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Alexander dominates Oakfield to notch win

By Howard B. Owens

Alexander continues to impress early in the 2009 football season.  Today, the team pushed its record to 2-1 with a dominating 42-17 when over Oakfield-Alabama.

It didn't take long for Alexander to get on the board today. On the third play of the game, Jay Schafer swept left while the Oakfield defense rushed right, giving Schafer open space all the way to the end zone.

The Hornets never closed the deficit.

On its first series, Oakfield was forced to punt, but it was blocked by Alexander's Troy Shelunt.

A few plays later, Lucas Czechowski scored on a pass and Shelunt crossed the goal line on a two-point conversion.

On the first play from scrimage in the second quarter, Alexander pushed the score to 21-0 with a pass to Stephen George.

During the second quarter, Oakfield got on the board with a field goal.

After the score, Oakfield attempted an on-side kick, but Alexander recovered on its own 40-yard line. Schafer carried it into the end zone on the next play.

When Oakfield got the ball back, Matt Smith fumbled, allowing the Trojans to mount another scoring drive.

On the subsequent kickoff, Oakfield's Matt Smith returned the kick for a TD, making the score 36-10.

On the next series, Oakfield forced Alexander to punt, but Brandon Topocrczky stripped the ball from the Oakfield returner and Alexander recovered the ball.

In the fourth quarter, Oakfield managed another TD on a rush by Matt Osmancickli, putting the score at 36-17.

Oakfield started to move the ball on the next series, but a fumble gave Alexander the ball back on its own 2-yard line. Alexander drove back down the field until Schafer scored again, making the score 42-17.

After the game, Schafer said, "It felt good to win because we haven't beaten them in a long time. We'll be taking it to Holley next week because they run the same type offense."

Oakfield's coach, Brian Palone told his team after the game "Don't get down.  Stay positive. We need to get better - and we will."

Alexander's coach said his team will work on "finishing the game."  He said they played well in the first three quarters.

Body Worlds at Buffalo Science Museum

By Manilla Owen

I took my 9 year old son (a fourth grader) to see Body Worlds at the Buffalo Science Museum.   It was a fascinating visit.    They have over 20 bodies that were donated to the Body Worlds company that have been preserved by "plascene" (whatever that is!) so they can be displayed.   The bodies are in various sport poses from dancing to skiing, with the muscles, ligaments, bones and blood vessels exposed so you can see and understand how the human body works.  Among the exhibits are lungs that have turned black because of smoking, an enlarged liver and an artificial heart.

There are only a couple of more weeks before this traveling science exhibit moves on so I recommend trying to fit a visit in if you can.    I got my tickets online at

The rock and mineral exhibit was also very interesting, as was the mandala - a sand picture made in the 1990's by the Dali Lama's monks.

Route 5 in Le Roy blocked by minor injury accident

By Howard B. Owens

First responders are requesting an immediate response of tow trucks to an accident on Route 5 at East Bethany-Leroy Road in Le Roy.

The cars involved are blocking traffic in both directions.

No serious injuries were reported as a result of the accident.

UPDATE 3:54 p.m.: Route 5 reopened.

Opening New Store

By Ronald Burroughs

Genesee County Habitat for Humanity Board has decided to open a ReStore. The planning has been ongoing for over a year, it now as become a reality. The volunteers have been organizing and stocking shelves. Watch for information, signs and details coming in the next couple of weeks.



Mystery boom on Southside

By Howard B. Owens

We were awoken at approximately 8:25 a.m. by a large boom that rattled our windows. A neighbor heard it, too.

A neighbor called dispatch.

A Batavia Police officer checked out the areas around Maple and Evans, including checking all the transformers in the area.

A few weeks ago, there was a report of a large boom in Attica and it turned out to be an earthquake.  I've checked the USGS site and so far no reports of any seismic activity.

Did you hear or feel anything?

Victor rolls past Batavia, 40-0

By Howard B. Owens

It was a tough night for the Batavia Blue Devils in Victor.

A Victor team that executed well on both sides of the ball held Batavia scoreless through four quarters while running up a 40-0 tally.

Batavia could never really get anything going on offense, while the Victor team (also nicknamed the Blue Devils) were able to both run and catch through most of the night.

Victor also benefited from four turnovers.

Coach Dan Geiger said after the game it was a tough, tough loss for his team, but that they will be ready to get right back to work preparing for the next game. He said as always, Batavia has tough schedule, but that's no excuse. Each game, he said, the Blue Devils are ready to snap on their chin straps and fight to win.

The Victor team (now 3-0) scored on its first possession on a 30-yard pass from Richie Chute to Matt Koval.

On the next position, after an interception, Josh Maves scored on a one-yard run.

Batavia was down 14-0 as the first quarter ended. Victor added 13 more points in the second quarter on a Sean Hackel 3-yard run and on a blocked punt, which Ray Ali recovered in the end zone.

On its first position of the third quarter -- following another Batavia turnover -- Chute hit Connor Kimball on a 38-yard TD strike. Victor's final score came in the fourth quarter when Tommy Wagner punch over a 1-yard TD run.

Batavia drops to 0-3.

(At about 2:30 minutes into the video, Victor is credited with a touchdown. I've watched several times, and I don't see how the RB got within a half yard of the goal line. See what you think.)

Medics enroute to aid fallen jockey at Batavia Downs

By Billie Owens

Mercy EMS is enroute to Batavia Downs Casino and Racetrack, 3315 Park Road, for a report of a jockey who has fallen from a jogging cart at the track.

UPDATE: Medics are on site after entering the Richmond Avenue gate.

UPDATE (1:30 p.m.): Emergency responders are enroute to Erie County Medical Center.

Genesis is Pet of the Week -- You gotta problem wi'that?

By Pachuco Owens

An alpha if there ever was one. A top dog, numero uno, first, foremost and her name, continuing along the theme, is -- Genesis.

But we can call this handsome miss "Genny," to her face. As one can see she hogs up the whole couch where she lives, but it's OK (you know that whole whatever gorilla wants, gorilla gets thing). I, being a canine, too, can clearly interpret the wise gal's look here. And it is "What? You lookin' at me? You talkin' to me?" Note the arched eyebrow. Here's her story:

My name is Genesis but everyone calls me Genny. I am a Bullmastiff and I live with my mom and her daughters. I also live with a German Shepherd puppy named Sophie who I tolerate and 3 cats who tolerate me. Those darn cats get up high when they don't want to play anymore and I get in trouble if I go where I'm not supposed to to get them. 

I sleep on the floor in my mom's bedroom because she says I shed too much to sleep on the bed. I sneak up there when she isn't looking though. I try to get down quickly when I hear her coming but she usually catches me. If I look at her with my big sad eyes she usually doesn't yell too much. 

I like to think that my job is protecting the house and family by barking at everyone and everything that goes by. Mom yells at me for it but I know that she doesn't mind too much. She was disappointed when I slept right through someone breaking into the house though. A girl needs her beauty sleep you know!

I'm not scared of much except for thunder and lighting and the fireworks from the ballpark. I don't know why they need to torture me with those all summer long. I love all people food but my favorite thing is bananas. Usually when my mom eats one I get half and she gets half. I also eat LOTS of dog food so I hope we win the Pet of the Week contest because mom says I am eating her out of house and home.

If your pet is worthy of pet of the week, have him or her e-mail me at pets (at) the batavian dot com.  Please have your pet send a handsome picture and his or her story. Click here for more information. Your pet could win a $10 gift certificate from Genesee Feeds.

Wal-Mart delays Le Roy opening to 2012

By Howard B. Owens

This is a good news, bad news sort of thing:  The good news, Wal-Mart won't open in Le Roy until 2012. The bad news is, the mega-conglomerate still plans to open.

WBTA spoke with Le Roy Town Supervisor Tim McCulley, who learned of the delay after a conversation with Wal-Mart.

The store was originally slated to open by this Christmas.

Wal-Mart has otherwise cut back on openings during the economic downturn.

What will New York do when the stimulus money is gone?

By Howard B. Owens

Fighting 29th reproduces this graph from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which shows the 31 percent of the state's budget for 2009 covered by federal stimulus funds.

New York predicted that without changes to its revenue structure or spending programs, available funds in fiscal year 2010 (the 12-month period beginning April 1, 2009) would fall about $17.9 billion or 26 percent short of what was needed to balance the budget. In addition, New York’s FY2009 budget was projected to be short $2.2 billion due to declining revenues and rising costs.

The federal recovery law is providing New York $6.2 billion in federal funding that it is using to help close its budget gap. This includes $5 billion in additional federal Medicaid funding, $876 million in education-related State Fiscal Stabilization Fund money, and $274 million from the “government services” component of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund.

Farmers earning dramatically less of U.S. consumer food dollars

By Howard B. Owens

Relative to our discussions recently about dairy farms is this chart showing the decline in food-dollar share going to farmers since 1950.

As Daily Yonder points out, some of the decline is due to the increase the amount of money people now spend eating out rather than at home. While eating out doesn't mean farmers make less, per se, it does mean the overall amount of dollars spent on food has increased, with a good portion going to the mark-up of restaurants.  (Sadly for social capital, much of the increase has gone to fast-food chains, where people are generally less social than in the corner diner.)

Now, there has been some relief for consumers recently, with grocery prices dropping as much as 25 percent on some items, but that doesn't necessarily spell relief for farmers.

There are numerous problems facing farmers, from the rise of conglomerate buyers (decreased competition) to price discovery structures that may not fit with modern technology and communication.

Still, this chart backs up something Steve Hawley told me two days ago: Farmers he knows are getting the same price for their products that he got when he was a hog- and cash-crop farmer 30 years ago.

Meanwhile, all of the costs associated with running a farm has continued to go up, from labor to fuel and fertilizer and insurance.

Farmers are in a tough spot and now we have China threatening a trade war over chickens and tires.

A lot of these problems seem inter-related, from high government spending driving up taxes, to the purpose of anti-trust law being turned from its original intent, which was to ensure small-business competition. The law has morphed into ensuring that consumers get the cheapest price at Wal-Mart, thus fueling the rise of conglomerates and pushing U.S. jobs overseas in search of super-cheap labor.

This isn't a problem the government can necessarily fix for us. Consumers need to be smarter about how they flex their purchasing power, spending more money with locally owned businesses and avoiding big-box conglomerate retailers as much as possible.

Especially, buy locally produced food as much as possible.

USDA changes rules to allow locally grown produce to be served in schools

By Howard B. Owens

New York's apple growers have won approval to provide cleaned, sliced and bagged apples to area schools.

The USDA has eased restrictions on what "processed food" means for the purpose of distributing locally grown agriculture products to local school children.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, in a press release this morning, said she lobbied the USDA for the change.

“We have to let our farmers do what they do best, and that’s deliver fresh fruits and vegetable to local communities,” said Senator Gillibrand.  “New York farmers produce some of the highest quality, fresh produce in the country. The Farm Bill was supposed to make it easier for farmers to sell produce directly to New York schools, and this USDA ruling will finally ensure that our students will have healthy New York produce and our farmers can earn the extra income that comes from providing value-added products such as pre-cut apples. During difficult economic times, we need this new market to create jobs.”

Full press release after the jump:

Washington, DC – After leading the fight on behalf of New York farmers, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand secured a commitment from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that will allow New York farmers to process fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables for children to snack on in New York schools.  In February, Senator Gillibrand sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting that he change an administrative rule barring local farmers from delivering pre-cut and packaged fruit and vegetables to schoolchildren.  This week, on a phone call with the USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, Senator Gillibrand received a commitment that the USDA will reverse this interpretation and open up the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program to allow local farmers to participate.

“We have to let our farmers do what they do best, and that’s deliver fresh fruits and vegetable to local communities,” said Senator Gillibrand.  “New York farmers produce some of the highest quality, fresh produce in the country. The Farm Bill was supposed to make it easier for farmers to sell produce directly to New York schools, and this USDA ruling will finally ensure that our students will have healthy New York produce and our farmers can earn the extra income that comes from providing value-added products such as pre-cut apples. During difficult economic times, we need this new market to create jobs.”

State Senator Darrel J. Aubertine, D-Cape Vincent, chair of the New York State Senate's Agriculture Committee said, “When we make local food available in our schools, our children get the freshest and finest produce available. We asked Secretary Villsack and the USDA to review this because the enforcement of de minimis handling had been contrary to what the bill’s authors and all of us in the farm community were looking for. I’m pleased to see that they are reviewing this and that New York farmers will have the opportunity to provide fresh snacks for our school children.”

“City Harvest is pleased to learn that the USDA is taking another look at the language in the Farm Bill around de minimis processing, so that items like sliced fresh apples from New York State farms can be part of healthy school lunches.  Organizations that care about hunger and nutrition in New York City, and who care about improving school meals, have been asking for this change for some time,” said Jilly Stephens, Executive Director of City Harvest.

The Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program in the 2008 Farm Bill authorizes schools to buy local produce that has not been processed for students to eat outside of school cafeteria programs. This program operates best when this local produce has been washed, sliced and bagged, since it is eaten outside of the lunchroom. Until now, the USDA interpretation of what it means for local produce to be considered “processed” has prevented local farms from participating.

In the Farm Bill’s Joint Explanatory Statement, the authors of the bill said the term “unprocessed” should not be taken literally, but rather “logically implemented” to allow the preparation necessary to deliver farm products “to a  school food authority in a usable form.”

In February, Senator Gillibrand teamed up with New York State Senator Aubertine, to ask the USDA to “…remain mindful of the vitality and value of New York's farms, the health of our school children, and the positive benefits of promoting local agriculture.”

In their letter, Senator Gillibrand and State Senator Aubertine stated that Farm to Fork programs create wealth and lead to increased employment through agriculture, “creating a ripple effect that strengthens our struggling rural communities. Additionally, locally grown and distributed food is likely to be fresher and more nutritious, a key to fighting childhood public health problems from obesity to diabetes.”

Jobless rate down in Genesee County

By Howard B. Owens

Genesee County continues to do a bit better than the rest of the state, and the nation, on employment.

The unemployment rate for the county dropped to 6.9 percent in August, down from 7 percent in July.

New York's jobless rate hit 9 percent, however, the highest level in 26 years.

Police Beat: Young woman accused of shoplifting at Target

By Howard B. Owens

Sharon M. Burns, 20, 14 Parkwood Road, Hilton, is charged with petit larceny. Burns is accused of shoplifting several items from Target.

A 16-year-old was arrested by State Police at Alexander Middle School, 3314 Buffalo St., Alexander. The youth is from East Bethany. He was arrested Wednesday about 12:30 p.m.  He was issued an appearance ticket. No further details are available.

Kyle Washington, 19, of Lake Road, Pavilion, is charged with assault. He is accused of punching another man in the face Saturday during an argument on Clay Street. The man reportedly suffered a broken jaw. Washington was jailed on $1,500 bail.

Police Department recruiting new officers

By Howard B. Owens

Being a police officer is a tough job. You take a lot of crap, put yourself in perilous situations regularly and can put in long hours sometimes.

But it's also an exceptionally rewarding job. You get to do a lot of good for your community and help people lead better, safer, more productive lives.

There will be a civil service exam on Nov. 14 for a position with the Batavia Police Department. Applicants must register by Oct. 14

Starting salary is about $34,000.

For more information, including qualifications, visit the County's Human Resource page for the exam.

Fatal fire result of careless smoking, invesigators say

By Howard B. Owens

A fire early Thursday morning that killed Gary Horner, 58, was the result of careless smoking, fire investigators said this morning.

Horner died of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to Lt. Jay Steinbrenner, of the Batavia Fire Department.

The fire was reported about 3 a.m. Friday at 5 Dellinger Ave. when a passerby heard a smoke detector and smelled smoke.

Horner lived in a second floor apartment. The four occupants of the lower apartment were safely evacuated.

Today's Deals: A foodie Friday

By Howard B. Owens

Belladessa's Pizzeria, 9 Jackson St., Batavia, N.Y.: 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.

Settler's Restaurant, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Kravings, Valu Plaza, West Main Street, Batavia, N.Y. : Recently opened, it offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have $10 gift certificates for $5.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, N.Y.: 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.

Sport of Kings Family Restaurant, 419 W Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: A favorite locally owned family restaurant that is open 24 hours per day, seven days a week. We have a $15 gift card for $7.50.

Main St. Pizza Company, 206 E. Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: Pizza, wings, subs and even hamburgers and hot dogs, Main St. Pizza makes everything deliciously. We have a $15 gift certificate for $7.50.

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


Top Items on Batavia's List

The City of Batavia is accepting applications for a Full-time Water Treatment Plant Operator/Trainee (Salary $23.65/hr.) This is a trainee position involving responsibility for learning the duties and routines in the operation and maintenance of a water treatment plant.  The work is performed under the immediate supervision of a qualified operator. Does on-the-job training to become qualified as an operator of a water treatment plant. Does related work as required. Applicant must be a graduate of a senior high school or possess a New York State high school equivalency diploma. Please submit a completed Civil Service Application to Human Resources, One Batavia City Centre, Batavia, NY 14020 or Background check, psychological assessment, physical and drug testing are required. Candidate must become a resident of Genesee County or any adjacent town to the County of Genesee within 6 months of the date of conclusion of the probationary period for the City of Batavia. EEO. Applications can be found at
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