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Definetly an experiance

By Robyn Horn

 

    So I went to the station this morning(90.7) and started puttering around doing a bunch of things but not staying focused on task and .. The phone rang. It was Philip from TheBatavian. I have to tell ya at first I was pretty scared to think that someone was going to come watch me do my thing. At the same time I was intriqued by what was going to unfold because of it.

        What a good time! I laughed at the notion of a camera in my face and yet was drawn to the whole process. Hopefully you'll enjoy what ya see when you check it out.

I'll talk to ya laters....

Robyn

Oh yeah I almost forgot if you want to check out the station I was refering to earlier just click on this linky thingymajigger. Thanks.. me

www.wgcc-fm.com

Vote Today to Maintain High Quality in Batavia's Schools

By Patrick D. Burk

Here is hoping that you all get out and support your school districts today.  Across New York State it is School Voting Day with all district's putting  up Board Members, Budgets and Projects for Voter Approval.  I am looking forward to a very positive result.  I am convinced that the people in Genesee County really do support the education of our children.

In Batavia, two incumbent Board of Education Members are up for Re-Election.  Steve Hyde, who served one year on an unexpired term and Wayne Guenther who has served previously as well as the past three years, are both up for re-election.  Both are wonderful members who deserve your support.  They are thoughtful and they support kids.  They are two very fine members of this wonderful City of Batavia Board of Education that proves time and time again that they support the best of educational programs for all of our children.

We also need to carry the 60% threshold on the Technology Project.  This is on the ballot to enhance the District's current award winning technology program, increase security through technology and establish a wireless system that upgrades our current classroom capabilities.  This project will be paid with sources of revenue other than current tax revenue and state aid.  It also replaces the damaged work station at the Board of Education Office... with some help from our insurance company.

Also on the Ballot is the approval of the Student Representative on the Board of Education.  This is an important part of our local Board of Education and we have had some wonderful representatives on our Board.  It is my hope the Public will approve this once again. 

Last but certainly not least is the budget which reduces the taxes by 2% and maintains and in some cases enhances current programming.  I can tell you that it is a solid budget and well thought out.  I think it once again is very progressive in nature and insures that our positive educational system is maintained.  Your support is much appreciated.

Reminder that Pagent of Bands is this weekend in Batavia.  What a wonderful program for our city and our students.   Please also remember Ron Davies in your thoughts and prayers...what a wonderful teacher.... It saddens me to here of his passing as a result of a long fight with cancer.  My heartfelt sympathy to his family and his life partner.

 

 

Hanging out at Main Street Coffee

By Howard B. Owens

Every once in a while, some person or other stops in at Main Street Coffee asking for me and/or Philip.

We're here today.  Well, I am now.  Philip will be here later. 

I'll be here until heading out for lunch at an undetermined time, and back by 2 or 3 (depending on when I leave for lunch) and here until 5 or 5:30.

Stop by and say hello and I'll buy the coffee.

News roundup: Family confirmed dead in Byron blaze

By Philip Anselmo

Check out WBTA for these and other stories:

• Investigation into the fire that killed four at a Byron apartment complex Monday continues today. Fifty-one-year-old Sherri Reis is confirmed dead, along with her three children: Timothy Reis, 17; Emily Reis, 19; and Virginia Reis, 21.

• Polls are open at Batavia city schools from noon to 9:00pm today for the school budget and school board votes.

Video: Train pulling out of roundhouse in Batavia

By Howard B. Owens

Here's an interesting video that appeared on YouTube overnight -- of a train pulling out of a roundhouse in Batavia.

The description of the video reads:

S6 1044 emerges from the DLWR Enginehouse in Batavia. The five-stall roundhouse was closed up at or around 1956, when the New York Central moved their mainline south of the city; track was relaid into the building during the past winter (2007) by the hard-working GVT track department. So like the title says, it's no fire, it's just an ALCO.

A local church has also uploaded a "pastor appreciation" video.

Powers Rallies Supporters, Serves Community

By Daniel Jones

On Saturday Jon Powers, the endorsed Congressional Candidate in the 26th Congressional District (which includes all of Genesee County) came out to Batavia to rally supporters and meet voters to help spread his positive message of change and real leadership.

He arrived at Main Street Coffee to meet an enthusiastic and fired up group of supporters.  Jon and his field director, Sara Gordon, gave us a quick rundown on canvassing (door-knocking) and on how to engage voters and sent us out into the field.

(Powers and Field Director Sara Gordon at Main Street Coffee)

Powers, an Iraq war veteran, didn't just campaign though.  With his combat boots laced up he entered a neighborhood where he met up with Council President Charlie Mallow and Councilpeople Rosemary Christian and Sam Barone along with other community volunteers that were helping clean up a portion of the city and began helping out.  In his clean white polo shirt he grabbed a rake and began raking branches and helping move bags.  Many who came out were impressed with the young veteran and teacher.  Many were impressed with his style and attitude.  I had the pleasure of spending this time with Jon, it was remarkable to see how people seemed to swarm around him, listening to him talk about his plans and his vision for our district and our country.

(Powers chats with Councilwoman Rosemary Christian at a Neighborhood clean-up)

After that he was off to Warsaw to fire up more supporters to canvass for him in Wyoming County and then was back at Batavia for a night at the American Legion.

One thing's for sure, Jon Powers isn't afraid to do the hard work of making a difference for our district. 

Thats what's going to win him this race.

Batavia man faces multiple charges after reported scuffle with deputies

By Philip Anselmo

Genesee County Sheriff's deputies got into a tussle with a suspect Saturday night outside the man's home in Batavia. Fifty-six-year-old William G. Horner, of 8013 Bank Street Road, allegedly shoved and kicked deputies when they tried to arrest him around 8:30pm Saturday based on reports that Horner had chased someone with a knife earlier that night. Horner was charged with second-degree menacing, resisting arrest and two counts of second-degree harassment. He was sent to Ontario County Jail on $1,000 cash bail.

Acting Chief Jankowski doesn't expect to be appointed permanently to job

By Howard B. Owens

Lt. Eugene Jankowski, acting police chief in Batavia, told The Batavian this afternoon that he believes he is no longer a candidate for the vacant police chief's job.

"They've conducted the final four interviews without me," Jankowski said.  "I'd say I'm pretty much out of the running."

Jankowski said when he was told he didn't make the final four, he filed a written appeal, but since he hasn't been interviewed, he believes that appeal was rejected.

"It’s not over yet. Anything is possible. I’ll be in my position for several more weeks yet. I’m going to stay on and continue to work as I have been."

It's possible, he said, that none of the four remaining candidates will receive nor accept an offer, in which case he might still have a shot.

But it doesn't sound like he's holding his breath. 

He said he's sad that he didn't get the job, but he's proud of his 30 years of service to the city and vows to support whomever gets the job.

"I'm still very passionate about my profession, enjoy my job, enjoy helping people and plan to stay on for five or six more years, as long as I’m able, as long as I’m in good health I’d like to stay," Jankowski said.

From door to door: Canvassing for a Congressional candidate

By Philip Anselmo

"This past Saturday morning, the weather in Batavia was threatening ahead of approaching rain and the wind was already shaking the tree branches back and forth. It wasn't as chilly as it looked, but it might've dampened some peoples' spirits."

So begins the journal-style report by Russ Stresing, of Elba, about Saturday's rally in support of Congressional candidate Jon Powers. Stresing's narrative is posted in full at The Albany Project. He writes with an infectious enthusiasm about the invigorated volunteers, battling the chilly wet afternoon to drum up support for their candidate of choice.

There was understandable nervousness among several of the volunteers. For some of them, especially the college and high school students, this would be their first time going out to talk to people they've never met to enlist them in an effort that will likely affect their very future. Its intimidating enough for adults to go door to door in neighborhoods they're not familiar with, but its an even more daunting task for (let's face it) kids who may not even have sold greeting cards to raise money for band or 4H. But, they threw their lot in with the more experienced and outgoing volunteers with the confidence that what they were about to do mattered. Not only to them, but also to the very people they would be meeting on their trek up and down Batavia's streets.

Stresing's narrative is at its best when he gets down to the details you just won't find in a mainstream media report — such as, say, his description of Powers' attire.

The meeting was to have begun at 10:30, and with professional timing, Jon and his staff arrived at 10:10. Casually dressed, down to his well-worn desert combat boots, he greeted people individually, obviously delighted with and appreciative of their help. After expressing his gratitude, he got down to business and laid out the day's plan and attitude.

Stresing goes on to tell the story of the volunteers going door-to-door up and down Batavia streets, nervous, in the rain. It all has such a literary flair, I can't keep from quoting one last bit. For the rest, please check out his post.

Canvassing teams began returning to Main Street Coffee around 1:30, some beating the rains, others returning with wet clothes, but spirits undampened. It was an even more cheery group that gathered at base camp than started out the morning. ... And history shows, they'll keep following through. Nothing determines an American's sense of civil responsibility as much as starting early. And starting well.

A Veterans Outreach Center: Batiste in Batavia

By Philip Anselmo

Retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste spoke at the VA Medical Center Saturday during the two-day veterans celebration this past weekend. The Daily News was there to cover the event. "The rest of the people of Batavia should be here," Batiste told the crowd of about 150 people. "We're in a war." Reporter Tom Rivers writes:

Batiste said the country has failed to mobilize, to rally its citizens, behind the war in Iraq, where 4,079 Americans have died since March 2003.

[He] called on the community to support the veterans and their families by insisting on speedy processing of vet claims, and fully-funded health care, including services for post traumatic stress disorder, which affects 30 percent of soldiers.

Batiste urged the Genesee County community to create a Veterans Outreach Center, similar to one in Rochester that links veterans to agencies for support.

The volunteer-run outreach centers can serve the veterans better than government, with its layers of bureaucracy, Batiste said.

When I read that, I thought of the Genesee County Veterans Service Agency, run by Hal Kreter. Hal's been especially busy these days as the liaison between the other area veterans groups, along with planning Memorial Day services. Nevertheless, he spared a few minutes to sit down with me about two weeks ago to tell me a bit about what the agency does for its local veterans. While it does not offer the more personal assistance a veteran could get from an outreach center, Hal stressed, the agency does help make the bureaucracy a little less intimidating.

"We handle the files," he says. "We file claims to the Department of Veterans Affairs for compensation and insurance... We're basically going over the benefits for veterans. An outreach center is a place where veterans can go and talk to people, associate with them."

I told Hal that Batavia already seemed to have many resources available to veterans to help ease the transition from military to civilian life and to engage them throughout their life back home: his own agency, the VA Medical Center (including its PTSD clinic), the American Legion, the VFW. True, he said, and all of those groups are "great at what they do," but an oureach center would provide that added service that veterans could really use, another place they could go to find people there for them, even if just to talk.

Support the City Schools

By Patrick D. Burk

Another quick reminder.....School Budget Votes and School Board Members Voting is tomorrow in the City of Batavia.   Board Seats held by Wayne Guenther and Steve Hyde are up for Re-Election, there is no challengers.  Steve and Wayne have both done the office of Board of Education Member proud.  I hope the community comes out to support them. 

We also have the budget, which cuts the current tax rate by 2% or more and allows for the expansion of curriculum and the continuance of our award winning technology programs.  Batavia City School District is getting top grades for being one of the BEST SCHOOL DISTRICTS in Western New York.  All of our buildings (BHS, BMS & 3 Elementaries) recieved passing grades of distinction from New York State.  In short we are doing a fine job with the education process while realigning and reducing the tax burden on local residents and businesses. 

Also on the ballot is the approval of the 5+ Million Technology Budget that will add to the Security of all buildings as well as update current technology to include wireless and other outlets.  This will allow more students on computers at the same time and result in a better adaption of technology in the classroom.  Now here is the glitch....this has to pass by New York State Law by 60%.  I  have no clue why Small City School Building Projects need the 60% threshold while others only need 1 vote more in favor...but the fact is, we do.

With all that being said....please come out and support the Batavia City School's Budget, its Board of Education Members and the Technology Project.  It is the least we can do for our kids.  We appreciate your support.

 

News roundup: Summer means construction

By Philip Anselmo

From the Daily News (Monday):

• A driving lane on Clinton Street between East Main Street and East Avenue will be closed most of the day Tuesday due to water line repairs, according to the city Water Bureau.

• More such closures and traffic patern changes are in store as summer construction season gets underway. Here are some to look out for:

  • County sign improvements all over Genesee County will start in July and mean intermittent shoulder closures in work areas.
  • Repair and replacement work on the Route 33 Bridge over Black Creek in Batavia will begin in August. That means daily or short-term lane closures.
  • Paving projects: Route 77 to Orleans County line; Route 63 from north of the village of Oakfield to Route 77; Route 19 from the village of LeRoy to the Thruway; Route 20 from Tonawanda Creek to Route 63; I-490 from Genesee County to Route 33A. Expect alternating one-way traffic during those projects.

• The Genesee County Office for the Aging will hold a Medicare information program from 1:00 to 5:00pm Thursday at the offices at 2 Bank St. in Batavia. Those interested in attending must bring "proof of income for 2007 and 2008, including bank statements from the last three months and/or last three pay stubs, a form of identification, Medicare card and proof of health insurance premium." The program will be followed by a presentation at 5:30pm: "Welcome to Medicare." No appointment is necessary to attend.

• Former Genesee Community College official Glenn DuBois — now the chancellor of the Virginia Community College System — gave the commencement address at the school's graduation ceremony Sunday. Jack Andrews "received the college's Alpha Medal of Service for his 20 years of leadership with the GCC Foundation," writes reporter Tom Rivers. Andrews told the 762 graduates: "The community needs your help. Don't just sit there and complain about it. Get out and do something about it." Sound advice.

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

News roundup: Chat with a congressman

By Philip Anselmo

Check out WBTA for these and other stories:

• Congressman Tom Reynolds will hold an information session — open to the public — at the Old County Courthouse, 7 Main St., Wednesday at 10:00am.

• Twenty-three competitors came out for the Muckdogs National Anthem contest Saturday at Dwyer Stadium. Diane Lewis of Pavilion and Becky Wolford of Albion were crowned co-winners and will sing a duet at the July 4th Muckdogs game against the Hudson Valley Renegades. Sarah Goldstein Post will sing God Bless America at the game.

Memorial Day at United Memorial

By Philip Anselmo

United Memorial Medical Center will host a Memorial Day observance Monday, May 26, at 9:00am at the monument in front of the hospital's main entrance at 127 North St. Gold Star Family members and representatives from the Batavia Veterans' Association will lay a wreath at the monument. Members of the Batavia Concert Band will perform.

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be available following the observance in the hospital board room. Call (585) 344-5415 for more information.

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.

...it’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.

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