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Local produce gets a push

By Philip Anselmo

I'm a firm believer in buying local produce — when possible. When your green beans come from down the street, you know they're fresh, plus you can support your local growers.

Last summer, I spent a morning with Sharon Nagle of Firefly Farm in Canandaigua. Sharon grows organic vegetables and some fruit. She's a connoisseur of soil conservation and building up the right kind of nutrients, getting the most out of the earth while putting the most back in. She let me taste one of her tomatoes, off the vine. It was a life-changing experience. I never knew a tomato could taste so good.

So, when I read this morning that the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County is putting together a local produce guide, I simply had to share the information. Right now, they're looking for growers to add to the list.

We are looking for those of you who sell locally grown products (produce, plants, honey, maple, meat, fiber, eggs, etc.) directly to the consumer.

If you have a road side stand, U-pick operation, farm market, nursery, etc. please contact us. We need your Business name, address, phone number, season/hours of operation, and a list of products.

We plan on having this list available to the public on our website, as well as possibly producing a Buy Local brochure.

Call (585) 343-3040 ext.126 for more information, or send an e-mail to Jan Beglinger at jmb374 (at) cornell (dot) edu.

Play ball — and please hurry it up

By Philip Anselmo

Earlier this year, the Playing Rules Committee for Major League Baseball instituted some changes that would be tried out in the Minor Leagues to help speed up the game. (It should be mentioned that these changes were enacted before the Colorado Rockies took six hours and 22 innings to beat the San Diego Padres 2-1 in April.)

The changes would limit the time the pitcher has to throw the ball and the number of conferences on the mound with other players or coaches. From the MLB site:

Any combination of three or more manager/coach visits to the mound in a game without removing the pitcher will result in the automatic removal of the pitcher from the game on a fourth visit, regardless of whether prior visits were to the same or different pitcher(s). Additionally, no more than one infielder at a time is permitted to visit the mound, including during any visit by a manager or coach.

In Sunday's Niagara Gazette, contributor Doug Smith had a suggestion of his own to help keep the game going.’s one of life’s little contradictions that for most dedicated baseball fans, the quicker the game, the better.

To further this end, the New York-Pennsylvania League has instituted some speed-up rules for the 2008 season that begins in Batavia on June 18. The advisory reads like the tax code, but basically, umpires will crack down on those long caucuses on the mound in which most of the players discuss where they’re going after the game, or reference “that babe in section 102.”

With strong young arms and short pitch counts, the NY-P already ranks among the minor-league leaders in game pace, so this seems an unusual place to start, and Base Paths can’t see this providing much improvement.

Want to really speed up the games?

Limit the number of pickoff throws. Three per runner ought to do it, and Kenny Rogers is pretty close to retirement anyway.

The Batavia Muckdogs will get a taste of the changes when their season starts in Auburn on June 17. Tune in to WBTA (1490 AM) to get your Muckdogs baseball fix.

News roundup: Byron blaze claims at least one life

By Philip Anselmo

Check out WBTA for these and other stories:

• Batavia, Bergen, Elba and LeRoy fire crews backed up Byron in a blaze at an apartment complex at 6964 Town Line Road in Byron this morning. At least one person is confirmed dead, and at least three others were reported trapped in the building that could not initially be accessed by fire personnel. No cause has yet been determined.

UPDATE: Byron Fire Chief John Durand confirmed that four people died in the blaze: possibly a mother, her teenage son and two college-aged daughters. Names were not released, pending identification by the Monroe County Medical Examiner.

• Meanwhile, the Batavia Fire Department was called to the Terry Hills Country Club restaurant on Clinton Street Road for report of a fire in the kitchen. Fire crews found that food left over in the oven had produced some smoke, and the restaurant was ventilated.

Bliss residents find few reasons to complain about wind farm

By Howard B. Owens

With the possibility of wind power coming to Genesee County, the Buffalo News account of a new wind farm in Bliss is timely.

Stanley Marsh didn’t answer immediately when asked whether the wind turbine in his backyard was noisy.

“You hear anything?” he asked. Birds chirped and an electrical buzz was coming from a streetlight that wouldn’t shut off, but noise from the turbine, perhaps 1,000 feet away, was undetectable.

The region’s newest wind farm, a collection of 67 turbines perched atop 265-foot-tall towers, officially opened Sunday. More are on the way.

The most entertaining complaint about the turbines -- shadows.

Since the beginning of April, when most of the turbines in Bliss began operation, a handful of complaints have been voiced, according to Eagle Town Supervisor Joseph Kushner.

“We’ve had three or four complaints about noise,” he said. “We had one person complain of shadows.”

That person, Town Board Member Jim Barber, said he saw shadows from the turbines for 20 to 25 minutes early in the morning when the blades first started turning, but that he hasn’t seen any for the past three or four days.

It’s a minor annoyance, he said, adding that Noble Environmental Group has promised to look into possible remedies.

How the hell are shadow's a problem?

As we've noted before, there is some opposition to a wind farm in Perry, but we're still not clear why.

A sleep lab set to open at United Memorial

By Philip Anselmo

United Memorial Medical Center received approval from the sate Department of Health to open a sleep lab at 229 Summit St. Officials at UMMC say that the lab will be open by August.

Testing provided in a sleep lab can help diagnose several sleep disorders. A polysomnogram is a test that measures bodily functions such as brain waves, heart rhythms, eye movements, leg movements, breathing effort and movement and blood oxygen levels while an individual is sleeping. During sleep, the body functions differently than while awake and disrupted sleep may disturb daytime activities and cause risks to fundamental health.

Common sleep disorders include sleep apnea where individuals stop breathing several times during their sleep; restless leg syndrome, a neurological condition characterized by the uncontrolled urge to move the legs; insomnia, difficulty falling or staying asleep; narcolepsy, uncontrolled sleepiness or excessive daytime sleepiness; and night terrors which occur in a dream state.

The Batavian hopes to be there when the lab opens to take you inside for a first-hand tour of the facility, the equipment and the experience.

Batavia Town Board: Meeting agenda

By Philip Anselmo

Here are the actions on the table for the next Batavia Town Board meeting (Wednesday, May 21). Call the Town Hall at (585) 343-1729 for more information.

News roundup: A victorious week for Batavia high school sports

By Philip Anselmo

From the Daily News (Friday):

• A big hit from Joe Stachowski put the Batavia Blue Devils over Hornell last night. The high school baseball team rolled to a 7-7 record with the win. Meanwhile, the girls softball team was triumphant over Eastridge, winning 3-2 and setting their record at 7-8. Also, Blue Devils tennis took home a win over Alexander, 4-1, wrapping up their season with an 8-5 record, "one of the most succesful seasons the squad has had in years," writes reporter Brian Hillabush.

For the complete stories, the Daily News is available on local newsstands, or you can subscribe on

School budget vote Tuesday

By Philip Anselmo

In anticipation of the school budget vote Tuesday, outgoing Batavia City Schools Superintendent Richard Stutzman told the Daily News:

"First and foremost is the budget and the capital project. If both are successful, they will be turned over to (Business Administrator Scott Rozanski and (Assistant Superintendent) Margaret Puzio. I hope that when people take a look at how our students are doing, that they're getting a positive rate of return on their investment."

The $39.4 million school budget means a 2 percent tax decrease, making it pretty easy to accept, according to Stutzman.

Reporter Joanne Beck breaks down some of the expenses in the budget, which will include:

  • $5,352,321 in security and technology upgrades
  • and $352,102 for a new maintenance shop.

Technology upgrades include security cameras, card access for doors in and out of the school buildings, heating and air conditioning, wireless installations and improvements to the high school auditorium sound system.

That sounds like good news and wise spending for a school district that recently received national attention for its use of technology.

We've talked a lot lately about the quality of life issues in Batavia, about cleaning up neighborhoods, keeping them safe and prizing the many gems in the community — restaurants, architecture and parks, to name a few. Education should go up on that list, too, if you ask me.

It has been some years since I got out of college, yet I consider myself a student still, learning as much as I can every day.

On that same topic, a radio program this morning on NPR discussed Israel's 60th anniversary, and in particular the many great minds that the tiny, young nation has produced, despite its social turmoil. Several people interviewed in the broadcast attributed that intellectual success to a cultural pride in education, investing it with the importance it warrants.

So, before the vote Tuesday, take a close look at your school budget, weigh the pros and cons, look at what resources are gained for what spending — do your research. Do all that. But be sure to keep in mind that even if your own children aren't in school, your neighbor's children probably are, your grandchildren may soon be, and promoting a culture of education promotes a community of learners, and you can take it from there.

Voting begins at noon and ends at 9:00pm Tuesday at Robert Morris, Jackson or Batavia Middle School, "depending on your ward and district designation." Call (585) 343-2480 for more information. Or visit the school's Web site.

News roundup: Searching for chiefs

By Philip Anselmo

Check out WBTA for these and other stories:

• After ten interviews over the phone, four candidates for the position of city police chief will come in for personal interviews with City Manager Jason Molino, who told WBTA that he hoped to have the position filled within the next month. Meanwhile, an ad was posted this week for a new fire chief.

• "A Batavia couple has separate cells in county jail this morning," says Dan Fischer. Police say that 22-year-old Ryan Krupp took prescription drugs from his girlfriend's apartment.  She didn't like that he was arrested and got belligerent with police. Now, she's in jail, too. No mention of the charges.

Reminder for Benefit for Carl Bish

By nancy baxter

I just want to remind everyone that tomorrow (the 17th) is a big day in the Oakfield community.  Oakfield Youth Group is having a spaghetti dinner - chinese auction for 9th grader Carl Bish at the Oakfield Fire Hall.  Carl has recently been diagnosed with cancer and we are hoping to raise money to help the family with growing costs.  The event is 4:30 - 7:30 at the Oakfield Fire Hall.  Tickets are $7.00 adults, $5.00 kids 12 and under.

We have been overwhelmed by the generousity of the whole area.  We have over 125 baskets for the Chinese auction, plus numerous large items that are to be raffled off.  I hope everyone can come and see what great kids we have in our community.

If anyone has questions or needs tickets...please call 409-9527.

Thank you.

Blogger visits Batavia, raves about ribs

By Howard B. Owens

Does Alex's Place have the best ribs?

That's what blogger Josh Hatcher says:

I had the Half Rack Lunch Special - Garlic Ribs with BBQ on the side, coleslaw, fries, and a bowl of Cheesy Pepperoni Soup.

These were by far, the best ribs I've ever tasted in my life, and perhaps the best restaurant I've ever been to in my life.

The establishment looks like an old speak-easy, and it was a little darker inside than I prefer, but again, the food was ABSOLUTELY amazing, and if any of you are in the neighborhood, I highly recommend getting ya' some ribs!

Batavia has an amazing number of good restaurants. I'm on a mission to try them all.  I haven't been to Alex's yet.  I guess it needs to move up on my priority list.

Genesee Country Village: Derby horses, ladies hats and the good old farmstead life

By Philip Anselmo

In today's Daily News, correspondent Kristina Greene Gabalski previewed the summer season for Genesee Country Village & Museum. It seems they've got more than ever going on at the Mumford living history museum this summer.

This year's annual Whirl — the museum's major annual fundraiser — will have a Kentucky Derby theme. The Sport of Kings Cotillion is planned June 14 and features a mock horse auction, jockeys moving wooden hobby horses around a giant  game board, a ladies' hat contest and live and silent auctions. The event is intended to capture the excitement of a Derby Day Ball at Churchill Downs.

Funny. Ladies' hats are the first thing that come to mind when I think of the Kentucky Derby — seriously. Have you seen these hats? They're about the size of a car hood, plumed with feathers or bows or nets or flowers. In an erotic swoosh, they curl and curve and dip around the head of a dame.

They're showy, posh — in a word, magnificent. My measly, paisley, Windsor-knotted tie is no match for their pretension.

But enough of ladies' hats.

What else can we find at the Genesee Country Village & Museum this summer? Well, just this month, for example, they've got:

  • the Civil War by candlelight
  • a birthday party for a pair of oxen
  • a hike in search of bats, bugs and beavers
  • and a birding expedition.

Visit the museum's Web site for dates and times of these and other events. Or call (585) 538-6822. The museum is located at 1410 Flint Hill Rd., Mumford.

Photo of the Derby hat borrowed from Hats by Nancee. Visit the site for more such hand-crafted splendors.

At the museum: Hangman's noose

By Philip Anselmo

This morning, Pat Weissend was kind enough to show me some of what they've got over at the Holland Land Office Museum, where he serves as the director. I took a video camera and we stepped out onto the cold stone floor of the wood-walled museum addition that houses the 14-foot gibbet — a variation on the gallows. He tells me that the hangman's noose is the most popular artifact at the museum — no surprise, I guess, when you consider the morbid curiosity of children big and small.

This video will be the first in a (hopefully) long series of discovery-style episodes over at the museum, where they have thousands of other artifacts to scope and get the story on. So be sure to tune in regularly and keep an eye out for those. We'll try and get a new one up every couple weeks or so. In the meantime, and without further ado, The Batavian presents: The Hangman's Noose.

Visit the museum's Web site for more information, and to access links to Pat's podcasts on history. Or just head over to 131 W. Main St. and check out the collection.

News roundup: Dairy tourism center

By Philip Anselmo

From the Daily News (Thursday):

• Plans are in the works for a dairy tourism center in Batavia that would include a gift shop, a cafe, interactive displays and other features pertaining to the dairy industry. The center may be located near the entrance to the new ag-tech park next to the Genesee County Fairgrounds. Reporter Tom Rivers writes about "a committee" that is planning the center, but never mentions the name of the committee, whom it reports to, nor how it was created. He also lists some "organizers," but never tells us what they are organizing. How are they related to the committee?

• Horizon Wind Energy produced plans for a shrunken-down version of the Dairy Hills Wind Farm project in Perry. The project that originally called for 60 wind turbines was scaled down to "about 38" wind turbines. Reporter Matt Surtel writes that the company will work through "appropriate studies" over the next few weeks that will then be submitted to the Perry Town Board. Not sure what kind of studies, nor why they are appropriate.

• Batavia native Stacey Lynn Shepard, a staff writer for The Bakersfield Californian, was honored for her environmental reporting at the Gruner Awards Banquet in Fresno, earlier this month. Her stories about an oil refinery in Kern County, California, can be found at the newspaper's Web site. Her profile page can also be found there.

• The Bank of Castile will no longer postpone bank transactions made at its branches after a certain time. Whether you make a deposit at 9:40am or 4:15pm, your transaction will go through that day — not the "next" business day.

• In police news, a Batavia man found with nearly a pound of marijuana was charged with third-degree criminal possession of marijuana; an Avon man was charged with DWI at Ellicott Street; a Batavia man was charged with harassment and criminal mischief after a woman told police that he choked her.

• City police are investigating a hit-and-run that happened Tuesday morning at Center and Main streets. They are looking for a large white truck that backed into a green Hyundai. Call (585) 343-6350 if you have information.

For the complete stories, the Daily News is available on local newsstands, or you can subscribe on

Is There a Better Way????

By Patrick D. Burk

 Was wondering what everyone thought of the current situation with big oil and gas companies.  I don't need to remind  you that the price is going up every day.  No stablization of price in sight.  I LOVE the way everyone plays politics with the issue....gas tax caps, price caps...even Chrysler is willing to pay for the difference between the price of a gallon of gas and $2.99.  That plan is flawed because it is based on a credit card offer and you bet Chrysler will make just as much off of charged interest to the consumer as they do in the discount...just another catch.  Make hay when the sun shines and doesn't shine in this case......

It seems to me that the really simple way to deal with this is to allow discounts for new purchases and trades if a consumer goes to a higher gas mileage automobile.  Energy savings in the form of tax breaks and incentives and grants have long been available for the home owner....why not the automobile owner.  If you as a consumer trade in a vehicle that gets 15 miles per gallon for a vehicle that gets 30 miles per gallon you should get a tax break or something.  Isn't that simple....with the reduction of demand you would find a stablization of prices.... I guess...or maybe I am just being political.  Usage and demand are the biggest problems.  I bought a 38  mile per gallon car..... My problem is much smaller than the BIG SUV owner....who has no kids, but needs a BIG vehicle for some reason.

Then there is the all familiar forgiving public..... Where is our outrage?  We have a President and Vice President that rake in more and more cash for when they are out of office each and every time the price goes up..... I bet Cindy McCain has a ton of money in oil and gas as well...why not...  THOSE companies are posting HUGE profits while we make our way to our local Big Box or Discount Grocery Store to purchase what we can with what is left of our money.   IT used to be prescription drugs that I worried about eating up my money during my I wonder if it will be the price of gas for my car or home. 

In talking with a young man the other day I found out that he pays approximately $20 a day in gas to work at a job where he is making $75 a day.   After taxes and a $5 lunch....if he is lucky...he ends up netting $36.50 a day....Yikes and with that he has to pay rent, buy food, pay off extortionate Student Loans and maybe...just maybe go to a movie once in a while.  His love life must be wonderful....when a romantic dinner is 11PM at Wendy's from the $1 Menu.

It just goes to show.  Americans will adapt to anything.  What I would like to see at least is that government take some responsible position instead of a political one....Maybe encourage smaller vehicles, maybe push for sensible alternative fuels and maybe just maybe solve the Middle East Problem.  Isn't it amazing that Venezuelans pay the least for gas because thier consumers use thier product?  We have the brightest minds to figure this out.....Why can't we learn to use our own resources??? Do we have to continue to consume the world's costly energy?  Is there a better way???




News roundup: New airport hangar

By Philip Anselmo

Check out WBTA for this and other stories:

• A new hangar will go up at the Genesee County Airport, and it will cost some $695,000. The county legislature approved the contracts to two Rochester firms and another from Fishers. A state grant will cover $300,000. The hangar will have ten bays that the county will rent out for between $280 and $350 per month.

Genesee County's Cold War veterans may get property tax break

By Howard B. Owens

As a Cold War veteran myself, the County's Legislature's proposal to cut property taxes by 10 percent for those who served in the military from 1945 to 1991 is applause worthy.

If approved, the tax break would be effective March 1, 2009, for county tax bills. The property must be a private residence of the veteran or the unmarried spouse of a deceased veteran.

Those who served in the three wars during that period — Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm — are currently eligible for property tax exemptions.

Applications are processed by the county’s Veteran Service Office.

For the Cold War veterans the percentage would apply to residential property values up to $60,000. Those with homes assessed at more would get the same exemption but only to a cap level of $60,000.

I served in the USAF from 1980 to 1994, and I always felt like I did my part to protect the country from the Red Menace, so it's nice to see the Cold War veterans of Genesee get some recognition.

Garden Gala

By Philip Anselmo

Green thumbs, get up and go! This Saturday is the Garden Gala at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County at 420 E. Main St. in Batavia from 10:00am to 1:00pm. More than just a chance for greenies to get outside and schmooze, the gala will have:

"A plant sale featuring indoor and outdoor plants, a Chance-Basket auction, free soil testing, gardening advice by certified Master Gardeners, door prizes, displays, free coffee and informational materials."

Children's activities will be run by the Genesee Green Thumbs (the Junior Master Gardener 4-H Club). Door prizes begin at 1:00pm — the auction, too. And Extension Educator Gail Culver advises folks to get there early as the plants sell out quickly. For more information, call Gail Culver at (585) 343-3040 ext.132.


The Batavian plays with toys

By Philip Anselmo

Full of coffee and unshaven, I took off to Adam Miller's Toy and Bicycles this morning to poke around — and I took a video camera with me. They've got everything. Magic tricks. Games. Bicycles. Model cars, planes, boats. Wind-up anything. Vintage everything. Plush whatever. Check it out.

News roundup: Another suspect in the murder of Desean Gooch sentenced in County Court

By Philip Anselmo

From the Daily News (Wednesday):

• Randall J. Peterson, 22, of Rochester was sentenced to 12 years in state prison Tuesday in Genesee County Court. Peterson was one of four men involved in the shooting death of 23-year-old Desean Gooch in October, 2006. He pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery.

• Reporter Roger Muehlig writes: "Genesee County's Republican Committee is set to endorse Stephen M. Hawley for re-election to the state Assembly this year." The committee meets Thursday night. Hawley has already served one two-year term in the 139th District.

• Construction has begun on the Lowe's home improvement store off Veterans Memorial Drive in Batavia. Representatives have said they do not know when it will be finished. The nearby Target should be completed by July.

• Officials with Creamy Creation and O-AT-KA Milk Products dedicated the new Creamy Creation's 5,000-square-foot facility in Batavia Tuesday. Reporter Matt Surtel writes: "Creamy Creation is part of the Netherlands-based Campina, which is one of Europe's largest dairy cooperatives. The company was started in 1979, and moved its U.S. office from Wisconsin to Batavia in 1999." Creamy Creations produces creme liqueurs and nutritional beverages, among other products.

• Reporter Scott DeSmit writes: "Phillip E. Kroft Jr., 20, was charged with first-degree robbery, criminal possession of a weapon and petit larceny, police Detective Todd Crossett said. Kroft is accused of stealing a cell phone from a woman ... in the early summer of last year." When the woman tried to get her phone back, Kroft allegedly punched her in the stomach, wearing brass knuckles, police told DeSmit. Kroft also faces unrelated charges of rape.

For the complete stories, the Daily News is available on local newsstands, or you can subscribe on

Top Items on Batavia's List

TAKE NOTICE THAT The Town of Elba is requesting Bids for the 2024 Cemetery Mowing season, with extra clean-up and trimming of trees/bushes. This will include three (3) cemeteries, Pine Hill Cemetery on Chapel Street, Maple Lawn Cemetery on Maple Avenue and Springvale Cemetery on Edgerton Road. Bids are for a 1-year contract and the successful bidder must provide their own $500,000.00 Liability Insurance certificate. A complete list of specifications/properties can be obtained by contacting the Town Clerk’s Office at (585)757-2762, ext. 10. Sealed bids should be clearly marked “Elba Cemetery Mowing Bids” and submitted no later than 4:00 p.m., Thursday, March 7, 2024 at the Town Clerk’s Office, 7133 Oak Orchard Road, Elba, NY 14058. Bids will be opened at 1:00 p.m. at the Town of Elba Town Hall on Monday, March 11, 2024. The Town Board reserves the right to accept or reject any or all bids that do not comply with their specifications. By Order of the Town Board, Trisha Werth Town Clerk
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Part -Time Children's Library Clerk Position available at the Haxton Memorial Public Library Application is available on the library website: Or apply at 3 North Pearl Street , Oakfield. Any questions please call 948-9900
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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
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