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News roundup: Public market closed early

By Philip Anselmo

Batavia bids an early adieu to another of its downtown amenities. Last week, the city announced the closure of the spray park two weeks early due to mechanical problems. Today, the Daily News tells us that the downtown public market is closed for the season, several months early—it was supposed to run through October 11.

Business Improvement District (BID) Manager Don Burkel said the decision was made Friday due to "a shortage of vendors and the lack of community support." The market that opened in late June ran from 9:00am to 2:00pm Saturdays in the parking lot at Ellicott and Jackson streets. On opening day there were maybe 10 vendors total. Lorraine Schaub said she was one of only three vendors when she showed up for the market most days. Schaub owns Cookies & Milk inside the mall. She blamed Burkel and the BID for the poor support, citing a lack of planning and promotion.

Says Schaub: "I don't think they worked on it ahead of time. It's a good thing we had tents; otherwise nobody would've known we were there."

Another vendor, Joan Shuknecht, owner of Ole Barn Country Market of Elba, said the BID did a fine job of promoting the market. She said she was doing well at the market though she could have done better. That sentiment is contrasted with Shuknecht saying elsewhere that during the Summer in the City festival she had to throw out 10 crates of produce because of a lack of sales, in part due to a lack of access to the market because of all the efforts concentrated on Summer in the City. She then told Burkel she would not be returning to the market.

We have not yet been able to reach Burkel for further comment, though he told the Daily News that he is not sure the BID will again support the market in 2009.

In other news:

  • Area farmers assessed the damage from this summer's repeated hailstorms and found a beaten crop: whole fields of tomatoes and cucumbers wiped out, apples dented and bruised. They will seek additional federal disaster aid. Check out the extensive article by Tom Rivers for more details. One aspect of the issue not dealt with in much detail that would be interesting to hear more about is the affect the loss of so much produce will have on the market. Will it be strictly local? Will the local market not be affected at all?
  • Batavia Downs hosted its fourth annual wiener dog races Sunday. Defending champion, Rudy, owned by Ann Schiller of Lancaster, won his first heat but came in second in the finals to Bambi, owned by Grace De Valder of Bergen.

As always, we encourage you to get out and pick up a copy of the Daily News at local newsstands. Or, better yet, subscribe at

Batavia Downs

By Steve Ognibene


It was an honor and privilage to watch Joe Gerace at Batavia Downs Gaming this past Saturday night. 

Joe spoke after the 7th race and being awarded for the "2008 Italian-American of the Year".  Many Batavia residents, friends and family members gathered in celebration of Joe receiving his award.  Joe thanked the love of his family, god and everyone who knew and supported him. 

Here is a picture of Joe and his wife Lois just before entering the Batavia Downs.  For more pictures of Joe receiving the award:  Pick up your own copy of the Daily News at local newsstands. Or, better yet, subscribe at


News roundup: City Council meets tonight

By Philip Anselmo

Batavia's City Council will meet tonight at 7:00pm at City Hall, according to WBTA. The meeting, originally scheduled for August 11, was postponed twice. Council is expected to vote on whether to fund the replacement of a sign for the mall. Also meeting tonight at 7:00pm is the Board of Education. They will assemble at the administration building on Washington Avenue.

No cause has yet been determined in the fire at Willow Industries at 34 Clinton Street that erupted Friday night. The fire was brought under control shortly after midnight. Damage was confined to the warehouse, and some of the materials inside are reported destroyed by fire. Steve Ognibene was driving by that evening when he spotted the fire trucks. He put together this video footage of the scene, which was sent to the Batavian over the weekend:

Muckdogs Rally Late, Hang On For 7th Straight Win

By Mollie Radzinski

A four-run 8th inning for the Muckdogs (39-23) was enough to get the 4-3 win against Williamsport (31-30).  Arquimedes Nieto (6-0) picked up the win, pitching the 6th, 7th and 8th with one strikeout.  Adam Reifer (19) earned himself the save in the 9th with two hits, one run and two strikeouts.  Jesse Oster (1-1) blew the save and got the loss throwing one inning with two hits, four runs and two walks for the opposition.

The Crosscutters started their early lead in the 3rd, scoring one run when Brandon  Haislet singled, Bryan Frew walked and Steve Susdorf came up with a RBI single.  They added another in the 5th after Haislet was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a wild pitch.  Later in the inning, Haislet came around to score on a Susdorf sacrifice fly.

However, Batavia came through in the 8th to score enough for the win.  Jose Garcia got on base with a walk and advanced on a wild pitch.  Colt Sedbrook came up and singled to send Garcia home.  After Osvaldo Morales also was walked, Xavier Scruggs drove one over the fence in right field to bring three runs home.

Williamsport threatened in the 9th by scoring one run on a Troy Hanzawa double and Tim Binkoski single, but Reifer struck out the next two he faced to finalize the win.

Sedbrook had a big game, having three of the team's five hits in four at bats, including a double, RBI and a run scored.  Scruggs was clutch in his 1-for-3 day with a homerun and desicive three RBI.  The Muckdogs look to sweep Williamsport and increase their streak tomorrow night at home.

Local Cops Tops!

By Russ Stresing

      Saturday's edition of Batavia's Daily News front-paged a story of our local law enforcement performing their duties in the full spirit of the oaths they take.  Sheriffs deputies from Livingston, Genesee and Wyoming counties dovetailed their efforts in apprehending a group of robbers that have been victimizing local immigrant workers.  Using the workers' fear of immigration authorities, these thugs forcibly invaded migrant housing, beating and robbing with the confidence that local law enforcement wouldn't be notified.  However, local farmers worked with our law enforcement professionals to convince the victims to come forward.

 '   "Many of the victims felt helpless,  due to the fact many were illegal immigrants in this country, fearful of reporting the crime and being deported," Livingston County Sheriff John York said Friday during a news conference.'   But the local law saw things in black and white.   Later in the article, York says, "....I want to make it clear to everybody that even illegal immigrants or legal immigrants have the right not to be victimized in this country."

    Those sentiments were repeated by many of the fine people who worked in an "intensive, round-the-clock" effort to stop the victimization of some of the most defenseless among us.  To read the story is to be proud that our law enforcement officials take their duty to "serve and protect" to mean they'll serve and protect everybody.

Muckdogs Prevail In Extra To Remain In First

By Mollie Radzinski

Batavia's (38-23) four errors looked to be costly, but the Muckdogs took the game into extra innings to get the 4-3 over the Williamsport Crosscutters (31-29).  Josh Hester started the game positively, going five innings with four hits, one run (unearned) and three strikeouts.  LaCurtis Mayes (4-0) threw the 11th and 12th innings for the win.  He walked one while striking out three.  Williamsport's Michael Schwimmer (0-2) got the loss in two and a third innings with two hits, one run, one walk and three strikeouts.

The Crosscutters led 1-0 after the 4th when D'Arby Myers reached on a throwing error and came around to score on a Steve Susdorf double.  The Muckdogs took over the lead by scoring three in the 7th.  Colt Sedbrook singled and Shane Peterson reached on catcher's interference.  They then both advanced on a balk before Xavier Scruggs came up with a double to score them both.  Charlie Cutler followed with a single to move Scruggs to third.  A wild pitch then allowed him to score.

However, Williamsport came back in the next inning to even things up.  Arlon Quiroz and Myers both singled, then Susdorf had a RBI double.  The other run came on a sacrifice fly that scored Myers.  The game remained at a 3-3 standstill until the bottom of the 12th inning.  Edwin Gomez started off the inning with a single.  After Frederick Parejo was intentionally walk, Sedbrook singled through the right side to let Gomez come in to score to win the game.

Sedbrook and Gomez both finished 2-for-4 with a run scored.  Xavier Scruggs went 2-for-5 with a double, two RBI and a run scored.  The two teams meet again today at 1:00.

Muckdogs and Jamestown each book 4-3 wins to keep race tight

By Howard B. Owens

The Muckdogs picked up a 4-3 Saturday night over Williamsport, and with Jamestown beating Auburn by an identical 4-3 score, Batavia retains its half gain lead in the Pinckney Division.

Xavier Scruggs went 2-5 and drove in two runs, while Edwin Gomez and Colt Sedbrook each gathered two hits.

The winning pitcher was LaCurtis Mayes (4-0) who tossed two innings of scoreless ball.

The starter, Joshua Hester, went five innings and surrendered four hits and one unearned run.

Hector Cardenas was tagged for two runs in 2 1/3 innings.

The Muckdogs move to 38-23 (Standings).

Attendance was 1,070.

(Box score)

"Where am I? How did I get here?" Part Deux

By Russ Stresing

      A report in The Buffalo News seems to show why Jack Davis is ducking the debates proposed by the other two Democratic primary candidates, Jon Powers and Alice Kryzan.  In a speech at The Center for Inquiry in Amherst,NY, Davis warned of a coming civil war in the Southwest. 

     "WASHINGTON — Congressional candidate Jack Davis, in a speech earlier this year, warned that increasing immigration from Mexico could lead to a new civil war between northern states and Mexican-influenced Southern states that may want to secede from the United States.

“In the latter part of this century or the next, Mexicans will be a majority in many of the states and could therefore take control of the state government using the democratic process,” Davis said in the speech. “They could then secede from the United States, and then we might have another civil war.”"

     Its the sort of thing that a Congressional candidate might not want to be associated with and Davis is expectedly trying to walk back from his statements.     Sort of.

   "  Asked this week about his speech, Davis said he no longer believed Southern states would be prone to leaving the union in order to assert Mexican control over what is now U. S. territory.

     “I think they’ll do it without a civil war,” he said. “They’ll take control of the state governments and start voting themselves anything they want."

       There's a theme that runs through Davis' remarks that is distinct from any inference about his opinions of immigrants and farmers.  It seems that Jack might be out of touch.  In addition to telling local farmers to forget about immigrant labor ,   Jack doesn't seem to understand other things about the tough business of farming.

  " Many Western New York farmers rely on migrant workers from Mexico to bring in the crops.

   After hearing quotes from Davis’ speech, John Lincoln, the president of the New York Farm Bureau, said: “The farmers overall would be really concerned about his statement.”

   Told what Lincoln said, Davis replied: “He’s not a regular farmer. He’s one of these big guys . . . I’d call him a multinational farmer.”

   Lincoln, 70, is a dairy farmer with 200 head of cattle in Bloomfield, a village of 1,258 in Ontario County, southeast of Rochester. Asked if he had ever met Lincoln, Davis said he had not."

      Jack's high paid handlers should be given credit for realizing that the highest level of stagecraft is what serves their candidate best.  They are well advised to keep Jack away from spontaneous interaction with voters and to keep tight control over his press appearances.  There's little likelihood of a debate or series of debate so long as Jack has the balance of his $3 million self-pledged campaign funds to buy TV ads and radio jingles.


Where the Muckdogs Are in the NYPL...

By Mollie Radzinski

With our 5th win in a row tonight, we hold on to our first place standing in the Pinckney Division.  Jamestown was able to pull out a win in extra innings to remain just a half game back.  Here's a look at where we stand in other areas of the NYPL:

  • Batavia is 3rd in batting and pitching with a combined .264 BA and 3.08 ERA.
  • Arquimedes Nieto is now 2nd in pitching with a 1.28 ERA and perfect 5-0 record.
  • Adam Reifer still dominates in saves and games at 18 and 25, respectively.
  • Colt Sedbrook is 8th in batting with a .310 ERA.  He is also 3rd in on-base percentage at .403 and tied for 3rd in triples with 5.
  • Shane Peterson is 5th in on-base percentage (.388).
  • Jose Garcia's 19 stolen bases makes him tied for 3rd.

Make sure you get to the ballpark this weekend for some great promotions!  Tomorrow (Saturday) the first 500 fans will receive a Chase Utley bobblehead.  Sunday, the ZOOperstars will be in town for some added entertainment at the game, and as always, kids can run the bases after the game.

Video attacks Davis for being old and achieving the American Dream

By Howard B. Owens

This morning, Buffalo Pundit embeds a YouTube video that attacks Jack Davis for being old and rich -- nothing said about his positions on policies.

The video is cute and well produced, but it's also offensive.

First, Jack Davis is a self-made man.  He represents the historical promise of America -- that anybody with a good idea, who works hard and makes good decisions can be successful. Attacking Jack Davis for being rich is like attacking America, because you're saying it's wrong to build successful businesses and to create jobs, and that people shouldn't have the basic economic freedom to benefit from the fruits of their labor.

Second, imagine a political video that attacked a candidate for being a woman, or black, or handicapped. Who -- especially among self-described progressives --  would find such prejudice anything but outrageously bigoted? So why is ageism suddenly OK? Is it bad to grow old, to acquire experience, to have a perspective that reaches back further than "Friends"?

The question needs to be asked: Are Democrats making a mistake to throw so much support behind Jon Powers while attacking Jack Davis so voraciously?

Voter registration for the 26th District, as of April 1, 2008, is 40 percent Republican. Despite the GOP stranglehold on the mostly rural counties, Davis picked up 48 percent of the vote in 2006, and his 44 percent in 2004 (when Bush garnered 55 percent of the district vote), was pretty darn respectable when compared to the 22 percent Ayesha F. Nariman tallied for the Democrats in 2002 (which shows you to what extent Democrats in the 26th are willing to vote Republican -- there still seem to be a lot of Reagan Democrats around).

In both of Davis' loses, he was running against an incumbent. This time, the seat is open.

Setting aside his wacky anti-immigration pronouncements, Davis has a message that appeals to rust-belt conservative voters -- protectionism on jobs, cut spending and taxes,  save social security and reduce the influence of special interests.

While Powers has an admirable position on job growth, he seems squishy on spending and taxes (his website addresses neither issue). He'll be vulnerable to the tried-and-true GOP "Liberal" attack.

At first glance, Republican Chris Lee looks like an urbane empty suit. He has career-politician-in-the-making written all of him. He seems to have no ties to nor affinity for a rural county like Genesee. If he wins in November, he's likely going to represent Western New York for the next five terms. 

So the question Democrats attacking Davis might want to ask themselves -- are they ready to accept that outcome?

Davis may not meet any body's picture of the ideal candidate, but at most, he's going to serve two terms, then the race is wide open again and anything can happen.

Just some food for thought.  Again, I'm non-partisan and have no affinity for any particular candidate.



Muckdogs light up night with 10-1 win

By Howard B. Owens

The Batavia Muckdogs improved their record to 37--23 with a 10-1 win over Mahoning Valley Scrappers at Dwyer Stadium tonight.

The Muckdogs retained their half-game first-place lead over Jamestown, who beat State College tonight 2-1.

Thomas Eager improved his record to 4-3 by going five innings and giving up only two hits and one run, though he did walk four.

Eager carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning, when a line shot from the first batter he faced bounced off his glove toward the third base line. The next batter singled to left and then Eager issued a walk.  A run scored on a double play, and then Eager walked the next two batters -- missing badly on several pitches -- to load the bases again. He retired the next batter he faced, however.

(Sorry, while I was there -- I wasn't keeping score, so I don't have the names of the Scapper batters involved in that one-run inning.)

In only his third game as a Muckdog, second baseman Alejandro Castellanos went 3-4 with a triple and two RBI.

Chris Swauger also had three hits, while Edwin Gomez and Cold Sedbrook each had two (Box Score).

Eight of the Muckdog's runs came in an explosive third inning, which proved to be a preview of the fireworks that would follow the game.

The post-game show was worth the $5 GA by itself.  It was a major league exhibition lasting for at least 20 minutes.

The announced paid attendance was 1,490. 

There should have been at least another 1,000 people there to see the first-place Muckdogs continue its quest for a division crown (not to mention the great fireworks show).

Dave Wellenzohn was energetic as always with between inning games and promotions. He certainly throws himself into supporting the team.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to see my favorite Muckdog, sweet-swining Beau Riportella, who rode the bench for the night.

Saturday at 7:05 p.m. the Muckdogs take on Williamsport while Jamestown visits Auburn. Game time for Sunday is 1:05 p.m.


Muckdogs Win Big Over Scrappers

By Mollie Radzinski

The Muckdogs (37-23) excelled on both sides of the plate to take down Mahoning Valley (26-35) by a score of 10-1.  Thomas Eager (4-3) started and earned the win in five innings with two htis, one run, four walks and five strikeouts (including four straight).  George Brown (3) picked up the save in the 9th, allowing one hit and one walk with one strikeout.  On the losing end, Mark Rodrigues (0-2) went two-thirds innings with three hits and four runs.

Batavia had one of their biggest innings of the season, scoring eight runs in the 3rd inning to put the game out of reach.  It all started when Chris Swauger and Edwin Gomez plated back-to-back singles.  Jose Garcia then had a sacrifice bunt to advance both runners one base.  When Frederick Parejo was up next, he reached and the two runners scored on a fielder's choice; Parejo then moved to second on a throwing error.  Colt Sedbrook singled in the next at-bat to score Parejo.

Shane Peterson then reached on another fielder's choice, Osvaldo Morales was hit by a pitch and Charlie Cutler singled to load the bases.  Alex Castellanos then came up with a two RBI single.  After Swauger walked to load the bases again, Gomez had his second hit of the inning, a three-run double.  The Muckdogs scored the eight runs on six hits and an error and had thirteen come up to the plate during the inning.

Mahoning Valley's only run came in the 5th inning as singles by Brock Simpson and Jeremie Tice put two on.  Simpson scored the only run when he came home on a double play ball.  On the night, Swauger was a perfect 3-for-3 with a double, a RBI and two runs scored.  Castellanos went 3-for-4 with a triple, two RBI and two runs scored.  They finish out the weekend with a three-game series against Williamsport at home.

*At the completion of all tonight's NYPL games, I'll have an update on our standings!*


City police: New station hours (plus this week's charges)

By Philip Anselmo

Starting on September 1, the Batavia police station at 10 W. Main St. will only be open to the public from 8:30am to 4:30pm. A desk clerk will be on hand during those hours. A call box will be set up outside the station to contact dispatch at the Genesee County Sheriff's Office on Park Road. City police has also opened a new non-emergency number and for contacting police personnel: (585) 345-6444.

Derrick G. Ryzner, 19, of Pennsylvania, was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana Tuesday, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Deputies had responded to a suspicious vehicle complaint when they allegedly found the drugs in Ryzner's vehicle.

A couple's complaint about a stolen bank card and an account robbed of its funds led to charges against the couple themselves, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Twenty-five-year-old Jennifer and 23-year-old Christopher Cummings, both of Pavilion, were charged with third-degree falsely reporting an incident. After reporting the theft of bank card and money, deputies discovered that the two had allegedly taken their own money out of the bank and reported it stolen.

News roundup: Vegetable growers co-op disbands

By Philip Anselmo

After 87 years, the Genesee-Orleans Vegetable Growers Cooperative Association voted to dissolve the organization Monday, according to the Daily News. No summary will do justice to the fine piece by Tom Rivers, so today might be a good one to go out and pick up a copy of the paper, if you don't already have one. Rivers really has his finger on the pulse of this agricltural community, and it shows in the depth of his reporting.

Reporter Matt Surtel informs us that the Citizens for Wind Energy in Perry and the Wind Information + Responsible Energy group from Alabama have joined forces and become part of the statewide organization: Renewable Energy Advocates Coalition, which is some 80,000 members strong.

For those who haven't yet heard, Sen. Barack Obama says that he has made his choice for vice-presidential candidate. But he's not telling anybody. Why say so, then? Oh, politics.

Congratulations to the Alexander girls track team, which won the Genesee Region League Championships, the Section 5 Class CC title, and now send 10 girls to the 2008 Genesee Region League girls track all-star team. Not to mention that their very own Dave Radley was named coach of the year. The lucky all-stars from Alexander are: Stacey Flint, Courtney Aldrich, Taylor Antinore, Kayleigh DeAngelo, Amanda Zielonka, Maranda Ohlson, Alyssa Hinkson, Jodie Skidmore, Eleonara Costa and Sidney Flint.

If you don't believe me that the talents of Tom Rivers are enough of a reason to buy today's paper, let me entice you further with another fun feature story by Virginia Kropf. In this tale, she sits down with Catherine Roth, who turns 88 on Saturday, along with her two sisters. They're triplets, and may be the oldest surviving triplets in the whole country. Kropf writes a fabulous tale about the sisters, full of such great lines as: "She liked it when they started wearing different things, because if one wanted to borrow the others clothes, they had a variety." Or this one from Catherine: "We were spoiled collectively." So much fun. Thanks again, Virginia.

As I've already said twice, you should head out and pick up your own copy of the Daily News. Or, better yet, subscribe at

New Players and Player Apperances

By Mollie Radzinski

Two new faces have been added to the Muckdogs roster. Here's a look at our new players:

  • Ismael Cardona, Catcher: Cardona comes up from the GCL Cardinals where he was batting .222 with 7 RBI.  Orignally from La Sabana, Venezuela, Cardona will add some depth in catching.
  • Osvaldo Morales, First Base: In Johnson City, Morales was batting .250 with 12 homeruns and 28 RBI.  In his first start as a Muckdog last night, he went 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored.

Also, I know I'm a little late with the reminder but, don't foget there are player appearances today at Denny's from 11:30-12:30 and at Oliver's Candies 12-1! Be sure to stop out, chat them up and get to know some Muckdogs...and then of course get out to a game to cheer them on! We are home all this weekend and this Monday with all games starting at 7:05, except for a 1:05 start on Sunday.

Muckdogs Keep On Winning Track After Break

By Mollie Radzinski

Behind a solid starting pitching effort by Scott Gorgen (3-2), the Muckdogs (36-23) remain in 1st place in the Pinckney Division after a 4-2 win over the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (26-34).  Gorgen threw five innings with five hits, one walk and seven strikeouts.  Russell Young (4-3) suffered the loss in his six innings with five hits, three runs (one earned), one walk and 2 strikeouts.

In the 2nd inning, Batavia started things off by scoring two runs on three hits.  Chris Swauger singled and Alex Castellonas doubled to get on base and Edwin Gomez came up with a double to drive them both in.  They added another run in the 4th when newcomer Osvaldo Morales doubled and Swauger singled.  The Muckdogs's 4th and final run of the night came in the 8th inning.  Jose Garcia bunt-singled, stole second and then advanced to third on a throwing error.  With Frederick Parejo at the plate, the Scrappers had a fielding error which allowed Garcia to come in to score.

Mahoning Valley threatened in the 9th, scoring two runs in the inning on a walk and two doubles, but it was not enough.  Jason Buursma came into relieve Miguel Tapia in the 9th to earn himself his third save.  In an inning of work, he let up only one hit while striking out two.

Castellonas finished the game 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored.  Swauger also went 2-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored.  The teams face each other again tonight in Batavia at 7:05.

Road work on Route 33

By Philip Anselmo

Don't know about any of you folks, but my commute takes me straight down Route 33 to Batavia from Route 490 and back every day, a long haul but a beautiful drive with so much more character than swinging up and around via the lifeless thruway. Starting next week, and likely through to November, that could mean the occasional delay or at least a slow down in traffic through a stretch of that road.

The state Department of Transportation released this info about the upgrade to the Black Creek Bridge in Stafford (between Route 237 and Caswell Road on Route 33):

Steel and concrete elements of the 75-year old structure have been showing signs of age and deterioration. Plans call for the removal of the existing concrete parapets on the bridge and for the installation of railing. Repairs will be made to deteriorated sections of concrete above and below the bridge and improving drainage to further slow down deterioration of substructure elements.

Construction work is slated to begin the week of August 25 and will likely be complete by the first week of November.  Motorists can expect limited travel impacts while the bridge is under construction. Shoulder closures and lane closures controlled by a flagger will be used on a daily basis. Motorists should drive with caution through the work zone.

As always, folks can get up-to-date road travel info on the state's Web site.

News roundup: Break in at the Le Roy Little League concession stand

By Philip Anselmo

Police in Le Roy are looking for anyone with information about an apparent break in at the Little League concession stand in the village, according to WBTA. At some point over the past few nights, someone had forced open the door and got inside. Anyone with information should call (585) 768-2527.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley told WBTA's Dan Fischer that most of the $450 million that the state legislature recently agreed to cut from its spending are "un-spent member items, the so-called pork that legislators use to win points with their local constituents." (Quote from Fischer.)

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