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November 13, 2020 - 1:57pm
posted by Press Release in thruway, E-ZPass, aaa, news, TollsNY mobile app, Tolls by Mail.

From Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a press release from AAA:

  • Historic Transition to Take Place Simultaneously at 58 Tolling Locations Across Thruway System Overnight Friday, Nov. 13 into Saturday, Nov. 14
  • New TollsNY App Released Ahead of Transition for Easier Access to Manage E-ZPass and Tolls by Mail Accounts to Pay Toll Bills
  • Motorists Encouraged to Get E-ZPass at More Than 900 Retail Locations Across the State or to Sign Up Online at E-ZPassNY.com
  • Toll Plaza Removal and Interchange Reconfiguration to Begin Following Conversion

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced cashless tolling will go live on the New York State Thruway's ticketed system -- more than a month ahead of schedule -- during the overnight hours of Friday, Nov. 13, into Saturday, Nov. 14. The historic conversion will take place simultaneously at 58 tolling locations across the Thruway ticketed system.

The ticketed system is the final section of the Thruway to be converted to cashless tolling, meeting a goal Governor Cuomo set in his 2018 State of the State address.

The official switch will take place in the overnight hours to limit impact to traffic. At the time cashless tolling goes live, cash will no longer be accepted as a form of payment at toll booths and printed toll tickets will not be handed out.

To support this transition, NY E-ZPass has released a new TollsNY mobile app to help drivers manage E-ZPass accounts, find and pay Tolls by Mail invoices, and get important account alerts for tolls accrued at Thruway, MTA, and Port Authority tolling sites.

"The completion of this exciting new project will help Thruway travelers save time, as well as reduce traffic, cut greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality all along the system," Governor Cuomo said. "Getting this cashless tolling system done and getting it done early shows that -- even in these trying times -- New York will never stop innovating and never stop building for its future"

"Cashless tolling is already improving traffic flow, allowing motorists to get to their destinations easier and quicker without having to stop to pay a toll," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Less idling also complements our clean energy goals, reducing pollution for a cleaner and greener environment.

"We encourage all drivers to get an E-ZPass across the state, with a new mobile app to help manage accounts and alerts to make it easier for New Yorkers. This is part of our ongoing efforts to improve and modernize infrastructure and build back better and stronger for the future."

Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, "The conversion to cashless tolling is one of the largest projects in the Thruway's 66-year history. This unprecedented achievement is a significant milestone that will modernize the Thruway system for millions of drivers and ushers in a new era for toll collection that will benefit generations to come."

The $355 million design-build project to convert to cashless tolling is transforming and modernizing the Thruway system for approximately 267 million motorists that travel the superhighway each year.

As part of the project, American-made steel gantries with state-of-the-art technology have been installed to replace cash collection at toll booths. Gantries are located over the Thruway or on exit ramps depending on traffic volumes, safety, and other factors. The tolling structure will not change and drivers will continue to be tolled by distance and exits traveled.

The conversion to cashless tolling marks the end of phase one of the project. Phase two, which begins following the conversion, includes the removal of existing toll plazas. During the interchange reconstruction, drivers will continue to travel through existing toll lanes at reduced speeds without stopping until the booths are removed and road reconfigurations are complete.

Drivers should expect traffic shifts and must use caution around the toll plazas during this time, as these will be active construction zones. The posted speed limit when traveling through the toll lanes will be 20 mph.

Tribute to Toll Collection Staff

After 66 years of operation, the conversion marks the end of an era for the Thruway Authority. Since the first tolls were collected on the Thruway in June 1954, toll collectors have been the backbone of the Authority, assisting customers and collecting cash tolls along the superhighway.

From 1954 to 2020, more than 12,000 men and women have served as toll collectors, working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in all weather conditions. As a tribute, the Thruway Authority launched a webpage dedicated to the history of toll collection.

TollsNY App

Ahead of the conversion to cashless tolling on the NYS Thruway, the new TollsNY mobile app has been released to help drivers manage E-ZPass accounts, find and pay Tolls by Mail invoices, and get important account alerts for tolls accrued at Thruway, MTA, and Port Authority tolling sites. The TollsNY app is available free in the Apple Store and Google Play.

When system-wide cashless tolling is operational, motorists will experience non-stop travel under gantries with state-of-the-art sensors and cameras that read E-ZPass tags and take license plate images. The system consists of more than 2,000 state-of-the-art cameras affixed to the gantries.

Vehicles with E-ZPass tags are automatically charged and vehicles without E-ZPass tags will have their license plate image captured and a toll bill mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle via Tolls by Mail.

Non E-ZPass customers have a number of options to pay including by mail, over the phone, online, and via the TollsNY app. Customers who call **826 from most mobile devices will receive a text message with a link to the Tolls by Mail website and information on how to pay their toll bill.

Get E-ZPass Today and Start Saving Money

Motorists are encouraged to sign up for E-ZPass, the easiest and quickest way to pay tolls on the NYS Thruway. All drivers, regardless of residency, can sign up for a New York E-ZPass account at E-ZPassNY.com or by calling the E-ZPass Toll Free Customer Service Center at 800-333-TOLL (8655).

E-ZPass On-the-Go tags are available at 26 Thruway Service Areas system-wide, more than 900 locations across the state including participating grocery and convenience stores as well as government offices, DMV offices, and AAA retail stores.

Current E-ZPass customers are encouraged to sign up for mobile alerts and to properly mount Tags to their windshield. Customers can login to their account at e-zpassny.com for more information.

For additional information on how cashless tolling works and tips on how to pay bills on time, visit the Thruway Authority's website at thruway.ny.gov/cashless.

From AAA of Western and Central New York

Cashless tolling, a high-speed electronic toll collection system, is expected to minimize traffic congestion, increase safety, and speed traffic flow. AAA supports traffic management strategies such as expedited passage through tolls that provide commuting advantages.

What cashless tolling means for drivers:

  • Vehicles without E-ZPass tags will have their license plate image captured.
  • The NYS Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will mail a toll bill to the registered owner of the vehicle.
  • The motorist has 30 days to pay the bill, after 60 days late fees are added, after 100 days a violation fee is added.

To avoid missed bills, late fees and violations, drivers are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the most convenient and cost-effective way to travel New York's roadways, bridges and tunnels by signing up for E-ZPass. With a New York E-ZPass tag, drivers save on tolls across the state, including a 5-percent discount along the entire 570-mile New York State Thruway.

At AAA Travel & Insurance Centers, E-ZPass tags are sold for $25 and come preloaded with $25 on the account. As an authorized retailer, AAA sales of E-ZPass tags have increased dramatically over the past few months as motorists prepare for cashless tolling.

Where such electronic systems are in place, AAA believes that motorists’ right to privacy should be protected. AAA also believes that when it comes to travel and tourism, car rental companies should clearly disclose to customers their policies and procedures regarding the use of cashless tolling facilities and the use of electronic toll transponders. Any administrative fees or surcharges should be fair and transparent.

November 13, 2020 - 12:50pm

Press release:

After 50 years of people with disabilities fighting for an equal voice in issues affecting their lives, and equal access to opportunities, young people with disabilities are building off those efforts to ensure they are authentically and meaningfully involved in all decisions that affect them.

The Young Leaders and Advocates Network (YLAN), whose statewide efforts ensures the voices of young people with disabilities will be heard in the development and implementation of programs and services set up to assist them, has become the sixth member of the Western New York Independent Living Inc.’s (WNYIL) Family of Agencies; who themselves have a 40-year history in fighting for equal access to opportunities for people with disabilities.

Though based in Albany, YLAN’s affiliation with WNYIL will allow them to have a greater impact in Western New York’s eight counties, where more than 35,000 people 14 to 30 years of age live with a disability. WNYIL Inc. will assist YLAN in their local, as well as statewide initiatives, to ensure young people with disabilities have a “seat at the table."

Young people are uniting to change systems, so they get the support and services they need with the respect and dignity they deserve. YLAN provides a safe and empowering space for youth-organizing, supports young people with disabilities to speak up for themselves, and assists partners to effectively engage and support young people with disabilities.

YLAN Director, Brianna Gower, points out, "Young people are not just the leaders of tomorrow, we are leaders of today. We are strong, resilient, and capable of more than we are often given credit for. Through this Network we are going to bring youth voice and create change. Not only following national best practices but setting them.”

Who is YLAN for? Young people, ages 14-30, residing anywhere in New York State who self-identify as having a disability, or experience in state systems such as Special Education, Mental Health, Juvenile Justice, Foster Care, or Addiction Recovery, can become a member, join our statewide groups, and participate in other opportunities offered by the Network. Additionally, partners and adult allies who work with young people with disabilities can request training and technical assistance to support their efforts.

How can they participate? Members can join virtual statewide working groups that will be meeting monthly (details to be announced). In light of current COVID-19 regulations, events and opportunities for young people and partners will be provided virtually, shared through our listserv and social media. People can join our listserv by visiting our website at www.YLANetworkNY.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @YLANetworkNY. They can also email [email protected] or contact (518) 258-4006 for additional information.

YLAN will be hosting focus groups and other events throughout the year to empower young people with disabilities and hear directly from them on their experiences and issues that are important to them to guide our statewide advocacy efforts.

The Western New York Independent Living Inc. Family of Agencies offer an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

November 13, 2020 - 12:11pm

Press release:

Genesee Community College's BEST Center (Business Employee Skills Training) has been awarded the New York College Apprenticeship Network (NYCAN) grant. The award is perfectly timed with the celebration of the U.S. Department of Labor's sixth annual National Apprenticeship Week which runs November 8 to 14, 2020.

The NYCAN grant which totals $15,000 is a result of a partnership between The State University of New York (SUNY) and the New York State Department of Labor and is designed to focus on advanced manufacturing.

"As the BEST Center's primary focus is employee development and skills training, we are highly attuned to the workforce needs of our communities," said Director of the BEST Center John McGowan, Ph.D. "The programs we offer are specifically designed to grow highly skilled and employable personnel to ensure the economic health of our region."

Genesee Community College's BEST Center has begun to engage small, medium, and large employers to secure paid apprenticeships in high demand, competitive wage occupations throughout Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties, and -- through online capabilities -- far beyond!

"The NYCAN grant allows us to support employers with Registered Apprenticeship programs, as well as assist current and future Registered Apprentices," McGowan said.

New York State has provided $9 million of funding for SUNY community colleges, to create one of the largest statewide public/private partnership apprenticeship programs in the country.

At Genesee Community College, the BEST Center's programs house the expertise and support that identify workforce needs, determine skills gaps, and engage employer sponsors to expand apprenticeships throughout the Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties, and far beyond.

The SUNY Apprenticeship Program will assist in developing 2,000 pre-apprentices and Registered Apprentices over four to six-years in advanced manufacturing, healthcare, information technology/cybersecurity/ artificial intelligence and more.

November 13, 2020 - 12:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, byron.


A driver suffered only a minor injury, and did not require transport to a hospital, after the driver's car struck a utility pole along Route 262 just west of Bank Street around 10 a.m.

Byron and South Byron fire along with Mercy EMS responded.

Powerlines were down.

The roadway remains closed while National Grid completes repairs.

Reader-submitted photo.

November 13, 2020 - 12:01pm
posted by Press Release in batavia's original, news, batavia, covid-19, coronavirus, notify.

Press release: 

The Genesee County Health Department has received a positive COVID-19 test from an individual who was at Batavia's Original on Friday Nov. 6th and Saturday Nov. 7th between the hours of 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Contact tracing is in progress; however unidentified individuals may have unknowingly been in contact with the positive case.

We advise all individuals who were at Batavia's Original on Friday or Saturday between the stated hours to monitor their symptoms for 14 days (Nov. 20th or Nov. 21st). If symptoms of COVID-19 develop, contact your primary care provider to seek testing immediately and self-isolate until you receive your test results.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include but are not limited to: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.

For more information please visit: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home.

Previously: With staff members knocked out of action by COVID, Batavia's Original closing for the weekend

November 13, 2020 - 11:50am
posted by Press Release in batavia, Batavia Middle School, news, notify, covid-19, coronavirus.

Press release:

Dear Batavia Blue Devils Community:

I am writing to provide you an important update regarding COVID-19 and Batavia Middle School.  

I have been notified and in contact with the Genesee County Health Department and the District’s Medical Director that there have been two new positive COVID-19 cases of Batavia Middle School staff members.  The employees were NOT in school with any symptoms and were considered asymptomatic prior to getting tested.

As a result of contact tracing, which focuses on a 48-hour window of time this has caused one additional staff member and 50 students who were deemed as “close contact” to quarantine for 14 days.  Any student and staff member that was identified as a “close contact” has already been contacted by the Batavia Middle School administration. The Genesee County Health Department will also follow up with identified students and staff. 

These cases do not impact our ability to continue to operate Batavia Middle School and the school will remain open for our in-person hybrid learning model. 

New York State has launched the “School COVID Report Card” site, where you can view COVID-19 data associated with all schools in New York.  To protect the privacy of students and staff, we will never release personally identifiable information. 

Please continue to be vigilant in your efforts and help us prevent the spread of COVID-19. For additional reliable information on preventing the spread of COVID-19, please go to www.cdc.gov or www.health.ny.gov

Please also don’t hesitate to contact Batavia High School or the District if you have any questions or concerns. 

Better Together… WE are Batavia!

Anibal Soler Jr.
Superintendent of Schools
Batavia City Schools

November 12, 2020 - 4:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

A lack of staffing because of the spread of COVID-19 in the community is forcing owner Kathy Ferrara to close Batavia's Original for the weekend.

Ferrara will evaluate staff availability on Monday to see if she can reopen.

Five workers at the pizzeria have tested positive and because of close contact, several more are in mandatory quarantine for two weeks and can't come to work.

None of the five who have tested positive for COVID-19 contracted the virus at work, Ferrara said. Three had been to Halloween parties and one hosted a card game and the other contracted it from a family member.

Ferrara emphasized that she's required employees to wear masks at all times. She said they've been diligent about it. They've also been diligent about sanitizing every surface in the restaurant. 

In fact, Ferrara is frustrated because she's made it clear over these many months of the coronavirus pandemic that her employees need to follow CDC guidelines at work and in their personal lives as well.

She said she isn't sure a lot of young people get how serious the disease is and she tries to tell her employees they may feel young and healthy but they come into contact with their parents and grandparents and they could get them sick if they're not careful.

"A lot of people seem to think it's over and it's not over," Ferrara said. 

With the recent resurgence of the disease, Ferrara is concerned not enough people are taking seriously the need to slow the spread.

"I just don't know what the solution is," Ferrara said.

November 12, 2020 - 4:47pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Oakfield --- Families will have the opportunity to visit a local dairy farm without ever leaving the couch. Genesee County’s Oakfield Corners Dairy is the next stop on American Dairy Association North East’s “Fun on the Farm” series, which can be seen on Facebook at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14.

This week, dairy farm team members Adam Dresser and Jamie Black will discuss how Oakfield Corners uses genetics when breeding their cows, leading to healthy animals who produce a lot of high-quality milk.

“We’re excited for the opportunity for families to visit our farm virtually and learn about the great work farmers do every day,” Dresser said. “Our session focuses on the work we do with genetics and breeding, which is a great way to bring science class to life.”

This is the second season for the popular “Fun on the Farm” series, which launched in March. More than a dozen dairy farms throughout New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland have hosted these virtual tours, with topics ranging from sustainabilitypractices and technology on the farm to animal care, among others. 

Past New York dairy farms featured have included Mapleview Dairy in Madrid, Barbland Dairy in Fabius and Ivy Lakes Dairy in Stanley.

November 12, 2020 - 4:28pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Batavia Downs Gaming, T.F. Brown's.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s latest round of COVID-19 restrictions, which began on Wednesday with bars, restaurants and fitness centers, now will have an impact upon casinos with state oversight.

Henry Wojtaszek, president and chief executive officer of Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation, said today that the casino floor at Batavia Downs Gaming on Park Road will have to close at 10 o’clock every night until further notice.

“There are two restrictions that affect us – the first one that came down about the bars and restaurants having to shut down at 10 and this one that says the gaming floor has to close at 10,” Wojtaszek said. “We’ll be closing at 10 p.m. instead of 1 a.m. right now.”

When it was mentioned that it will hurt business, he said, “It’s going to, but … we prefer being open even if it is for reduced hours instead of being closed.”

Wojtaszek said he was informed that the hours of opening limitation could be in effect for 30 days.

On Wednesday, Cuomo announced new restrictions, ordering that effective at 10 p.m. tomorrow (Friday), bars, restaurants and gyms or fitness centers, as well as any State Liquor Authority-licensed establishment, will be required to close from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily.

The governor said that restaurants will still be allowed to provide curbside, food-only pick up or delivery after 10 p.m., but will not be permitted to serve alcohol to go. The State Liquor Authority will issue further guidance for licensees as to what sales are continued to be permitted.

Mancuso Reacts to Restaurant Restrictions

Rick Mancuso, owner of T.F. Brown’s Restaurant on East Main Street in Batavia, said he has no choice but to follow the order, but said he speaks for all restaurateurs when he says he is finding it increasingly difficult to maintain operations when considering the effects on employees and the industry’s small profit margin.

“Safety of our employees and customers is paramount and we will continue to follow all of the state guidelines as well as the health department regulations,” Mancuso said. “Unfortunately, adhering to the guidance has been very costly in purchases of PPE (personal protective equipment) as well as having to shoulder the operational overhead on roughly 50 percent of historic sales.”

Mancuso said he agrees with a statement from Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association, who called the news “a huge blow to the restaurant industry that is desperately trying to stay afloat.”

“We understand the logic behind micro-cluster restrictions, but at this time we have concerns about blanket statewide restrictions like this,” she said.

“I agree with Melissa’s statement and it certainly has been challenging to navigate the frequent changes and guidelines,” Mancuso added. “It’s most difficult for our hard-working and dedicated employees. Everyone is in the same situation and my concern is for all of our locally owned and operated businesses.”

Cuomo urged local governments to enforce the rules.

After 10 p.m., “If the lights are on and people are drinking, they get a summons,” he said.

Cuomo said that if the COVID-19 numbers continue to rise, further restrictions will be put into place, including limiting restaurants to operating at 25 percent capacity across the state.

The new restrictions also apply to indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences, with limits set at no more than 10 people. Reasoning behind this is that the virus spread recently as a result of small indoor gatherings and Halloween parties.

November 12, 2020 - 4:21pm
posted by Press Release in news, covid-19, coronavirus, notify.

Press release:

New positives since Tuesday, Nov. 10 as of 2 p.m. today (Nov. 12*):

  • Genesee County received 40 new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • Due to the volume of positives, further data will be updated tomorrow.
    • Staff are working on contact tracing.
    • The Health Department has been notified of a positive staff at Batavia High School. The individual is on mandatory isolation until they recover. Contact tracing is in process for those who are considered close contacts and will be placed on mandatory quarantine for 14 days from the last contact with the positive individual. The school will remain open for learning unless otherwise announced.
    • The Health Department has been notified of a positive student at Byron Bergen Jr. /Sr. High School. The individual is on mandatory isolation until they recover. Contact tracing is in process for those who are considered close contacts and will be placed on mandatory quarantine for 14 days from the last contact with the positive individual. The school will remain open for learning unless otherwise announced. 
  • Orleans County received 30 new positive cases of COVID-19.
  • The new positive cases reside in Albion, Shelby, Clarendon, Barre, Gaines, Yates, Murray and Ridgeway.
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s.
  • Ten of the individuals were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
  • Five of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • The Health Department has been notified of a positive student at Holley High School, Albion High School and Lyndonville High School.  All of the students were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive. Albion also has one staff member who tested positive and was not on quarantine prior to testing positive. The individuals are on mandatory isolation until they recover. Contact tracing is in process for those who are considered close contacts and will be placed on mandatory quarantine for 14 days from the last contact with the positive individual.
  • One of the positive individuals is hospitalized.

*No data was released yesterday -- Wednesday, Nov. 11 -- because of Veterans Day; so the latest data is a two-day total.

November 12, 2020 - 2:24pm

Press release:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the availability of $11 million to build out the state's network of fast charging stations to support wider adoption of electric vehicles.

The Direct Current Fast Charger program will be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to scale up electric vehicle infrastructure in areas of the state where access to fast charging stations is limited. It will also prioritize improving the availability of charging infrastructure in disadvantaged communities.

Increased use of clean transportation supports Governor Cuomo's goal for an 85-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 under the nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

New York continues to serve as a national model for reducing greenhouse emissions. As part of our efforts, we must ensure all New Yorkers, no matter where they live or their economic status, have access to the infrastructure required for using electric vehicles," Governor Cuomo said. "This investment will build the infrastructure necessary for empowering more consumers to choose clean, electric transportation options, while making electric vehicles an accessible option for all New Yorkers."

"We are continuing to reimagine New York's future fueled by clean, renewable energy," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This settlement with Volkswagen will allow us to further expand electric vehicle fast charging stations across the state.

"This helps to advance our commitment to reduce carbon emissions and achieve significant savings in fuel cost. We encourage New Yorkers to buy electric vehicles as we establish more charging stations across the state. We want to ensure New York State continues to lead in building back better, cleaner and greener now and in the future."

As part of the State's $127.7 million allocation of the federal Volkswagen Settlement funds, this initiative builds upon Governor Cuomo's landmark "Make Ready" announcement in July, which included a suite of major clean transportation initiatives to accelerate New York's transition to cleaner mobility.

It will also address the need to build out a strong network of easily accessible and visible charging stations for consumers in Upstate  Regional Economic Development Councils as part of the State's comprehensive clean transportation strategy.

The Direct Current Fast Charger program will provide up to 80 percent of the cost to build publicly available charging stations for electric vehicles. Funding will be made available in specific REDC regions through two initial rounds, through which charging station developers will be selected to install at least four DCFC stations per site, at four or more site locations.

Only one proposal per developer will be awarded for each eligible REDC region under each round, and if funding remains after these two rounds are complete, the program will continue to a third round. 

The program requires that at least 25 percent of the stations be located within half a mile of a disadvantaged community in support of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal of increasing access to clean energy and sustainable infrastructure to all end-users.

In addition, developers installing charging stations in rural areas may be eligible to submit proposals under this program that include two different sites, which would support simultaneous charging for two vehicles at each site. 

Applicants are encouraged to co-locate Level 2 EV charging stations and distributed energy resources, such as energy storage and solar, with the DCFC chargers. Although not required, proposals with these elements will garner additional points from the review committee. Funding for Level 2 charging stations is available through the Charge NY program while funding for distributed energy resources is available through NYSERDA's energy storage and solar programs. 

Applications for the first round are being accepted through Feb. 18. The first round focuses on the following Regional Economic Development Councils regions: Central New York, North Country, Finger Lakes, and Western New York.

The second round of funding will launch in July and includes the eligible Round 1 REDCs plus Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier. If needed, a third round is expected to encompass all areas that were included in the first two rounds.

The transportation sector is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in New York, representing approximately 36 percent of the state's total emissions. Today's announcement builds upon New York State's $1 billion investment in electrifying New York's transportation sector, which is vital to Governor Cuomo's sweeping climate and clean energy plan.

Growing access and availability to electric vehicles and scaling the necessary infrastructure benefits all New Yorkers, including those in low-income or disadvantaged areas, by reducing carbon emissions to create cleaner air and healthier communities.

Under a range of initiatives, including EV Make Ready, EVolve NY, and Charge NY, the State is rapidly multiplying the number of charging ports to have at least 10,000 across New York by the end of next year. More than 29,000 Drive Clean Rebates have helped state residents purchase electric vehicles contributing to more than 65,000 sold statewide since 2010.

Funds secured through the federal settlement with Volkswagen are strategically invested in New York State under the Clean Transportation NY plan. The plan, executed by a collaboration of State agencies, directs Volkswagen settlement resources to maximize benefits that build on New York's national leadership on clean energy and climate change.

The State's strategically leveraged investment of settlement funds is anticipated to result in at least $300 million of clean vehicles and infrastructure on New York's roadways.

New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan

Governor Cuomo's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieving its mandated goal of a zero-emissions electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality.

It builds on New York's unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including a $3.9 billion investment in 67 large-scale renewable projects across the state, the creation of more than 150,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector, a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, and 1,800 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011.

Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while meeting a goal to deliver 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities, and advancing progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 TBtus.

November 12, 2020 - 12:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, scanner.

A "large herd of pigs" is reportedly approaching the roadway on Bank Street Road in Elba, just north of Batavia Elba Townline Road. A Sheriff's deputy is dispatched to check it out.

UPDATE 1:01 p.m.: An officers asks how far north of Townline Road was the herd seen, and is told the swine were closer to Starowitz Road.

UPDATE 1:05 p.m.: "You can show me clear, unable to locate," says the deputy.

November 12, 2020 - 12:44pm

Update: 3:30 p.m. with comments from Victor Gautieri, president of V.J. Gautieri Constructors Inc. on the proposed changes:

The crux of the change is when we started looking at when the folks walk in on the first floor, into the building, there is a corridor that leads ot the elevator, and then they take the elevator up to the second floor. Well, there were three turns that had to be made before you actually reached the elevator door. So, from a safety perspective and people's comfort level, I guess, it is better to have fewer turns and a more direct access to the elevator doors.

We made it much more convenient to get to those elevator doors, but in order to do so, we had to move the elevator from within the second-floor footprint. It's now coming out -- outside of the building, adjacent to the outside wall of the building (on the north side).


The Genesee County Planning Board tonight is expected to consider a site plan review referral from the City of Batavia Planning & Development Committee on behalf of V.J. Gautieri Constructors Inc.. The company is proposing to relocate an elevator leading to the second-floor apartments of the Ellicott Place project at 45-47 Ellicott St.

According to a document submitted by City Code Enforcement Officer Doug Randall, the applicant has requested approval to modify the previously approved design of the second floor by moving the elevator originally planned for the interior of the existing building to a location on the exterior wall of the north elevation.

Randall wrote that the change would result in an exterior alteration to the building that is located in a Central Commercial (C-3) zone within the Business Improvement District.

In its submission for modification proposal, V.J. Gautieri officials report that the basis for the changes “is to develop a more easily accessible, safe entry for the second-floor apartment tenants, wherein the travel distance and corridor turns to the first-floor elevator access point would both be reduced to a more desirable condition.”

Specific changes, as outlined in the new plan, include:

  • On the south elevation, utilizing the existing stair to the second floor instead of pushing it outside of the second-floor footprint, which required a second-floor addition.
  • On the north elevation, shortening the distance to the apartment elevator, (which) required the shaft and associated exit stair to be pushed outside the second-floor footprint. This change will result in the construction of a 19- by 23-foot second-floor addition, with the exterior in wood cladding to keep with the second-floor visual design.
  • On the interior, requiring the southwest apartment to be changed from a two-bedroom to a one-bedroom unit, and the northwest apartment to be changed from a one-bedroom to a two-bedroom unit. Thus, the total number of one- and two-bedroom apartments will not change.

Work is underway on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative project, a $2.3 million renovation of the exterior of the building and the vacant space that will include 10 market rate apartments on the second floor.

Plans call for the construction of seven one-bedroom and three two-bedroom apartments on the vacant, 11,600-square-foot second floor, and includes the development of 18,000 square feet of first-floor commercial/retail space.

In a related development, planners also will look at an area variance request from Signs by John’s Studio on behalf of V.J. Gautieri Constructors and Save-A-Lot to save_a_lot_logo_1.jpgreplace four existing internally lit signs featuring the supermarket’s existing logo with its new logo (pictured).

According to a City of Batavia sign permit application, there will be a 15-foot by 96-inch wall sign, a 44-inch by 145-inch pole sign and two 23-inch by 36-inch entrance/exit signs.

Both referrals have been recommended for approval by Genesee County Planning Department staff, but will be subject to review by the City Planning & Development Committee and, in the case of the sign application, by the City Zoning Board of Appeals.

Also on tonight’s agenda is a special use permit and site plan review to erect two buildings with eight apartment units each in a Limited Commercial zone at 8940 Alleghany Road (Route 77), near Cohocton Road, in the Town of Pembroke.

The applicant, Daryl Martin Architect, P.C., of Orchard Park, proposes to build a pair of two-story structures – each featuring seven two-bedroom apartments and one one-bedroom apartment for property owner/developer Tim Cansdale.

Planning department staff recommendation is approval with modifications pertaining to driveway and stormwater permits, and adherence to Enhanced 9-1-1 standards.

*Enhanced 911, E-911 or E911 is a system used in North America to automatically provide the caller's location to 9-1-1 dispatchers. 911 is the universal emergency telephone number in the region.

November 12, 2020 - 11:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, State Street, news, batavia, notify.
Video Sponsor

A fire gutted a home at 162 State St., Batavia, this morning, claiming the lives of three cats and a dog.

The residents were not home at the time of the fire, which was reported by multiple callers to emergency dispatch at about 8 a.m. The residents arrived on scene shortly before 11 a.m., Chief Stefano Napolitano said.

An off-duty firefighter, according to the chief, was passing by the residence and spotted the flames. He stopped and was informed a person might still be inside the residence, so he attempted to gain entry to the house and was beaten back by flame and smoke.

Firefighters arrived on scene and quickly knocked down the flames, which had already consumed much of the interior of the house, and made a first and secondary search of the residence and found no people inside.

No firefighters were injured.

The cause and origin of the fire are still under investigation.

November 12, 2020 - 10:08am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, UMMC Healthy Living, Rochester Regional Health.


Being a “numbers person,” when some key figures indicating the status of his health didn’t add up, Chris Ace sprang into action.

In August, the 49-year-old Batavian was losing weight and was extremely thirsty. Although he hadn’t paid a visit to the doctor’s office in about eight years, he felt he needed to call his primary physician – Dr. Suwarna Naik – and find out what was going on.

“I wanted to do whatever I had to do immediately to correct the problem,” said Ace, a process engineer at Chapin International Inc. “The way I was eating, I had no business losing weight and although it was in the summer, I was really, really thirsty – drinking a ton of water.”

Ace said he did some research online and figured his symptoms were related to either diabetes or a thyroid problem, leaning more toward the former. When his blood sugar count was determined to be 476 and his A1C level came in at 12.1 (Glycated Hemoglobin Test), he knew things had gone haywire.

The very next day, Ace found himself taking part in a one-to-one consultation with Amy Miller, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator for United Memorial Medical Center's Health Living department.


“A normal blood sugar reading, according to the American Diabetes Association, is 80 to 130 – that’s fasting, before meals,” Miller said, “and the A1C ranges are 4 to 5.6, normal; 5.7 to 6.4, pre-diabetes, and 6.5 or more, diagnosis of diabetes.”

Without question, Ace’s numbers were in the danger zone, with the readings combining to put his average blood sugar level for three months at 300.

Ace’s condition – Type 2 diabetes -- was not a result of being extremely overweight; it was more about the amount of carbohydrates that he was consuming on a regular basis.

“I ate two good meals a day, breakfast -- usually fruit and yogurt -- and a salad for lunch, but I went off the rails at night, figuring that since I ate healthy meals during the day, I would be OK,” he said. “My wife, Lisa, and I would go out for ice cream and, since she is such a great baker, I was eating a lot of sweets. And I love chocolate.”

He said that learning about the disease from Miller and attending three of the department’s Living Healthy With Diabetes classes in September have made all the difference in the world as he now has his blood sugar in check and his A1C down to 5.6.

"I thought that I wouldn't like sitting through two-and-a-half-hour classes, but it went by just like that," he said. "I learned so much from Amy."

In fact, Ace could be considered a “poster child” for diabetes awareness through his motivation, record-keeping and diligence, Miller said.

Fittingly, November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, an annual event to inform the public of the risk factors, symptoms, types of diabetes and steps that can be taken to keep things under control.

As it stands, more than 30 million people in the United States have some form of diabetes and one in four don’t realize they have it.

“Chris came in with materials from his primary care physician and a list of questions during our first meeting, and he was very motivated,” Miller said. “The numbers really work for him. After showing him the numbers, he latched onto those numbers and went with it. He executed what needed to be done and implemented those changes.”

Miller and Jill Pickard, a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator, teach the Living Healthy with Diabetes course, a four-part ADA-accredited* series that covers facts about the disease, testing, carb counting and medications/complications.

The classes are scheduled on Thursdays at various times each month at the Healthy Living office at 164 Washington Ave. Most insurance plans cover the sessions, Miller noted.

Ace said he learned that the “biggest component is knowing how to eat.”

“Anytime I heard the word diabetes, I thought of sugar, sugar, sugar,” he said. “You can eat sugar. It’s all about counting the carbs. That’s the way to control my blood sugar.”

Miller said there is no such thing as a “diabetic diet.”

“We use the meal planning method – carb counting,” she said. “There is no right or wrong way. It’s about balancing the diet with adequate nutrition, including all of the food groups, with special attention to carbohydrate intake. It’s important to eliminate excess sugary foods like candy bars and sweets, and make healthy food choices.”

Miller said she uses the BMI (Body Mass Index) chart to determine a person’s target weight, based on his or her height.

Both Ace and Miller see his story as a cautionary tale to others with diabetes or experiencing similar symptoms.

“Chris’s story is very empowering for others,” Miller said. “Diabetes doesn’t take a break. It’s a constant and it can really wear on people, and can cause depression.”

Ace’s advice is to the point: “People should go to the doctor. Don’t put it off like I did.”

In fact, Ace, who is utilizing a special app to count his daily carbs, has become an unofficial spokesperson for Healthy Living.

“When I told a coworker about my diabetes and what I am doing now, he said, ‘You’re always eating a healthy lunch, and you have it?’ ”

Soon after, that coworker had made an appointment to see his doctor.

*ADA: American Diabetes Assocation.


For more information about UMMC’s Healthy Living department and the Living Healthy With Diabetes program, call (585) 344-5331.

Photo: Amy Miller and Chris Ace outside the UMMC Healthy Living office. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

November 12, 2020 - 9:22am

Press release:

Community Action of Orleans and Genesee in Batavia is holding a free coat giveaway on Wednesday, Nov. 18, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of our office at 5073 Clinton Street Road in Batavia.

New and like new coats will be available for children and adults of all sizes. 

We are also accepting new and like new coats for donation with no broken buttons or zippers. To donate or if you have questions please contact Lisa or David at Community Action at (585) 343-7798. 

COVID-19 mask wearing, and social distancing guidelines will be strictly adhered to at this event. Currently, we are unable to reserve coats for individuals prior to the event. 

The mission of Community Action is to provide services, with dignity and respect that help people become self-sufficient.

November 12, 2020 - 9:19am


When it comes to commitment and dedication to battling opioid addiction in rural areas, the Genesee-Orleans-Wyoming Opioid Task Force shines brightly.

That’s the viewpoint of the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health, which has awarded the local collaborative organization with a 2020 Community Star.

The award is given to only one rural entity in New York State.

“We are deeply honored to be recognized by the NOSORH,” said Christen Ferraro, GOW Opioid Task Force project coordinator. “It is a tribute to the efforts of the hundreds of people in the tri-county area who volunteer their time and work together to help end opioid addiction and overdose.”

The honor is being presented in conjunction with National Rural Health Day on Nov. 19, according to the NOSORH.

Ferraro said an e-book publication featuring the GOW Opioid Task Force’s story, along with the other winners, will be released on that date on the NRHD website. The link to the story also will be posted on the GOW Opioid Task Force website – www.gowopioidtaskforce.org – and on its Facebook page.

The NOSORH singled out the local outreach for its flexibility in delivering key services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the pandemic hit Western New York, the task force shifted its education efforts online. Virtual Narcan trainings were held and kits were mailed to participants. Since these online trainings began, more than 150 community members have been trained, and for 2020, more than 300 have received this training.

“We knew we had to make adjustments so our community could continue to have access to these needed resources," Ferraro said. “The positive response we received from the community was overwhelming, and we definitely plan to utilize this new way of education to help continue supporting our rural community in these difficult times.”

The task force, which is supported by the Greater Rochester Health Foundation and Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, currently has more than 400 members from across the tri-county region.

Members represent various sectors of the community, including public health, mental health, human services, local government, substance use disorder treatment and recovery agencies, law enforcement, EMS, faith-based groups, health systems and medical practitioners, education, businesses, concerned individuals, families, and individuals in recovery.

The NOSORH founded National Rural Health Day as a way to showcase rural America, increase awareness of rural health-related challenges and promote the efforts of NOSORH, State Offices of Rural Health and others in addressing those challenges, said Teryl Eisinger, the agency’s chief executive officer.

An estimated 57 million people – nearly one in five Americans – live in rural and frontier communities throughout the United States.

 “These small towns, farming communities and frontier areas are wonderful places to live and work; they are places where neighbors know each other and work together,” Eisinger said. “The hospitals and providers serving these rural communities not only provide quality patient care, but they also help keep good jobs in rural America.”

These communities also face unique healthcare needs.

“Today more than ever, rural communities must tackle accessibility issues, a lack of healthcare providers, the needs of an aging population suffering from a greater number of chronic conditions, and larger percentages of un- and underinsured citizens,” she said. “Meanwhile, rural hospitals are threatened with declining reimbursement rates and disproportionate funding levels that makes it challenging to serve their residents.”

All 50 states maintain a State Office of Rural Health, each of which shares a similar mission to foster relationships, disseminate information and provide technical assistance that improves access to, and the quality of, health care for its rural citizens.

Photo: The GOW Opioid Task Force has been honored with the 2020 Community Star from the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health. From left are Charlotte Crawford, chief executive officer, Lake Plains Community Care Network; Julie Gutowski, vice president of Clinical Operations and Services, Spectrum Health & Human Services; John Bennett, executive director of Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse; Christen Ferraro, task force project coordinator, and Paul Pettit, public health director for Genesee/Orleans County Health Departments.

Disclosure: Story by Mike Pettinella, GCASA publicist.

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