to stop."

Other proposals include measures to reduce redundancy in state government agencies.  For example, merging administrative costs in the Department of Real Property Taxation with the Department of Taxation and Finance or the Consumer Protection Board with the Department of Law.  These savings would amount to at least $924.6 million.

Another area that Hawley has taken a look at and discovered significant cost-saving opportunity is with the amount of money wasted on undispersed contracts.  For example, if the state reduced the balance of these contract accounts by just 5 percent, over $300 million would be available to close this year's budget deficit.  Hawley stated, "These contracts are not the type of contracts that will hurt outside business, not construction or highway jobs.  These are the creative solutions that we have been working to find for months now and have presented time and again.  It's time the majorities take our example, present their ideas openly or accept our proposals and run with them."
 

Batavia PTSD center providing help to increasing number of vets seeking treatment

By Howard B. Owens

The death of James Maher in Batavia on Nov. 7 brought the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan a little bit closer to home for many of us.

Here was a young man -- Maher was 27 -- who served his country with distinction, but was battling demons that apparently lead him to drink heavily and had friends fearing on that crisp Saturday night that James was out somewhere with thoughts of self destruction swimming through his mind.

Maher came to Batavia looking for help. He was one of more than 150,000 returning Iraq and Afghan war veterans who have reported to a clinic seeking help and answers for PTSD (about another 150,000 vets are estimated to suffer from PTSD, but have not sought help).

In the past year, the Jack H. Hisby, Jr. PTSD Center at the VA Hospital in Batavia has treated 557 men and 84 women in its residential clinic. Another 450 veterans are currently in out-patient treatment, according to Dr. Terri Julian, who runs the clinic.

"These patients are our sons our daughters and our bothers and our sisters and our fathers and our mothers and our aunts and our uncles," Julian said when I spoke with her at the clinic last week. "The fact that they come for treatment, we should be honoring them and patting them on the back for doing that. It’s a hard thing to do."

Until the late 1970s, when the term was coined, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) was largely characterized as "battle fatigue" or "shell shock." It wasn't until Vietnam-era veterans made an issue about what they and their colleagues were experiencing, that PTSD became recognized as a treatable clinical condition.

Nearly 30 years later, two ongoing wars are taking a high toll on active duty soldiers and returning veterans according to recent media reports.

Military leaders acknowledge rampant psychiatric problems in their midst. According to the Army, the suicide rate among soldiers in Iraq is five times that seen in the Persian Gulf War and 11% higher than during Vietnam. The Army reported 133 suicides in 2008, the most ever. In January of this year, the 24 suicides reported by the Army outnumbered U.S. combat-related deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Marine Corps also reported an increase in suicides in 2008, to 41. The Army and Marine Corps have provided most of the troops in the two wars.

After the tragedy at Fort Hood on Nov. 5, PTSD emerged again as a topic of national discussion, with some speculation that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was suffering a form of PTSD stemming from his treatment of returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. There is some evidence that doctors who treat patients for PTSD can suffer "secondary trauma."

Regardless of the validity of any condition potentially suffered by Maj. Hasan, the difficulties returning veterans face has largely been ignored by the media.

The Veterans Administration, however, seems to have taken steps to deal with the psychiatric issues of returning veterans and their families.

According to Julian, the VA prepared for an increase of PTSD patients. In Batavia, for example, the residential clinic expanded in 2007 from 16 to 30 beds.

The VA also created a Web site to help families understand the difficult transition many returning vets face.

"Anybody coming back from a war zone is going to have some readjustment needs," Julian said.

The four-week residential treatment at the Batavia clinic is hard and challenging, according to veterans I met at a memorial for Maher on Veteran's Day.

Julian says, yes, in fact, treatment can be hard.

"Of course we don’t like to confront our pain because it hurts," Julian said, "but that’s exactly what we know helps.

"These are folks who go through some pretty awful stuff," Julian added. "They’re survivors and pretty courageous people. The fact that they can talk about how tough it is, we applaud that. We want them to talk about what's tough, about the work."

The treatment involves psychotherapy, group discussions, family meetings, medication, and fitness regimes.

Patients are also taught techniques to help them re-learn how to control anxiety.

There are also opportunities for patients to explore artistic abilities in pictures or music. An area fly-fishing group also offers fly-fishing classes.

“It’s all of the kinds of things that we know work from the research," Julian said.

The doctor is confident that the program is helping the vast majority of men and women who seek treatment.

"I can tell you, moving-on day," Julian said, "which is what we call our graduation, there is a  difference in those men and women who come in feeling disconnected from one another. I think one of the tough things that treatment does is, it lets you connect with your own heart and with other people again. That’s pretty scary after you’ve had losses due to war. When you let yourself do that, you remember what it’s like to feel again."

The clinic treats more than just Iraq and Afghanistan veterans (about 30 percent of the PTSD patients are from those two conflicts). There are also still a number of Vietnam vets who seek treatment for the first time (either they reach retirement and have more time to think or the current wars conjure up suppressed memories), and there are still Gulf War veterans who seek treatment.

She said after 9-11, their was a sharp increase of Korean War vets seeking treatment.

"One last thing I want to say," Julian added near the end of our interview. "It really is a privilege to be here every day and an honor to serve those who served us. I say that on behalf of our entire staff."

A Thankful Day on Central Avenue

By Robin Walters

It was a day of giving thanks this past Saturday when Care-A-Van was on Central Avenue for Grocery Distribution.  It was one of our busiest days at this location!

We saw over 47 families with a total of 121 family members that were in need of food.

Two young seniors from Kane Area High School in Kane PA, Marissa Walters and Natalee Anderson  were volunteering with us today. They had a thankful box that they used to encourage those in need to share what they were thankful for and any prayer requests they had.  At the end of they day , Elder Ron prayed over the requests. Pictured above is the team and some residents of the neighborhood. We always  pray before leaving a neighorhood.

There were many needs and prayer requests today.

Marissa and a little Robert. Marissa has a dream one day to be a physician asisstant. Today was a great opportuntiy for her to help take care of God's little ones!

A special thanks to Marissa and Natalee for volunteering with us today!

So as the picture says- What are you thankful for today? Hmm- me, this PR Director is thankful for the week-end I had with my daughter and her friend and how they had the opportunity to see the needs of others and how they had a heart to want to make a difference..

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!

Police Beat: DWI charge against 75-year-old man

By Howard B. Owens

Franklin K. Zimmerman, 75, of 535 Bauman Road, Williamsville, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and driving left of pavement marking. Zimmerman was stopped by Deputy Jason Saile on Lewiston Road in Alabama.

A 17-year-old from Batavia is charged with petit larceny. The youth is accused of stealing $120 in merchandise from Target.

Jordon John Giglia, 20, of 9202 Allegheny Road, Corfu, is charged with criminal contempt and harassment. Giglia is accused of violating a no-offensive-conduct order out of Genesee County Family Court. Giglia allegedly pulled a chair out from under the protected person, causing her to fall and strike her head.

Today's Deal's: T.F. Brown's, Belladessa's, Present Tense and more

By Howard B. Owens

T.F. Brown's, at 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's." We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Belladessa's Pizzeria/Jackson St. Grill, 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Here's a deal -- half off on a Family Meal Deal from Belladessa's, which is a large 1 topping pizza, 24 wings and 2-liter bottle of soda. It's a $25 value for $12.50.

South Main Country Gifts, 3356 Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Handcrafted items, gifts with a regional flair, candles, teas and spices -- South Main has a wide selection to please most any interest. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Present Tense Books and Gifts, 101 Washington Ave., Batavia, NY: Whether your taste runs to local authors, the finest in fiction or nonfiction or you're looking for a unique and special gift, this charming store in a cozy Victorian house on the edge of downtown is a great place to stop and shop. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Adam Miller Toy & Bicycles, 8 Center St., Batavia, NY: Feel like a kid in a toy store again, or treat your kids to the greatest toy store they will ever see. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Total Image - Dawn Williams, 226 Ellicott St., Batavia, NY: Dawn offers clipper cuts for men, women and children, as well as coloring, highlights, perms and waxing. We have a $22 gift certificate for $11.

NOTE: If you've never bought Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and process, click here.

Total Image - Dawn Williams

Ladies' Night at the Mane Attraction

By Howard B. Owens

Tonight is another Ladies' Night at The Mane Attraction. Chris Ariyaratnam organizes the monthly event as a way to help promote local businesses and raise funds for various local charities.  In addition to shopping the booths of local vendors, visitors can buy raffle and Chinese auction tickets. Tonight's event isn't over yet (at 6:15 p.m.). It is open until 8 p.m.

House in Le Roy condemned after shifting off foundation

By Howard B. Owens

The renters of a home at 26 Union St. in the Village of Le Roy got a couple of free nights in a hotel after a county code enforcement officer condemned their dwelling Saturday night.

The Le Roy Fire Department initially responded to a call of a possible gas leak, but Chief William Wood said today there was no leak. The renters, he said, were advised to call the fire department after noticing a shift in the foundation to ensure there was no gas in the house.

"The shift was gradual, but over the past couple of days, it's moved quite a bit," Wood said.

Wood said he knew immediately that the building needed to be condemned, but wanted a code enforcement officer to confirm the decision. The Le Roy code enforcement officer was out of town, and none of the code enforcement officers from surrounding jurisdictions thought they had the authority to respond to the scene. Eventually, Tim Yaeger, Genesee County emergency coordinator, authorized the county's code enforcement officer to respond.  He condemned the house.

Wood didn't know where the renters might be following the two nights of accommodations provided by the Red Cross, but they can't move back into the house until the owner repairs the foundation.


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Paterson backs off license plate plan

By Howard B. Owens

The good news is, Gov. David Paterson has second thoughts about new license plate fees; the bad news is, Paterson is still talking about ways to "raise revenue" rather than cut costs, according to Associated Press.

The license plate plan announced last week had been expected to raise $129 by requiring vehicle owners to pay $25 to buy new plates starting next year.

The idea was immediately met with scorn by New Yorkers across the state.

More than 100,000 people signed an anti-license-plate-petition at nonewplates.com

Some feedback - a bakery in Batavia

By Chelsea O'Brien

Peter and I have been discussing an idea for a few months and wanted some feedback. We're thinking about possibly opening a bakery in Batavia. We'd like for it to be on main street, so it is available to people who drive and/or walk around.

 

I have a few questions for all of you local Batavians and those in Genesee County:

1) Would you utilize a local bakery instead of using Walmart and Top's baked goods?

2) What kind of goods would you like to see from a local bakery?

3) What features would you want in a bakery (ex: coffee, a cafe/eating area, etc)?

4) During what hours (and times) would you most likely visit a bakery (ex: morning, afternoon/lunch, holidays, etc)?

5) Would you utilize a specialty cake service?

 

Thanks for your input!

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