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Batavia man accused of robbing the Subway on East Main

By Howard B. Owens
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Benito Gay

Batavia PD responded to Subway, 412 E. Main St., at 5:56 p.m. after receiving a report of a robbery in progress, and upon arrival learned the suspect had fled in an easterly direction.

After obtaining a description of the suspect, officers located a man matching the description at an apartment complex on East Main.  He was taken into custody and identified as Benito A. Gay, 34, of Batavia.

He is charged with robbery and another unspecified charge. He was arraigned in City Court and ordered held without bail.

There were no weapons displayed during the robbery, police said. 

Additional evidence was recovered after Gay's arrest, according to police. 

He is scheduled to appear in City Court again at 1:30 p.m. May 19.

Gay has other prior arrests in Batavia, most recently in March when he was accused of stealing three beers from the Kwik Fill at Jackson and Ellicott.

All public school districts in Genesee County report thumbs up in budget votes

By Joanne Beck

Though votes were reported as unofficial this evening, it’s apparent that Batavia City Schools’ $54.8 million budget and a related 1 percent tax levy increase passed with a vote of 301 to 108.

It was one of eight districts to report a passed 2022-23 budget. 

The other proposition on Batavia’s ballot was the election of board members for three vacant seats. Chezeray Rolle came out on top with 368 votes, followed by John Marucci and Korinne Anderson, each with 346 votes.

Alexander Central’s budget and related tax levy passed 83 to 44. Prop 2 of two bus purchases passed 92 to 35; Prop 3 to spend $56,958 from the equipment capital reserve fund passed 97 to 31; Prop 4 to establish a capital reserve fund passed 86 to 38;  Prop 5 to establish a school bus reserve fund also passed 85 to 39.

Molly Grimes received 94 votes to fill the five-year board member term, and there were several write-in suggestions for the position.

Byron-Bergen Central School’s budget passed with a vote of 244 to 98. Proposition 2 of a bus purchase was also approved 252 to 89; Prop 3 of a school vehicle reserve passed 245 to 95 and school board candidates Kimberly Carlson received 292 votes, Heidi Ball 284 and Jeffrey Cook 287.

Elba Central’s budget passed by a vote of 100 to 17. Superintendent Gretchen Rosales shared her gratitude for the positive outcome.

“I am thankful for our supportive community,” she said.  “These results demonstrate the trust the Elba community has in the district, not only to educate the students, but also to be good financial stewards of their resources.”  

Elba’s Prop 2 to purchase a school bus passed 102 to 15; Prop 3 to expend up to $100,000 on a capital outlay project through a reserve fund passed 104 to 12, and board members Travis Torrey and Mercy Caparco won a five-year term on the school board with votes of 100 and 106, respectively.

Le Roy Central's general budget passed 474 to 137 and the library budget by 509 to 103. Candidates Peter Loftus and Rachael Greene each won a three-year term on the school board with votes of 458 and 464, respectively. Jason Karcher, with 382 votes, will fill a two-year term.

Oakfield-Alabama Central’s $23.5 million budget passed 187 to 35. The district also approved the addition of a student ex-officio board member 180 to 40. Matt Lamb, with 205 votes, and Justin Staebell with 209 were each elected to three-year terms on the school board.

Pavilion Central’s budget passed 106 to 23, as did a reserve resolution by 107 to 20. Marirose Ethington received 116 votes to fill a five-year school board term.

Pembroke Central’s budget passed 272 to 98, while a school bus proposition passed 276 to 93. Ed Levinstein garnered 332 votes for a five-year school board seat and Amber Winters received 312 for a four-year board seat.

Corfu Public Library election results gave Jessica Doctor the most votes of 336 and John Conti two write-in votes, each for a three-year trustee seat; Matt Steinberg received 334 votes for a two-year trustee seat.

 

Alabama, county named in suit that blames municipalities for failure to install roundabout at Ledge Road

By Howard B. Owens

A decision by the Alabama Town Board in April 2019 to oppose the installation of a roundabout at the intersection of Ledge Road and Route 77 has led to a lawsuit filed by an Oakfield woman who sustained severe injuries in an accident at that intersection on Oct. 2, 2020.

Marianne Molaro sustained permanent injures, "including but not limited to, a fracture of the cervical spine at the C-2 level," according to the suit filed in November by attorney Bradley D. Marble of Lockport on her behalf.

Also named is Genesee County; the other driver, Amber M. Messervey, of Naples; the owner of the car Masservey was driving; and Victor Chase, of Rochester. 

The amount of damages, if the plaintiff prevails, are left up to a jury, the suit states.

At the time of the accident, the DOT had not yet announced its decision to drop its proposal for a roundabout, or a traffic circle, at the intersection.  That decision wouldn't be made public until May 2021.

It's not clear that Molaro can recover damages from the town since Route 77 is property of New York State, and the Town has no authority to install or block a traffic circle at the intersection. Marble did not respond to a request for comment on the suit.

The state is not named in the suit.

The town's insurance agent is handling the legal response to the suit.

The suit seeks to hold both the town and the county liable for "negligent reckless and careless" action in "failing to provide a safe roadway" and in failing to "correct a known safety risk," in failing to "perform an adequate highway safety plan study; in failing to abide by a highway safety plan that provided a reasonable basis for the decisions made; failing to follow the guidance of the NYS DOT to install a roundabout at the location of the collision" and to fail to take any other reasonable action that could help prevent serious accidents at the intersection.

In 2019, the town sent a letter to the Department of Transportation opposing a proposed $1.8 million roundabout out of concern that "while it may decrease high-impact accidents, it will increase low-impact accidents, which will, in turn, increase the amount of emergency calls for our volunteer firemen."

The letter raised concerns about farmers moving equipment through the roundabout, plowing it in winter, increased noise from trucks slowing and applying their jake brakes, and the danger of traffic slowing as vehicles approach the roundabout.

"The proposed roundabout will be approximately 30 feet from a residence," the letter stated. "This poses a significant safety hazard to this property owner."

Supervisor Janet Sage signed the letter, along with Deputy Supervisor Kevin Fisher, board members Gordon Linsey, Jill Klotzbach, and William Cleveland.

The county is named in the suit even though the County Legislation declined in May 2019, when the Town of Alabama requested the County to join Alabama in opposing the roundabout.  Members of the Legislature listened to Highway Superintendent Tim Hens when he outlined why roundabouts help save lives.

Traffic engineers generally support roundabouts, they say, because roundabouts lead to a 60 percent reduction in all types of accidents and a 99 percent reduction in fatal accidents because they eliminate head-on and right-angle, high-speed collisions. 

On Oct. 2, 2020, Molaro was driving northbound on Alleghany Road when her vehicle was struck by one driven by Messervey, according to the suit, when she failed to stop for a stop sign in the eastbound portion of Ledge Road.

The Batavian requested a copy of the accident report, which is public record, from State Police, which, contrary to the state's open records law, declined the request.

During the state's proposal process for the roundabout, the DOT stated that between April 1, 2013, and May 31, 2018, there were 56 crashes in the area and 31 of them at the intersection. Two of the accidents were fatal.

The DOT said at the time of the proposal for a roundabout that they did consider alternative solutions and had implemented minor safety enhancements, such as upgraded signs and modified striping, but proposed a modern roundabout as the best solution to the propensity for accidents at the intersection. The engineers proposed an elliptical-shaped roundabout.

Sponsored Post: The Ricky Palermo Foundation presents: Bruce in the USA on June 10th

By Lisa Ace


PALERMO & BATAVIA DOWNS TEAM UP for BRUCE in the USA CONCERT BRUCE in the USA is The World’s #1 Tribute Band to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band as they team up with the Ricky Palermo Foundation and Batavia Downs Gaming on Friday, June 10. Donations from our event will be going to our local UMMC Hospital (Rochester Regional Health’s-Batavia Branch) and our FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) Bike Program that will be part of the brand-new Batavia YMCA, which is expected to be breaking ground any day now.

We are honored to be partnering with Batavia Downs Gaming, so if you would like to have a fun night and pitch-in to support our local Hospital and brand new YMCA, come and join us at Batavia Downs Gaming.

Now in its fifth year as a concert venue, Batavia Downs has been averaging about 3000 to 5000 concertgoers per show as part of their Rockin The Downs Concert Series. Although our Concert is not part of this series and tickets must be purchased separately, we are hoping to draw the same kind of crowd with our Nationally recognized headliner Bruce In The USA and local guests including 97 Rock’s Dave “DJ” Jickster and Comedian Nick Marra. As an added bonus from our friends at Batavia Downs everyone that buys a ticket will receive a $15 free play. Tickets from $15 to $75. “Wouldn’t it be amazing if a bunch of the concertgoers went back inside at the end of the night and won lots of money, with their free play”?

Tickets are selling nicely so if you want to look into joining our concert you can go to my site www.RickyPalermofoundation.org OR go to EVENTS while looking on the Batavia Downs concerts website. Check out our poster and if you have any questions, contact Ricky at: 585-739-8522 or Rickypalermo24@gmail.com

 

Genesee County Jail, take two, is underway: Groundbreaking ceremony set for May 26

By Joanne Beck

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Aside from the brick-and-mortar details of constructing a new, 184-bed Genesee County jail facility, Senior Project Superintendent Randy Babbitt offered a reminder Monday about what’s most important.

“My top priority is safety. Safety, safety, safety is paramount with me. I want everyone returning home the same way they show up every day. And we all have families, kids, grandkids. So that's one of the biggest things I stress to the guys: safety first,” Babbitt said during the first update given to the Public Services Committee. “And then I go into quality and a lot of other things, but my main concern for my walk is to be safe every day. So please be assured that's gonna be on the top.”

Most of the contractors have provided their own site-specific safety plan, reviewed and approved by Pike company's corporate safety director, Bollin said. It's also been reviewed and approved by Senior Project Manager Carl York.

“They did submit one to us, and we kicked it back because they didn't address a few things that we want to address,” Bollin said. “They are complying with their safety plan that they have submitted, and everything is off to a good start.”

York outlined work that has been completed and future ongoing collaboration.

“We're collecting everybody's detailed schedules that will go in … we’re gonna start having our project manager meetings every week, starting next week, and our coordination meetings with the contractors coordinating all of the MEPs for all the buildings are also starting next week. And both of those will go on every week until their coordination tasks are completed,” York said. "Randy's on-site superintendent meetings will probably start in about another two, three weeks or so when there's a few more subs working on site. Everybody's very eager to get as much done before the snow flies. We're all very excited to be here. And I'm very eager. You're going to see it's smooth (moving) forward.”

Work has begun at the site of the new larger jail on West Main Street Road next to County Building 2. Equipment at the site will be a mainstay for several months, with a final completion date to be in March 2024, Bollin said. 

He reviewed what’s already been approved — six prior packages with contractors Bayside Paving for site work, LeChase Construction Services as general contractor, Joseph Flihan Company for food services equipment work, Thurston Dudek for plumbing and fire protection, Bell Mechanical Contractor for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, Kaplan-Schmidt for electrical and security electronics work and a seventh contract with CME Associates, which is to provide special inspections and testing.

Bayside paving began “mobilization” earlier this month, with temporary fencing, soil erosion control, clearing and grubbing construction entrances that were completed on May 13. Stripping topsoil began that same day, Bollin said.

The notice to proceed was issued to all contractors on Monday, he said.

“It was dated today. Based on the timeframe that we gave the contractors to complete the project, a substantive date for substantial completion will be Jan. 14, 2024. The date for final completion is March 15, 2024,” he said.

Given this has been a project in the making for at least five years, it was a drum-roll moment as he announced an official groundbreaking ceremony date has been set. Genesee County officials will celebrate the jail’s formal inception at 10 a.m. on May 26.

All private contracts have been fully executed and both Genesee County and the contractors have signed them, he said. The latest agreement with CME Associates is being drafted, he said. All forms, payment bonds and insurance have been provided by all of the contractors and have been “carefully reviewed by Genesee County’s insurance agent and Pike's risk management department,” he said.

He said the contracts are signed for a total project cost of $57,272,800. 

Top photo: 2022 File photo by Howard Owens

Study finds intersection outside vets cemetery safe but suggests possible changes

By Howard B. Owens
Video Sponsor
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The intersection of Route 77 and Indian Falls Road is deemed safe in that it meets or exceeds all state and national design standards, according to a draft report released this week by the Office of Veterans Affairs.

The latest report is based on data and a study by an independent engineering firm, Larson Design Group.

The location is outside the Western New York National Cemetery, which opened a year-and-a-half ago and where two veterans (Christopher Rowell and Arnold Herdendorf, both of Lockport) were killed in a motor vehicle accident in September of 2021.

Glenn Elliott presented the report at a meeting hosted Monday in Corfu by Rep. Chris Jacobs. Elliott is the environmental director in the office of facility planning, construction and facility management at the VA.

"The draft study concludes that the intersection meets NYSDOT standards for sight distances and the US Federal Highways Administration Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices," Elliott said. "This is the standard used by roadway managers nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices on all public streets, highways, bikeways and private roads open to the public."

He also said, "It finds that the sight distance is at the State Route 77 in Indian Falls Road intersection for greater than design criteria. Concluding sight distances do not propose a safety issue for traffic turning off Indian Falls Road. It concludes neither an all-way stop nor a traffic signal are required for the applicable criteria of METCB. It finds the expected crash frequency not significantly higher than the predicted crash frequency. Therefore safety performance is consistent with what is expected at this intersection. Since November 2020, when the cemetery opened, the crash frequency incident rate did not increase."

And, "The study finds that the expected crash frequency is not significantly higher than predicted crash frequency. Therefore, the safety and performance of the intersection is consistent with what is expected for this type of intersection."

However, because of the interest within the veterans' community in the safety of the intersection, the report reviews seven potential changes to the intersection.

  • Eliminate the existing departure passing zones at the Indian Falls Road intersection.
  • Install a flashing intersection control beacon or alternatively install side-mounted flashing warning devices along Route 77 intersection warning and involves road stops.
  • Install rumble strips on the shoulder and centerline on State Route 77.
  • Eliminate the existing departure and passing zone mentioned earlier.
  • Installed larger right and left stop signs with reflected posts on Indian Falls Road, including placards for cross traffic does not stop at stop pavement markings on Indian Falls Road.
  • Install larger intersection signs on State Route 77.
  • Install a roundabout at the intersection of route 77 and Indian Falls Road.  

None of the possible changes are explicitly recommended though flashing beacons, signage and pavement markings, and a roundabout all score the best when mathematically weighted for effectiveness in reducing accidents.  Roundabouts reduce accidents by 60 percent and fatal accidents by 99 percent.

One suggestion by the study explicitly deemed ineffective is reducing the speed limit approaching the cemetery.

Jacobs said he organized the meeting in order to give community members a chance to review the report and make their own comments about it and potential changes to the intersection. 

"It is clear that more needs to be done to make this intersection safer for our veterans and our families who come to pay respects to our fallen heroes," Jacobs said. "I am committed to working with the veteran community to ensure meaningful changes are made."

For more details and for comments from among those who attended, watch the video above.

Sponsored Post: Real estate auction from Bontrager! Bid now through May 24th

By Lisa Ace


Public online auction of a single family 2 bedroom residence located in Darien Center, NY. Situated on 1.4 country acres, this home features hardwood flooring in the living room, detached garage, deck overlooking a spacious yard, and a heated work room in the basement. There is still time to see this property before the bidding closes on May 24th. The auction is located at bontragerauction.com. View the auction, read terms and conditions, or bid here: https://bit.ly/3LiVBDb

Fluker, VanAlst, Fonte inducted into local bowling Hall of Fame

By Press Release

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Press release:

The three men who were inducted into the Genesee Region USBC Hall of Fame on Saturday night shared a common theme – “giving back to the sport that has given them so much” over the years.

Tom Fluker of Batavia and William VanAlst of Stafford, both in the Meritorious Service category, and Tim Fonte of Dansville, in the Achievement Veteran category, were enshrined at the local bowling association’s annual banquet at Batavia Downs Gaming.

Ninety-six people attended the event, which also included the presentation of the Barbara J. Kreiley Scholarship Award to Alexis Patterson of Dansville, a standout youth bowler at Mount Morris Lanes who will be attending Canisius College in the fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies.

Fluker, 51, served on the GRUSBC board for 12 years, including six as president. He was instrumental in promoting youth bowling, establishing the Genesee Region Youth Travel League and developing the association’s generous awards program. He also is a United States Bowling Congress Level I bowling instructor and traveled around the Northeast to conduct clinics for those wanting to teach the sport to kids.

About 40 of his former youth bowlers, their parents, family and friends on hand to celebrate his induction, Fluker thanked all of them and congratulated the members of the teams that advanced to the New York State Youth Team Championships on two occasions.

A Pepsi-Cola sales executive, Fluker said he “his competitive spirit” drives him to be the best he can be in all walks of life. An accomplished bowler with 11 perfect games, he said he got more satisfaction from watching his youth bowlers thrive.

“I sacrificed going to many tournaments because I was coaching,” he said. “And to me that was priority one. The kids knew Saturday morning was their time … and I got more enjoyment out of their success than mine.”

He said he encouraged his youth bowlers to put in the practice time to improve.

“I wanted to give them every opportunity to succeed, letting them know that today is the day to seize it because they might not have it tomorrow,” said Fluker, who was nominated and presented by Mike Pettinella, GRUSBC association manager.

VanAlst, 71, has been a fixture at Le Roy Legion Lanes for the past 48 years as a member and current secretary-treasurer of the Tuesday Night League and previously as coordinator of the youth bowling program and Le Roy Junior Travel League. He also served as secretary-treasurer of the former Genesee Valley Youth American Bowling Alliance that included nine bowling centers.

In his speech, he said he never has shied away from helping out when needed, but still didn’t imagine he would be involved in the same league for nearly 50 years.

He joked that Don Laurie “railroaded me into that spot (secretary) in 1977 and I’m still here today … and once you get elected to it, it’s pretty hard to get out unless you leave the area or pass away. Fortunately, I haven’t done either.”

VanAlst, a partner in a Rochester engineering firm for the past 49 years, thanked all of his fellow bowlers and his wife, Karen, who provided much assistance in compiling the scores and keeping the standings from the youth programs. He said they both got involved when their sons, Scott and Matt, were little.

“I wanted them to learn how to bowl correctly, how to keep score and how to play as a team member,” he said. “Bowling is a sport that you can enjoy year round and you can enjoy for your entire life. And it's good to know the proper way to do that.”

VanAlst was nominated by GRUSBC Director AJ Allenbrandt and presented by his son, Scott VanAlst, who shared that his father’s legacy is one of “dedication, commitment, loyalty, caring and kindness.”

Fonte has been an association member for 47 years – averaging over 190 consistently in the era before high scores and over 200 for nine of the past 10 seasons. He rolled a 300 game in 1997 and an 806 series in December of 2021 at the age of 73. His tournament victories include the Lilac City in Rochester and Wild Irish Rose in Canandaigua, and he placed second in the GRUSBC Senior Masters in 2019.

He also worked at the pro shop at Mount Morris Lanes for 25 years, serving as manager from 1994-2003, and coached youth bowlers there for 15 years.

A Vietnam veteran, Fonte said he started bowling and working at Panorama Lanes in Rochester, remembering the day he found a fingertip ball on the rack that proprietor Marcel Fournier said that he could have.

“That started by career,” he said, stopping to thank the Hall of Fame committee for inducting him and “Jesus Christ, my Savior, who made all of this possible.”

Fonte said he underwent 10 major surgeries after returning home from Vietnam, and found “that the only sport I could do was to bowl.” He then found his way to Mount Morris Lanes, where he joined a league and eventually learned how to drill bowling balls at the pro shop there.

He was nominated by GRUSBC Director Karen Bonner and presented by his son, Kris, who called his father and bowling teammate his “hero.”

Ray DiSanto Sr. of Rochester, a Batavia native and member of five bowling and sports halls of fame, was the keynote speaker.

DiSanto, 92, spoke about his numerous bowling tournament achievements – he averaged 200 at the age of 14 – and his career as a respected bowling coach and longtime owner of Bowlers World Pro Shop in Henrietta.

He also offered some tips to today’s bowlers, noting that creating ball speed is essential to achieving high scores with the technologically-advanced bowling balls.

In the modern game, he said, bowlers need to learn to be “late at the line to create more power and more ball speed.”

“The weight of the ball is not as important as it was years ago, when 16 pounds was the norm,” he said. “Today, 15s, 14s and even 12-pounders. So, if you think the ball is too heavy and you’re rolling it too slow, don’t be afraid to go down in weight. These balls are extremely powerful.”

Re-elected to three-year terms on the GRUSBC Board of Directors were Karen Bonner, sergeant-at-arms; and Frank Jarkiewicz, Joann Van Duser, John Wood and Gary Kuchler.

Champions of the GRUSBC Association Tournament also were recognized with plaques, as follows:

Open Team -- Jason Quilliam, AJ Allenbrandt, Michael Lambert, Mike Johnson, Batavia, 3,061;
Women’s Team -- Montana Bzduch, Joann Van Duser, Rachel Huntz, Katy Bzduch, Perry, 2,339;
Open Doubles -- Geoff Harloff and Ed Doody, Batavia, 1,504;
Women’s Doubles -- Christine Bovee and Karen Henry, Dansville, 1,276;
Open Singles – Ricky Daniels, Albion, 838;
Women’s Singles -- Donna Wolff, Batavia, 690;
Open All-Events -- Brian Cline, Middleport, 2,295;
Women’s All-Events -- Donna Wolff, Batavia, 1,997.

Seasonal league leaders received plaques, as follows:

High Series, Men – Brian Cline, Middleport, 847; High Average, Men – Curtis Foss, Medina, 240.

High Game, Women – VJ Frew, Piffard, 300; High Series, Women – Amy Allis, Medina, 735; High Average, Women – Amy Allis, Medina, 203.

High Game, Boys – Dominic LaPiana, Mount Morris, 268; High Series, Boys -- Gavin Baney, Albion, 690; High Average, Boys -- Ryleigh Culver, Medina, 197.

High Game, Girls -- Alexis Patterson, Dansville, 231; High Series, Girls -- Juliana Allis, Medina, 613; High Average, Girls -- Gracelin Mahnke, Medina, 175.

Winners of the annual grand prize drawing were David Lohmer of Canaseraga, Jason Quilliam of Batavia and Robert Nolan of Albion, $500 each, and Rick Pernicone of Dansville, Chris Huntz of Castile, Eric Sickles of Perry and Roger Allis of Medina, $25 each.

Photos by Mike Pettinella.

Top photo: Genesee Region USBC Hall of Fame inductees, from left, Tim Fonte of Dansville, William VanAlst of Stafford and Tom Fluker of Batavia.

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GRUSBC President Mike Johnson of Batavia congratulates Alexis Patterson of Dansville on being the recipient of the Barbara J. Kreiley Memorial Scholarship. 

BSA honors its best at its spring show, now on display at Richmond

By Howard B. Owens

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The Batavia Society of Artists' Member Spring Art Show opened last week at the Richmond Memorial Library's Gallery Room, 19 Ross St., Batavia.

The event included awarding the Virginia Carr-Mumford Scholarship to Ben Wilkins.

Submitted photos.

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Richard Ellingham, 1st place and two honorable mentions.

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Adrian Morris donated his painting to raffle off for the BSA.

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Brian Kemp, 3rd Place

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Julie Lambert, honorable mention

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Nicole Greenbaum, honorable mention

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David Burke, honorable mention

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Julie Jensen, honorable mention

Le Roy voters asked to select three trustees from four candidates, vote on budget

By Howard B. Owens

Four people are each vying for one of three trustee seats on Le Roy Central School's Board of Education during Tuesday's school budget vote.

The two candidates with the most votes will be elected to the two three-year terms that are open, and the candidate to come in third will fill the remaining two years on the other available seat.

The four candidates are Peter W. Loftus, Randa Williams, Jason Karcher, and Rachael Greene.

Also on the ballot is the district's $27,708,988 spending plan.  Voters are being asked to approve a $10,663,025 tax levy.  In-district property owners in Pavilion, Bergen, and Caledonia are looking at a projected tax rate of $19. Property owners in the Town of Le Roy pay the same rate they did this year, $24.14. For further explanation of the tax rates and budget, see The Batavian's previous coverage: Le Roy trustees support $66,000 tax levy increase, still lowering tax rate for property owners with assessment adjustments

During the May 10 school board meeting, the four candidates were given time to introduce themselves:

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Peter W. Loftus
Loftus has served on the school district board for six years and is seeking a third term.  He is married to Tammy and they have two children.   

He is an engineering manager at RL Kistler Inc.

"Kistler places a real high value on their employees giving back to the community and providing service wherever they can," Loftus said. "This has allowed me a lot of flexibility to get out of work when I need to, to get back here for any committee meeting, interview negotiations, anything like that that takes place in the normal working hours. My work is really understanding about that and provides me with that opportunity."

He said he learned two things when he first started on the school board. 

"The first thing that I learned is that it's just a massive operation," he said. "The running of this district is all the fast-moving parts. Everything's changing all the time. People are leaving. It's a natural path for people to come and go. So you're always filling slots. It's just the way it is.

"And the other thing that I learned -- and this is the biggie -- that they care; the education, and the life preparation of every student in this district, is what drives everybody here."

Six years ago, when he showed up at the Jr./Sr high school to participate in his own children's educations, he picked up a positive vibe just walking around the hallways. Loftus said, and he decided he wanted to be a part of it, so he decided to run for a seat on the board.

"Now, I do understand a lot of the challenges, and there are many things we need to do to be better," Loftus said. "It's not just a happy place where that vibe is going all the time. There are underlying issues. There are things that we need to improve."

And Loftus wants to help guide that improvement, he said, and his experience will prove to be an asset.

"My six years on the board equips me with some experience and some tools to be a more effective, more impactful board member," Loftus said. "I really look forward to putting that experience to use in a third term."

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Randa Williams
Williams, a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother of Le Roy students, started her involvement with the Le Roy Central School District when her daughter entered kindergarten in 1976. She served on the PTSO and helped get the first playground built, and then a second.

She's been involved with Girl Scouts for 66 years.

"I think that the most important thing is to be involved in your community," Williams said. "I think that's what brought me here."

She thinks more people should get involved with their local schools.

"In a case like this, if you're involved, you know what's going on in your school. And it's very important what's going on here," she said.

Williams said she is excited to get more involved with the district through a seat on the school board.

"I'm very interested in what's going on and I would like to be involved in it," she said.

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Jason Karcher
Part of what brought Karcher to Le Roy is that he married a young lady from the community and they both wanted a place with a strong sense of community and family.

The Buffalo native arrived four years ago and immediately got involved.  He joined the Le Roy Rotary Club and is now set to become president-elect in July. He's also been involved with the PTSO.

"One of the big things for me was about (finding) some place that I could actually dig in, get my hands dirty, and be a part of something that was larger than myself," Karcher said. "When we made the decision, it wasn't a foregone conclusion about where we would go, but it presented itself really quickly that, with family here, and with all the opportunities that are available here, to be able to come back here and (get involved)."

He and his wife Shannon have a daughter and it was his daughter's love of softball that got him even more involved in the community. 

"About two years ago, we had a huge opportunity where there was going to be no softball, there's gonna be no community of girls softball," he said. "That was a big thing for our daughter to make sure that ( girls softball) could continue on. So Shanna and I jumped in and we formed a 501(C)(3) and got it off the ground, and in two years. Now we have over 100 girls playing softball again here in the community, which we think is fantastic, and we're really excited about it."

The level of involvement led to Karcher being appointed to a vacant seat on the school board.

He works for Apple as an employee relations specialist.

"For me, it's about involvement," he said. "One of the things I would call out is, this is our budget meeting, this is where people could come in and actually get to know our candidates. And this is what we have to write (motion it the largely empty auditorium). And I'll call out, why aren't there more people here? That bothers me. So that's one of the big things, if ever voted on to the school board, is wanting to make a commitment that we need more people here."

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Rachael Greene

Greene enters the race with more than two decades of experience in education. She started her career as a teacher in her hometown of Warsaw before becoming a principal in Mount Morris.  She was an instructional coordinator for BOCES (a position her husband, Peter, now holds) before becoming superintendent of the Stanley G. Falk School, which is a NYS-approved special day school that provides educational programming for students aged five to 21 who have special learning, social, and emotional needs.

"We have 600 students," Greene said. "We're the largest special education school in New York State -- seven locations and (there are) 44 different districts that we collaborate with. So when I think about what I could bring to the board, I think there's some insight and perspective in the fact that I've been able to sit in many of your positions within the district, not this district, specifically, but in a school system, and understand the roles that each of you plays to make decisions on what's best for kids. But also the perspective of being able to say, wow, you know, 44 districts, what are they doing with this?"

She said she wouldn't see her role as another superintendent in the district, a role Merrit Holly currently fills. 

"I think there's some value in being a thought partner at the table with the board," said Greene, a life-long resident of Le Roy. "In my experience, the other piece I think I would bring to the board is I'm a huge advocate for underrepresented students. When I look at our community of Le Roy and youth, and look at where we were 20 years ago, our poverty levels amongst our families and our students coming through our doors hovered around 10 percent. That trend line has done nothing but grow, where we are at almost 40 percent of our students that come into our school buildings living in poverty every day."

The Greenes have three children going to Le Roy schools, including Andrew, a ninth-grader who attended the meeting with his mother.

"I have a lot of confidence that he also will be in some form of leadership because he's class president, and now president of the Junior Honor Society," she said. "So I'm super proud of that. I think it's important for me as a parent to also model that when you're passionate about something, you want to have a seat at the table. So I'm super proud. He's here to support me."

 Greene said she would serve to support educators and see that both instructors and students -- especially those coming from poor families -- get what they need to succeed.

"I can tell you that our teachers in this district and our staff work so hard to do what's best for kids every day," Greene said. "So, as a board member, I'd want to think about what can we do, not just instructionally, but structurally to provide for what every kid needs in this district. Because the sad part is that two-thirds of those 40 percent don't pass the state exams. That tells me that there's a big gap there and it's our obligation, my duty, I would feel as the board member, and all of ours, to really look at what can we do to break down those barriers for kids every day."

Photos by Howard Owens.

Batavia superintendent dishes about everything from birds and dogs to taco pizza

By Joanne Beck

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Something you may not know about Jason Smith is that he didn’t aspire to be a school district superintendent.

In fact, his current role as head of Batavia City Schools just sort of happened with a suggestion that he should consider the next position, he says.

“The thing is there's nothing I've ever aspired to, it's kind of come to me, it's been a calling," Smith said during an interview with The Batavian. "When I was a teacher I never had any aspiration to be a superintendent. I was happy as a teacher. I was happy as an assistant principal. I was happy as a principal. I was happy as a superintendent in Lyndonville. I'm happy to be here."

His response was to one of several questions asked by The Batavian for an update on how his current role as Batavia City Schools superintendent has been going since he began Jan. 1 of this year. Smith has been a multi-district educator, going from Albion to Elba to Lyndonville, and now to Batavia.

Jack of all trades ...
He feels that he can connect with most anyone given his myriad of interests. The 50-year-old city resident plays the trombone, studies and snaps photos of birds, likes to run and participate in 5Ks, enjoys watching sports — he's a big Buffalo Bills fan — majored in history at college, and is a huge Bruce Springsteen and movie fan, especially Oscar winners.

It’s that kind of versatility that helps him to go from talking baseball and a budget to plumbing and roofing problems, he said. He has tried to finesse the art of knowing at least a little about a lot of various subjects, he said.

Jason Smith goes back to school ...
A 1990 Batavia High School graduate, Smith shared how he reminisced while walking down those Blue Devil hallways once again. He received a quick tour on his first official Monday, Jan. 3, and then did some reminiscing on a snow day later that week. He remembered classes, teachers — Mr. Trosey from English class and Mr. Hay from band -- and old friendships -- checked out the Athletic Hall of Fame and came upon fond memories.

"I walked through the hallways by myself and I tried to realign myself to the classes that I had. And as I was doing it, I was texting a couple of my friends I'm still friends with from high school, about the different spots I found. I found my old locker. I wanted to get reacclimatized to the school as a new student would,” he said. “That really wasn't my first memory because it was the first three days or so I was touring all the schools and meeting all the students and staff. And then I thought I had some time Thursday to kind of walk through very peacefully. And I just found it special for me to be back here in this capacity. I had time to kind of pause, you know, that the process of getting the job itself was very exciting. But then I had time to pause."

Smith picked up a glass crystal apple from the corner of his desk. Mr. Trosey had sent it to him following one of Smith’s opening day speeches that included credits to teachers, including Trosey, who had impacted his school career. It’s by far not alone in his collection of memorabilia. One tall bookshelf is full of notes from students and other school tidbits, plus, of course, his trombone, and there's a row of school programs that he has saved. "I'm very proud of those," he said.

Several minutes into the interview and the gloves came off: did you ever get into trouble at school Mr. Smith?

His initial answer was no, however, upon further reflection, Smith recalled when band teacher Mr. Hay “had to have a talk with me.”

“When I was a sophomore, I got my driver's license. And I was like the band treasurer or something. I was only 16 as a sophomore. So I had a car, and I was having fun driving students back and forth to home," he said. "And Mr. Hay had to pull me aside and have a talk with me: ‘Jason, I made you the treasurer for a reason. You've been unfocused.’ I'm sure that no, I didn't get in trouble. But I did have a couple of talks ensue from Mr. Hay.”

Smith often eats lunch with students and said that his old favorite was taco pizza and chocolate milk. “It still is,” he said, adding that chicken poppers and a frosted cookie for his sweet tooth also make the list. One thing you wouldn’t have found on his tray back then was broccoli, he admitted.

A little personal with professional ...
Smith has previously mentioned that he takes care of himself by getting “all of the proper components,” such as running four to five times a week, trying to watch what he eats, playing his trombone, enjoying movies, his family, the two dogs, and birds that frequent his back yard bird feeders. Family includes his wife Lori, daughter Megan, a 2020 BHS graduate, son Matthew, a BHS senior, and eighth-grade daughter Madeline. Megan may be following in dad’s footsteps by pursuing teaching at Niagara University, while Matthew wasn’t quite as excited to have his father at school as dad was, Smith said.

“I think it's fun. You know, he's enjoying his senior year. So I try to be respectful of that, but … the first day or so he wasn't so crazy about it," Smith said. "So as I said, ‘just embrace it. You know I'm here. Just in person.’”

Cooper, the family’s boxer lab mix, got a companion when the Smiths adopted Carol, a foxhound, in January. She was born in a litter named after The Brady Bunch sitcom characters, however, she was renamed from Marsha to Carol, because “we liked Carol better.”

“I enjoy walking and playing with them and try to have balance,” Smith said.

Part of his “entry process” as superintendent meant visiting with many people throughout the school district for a few months. He asked them to describe the school district in one word and found some of the answers a pleasant surprise. Words such as diversity, resilient, pride and supportive popped up.

Actually, there wasn’t really anything that surprised him as much as they “kind of also reaffirmed what I've already thought walking into the district.”

“They said things like pride, inclusive. I was proud to hear those words,” he said.

What's been the most challenging task since he started here? Being accessible to the 450 staff members and more than 2,000 students districtwide, he said.

“So a challenge I've had, and I’ve tried to overcome this by making myself accessible at games and concerts, was getting to know as many people as possible," he said. "And at smaller districts that were just as important to do. So I build time into going to as many things as I can.”

Does that ever get tiresome, having to attend so many public outings?

“It’s all I've known. It's just how I do business, you know? It's one of the pieces that people have in common as the board watches … they want to see visible superintendents in town. So it's not hard for me I don't find it challenging. I accepted it, and it's just part of my lifestyle now,” he said. “And I enjoy it. I'm going to the baseball game this afternoon. I tried to have a policy like this, as to what's going on, from pre-K all the way up to a senior baseball game.”

The public may not have connected a series of bird photos published on The Batavian as being from Jason Smith, superintendent of BCSD. His love of birds began with two parakeets he had as a kid. When he left as principal of Elba in 2011, Smith was given a bird feeder as a present because he had talked about birds. Smith now has some five bird feeders stationed at his southside home, he said. His grandfather loved birds and Smith has followed suit, to the point where he takes and submits photos consistently, compares notes about the feathered creatures with a neighbor, and generally enjoys watching them.

“It’s that moment of peace, I think,” he said.

Time to discuss the 2022-23 budget for a minute. The $54.8 million proposed budget includes an increase of $2.7 million in spending and a related 1 percent increase in the tax levy. Some social media posts have depicted voters as angry about the tax levy increase and have advocated a no vote on May 17. How do you reply to that?

“I want to say that this is not new territory for me. I recognize the challenges of building a school budget. I stand by my teeter-totter analogy and we want to have that piece there. So I would respond to that, we are conscientious of that, our board is very conscientious of that. But our board is also very conscientious of having to address the needs of our students, and ensuring we have staff and programs in place to support their needs. As I said at the board meeting last week, try to imagine a school without the (nonmandated programs). We don't have to have marching band, we don't have to have football. We want those things; those things are important.”

“So we have to balance those pieces out; it certainly ties into the social-emotional learning needs. So I would say it's a balancing act. And it's a partnership, and we recognize that. There's a task that was put in place for a reason. We recognize that, we respect that. We recognize the challenges that go into that. But we also have an obligation.”

I have neighbors that recognize the balance. And as a matter of fact, I had a conversation with one of my neighbors ... and she wanted to make sure we're still going to have good things for kids. So there's that side of it too. That's the teeter-totter," he said. "That's what I wrote in my newsletter. It's a balancing act and a partnership."

Looking ahead ...
What are your goals moving into 2023?

"We're going to announce a strategic plan in July. So Dr. Cory has been facilitating that process, we recommit the team, we're going to announce goals in June," he said. Each school is going to have its own goals that are aligned to pieces ... with respect to academic learning loss, social-emotional learning, and stronger professional collaboration with our teachers. We're forming shared decision-making teams at the building level ... So that's ongoing, I'm really excited about that, and really excited to have the opportunity to finish up this year. And then we're going to have some intense goal planning sessions this summer."

While Smith has always been proud of the district’s graduation rates — currently at 92 percent — he said there’s something equally important to leaving school with a diploma. He wants to know that students are going to look outside of themselves, be analytical thinkers and discerning readers that go beyond Facebook posts and article headlines before deciding on an issue.

"Two things that I want them to be able to do," he said. "Think critically and be good citizens."

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Top photo: Batavia City Schools Superintendent Jason Smith shows some of the items he has collected and keeps in his office. Photo by Joanne Beck. Photo above was taken by Smith in his backyard.

Darien Alexander Townline Road Bridge replacement project begins Monday

By Press Release

Press release:

The Darien Alexander Townline Road Bridge, south of Attica Rd in the Towns of Darien and Alexander, will be closed beginning Monday, May 23, for a bridge replacement project. This locally administered federal aid project replaces the original short-span steel structure and abutments that dates to 1939 with new prestressed concrete hollow slab units and new abutments. The current bridge is posted for 12 tons and once replaced, the bridge will be open to full legal loads. This project is expected to take 3.5 months. During this time, the road will not be passable to regular traffic or emergency vehicles.

Sponsored Post: The Landmark Society of Genesee County presents: Brisbane - Brothers at Odds

By Lisa Ace


The Landmark Society of Genesee County is pleased to announce that the play, Brothers at Odds, is coming to Batavia audiences. Leaning heavily on city historian Larry Barnes's knowledge of the Brisbane family, Genesee Community College professor, Derek Maxfield, weaves a story about a contentious encounter at the Brisbane Mansion in 1878.
Please plan on attending one of the three performances in June. Admission will be free, but we ask that you make reservations by emailing your choice of date, your name and contact information to: Landmark.genesee@gmail.com
 
The shows will be at the: First Presbyterian Church located at 300 East Main Street, Batavia

  • Friday, June 3, 2022 at 7 PM
  • Saturday, June 11, 2022 at 7 PM

Genesee Community College located at: 1 College Road, Batavia. Conable Technology Center - Room T102.

  • Wednesday, June 15, 2022 at 7 PM

An open forum to discuss what the future holds for the Brisbane Mansion follows each performance.  

Additional law enforcement requests on tap for Public Services Committee

By Joanne Beck

Agenda items including a renewal of five additional seasonal sheriff’s deputies, a budget amendment for additional law enforcement patrols in the village of Bergen and revising language for a prisoner housing contract with Wyoming County are on tap for this afternoon’s Genesee County Public Services Committee meeting.

The meeting is set for 4:30 p.m. in the Legislative Conference Room of the Old Court House at 7 Main St., Batavia.

Other agenda items include reviews of a bid award for highway/tractor equipment, grant acceptance of a countywide water/intermunicipal grant, a 2022 budget amendment for highway construction and the reappointment of Highway Superintendent Timothy Hens.

Round four application for $3 million Food and Agriculture Global Startup Competition now open

By Press Release

 

PRESS RELEASE

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that the application window is now open for the 2022 Grow-NY food and agriculture competition. Grow-NY, a unique initiative which connects innovators and investors in the food, beverage and agriculture sectors locally and around the globe, has already resulted in economic growth and entrepreneurial opportunity in Upstate New York.  The Grow-NY region, a 22-county area spanning Central New York, the Finger Lakes, and the Southern Tier, has already seen hundreds of new jobs and millions of dollars of follow-on investment as a result of the competition. Grow-NY attracts high-growth food and agriculture startups to compete for $3 million in total prize money each year and supports 20 finalists through a business development phase that connects them with the region’s resources. Governor Kathy Hochul included funding for three additional rounds of this impactful competition in her FY 2023 budget.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Hope Knight said, “This fourth round of Grow-NY will further build on the success of earlier competition winners, whose entrepreneurial ideas are fueling economic growth Upstate. These innovative companies have attracted significant investment and are seeding the ground for even more innovation, both throughout the Grow-NY region and around the world.” 

The Grow-NY region, which hosts over 40 percent of New York’s 33,438 farms, includes an abundance of vibrant, fertile lands along with such major urban centers as Rochester, Syracuse, Ithaca and Binghamton. It is a 22-county region comprised of the following three areas:

·       Finger Lakes – Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Orleans, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates 

·       Central New York – Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga and Oswego

·       Southern Tier – Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins

Winners are required to commit to operating in at least one of the 22 Grow-NY counties for at least 12 months and must agree to “pay-it-forward” provision in the form of an equity agreement. One finalist will receive a top prize of $1 million; two others will be awarded $500,000 prizes, and four more will be given $250,000 prizes. Winners will also receive tax incentives and publicity support to announce their achievements across the Grow-NY region and in their home regions. Funding for the program comes through Empire State Development from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative’s three regional entities, CNY Rising, Finger Lakes Forward, and Southern Tier Soaring, and is administered by Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement.

Ronald P. Lynch, Dean of the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Benjamin Z. Houlton, said, “Cornell is proud to support the Grow-NY competition, which plays a vital role in catalyzing food and agriculture start-ups and entrepreneurship across our region. By partnering across the public and private sectors, Grow-NY is critical to scaling new technologies and innovations needed to meet our state’s goals for more sustainable food systems that provide healthy, nutritious food to all.”

The startup competition begins its fourth year with impressive momentum, having garnered applications and interest from over a thousand businesses in 32 unique states and 37 other countries over the last three years. In all, 59 finalists have been selected to date, with 21 winners sharing $9 million in startup funding as well as the invaluable mentorship and networking benefits which the program delivers to finalists.

In addition to emphasizing innovation and scalability, the Grow-NY program is focused on drawing more diverse leaders to the region by reaching communities that have historically been left out of the innovation economy.  In 2021, 51% of the 330 applicants included a founder from an underrepresented minority group, and 44% included a female founder.

“We are looking for food and ag innovators that operate at any point in the agrifood system that demonstrate a value to customers, an ability to grow quickly and sustainably, and diversity within their founding team,“ said Grow-NY program director Jenn Smith.

Applications must be submitted by Friday, July 1. In August, up to 20 finalists will be assigned mentors and enter the business development phase. All finalists will receive bespoke entrepreneurial support and valuable regional introductions, additional training to hone their live pitches, and an expenses-paid, three-day business development trip to the region for up to two team members.

The selected  finalists will present their business plans during the Grow-NY Summit, Tuesday and Wednesday November 15-16, alongside a symposium of panel conversations and keynotes, a showcase of agencies, companies, research groups, and other organizations that serve startups working in food and ag, and a student stage where middle- and high school aged New Yorkers will pitch their ag- and food tech ideas.

Judges will base award decisions on the following five criteria:

·       Viability of Commercialization and Business Model – the potential for the entrant to generate revenue and maintain a cost structure that allows for a competitive and sustainable business, demonstrate technological readiness or innovate to fulfill its value proposition;

·       Team – Demonstration of a level of cohesion, completeness, diversity, and readiness within the team of founders, employees, and advisors; inclusion or plans for inclusion of employees and advisors from communities that have historically been excluded from the innovation economy, such as women and minorities;

·       Customer Value – the degree to which the entrant is providing something for which customers are willing to pay, and addressing a substantial market;

·       Food and Agriculture Innovation – the extent to which the entrant is pushing what’s considered state-of-the-art in the food and agriculture industries, and contributing to Upstate NY’s status as a global leader in innovation in these markets;

·       Regional Job Creation – the potential for creating high-quality jobs in the Grow-NY footprint and relevance to the existing food and ag ecosystem; and

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Through three rounds, the Grow-NY competition has highlighted New York’s agricultural and food industry partners and helped to foster tremendous innovation. I’m excited that this fourth round will continue to build on that success, further showcasing the strength and diversity of our agriculture and food businesses and attracting exciting, cutting-edge companies that are creating the ag technologies and jobs of the future while supporting our local farms.”

Central New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Randy Wolken, President & CEO of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York, and Dr. Linda LeMura, President of Le Moyne College, said, "New York State continues to experience unprecedented growth in the agriculture and food industries. The globally renowned Grow-NY competition represents yet another exciting investment in our community that will further bolster regional job growth and further support our agricultural base throughout Central New York ensuring the region continues to rise."

Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Co-Chair Bob Duffy, President and CEO, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, and Denise Battles, President SUNY Geneseo, said, “The regional council is again proud to support round three of the innovative Grow-NY competition. Our agricultural and food industries are truly world- class and both their products and innovations are huge economic drivers for our state and region. Connecting the cutting-edge ideas of these entrepreneur teams with local industry partners supports the multi-pronged approach laid out in the Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative, which is working to create a thriving regional economy.”

Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair Judy McKinney Cherry, Executive Director, Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED), and Broome Community College President Kevin Drumm, said, "New York's agriculture industry is one of the most prestigious and productive in the nation.  This initiative, with its focused investment in the region, adds great value to the Southern Tier's continued economic success in the ag sector. The Grow-NY competition enables innovative and competitive businesses to showcase their strengths and will further our efforts to bolster the regional economy ultimately helping the Southern Tier to soar."

To learn more about the Grow-NY competition, visit: www.grow-ny.com.

To learn more about the Cornell Center for Regional Economic Advancement, visit: http://crea.cornell.edu/

About Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NEW YORK,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.

Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward

Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The regionally designed plan focuses on investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture‎ and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available at https://esd.ny.gov/finger-lakes-forward-uri.​

Accelerating CNY Rising 

Today's announcement complements “CNY Rising,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The regionally designed plan focuses on capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Now, the region is accelerating CNY Rising with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs. 

Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring 

Today's announcement complements “Southern Tier Soaring,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The regionally designed plan focuses on attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. Now, the region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 10,200 new jobs. 

 

Genesee Promise Plus Summer Scholarship Program applications being accepted!

By Press Release

Press release:

Since 2008, Genesee Community College has offered the Genesee Promise Plus (GPP) scholarships to help remove financial barriers to higher education for citizens in the Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming (GLOW) counties. Qualified individuals are encouraged to apply for up to two summer semester courses tuition-free at GCC!

"Summer is a perfect time for new GCC students or students in our Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE) program to stay on track or get ahead," Lindsay Gerhardt, assistant dean for Recruitment and Admissions, said. "The GPP program provides a wonderful opportunity for students to earn up to eight credits cost-effectively. Courses can be used to explore an academic program, see if college is the path for you, get a head start on a GCC degree program or be transferred to a 4-year institution."

GPP is available to GLOW region citizens who are high school juniors (rising seniors), graduating high school seniors or new adult college students (adults who have never attended college before). With more than 100 courses being offered this summer, in two summer sessions both online and at GCC's Batavia campus, there are ample opportunities for all eligible applicants in these categories:

  • High School Juniors (rising seniors) and qualifying Homeschool Students are eligible for scholarship tuition funding to take one or two courses.
  • Graduating High School Seniors are eligible for scholarship funding to take one or two courses.
  • Adults who have never attended college are eligible for scholarship funding to take one course. This includes adults who have received a GED before May 1, 2022, or graduated from a GLOW area high school in December 2021 or earlier. GCC will require a copy of high school transcripts.

GPP scholarship applications are being accepted until May 31, 2022, for the full or first session and July 5, 2022, for the second summer session. The complete list of courses available this summer is available at https://www.genesee.edu/courses/schedule/. The wide array of subjects includes Basic Math Skills to Statistics, History to Healthy Living, Psychology to Sociology, Business to Biology, and unique courses including Fundamentals of Acting and Theatre History, plus many others.

Applications, qualification criteria, and additional information are available at http://www.genesee.edu/gcc/promise/.

All interested individuals are encouraged to contact the admissions office at admissions@genesee.edu or by calling (585) 345-6805 today!

Additional information about Genesee Community College is available at www.genesee.edu and through Facebook and Twitter.

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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
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