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Trees, taxes, teaching and talk: Getting to know Sam Barone

By Philip Anselmo

City Councilman Sam Barone came by Main Street Coffee this morning for a chat. He was one minute early. Punctual. I like that. Over a couple mugs of black coffee, while white collars settled into their cubicle chairs and farmers into their plow seats, Sam and I talked about city life in a small town, what gets a man to run for office and what it's like to watch your kids leave home for greener pastures.

Sam grew up in Batavia, not far from Austin Park, he tells me. He taught science for a living out in Byron and Bergen, until he retired. But that doesn't mean he's any less interested in the science of life — animate or otherwise. He'll always have a soft spot for Batavia's parks, even if they paved over the wading pool to put in a spray park. He knows the trees of those parks intimately, some of them more than a century old, he says. Worth preserving. Worth appreciating.

Sam took a seat on the City Council only about five months ago. Why did he do it? Why would anyone do it? "Basically," he says, "the taxes."

"Last year, they proposed a large increase in taxes. So I started attending meetings to get information on how the city operates and realized we had some very serious deficits."

Still, Sam wanted to hang in the back seat. So when the Democrats asked him to run on their ticket back in July, Sam said: No. Of course, we know he gave in and got elected. He and his fellow Council members battled their way through the budget — laborious, he says — and reduced the tax increase to 8 percent, compared with the 23 percent hike from the year before, says Barone.

That laborious struggle to balance the budget may soon seem like a cakewalk as the city gets ready to roll up its sleeves and take a long hard look at the question that nobody seems to want to mention out loud: consolidation.

Albany recently approved a $93,000 grant for the town and city of Batavia to look at consolidating services and "potentially merging the two municipalities into a single entity," according to the Albany Project.

Sam admits that he's a bit wary of consolidation talk himself. He doesn't want the city to lose its cultural character by merging with the town. But at the same time, he doesn't see any reason the county can't help pay for ambulance service or the town can't share its snowplows with the city.

"Some areas should be consolidated," he says. "Some shouldn't. I want Batavia to have an identity."

He finds that identity in the city's parks, its green open spaces, its ball field and its homes. We talked at length about Batavia's homes — the facades along Main Street were the first thing I fell in love with when I took a virgin drive through Batavia earlier this year.

Sam spoke of the Brisbane Mansion, once a home, then turned City Hall, that now houses the police station. He told of the Briggs home down Walnut Street. I drove down that way to find it, but there were so many fetching abodes that I couldn't say for sure which one would take the prize. I snapped a photo of this yellow one that seemed a dollhouse erected for normal size people.

There was a very nice old home right at the bend where South Main turns into Walnut that also had plenty of fancy dressings and age spots to recommend itself as another contender for most interesting old big house in that ward of the city.

Heritage homes and ancient trees aside, the first thing on Sam's mind was bringing more jobs into Batavia, likely the first thing on most folks' mind these days around here. Sam has three boys. All three left their Batavia home for somewhere they could get a job. His eldest may not have gone far — to Rochester to work for a communications manufacturer — but the other two couldn't have gone farther, without leaving the country.

One boy took off for Portland, Oregon. Sam calls him "the free spirit" — he left to play music out on the west coast. The other left for Florida after he lost his machine supply job up here. Both are doing well for themselves, but they're doing it far from home.

"Part of it is the taxes," says Sam. "Part of it is the type of work you're looking for. People are finding the work elsewhere."

That might just be the biggest challenge for a City Councilman in these parts: get the work to come thiswhere. Best of luck with that, Sam.

Schools driving Batavia's economic growth

By Howard B. Owens

Batavia's public schools are helping to drive local economic growth, according to observations by Ann Flynn, director of education technology programs for the National School Board Association.

Flynn was recently in Batavia and made these observations:

In driving around the community, I noticed that new commercial development was underway and after meeting the students, teachers, district staff, and board members, it was clear how the quality of the district's schools must surely contribute to that growth. Sixty-seven educators from 10 states joined me last week to gain a deeper understanding about how Batavia developed its vision and found the funding to create student-centered classrooms. A great example was seen during the visit to a middle school social studies class that had students working in three areas of the room: one group completing work sheets by listening to pre-assigned segments of campaign speeches on iPods; another group using an interactive white board with the instructor; and the remaining students working in pairs on a WebQuest with computers located in the rear of the room.

Throughout the visit, we saw excited, engaged students focused on their assigned tasks that encouraged them to think rather than simply recite facts. Although many factors impact an area's economic well being, the visit to Batavia, reminded me how critical it is for school board members to understand the role public schools play in a community's long-term economic health. It is evident that the city of Batavia is now reaping the benefits from years of thoughtful planning by school leaders.

One of the things that excited us about launching The Batavian in Batavia is the strong sense of economic vitality.  If the schools are helping to drive that, all the better for the community's long-term economic health. 

We certainly believe in education.  Education not only helps create entrepreneurs and a talented work force, but it also leads to a better engaged citizenry.  These are the things that make a community strong.

 

Standing by the public's right to know in Batavia

By Howard B. Owens

I've only read a few open record laws in my journalism career, so I can't say the state of New York has the prettiest Freedom of Information preamble, but it is a nice, inspiring bit of prose:

§84. Legislative declaration. The legislature hereby finds that a free society is maintained when government is responsive and responsible to the public, and when the public is aware of governmental actions. The more open a government is with its citizenry, the greater the understanding and participation of the public in government.

As state and local government services increase and public problems become more sophisticated and complex and therefore harder to solve, and with the resultant increase in revenues and expenditures, it is incumbent upon the state and its localities to extend public accountability wherever and whenever feasible.

The people's right to know the process of governmental decision-making and to review the documents and statistics leading to determinations is basic to our society. Access to such information should not be thwarted by shrouding it with the cloak of secrecy or confidentiality. The legislature therefore declares that government is the public's business and that the public, individually and collectively and represented by a free press, should have access to the records of government in accordance with the provisions of this article.

That phrase on public problems becoming more sophisticated and complex reminds me of the post I did Saturday about the importance of freely sharing information, discussing issues and exploring different perspectives -- a key mission of The Batavian.

In order to give Batavia the kind of online forum it deserves to discuss and explore all issues, we certainly intend to seek out, retrieve and examine public records -- not in the "gotcha" spirit of much of traditional media, but in a spirit of openness, frankness and with a goal toward creating a better Batavia.

Comedian takes stage at GCC Thursday

By Philip Anselmo

Comedian Bill Dawes will take the stage at Genesee Community College Thursday night following an afternoon workshop at the college. From the press release:

The Genesee Center for the Arts at Genesee Community College will conclude its 16th successful season with an afternoon workshop and “one-night only” event featuring actor and comic Bill Dawes, with special guest Kyle Fincham. On May 15, Dawes will be holding an afternoon workshop (times to be announced) with college students at Genesee, collaborating on the art of stand-up comedy and offering a question-and-answer period. Following the workshop, the Genesee Center for the Arts and Genesee’s Fine Arts Committee will be presenting Spring Offensive with Bill Dawes! featuring Bill Dawes and special guest Kyle Fincham in an uncensored night of cutting-edge comedy. Spring Offensive with Bill Dawes! premieres Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 8:00PM at the Stuart Steiner Theatre.

Dawes began his professional acting career in the Broadway production of “Sex and Longing,” opposite Sigourney Weaver. His other credits include the stage productions of “Gross Indecency: The Trials of Oscar Wilde” and “My First Time,” as well as the independent films “Born Loser,” “Evenhand” and “The Science of Love.” On the small screen, Dawes has enjoyed success in guest roles and as recurring characters on a variety of shows, including “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Oz”, “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.”

General Admission ticket prices are $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for college students, senior citizens and GCC faculty/staff. This performance is attended for mature audiences only. For more ticket information and reservations, contact the Genesee Center for the Arts Box Office at (585) 345-6814. The Genesee Center for the Arts Box Office accepts cash and checks only, credit cards are not accepted.

Scrabble for Money....and Today's Drudgery......

By Patrick D. Burk

Well last night was the Annual Scrabble Fundraising Tournament for Literacy Genesee/Orleans at Elba Central School.  I was the MC and Host for this event once again this year.  A great time was had by all and the top finishers were the Batavia High School Team and Second Place Honors went to the team sponsored by Genesee Orthopedics.  Rounding out the top three was Third Place finisher Sheperd, Maxwell and Hale's Team.  Several Auction Prizes were given away and the annual Basket Raffle Prizes were awarded.  More importantly thousands of dollars were raised to promote Literacy in Genesee and Orleans Counties.

I am off to open our "Summer Place" this week.....will spend some time down there each day.  I find it interesting that each year we so look forward to having the place open so we can use it...yet we hate the drudgery of opening it.  This  year we have hired a "technician" to open the place with us....takes off some of the drudgery.  Next up is planting the gardens..the perrenial raking and in fact the cleaning.  By this weekend we should be in good shape.  The nice thing is that once it is done....it is done...our own nice permanent vacation retreat.   There is something to be said about having a peaceful place.....  it renews the soul.

Batavia High School has six - yes count them six - students selected for HOBY this year.  I am proud to be a part of this program and proud that our High School has a Sophomore Class of this magnitude.  It will be another fine program at SUNY Geneseo in June...more on this later....just had to pass along the BLUE & WHITE PRIDE.....

Here's hoping you have a wonderful day. 

 

 

News roundup: Promoting the home team

By Philip Anselmo

Check out WBTA for this and more stories:

• Muckdogs General Manager Dave Wellenzohn will stand atop a lift above the entrance to Dwyer Stadium starting this Friday morning and through to the premiere of his radio show — I presume on WBTA — at 8:15am Saturday morning. All in the name of promoting the team.

Fixing up the ball field

By Philip Anselmo

The City Council voted unanimously to approve a $10,000 fund transfer — another $15,000 will be voted on at the next meeting — to fix up the ball field at Dwyer Stadium, home to the Batavia Muckdogs. A recent inspection of the field by the grounds crew found an uneven field ravaged in some spots by divots.

Naomi Silver came by the meeting to talk about the proposed maintenance. Silver heads up the business side of the Rochester Red Wings that took over management of the Muckdogs in early March.

When Silver was questioned about how long the Rochester group planned to manage the Muckdogs — even if it failed to turn a significant profit — she said: "We want to come here. We don't want to get rich on it. We want to do the right thing."

Silver called the Red Wings relationship with the Muckdogs "a true labor of love."

Monday afternoon news roundup

By Philip Anselmo

From the Daily News (Monday):

• About 70 people came out for Batavia's YWCA Mother's Day tribute Sunday. Music was provided by several Batavia artists, including: Cooper Singers, James Armstrong and Family, Gracie Marthrel and daughter La'Shonna Mims, and the Brenda Hayes and Family singers.

• Onward goes the city cleanup. Some 40 volunteers with the Helping Hands crew went out to the city's southside for the cleanup over the weekend.

• A potential tuition increase will be at the top of the agenda of the Genesee Community College's Board of Trustees meeting tonight at 7:00pm in the Board Room of the college. Costs could go up $50 per semester for full-time students and $4 per credit hour for part-time students.

• Patti Pacino, Sharon Messina, Laurie Mastin and Sen. Mary Lou Roth received this year's YWCA's Fabulous Females Award. They were honored at a brunch and ceremony Saturday.

• Muckdogs General Manager David Wellenzohn will join Rochester Red Wings officials Naomi Silver and Dan Mason for an update on Dwyer Stadium at tonight's City Council meeting at 7:00pm at City Hall.

• Col. Alexander Marchioli is retiring after more than 50 years of work with the U.S. government. The Batavia native's life is chronicled by reporter John Loyd in today's paper.

• The United Way of Genesee County will kick off its Day of Caring at 8:00am Wednesday at DeWitt Park on Cedar Street in Batavia. Volunteers will head out into the community from 9:00am to 3:00pm to help out (clean, rake leaves, help out with yard work). Call Lori Stupp at (585) 343-8141 to volunteer or for more information.

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

Governor Paterson in Batavia

By Philip Anselmo

Gov. David Paterson and Sen. Chuck Schumer visited the Grange at the Genesee County Fairgrounds today for a forum on agriculture. More than 100 farmers from upstate counties came out to attend the Q&A session that kicked off with a brief recap of the federal Farm Bill by Schumer.

About 20 people lined up at the microphone for a chance to ask the governor questions on agricultural policy and the future of upstate farms. In fact, there were so many folks interested in getting their voice heard that the governor didn't have time to address them all — and an event that was expected to last about a half-hour ran well over an hour. Immigrant labor and supporting youth education in agriculture were among the many issues raised by the public.

Paterson was joined by state Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith who took up the issue of immigrant labor. From a released statement issued by the governor's office after the event:

Farmers have been increasingly frustrated at their inability to find qualified workers to harvest their crops, hampered in large part by federal regulations requiring them to exhaust all domestic possibilities before being granted waivers to hire non-domestic workers. Farmers insist the supply of farmhands is far outweighed by the demand, and without sufficient federal waivers from the Bush Administration, crops will literally die on the vine.

The governor also discussed a state program to fight the Plum Pox virus that threatens "stone fruit crops" such as peaches. The program will continue to study infected crops and reimburse farmers for their losses from destroyed crops.

UPDATE: The blog Poltics on the Hudson covers Gov. Paterson's visit:

Business leaders in upstate are criticizing the governor’s plans to go back to the old policy, in which a New York City chairperson oversees the state’s entire economic development program.

Right now, Dan Gundersen serves as the upstate chair, based out of Buffalo.

“No one has said that we are taking Mr. Gundersen away from upstate,” Paterson told reporters after a town-hall meeting in Batavia on farm issues with Sen. Charles Schumer.  ...

“And I certainly understand that the economy is reeling, the anxiety is overflowing in upstate New York.”

Paterson went on to say that “I wanted to have an ability of the agency to have a centralized organization” yet he doesn’t plan to diminish any services to upstate.

“If we don’t change something, we’re not going to have improvement around here,” Paterson said.

“And I would invite some of those who said they were irked, to please call me because I let them know since the time I was in office two months ago that if they ever had a problem, they should call me and not one of them have called me in the past few days.”

Also, here's News 10's coverage.  And Associated Press.

Meanwhile, the Albany Watch blog wonders why Paterson has missed four consecutive legislative work days.

His absence is giving rise to speculation that he doesn’t intend to push an aggressive agenda for the rest of the legislative session.

“It’s hard to drive the Albany agenda without being in Albany,’’ said Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group. “That’s why the Executive Mansion is in Albany.’‘

 

Update posted by Howard Owens

Breedlove sentenced to 15 years

By Philip Anselmo

Twenty-three-year-old Rondell Breedlove was setenced to 15 years in prison at Genesee County Court today, according to the district attorney's office. Breedlove pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery in June following an incident in October, 2006, when a Batavia man was shot to death out front of his home on Dellinger Avenue.

One of four suspects involved in that robbery-turned-murder, Breedlove was initially charged with second-degree murder following the death of Desean Gooch, who was 23 years old when he was killed, according to the Daily News archives. Two of the other four men charged in the case have already been setenced.

Breedlove is a Rochester native who is currently serving a prison sentence on an unrelated matter. The sentence pronounced today will begin once he finishes serving his first term. The district attorney's office couldn't say for sure when that would be.

Mission Accomplished, Success with Jimmy Dean....Onto the next Mission

By Patrick D. Burk

I hope all you Mom's out there had a wonderful day yesterday.  The family and I took my wife out to The Miss Batavia Diner for Mother's Day breakfast....so cool and we love it there.  Lisa and the crew at the Diner are always friendly and so accomodating....not to mention the best food in Batavia....LOVE IT....  The remainder of the day I worked at the college as we started to clean up the wonderful set from Jimmy Dean.....  It indeed was one of the best sets I had ever seen and the play was a huge success.  I thank the entire community for supporting our efforts.  NEXT UP - JESUS CHRIST, SUPERSTAR Auditions at BHS May 19 - 20 at 6:30 in the Auditorium.  The performance is in August.  Special shout out to ROXY's Music Store for their fantastic help with Jimmy Dean.

We finished the day doing what we like doing best....taking care of our grandson and watching TV with the family....a nice day overall.  Quiet and wonderfully fun of family... that is always the highpoint for me.  It was a good day,

Wow....sometimes things do seem to creep up on you.  TONIGHT is the Annual Literacy Volunteers Scrabble Tournament at Elba Central School......It is a ton of fun and for a small donation you can play or bring a team.  Plan on stopping in for some fun times....the doors open at 6:30 and we begin at 7PM.  You don't really need to know too much about the games....just think about big words and how best to use your scrabble tiles....that is the best way to play.   There is also free refreshments and chances to win a ton of prizes.  Bring a few extra dollars for the white elephant auction.....That always goes over real well.......You bid on secret gifts with clues....and I am the Auctioneer. 

SO STOP ON OUT TO ELBA CENTRAL SCHOOL TONIGHT WITH A COUPLE OF FRIENDS AND BRING A FEW BUCKS WITH YOU....FOR THE Literacy Volunteers Annual Scrabble Tournament.... Lots of fun and good times....

So this week will be full of fun stuff and things to do....always so busy.  Off to get some more things done and once again...Thanks for your support!!!!

Monday morning news roundup

By Philip Anselmo

Check out WBTA for this and other stories:

• A 19-year-old Harvester Avenue resident was charged with menacing, city police said. Officers were responding to a report of an underage drinking party when the young man allegedly answered the door with a knife in his hand.

Genesee County Animal Shelter

By Wendy Castleman

What a wonderful surprise to see the videos of our animals on The Batavian. And then to read what The Batavian is all about. Thanks for helping to promote the shelter animals available for adoption. We have some wonderful animals looking for good homes.

Exploring the complexity of community issues as a community

By Howard B. Owens

Walter Lippmann (1889 to 1974) did damage to American journalism, and possibly to American democracy.

Why does that matter to Batavia? Because one of the philosophies behind The Batavian is to get as far away as possible from Lippmann's brand of journalism.

Lippmann was an influential thinker and writer in the early part of the 20th Century.  He wrote a number of books on the press, politics, society and government.

Lippman was an elitist. He believed that the modern world was too complex for the average citizen to grasp, and that Joe Public probably didn't care anyway. Modern democracy worked best, he argued, if the governing class was comprised of experts and professionals who set the policy and then manufactured public consent. The role of the press in this model was to merely transmit the decisions and actions of the elites  in simple terms, with little questioning or interpretation, aiming to maximize emotional impact.

Eric Alterman put it this way in a recent piece in Atlantic magazine:

Journalism works well, Lippmann wrote, when “it can report the score of a game or a transatlantic flight, or the death of a monarch.” But where the situation is more complicated, “as for example, in the matter of the success of a policy, or the social conditions among a foreign people—that is to say, where the real answer is neither yes or no, but subtle, and a matter of balanced evidence,” journalism “causes no end of derangement, misunderstanding, and even misrepresentation.”

Lippmann likened the average American—or “outsider,” as he tellingly named him—to a “deaf spectator in the back row” at a sporting event: “He does not know what is happening, why it is happening, what ought to happen,” and “he lives in a world which he cannot see, does not understand and is unable to direct.” In a description that may strike a familiar chord with anyone who watches cable news or listens to talk radio today, Lippmann assumed a public that “is slow to be aroused and quickly diverted . . . and is interested only when events have been melodramatized as a conflict.” A committed élitist, Lippmann did not see why anyone should find these conclusions shocking. Average citizens are hardly expected to master particle physics or post-structuralism. Why should we expect them to understand the politics of Congress, much less that of the Middle East?

While the whole of modern American journalism is not all Lippmann, it is too often beset by Lippmann's approach -- the tendency to take what governing officials tell us at face value; the tendency to sensational complex and weighty issues; the tendency to avoid reporting issues in their complexity and nuance.

How is that approach good for democracy?

One of Lippmann's contemporaries was John Dewey (1859 to 1952).  In The Public and its Problems, Dewey argued against Lippmann's approach to journalism and democracy.  Dewey believed that on the whole, the public could grasp complex issues, discuss them, grapple with them and achieve balanced solutions.

Dewey correctly recognized that facts only have meaning within perception, and perception is always subjective. 

While this was a problem for Lippmann, and why reporters should strive to be scientifically objective, Dewey embraced the notion that a conversation around differing perceptions could actually enhance decision-making.

Wikipedia puts it this way:

Dewey also revisioned journalism to fit this model by taking the focus from actions or happenings and changing the structure to focus on choices, consequences, and conditions, in order to foster conversation and improve the generation of knowledge in the community. Journalism would not just produce a static product that told of what had already happened, but the news would be in a constant state of evolution as the community added value by generating knowledge. The audience would disappear, to be replaced by citizens and collaborators who would essentially be users, doing more with the news than simply reading it.

The Web actually makes Dewey's conversational form of journalism much easier. Digital communication allows all members of the public -- the press, the politicians, the government agents and the citizens -- to discuss choices, consequences and conditions as equals.  Reporters need no longer be bound by the limitations of print and present just the so-called objective report, but rather explore, examine, raise and answer questions, and start conversations.

We saw an example of this style of journalism played out last week in The Batavian.  Editor Philip Anselmo interviewed Councilman Bob Bialkowski.  Mr. Bialkowski said that one of the problems facing Batavia is declining neighborhoods.

He says that "entire neighborhoods are a problem — trash all over, abandoned cars in the back yard." Head over to the southside of the city, to Jackson Street, over near Watson and Thorpe streets, State Street, and you'll see what he's talking about.

So, Philip took his advice, drove around those neighborhoods and didn't find a lot of evidence of decline.  Philip, who is well traveled and has covered such small cities as Canandaigua, where there are some pretty sub par neighborhoods, did a follow up post saying he couldn't find the decline.

This prompted a rejoinder post from Council President Charlie Mallow, who wrote:

There have been a few postings about the state of our neighborhoods and people’s opinions of the rate of decline. From someone new to the area or familiar with big city living, some missing paint and a little litter are not anything to be concerned about. People in big cities have had to live with falling property values, absentee landlords and drug activity for years. The obvious question is, why wouldn’t the people of Batavia point to the precursors of decline and pull together to keep the quality of life we have always enjoyed?

Notice a trend here? Same set of facts, different perceptions.  And if you follow the conversation in the comments as well as the related blog posts, a clearer picture emerges of the goals and aspiration of the City Council to clean up the city before things get too far gone.

Traditional, print journalism could never achieve this depth of coverage of a single issue.

By offering a method and manner to discuss choices, consequences and conditions in Batavia, The Batavian hopes to help make Batavia a stronger community.

As the site grows, as more people sign on and get involved, the more meaningful the conversations will become, the more benefitial to all of Batavia.

We hope you will participate often yourself, tell your friends and neighbors about The Batavian and help us reach our goal of enabling a better-informed, more involved community.

Previous Related Posts:

 

Photo journal: Holland Land Office Museum

By Philip Anselmo

Finally paid a visit to the Holland Land Office Museum on Main Street this afternoon. Ron Pinney was kind enough to take me around and show me some of the artifacts they've got on display there. He told me about the corkscrew as big as a cat that the colonials used to unplug lumps of dried fruit from a barrel. He showed me the dentist chair and the rusty metal tooth-yanker that made us both wince. 

Pat Weissend came out and introduced himself, too. He's the museum's director, and a bit of an online experimenter himself. He has been filing podcasts all about the museum and its goodies for some time now. There's one about the infamous anti-Mason William Morgan. Another about the Seneca Chief Red Jacket. Even a quick three-minute episode called: "Where did the name Batavia come from?" Check it out if you want to find out.

Tune into The Batavian next Friday for a video tour of the Holland Land Office Museum, led by Pat Weissend. In the meantime, here are a few photographs I snapped while I was there today. Maybe you can figure out what they are.

Friday afternoon news roundup

By Philip Anselmo

From the Daily News (Friday):

• Batavia police are still baffled by bloody clothing and a pillowcase that were found in March in a dumpster in back of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on North Street. Reporter Scott DeSmit writes: "None of the items had holes or cuts consistent with foul play and no other bodily fluids were found." One of the shirts found was "saturated with human blood," which would indicate a lot of blood lost.

• On the agenda for City Council's next meeting: revisions to the city code and a transfer of $10,000 to a "Dwyer Stadium reserve," plus a few other items. Before the regular meeting gets underway, the council will hold a public hearing for residents to comment on the proposal to remove a traffic light at the intersection of Washington Avenue and Ross Street. The meeting is at 7:00pm Monday in the Council Board Room on the second floor of City Hall.

• Larry's Steakhouse plans to open in July at 60 Main Street at a spot once occupied by Harry's and Prato's. On the menu: steak, seafood and pasta.

• Mothertime Marketplace opened today at Batavia Downs. At the weekend event, vendors will be selling used toys, clothes, furniture and other items. It is open from 10:00am to 6:00pm today, from 10:00am to 5:00pm Saturday, and from 8:00 to 10:00am Sunday. Admission is $2 for adults. Visit www.mothertimemarketplace.com for more information.

• A Genesee County Chapter of the American Red Cross benefit raffle held Saturday at LeRoy Country Club drew a crowd of nearly 200. No mention of how much money was raised for the association.

• The Genesee County Business Education Alliance will hold a Spring Breakfast Meeting at Bohn's Restaurant in Batavia at 7:15am May 16. It costs $15. Call Melinda Chamberlin at (585) 343-7440 for more information.

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

Friday morning news roundup

By Philip Anselmo

Check out WBTA for this and other stories:

• More than a few state grants have been awarded to Genesee County recently, including: $93,000 for the town and city to take a look at consolidating services, $250,000 to help with the law enforcement dispatch consolidation already underway and another $150,000 that will go to the city for sidewalk improvements.

From the Notebook

By Philip Anselmo

Can't seem to dredge up anything of great import in the way of news this afternoon. Whenever that happens, I head out into the community, into the shops on Main Street and elsewhere, into the parks...

Batavia police tell me they don't have anything to report — I've called them twice today so far. We should probably consider that good news. Strange though, since a city councilman told me that the city was already 300 calls above where they were this time last year.

Still not much luck connecting with the busy city manager. I did get a couple City Council members on the phone today, but didn't make it much further than that. I'll be meeting with Sam Barone next week. Looking forward to it. Sam mentions fishing, bowling and reading under special interests on the city's Web site. I'm a fan of all three myself, though I'm only good at the last one.

Also, I found this fine shot of the bend in the Tonawanda River in my camera. Have those bulbs popped yet?

Then I met with Hal Kreter over at the county's Veterans Service Agency. He's a great guy — a longtime U.S. Marine himself — who works for an organization that fills the gap between the American veteran and the no doubt intimidating bureaucracy of the federal government.

That's about all for now. But here's a note before I go: The Batavian's MySpace is humming along. We've picked up 30 friends so far — honestly, I don't know if that's very many, but I'm excited about it. For those of you interested in that, please stop by and check it out. We'd be happy to be your friend. For those who aren't interested or just don't know much about the site, it's a social networking hub where anyone can register and create a personal profile for themselves, meet other folks, keep up remotely with friends. Music is big on MySpace, so we're hoping to link up with a few bands, maybe even put together a music video from time to time to bring back here to our site. Look for that in the future.

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: haxtonlibrary.org 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 Crossroadshouse.com to apply, click on volunteer tab to complete application or email Ashleymanuel@crossroadshouse.com
Tags: Jobs offered

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