Skip to main content

And the Winner is...

By Philip Anselmo

Forty-seven business owners participated in The Batavian's first ever raffle to win three months of free advertising on the site. We were at Summer in the City over the weekend to collect names and numbers, and today, our advertising consultants Melissa McIntyre and Vanessa Haar stopped by the office of Patrick Burk, director of Batavia's Summer Youth Theater program, to choose the winner.

Well, Patrick did just that. Congratulations to Genesee County Mental Health Association for winning three months of free advertising. If you're interested in advertising on The Batavian, call Vanessa at (417) 437-0854 or Melissa at (585) 402-2562.

Ten percent of the revenue generated by text ads on The Batavian will go to the youth theater program.

Should the mall become a college campus?

By Howard B. Owens

During Summer in the City, I had a chance to chat with Assemblyman Steve Hawley.  Of course the subject of the mall came up, and a friend/supporter/consitutent (I'm not sure which best applies) standing nearby chimed in and said he thought the mall should be turned into a college campus.

That idea, though I gather it's not a new one, has some merit.

The influx of students would be a boon for downtown restaurants and bars, and the foot traffic of people to those businesses would help other retail establishments. 

However, such a solution would do nothing to deal with the "eyesore of a mall" issue, and by not tearing down the building and creating new Main Street-facing structures, you're making it harder to profitably relocate current mall occupants who might wish to stay downtown.

Still, a two- or four-year campus (could the New York university system be enticed into an extension campus?) would generate a lot more people traffic in the city's core.

Setting aside for a minute the logistics and difficulties of making it happen, what do you think -- is a college campus a viable alternative to the current sputtering, life-sapping, soul-sucking mall?

News roundup: Longtime pastor dies

By Philip Anselmo

Former principal and longtime pastor the Rev. David J. Schneider died Saturday at his home in Batavia, according to the Daily News. He was 84. Schieder was born in Brooklyn and moved with his family to Batavia when he was a child. He was principal of Notre Dame High School for 15 years, until 1989, when he became the pastor of Holy Name of Mary Church in East Pembroke. "A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Mary's Church, 16 Ellicott St., Batavia. Burial will be in St. Joseph's Cemetery."

You can pick up a copy of the Daily News at local newsstands. Or, better yet, subscribe at

Muckdogs Sweep Auburn, Move Into 1st Place

By Mollie Radzinski


Here's a look at where our Muckdog leaders are in the NYPL:

  • Arquimedes Nieto remains the league's pitching leader with a 5-0 record and 1.28 ERA.
  • Adam Reifer also still leads in saves with 18 and in games with 25.
  • Colt Sedbrook is 8th in batting with a .312 BA.  He also is 2nd in on-base percentage (.406) and tied for 4th in triples (5).
  • Jose Garcia is 4th in stolen bases with 18.
  • As a team, the Muckdogs are 3rd in both hitting and pitching.  They have a combined batting average of .263 and a combined ERA of 3.13.

*In closing, Sunday was my last game here in Batavia. I am returning to school at Kent State University to begin my senior year as a broadcast journalism major.  It was great getting to know those of you who I had a chance to meet at games and getting feedback from you!  I will still be posting frequently for the Muckdogs with game reviews, information on players being moved up or down, community events, and so-forth.  So keep checking in! And get out to Dwyer Stadium as we continue our great run for the playoffs!

On the Beat: Enforcement detail

By Philip Anselmo

A multi-agency enforcement detail including Genesee County sheriff's deputies and city police officers set up in the south-east section of the city Thursday. twenty uniform traffic tickets were issued. Five people were charged with unlawful possession of marijuana: John P. Wittkopp, 25, of 124 Osterhaut Ave.; Robert K. Neaman, 20, of Bethany; Elliott Hickman, 17, of 26 Ganson Ave.; Derek McQueen, 21, of Corfu; and Keesta Z. Skellon, 30, of 665 Ellicott St., who was also charged with trespass. Willie J. Shannon, 52, of 101 Harvester Ave., was also charged with trespass. Jerad M. Stalker, 24, of Alexander, was charged with possession of a hypodermic needle.

Leroy S. Crandall Jr., 61, of Corfu, was charged with driving while intoxicated Saturday following a traffic stop on Alleghany Road in Corfu, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. He was also ticketed with improper left turn.

David L. Good, 21, and Eric A. Ernestine, 18, both of Liverpool, were charged with disorderly conduct Sunday night after they were evicted from Darien Lake, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Good and Ernestine allegedly cursing at the security guards while being escorted out of the park. Good was also charged with two counts of second-degree harassment. Deputies were told that he pushed the security guards and resisted arrest.

Adam M. Zastrocky, 24, of Bergen, was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance Saturday, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Zastrocky was observed "acting suspiciously" in a parking lot in the village. With him was Edward W. Zastrow, 27, of Bergen, who was charged with public lewdness. Zastrow was allegedly urinating in public.

Brandon C. McCoy, 17, of Kelsey Road, Batavia, and Tara A. Trommetter, 17, of Corfu, were charged with unlawful possession of marijuana Wednesday, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said.

David J. Newton, 26, of Rochester, was charged with petit larceny Saturday, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Newton was accused of stealing merchandise from a shop in Darien Lake.

Bobby L. Mobley, 49, of 8 Central Ave., Batavia, was charged with second-degree criminal contempt Saturday night, city police said. Mobley is accused of violating an order of protection.

Into the black: Audit shows Batavia on the financial upswing

By Philip Anselmo

An independent audit of the city's finances declares Batavia in "improving financial stability." For only the second time in the past five years, the city recorded a surplus in its general fund. Thanks to an excess of revenue over spending of $1,652,361, the city logged $617,218 in surplus and chipped away at the "undesignated" deficit, which shrank from $1,860,906 to $365,895.

Auditors Freed, Maxick and Battaglia chalk up the successful year to "cautious revenue and expenditure budgeting," the increase of more than $800,000 in property tax revenue owing to a higher tax rate, state aid for struggling cities and the elimination of seven full-time and 12 part-time employees. The last saved the city approximately $460,000 in personnel expenses.

And the future, too, looks bright:

These efforts along with continual expense monitoring and revenue improvements will assist in regaining long term fiscal solvency, while building a healthy fund balance and investing in capital equipment, City facilities and infrastructure.

The three part audit runs well over 100 pages and paints a much more nuanced portrait of the city's financial state, and addresses such topics as the imminent consolidation of city police and county sheriff dispatch crews, future savings from fixing leaks in the city's water lines and the ongoing arbitration with the police union.

We'll inspect the document more closely over the next week, but in the meantime, let's just let the graphics speak for themselves.

OACS Football Boosters sponsor Cans for Carl

By nancy baxter

The Oakfield Alabama Central School Football Boosters are having a can drive on August 25th from 12:30 - 3:00 at the OACS school bus garage.  The money collected will be used to help 10th grader, Carl Bish, and family with his ongoing medical costs from the treatment of his cancer. 

Questions or possible pick up - please call Sherri at 948-5834.  Thank you .

Barn Dedication in Elba

By june rowcliffe

The dedicaton of the barn recently built by the Historical Society of Elba was held on August 14th. After a few years of dedicated fund raising events, generous donations from the citizens of Elba, the dream of having a barn to house many Elba related articles too large to be placed in the Museum was finally realized. Please come and see what a few, growing older by the minute, loyal Elba Historical members were able to do. You might be surprised to see the collection that this group has amassed in the past 20 years. We will be open 2 more Sundays, 2 to 4 p.m. Other times by appointment. Always glad to welcome groups. Call Ann at 757-9356 or June at 757-2791 for more information.

Muckdogs Complete Sweep of Auburn

By Mollie Radzinski

The Muckdogs (35-23) took down the Doubledays (31-27) by a score of 5-3 to complete the sweep this weekend.  Ramon Delgado (5-1) had a strong start for the win, going five innings with two hits and four strikeouts.  Adam Reifer (18) came in to pitch the 9th and got the save.  He let up one hit, one run and one walk while striking out one.  Auburn's Joel Carreno (5-4) suffered the loss in his five innings with seven hits, five runs, two walks and two strikeouts.

Batavia started their offense in the 1st, scoring once in the inning on a Brett Lilley walk, Colt Sedbrook double and a sacrifice fly by Christian Rosa.  They added two in the 2nd when Frederick Parejo double and came around home on a throwing error.  Jairo Martinez then doubled and Jose Garcia singled to drive him in.  In the 4th, Alex Castellanos doubled and Martinez singled to make it 4-0.  The Muckdogs last run came on a Chris Swauger homerun in the next inning.

The Doubledays threatened in the 7th as they scored two runs, the first on a solo-homerun by Adam Amar and the second on a Joel Collins double and Karim Turkamani single.  Collins also had a homerun in the 9th, but Batavia held on for the win.

Martinez finished 2-for-3 with a double, run and RBI.  The Muckdogs now send seven players to the All-Star game this week before returning to league action at home versus Mahoning Valley on the 21st.

Powers attacked for ties to Netroots

By Howard B. Owens

The Buffalo News reports this morning that opponents of Jon Powers are making an issue of his ties to "netroots," the supposed grassroots movement of online activists.

The Iraq War veteran and former substitute teacher has raised $322,452 through ActBlue, a Web site that bills itself as “the online clearinghouse for Democratic action,” while winning the praise of bloggers from Buffalo to the Beltway.


But there’s a downside to Powers’ prolonged courtship of the netroots. It’s the reason he raised nearly twice as much money from New York City as he has from the Buffalo area, a fact that allows his opponents to charge that the 26th District might not be foremost in his mind if Powers makes his way to Washington.

“Jon Powers is campaigning the same way he’ll govern; from outside New York and inside the pockets of the special interests,” said Joy Langley, a spokesman for Davis, the millionaire industrialist who’s paying for his third congressional race with his own money.

Of course, if you're going to do your fundraising in a manner that allows anybody anywhere to contribute, New York City (pop. 8 million ) is going to out raise Buffalo (pop. 1 million). Proportionately, you could argue that Powers has done pretty well with fundraising in WNY.

For the record: I neither support nor oppose Jon Powers. I'm just saying ...

A lot of people think this is a pro-Powers site. This site is neutral at this point in the race; their are just a lot of Powers supporters who like The Batavian. That, too, probably says a lot about how strong Powers support is among Netizens.

Tom Rivers cuts cabbage

By Howard B. Owens

This weekend, Tom Rivers delivered another in his series of farm work articles for the Daily News.

Again, it's a stunning piece of writing and reporting. We could never summarize if for you in a way that would do it justice. You will need to find a copy of the paper for yourself and read it.

Besides producing a fine article, I admire Tom for sticking with such a physically demanding job under adverse conditions for a full 10 hours.

The article makes the point well that if you like -- as Jack Davis apparently does -- that there are locals ready, willing and able to do this farm work, but they're just being pushed out of the way by immigrants, you're deluded.

Darren, 42, seems a little bewildered by my interest in the job. He can't remember anyone from around here ever wanting to cut cabbage. The farm puts many ads in local newspapers seeking field help, and no locals have even called about a job in at least two decades, Darren said.

Cutting cabbage may not be "skilled" labor as we traditionally define it, but you better have the right muscles and motor skills developed, and have built some level of mental immunity to the demands of the job. This is a job that not just anybody can do. Clearly, farmers can't just hire a crew of anybody off the street and expect to fulfill the tons of orders for their crops.

Rivers is doing a good bit of public service journalism with this series.  We wish him well in the appropriate journalism awards competitions.

Of course, what these stories lack are video. We've offered the Daily News help in this regard. So far, they've declined.

Scott DeSmit: Bickering council members destroy Batavia -- someday

By Howard B. Owens

The Saturday/Sunday edition of the Daily News contains a rather odd, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi fantasy narrative by Scott DeSmit in which he puts himself in a benighted Batavia. How far hence, we are not told.

A man is peering out from behind his door. I see the glistening barrel of his gun and I keep walking, keeping tight to what is left of the sidewalk.

A newspaper. Almost intact.

I reach down and scoop it up. A rat skitters away.

"Last of City Council Disbands" the headline reads.

Ahhh. I remember that. Three of them, as I recall. Mallow, Bialkowski and Cox.

Ahhh. So lurking within the vitriol and sniping that is what passes for dialogue between these three men is a Batavia of buckled sidewalks, parks gone to seed, creek water that will melt skin and a Sheriff who has barricaded the city's borders.

A little over the top, don't you think, Scott?

While the animosity and bitter words over what amount to rather trivial issues (when compared to the big question of the final resolution of the mall) might impede progress. It's takes a pretty active imagination -- which Scott clearly has -- to expect their bickering to lead to walled off Batavia.

That said, point taken, Scott -- and one we don't disagree with: These men need to stop arguing and get down to business. The mall has got to go, and they should busy themselves generating a plan and public support to make it happen.


WBTA undoubtedly does more to boost the Muckdogs than keep people away

By Howard B. Owens

Batavia resident Donald Weyer writes in the Daily News that WBTA's broadcast of Muckdog games helps reduce attendance.

I disagree.

I bet Mel Allen would, too. And Harry Caray. And Jack Buck. And Red Barber. And Vin Scully.

My point is, baseball and radio have a pretty long, rich and memorable love affair.  WBTA has a pretty fair announcer, to put it mildly,  in Wayne Fuller.

Good baseball radio does more to sell the team than detract from it. If that were not the case, wouldn't MLB franchises have stopped broadcasting their games decades ago? In fact, today, every MLB puts every single home and away game on television (which is even a closer substitute for actually being their than radio). Why? Because it helps sell tickets.

Game broadcasts do as much to put people in the stands than any other marketing a team could do. Broadcasts help generate interest in individual players, allow people who can't attended every day to keep up with the running story line that is a baseball season, act as a regular reminder -- this is your team, support it.

I thought about responding to Mr. Weyer in a letter to the editor, but since it is allegedly an offense punishable by firing to even acknowledge the existence of The Batavian in the pages of the Daily News, I figure the letter's editor wouldn't publish it.  So if somebody could let Mr. Weyer know -- in case he doesn't know about the site yet -- that somebody did attempt to "disabuse" him of is "erroneous reasoning," as he requested.

In his letter, Mr. Weyer offers four other suggestions. If you've read the letter and have thoughts about any of those other ideas, feel free to post a comment below.

Previous post: Daily News: Muckdog attendence lagging

Video: Summer in the city, and what people like about their home towns

By Howard B. Owens

We're having a great time at Summer in the City.  It's fun to meet so many fans of The Batavian, and we're also finding lots of people who haven't heard of the site yet but say it's a great idea and long over due for Genesee County.

Yesterday, we did a video asking people "What do you like about your home town?"  Here's the video:

summer in the city 08

By daniel cherry

I went to the summer in the city yeaterday it was fun.I really enjoyed the band kindred.That woman sure can sing wow.

Muckdogs Top Auburn

By Mollie Radzinski

 Batavia (33-23) looked sharp defensively as they beat Auburn (31-25) 5-1 to gain another game on the Doubledays.  Hector Cardenas (4-0) remained perfect in the win, going five innings with two hits, one run (unearned), two walks and three strikeouts.  Matthew Wright suffered the loss in his four and a third innings, giving up five hits, two runs, two walks and striking out two.

The Muckdogs jumped on board first in the 2nd as Charlie Cutler scored the first run after he walked and scored on a Frederick Parejo double.  The Doubledays came back to tie it up in the top of the 3rd.  Luis Rivera scored the only Auburn run of the night when he singled, moved around the bases on two sacrifice bunts and scored on a fielding error.

However, the Muckdogs came out with offensive power to get the win.  In the 5th they got the lead back after Jose Garcia doubled and then came home when Colt Sedbrook grounded out.  They plated another in the 7th on three singles by Edwin Gomez, Brett Lilley and Sedbrook.  Batavia's big inning came in the 8th as they added two insurance runs on back-to-back round-trippers off the bats of Xavier Scruggs and Cutler.

Sedbrook ended the night 3-for-4 with an RBI and Gomez went 2-for-4 with a run scored.  The Muckdogs travel to Auburn tomorrow to try to gain yet another game on the Doubledays.

Video: Cooking with the Dairy Princess

By Philip Anselmo

I'm very pleased to announce the premier episode in our new video series: Cooking with the Dairy Princess, with Byron's own Anika Zuber. Each month Anika will prepare us a seasonal dairy delight, starting with a strawberry sorbet smoothie for August. Please enjoy, and check back this time next month for episode two.

Summer in the City

By Philip Anselmo

We're less than an hour shy of the start of Batavia's biggest downtown festival of the year: Summer in the City. Vendors take up their posts at 5:00pm tonight along Center, School and Jackson streets—all of which are closed off between Ellicott and Main streets.I just took a stroll down Center Street and spotted some barbecue smoke, popcorn kettles and the sugary promise of a fried dough stand.

Tonight's music selection features the Genesee Valley Band form 5:30 to 7:00pm, followed by Kindred from 7:30 to 9:00pm. Both shows will be on the main stage in Jackson Square.

The festivities continue tomorrow with more music, more vendors, plus crafts and the Rotary KidZone. Saturday's fun starts at 3:00 and runs to 9:00pm. Ghost Riders kick things off from 3:00 to 4:30, followed by Westside Blues from 5:00 to 6:30 and Popshow from 7:00 to 9:00.

Court Street will also be host to a car show tomorrow: Classic Cars & Cycles at 2:00pm, followed by the Super Cruise from 3:00 to 9:00pm that could feature several hundred vintage vehicles. Kids will have plenty to do, as well, from bicycle decoration to tennis lessons and sand art to carnival games.

Check out the Web site for the Batavia Business Improvement District for a full schedule of events. Or just head downtown anytime this weekend. It shouldn't disappoint.

No comment... or not

By Philip Anselmo

Color me surprised when I read the headline at the top of the local section in today's Daily News: Lawyer: Ethics issue will be addressed. Now that can't be right. That can't be the very same lawyer I telephoned yesterday and asked if he could please comment on that issue, only to be told that no, he could not and would not comment. But lo and behold, there was that very lawyer's name in today's article: George Van Nest, and a quote from him that's almost an inch thick.

I called Van Nest yesterday to ask him a simple question: Why did he request the county board of ethics to look into a potential conflict of interest if it's stated in the policy for that county board that it will not act on an issue for a municipality that already has its own board of ethics? Van Nest said quite flatly that he would not comment on anything related to the county or city ethics boards.

Nevertheless, in today's article by Joanne Beck, he had this to say of the future ruling on City Councilman Bob Bialkowski's potential conflict of interest:

"It will be addressed in due course," Van Nest said Thursday. "I was aware of the process in Article 18, and discussed it with representatives of the county board before (submitting a request for the board to review the issue). The county board may review it but does not have to."

That's a pretty long no comment. When I called Van Nest again today to ask him why he said he would not comment on this issue and then was quoted in the newspaper doing just that, I was transferred to his voice mail. I left a message.

Also, the question still remains: Will the county board of ethics meet to discuss the conflict deemed unethical by the city attorney?

Van Nest was not certain whether the county board would take his request or not. He had not heard anything official as of Thursday, he said. Carolyn Pratt, clerk of the Legislature, said the request could not be discussed in public, per board rules.

What we can tell you is that the City Council released its agenda for its meeting Monday, and included in it is the appointment of five individuals to the city's board of ethics, which, if approved by a majority of council, would constitute a quorum. That would make the request for the county board to meet a moot point.

Top Items on Batavia's List

4 BEDROOM SINGLE FAMILY HOME. Walnut Street, Batavia Available 1/1/24. Three bedrooms upstairs, One bedroom 1st floor, (Possible 5th bedroom 1st floor), One bathroom, Dinning room, Laundry hook-ups in kitchen, large yard, full basement, parking for two cars. $1,100 includes weekly trash pickup 2 bags. HUD approved. Background check and good references required. Call 585-300-9111
Tags: Rentals
City of Batavia, NY Position: Cleaner The City of Batavia is accepting applications for a Part-Time Cleaner. The hourly rate is $15.43. The position is responsible for routine and repetitive manual work calling for the performance of simple cleaning duties. Work is performed under direct supervision of a supervisor who assigns tasks and frequently inspects and evaluates the employee and their work when completed. Civil Service applications and job description may be picked up at the City’s Human Resources Office, 2 nd Floor, One Batavia City Centre, Batavia, NY. Please submit completed applications to Rebecca McGee, Human Resources Director, One Batavia City Centre, Batavia, NY by December 15, 2023. Background check and drug testing required.
Tags: Jobs offered
Crossroads House is a comfort care home for the dying. We are a non-for-profit organization that provides its services free of charge. We run on a supportive community and selfless volunteers. With out both of those we would not be able to serve our community. If you have a caregiver's heart and 2 to 4 hours a week, we would love for you to become a part of our Crossroads House family! No experience required, we will train you and provide mentors and experienced volunteers to guide you. Please go to to apply, click on volunteer tab to complete application or email [email protected]
Tags: Jobs offered

Authentically Local