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Photo: Stork and Jim in Elba

By Howard B. Owens
goff halloween stumblin inn elba
This Halloween, Stork and Jim can be found at their old Stumblin' Inn lot bowling.
Photo by Lynn Bezon.

A mix of celebration, laughter and dessert with cancer awareness for Pink Hatters 2023

By Joanne Beck
Trio in pink hats
As the event's name implies, there were "Pink Hatters" aplenty Thursday evening at Batavia Downs Gaming to celebrate cancer survivors in the community. 
Photo by Joanne Beck

There was one upside to being one of the few men at the Pink Hatters & Friends annual dinner this year, comedian Dan Viola says.

No line at the restroom. Ta-dum-dum.

While humor might seem out of place for something as potentially sobering as an event to celebrate cancer survivors and remember those who have died from the awful disease, this event was a mix of light-hearted laughter and thoughtful recognition.

Viola was in the program line-up after a survivor recognition of those who have survived significant milestones of one year and beyond, and that followed guest speaker Dr. Lori Medeiros, who specializes in breast diseases and breast surgery. 

The key importance of having the event is to “celebrate our community’s survivors and continue to fundraise funds for our local community,” nurse manager Olivia Barren said. 

She and fellow nurse managers from United Memorial Medical Center’s maternity department came together to put the event together, she said. There were nearly 300 people in attendance, made up of about 50 percent cancer survivors, plus their family, friends, and hospital staff.

“We’ve had really good success with fundraising. And I think at the end of the day, just getting everyone together and being able to celebrate the success, and all the hard work that we put into it, and everyone's survivor’s story, it’s really great,” she said. “We start with the basket raffle. That's our primary source of fundraising. We did a dessert dash, which we were able to raise just under $2,000 with the dessert dash, which I'd never even heard of before. Each table fundraised just within their dinner table, and they put money in an envelope …  We had all the way up to $147 was our winning table, and they got to go first. So we raised a lot of money in a very short amount of time with that, so they get to go and pick desserts first. And then the second highest envelope, and next and then so on and so forth.”

Thanks to donations from local bakeries and restaurants, those tables with the highest contributions then dashed to select one of 37 desserts of their choice, she said. It made for a fun ending to dinner and a good way to raise more money for the cause. 

Aside from the fundraising aspect, Barren has a deeply personal reason for her passion: “My mom is actually a breast cancer survivor,” she said.

“And so it’s very meaningful to me,” she said. “I’m the OB Department nurse manager, so we do a lot of education for obstetric patients about breast cancer and early screening. And it just hits home, mostly because of my mom.” 

The basket raffle, featuring themed baskets of various items, involved contributions from hospital workers and members of the community, she said. 

While attendees still wear pink attire and many wear colorful fun pink hats, the main theme of breast cancer awareness for the month of October has expanded to include colon cancer as well.  

“All of us wear pink hats to honor breast cancer. But this year, we're talking a lot about — our keynote speaker is actually a survivor of colon cancer,” Barren said. “So not just breast cancer, anybody with cancer stories. But we do focus a lot on the breast cancer side of things.

“I really love being super involved. I love getting together with a community. I love getting together with my friends outside of work to really network and hang out in a low-stresson  environment compared to being in the hospital every day where we're dealing with life and death.,” she said. “Here, we get to have fun, eat wonderful food and raise money for our community.”

Comedian Dan Viola at Pink Hatters
Comedian Dan Viola entertains at the 2023 Pink Hatters & Friends dinner Thursday evening at Batavia Downs Gaming in Batavia. 
Photo by Joanne Beck
pink hatters 2023
Sonja Gonyea and Jody Breslin. Breslin delivered the cancer survivor speech later in the evening.
Photo by Howard Owens.
pink hatters 2023
Photo by Howard Owens
pink hatters 2023
Dr. John Brach and Alex Walker.
Photo by Howard Owens.
pink hatters 2023
A group of UMMC employees in their matching hats.
Photo by Howard Owens.
pink hatters 2023
Photo by Howard Owens
pink hatters 2023
pink hatters 2023
Rhiannon Euren.
Photo by Howard Owens.

Pembroke voters approve pricey capital improvement spending on schools

By Howard B. Owens

Voters in the Pembroke Central School District on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved two measures that will authorize the district to make more than $37.5 million in improvements to school facilities.

  • Proposition 1 passed 356 yes to 130 no.
  • Proposition 2 passed 269 yes to 208 no.

Here is a summary of what voters approved.

Prop 1: $35,995,000.  No additional tax impact. The local share is $6.8 million and will be covered by capital reserves.  The balance of the spending plan will be covered by state aid and paying off existing debt.

Prop 1 will: 

  • Enhance the auditorium with new house lighting and new theatre lighting 
  • Enhance the band room with acoustics, instrument storage and sink
  • Install a light pole by the band entrance
  • Renovate the pool and construct a spectator seating addition
  • Renovate the existing gymnasium and surrounding corridors
  • Renovate/relocate the locker rooms and fitness centers
  • Regrade baseball field and install proper drainage, with SOD and infield mix
  • Add/reconfigure bleachers at the main athletic field 
  • Repave the teacher lot and  front circle
  • Install a blue light system 
  • Replace PA/phone system
  • Upgrade the business office mechanical equipment 
  • Construct two permanent walls in Classrooms (500 wing)

The plan includes expanding the gym, which will address the current facility's limited seating capacity and eliminate front-row spectators from having their feet on the court during sporting events.  The upgrade will also include installing a divider curtain, adding concessions, and an upgraded scoreboard.

At the elementary school, the playground will be updated. The current playground was installed in 1995 and has lasted longer than expected, according to district documentation.

The district states:

However, the maintenance required to keep it as safe as possible has become more and more challenging over time. At the end of this past school year, we had limited access to the playground. Then, over the summer, our maintenance department made a number of repairs and alterations to address concerns that were identified by a certified playground inspector. As a result of their hard work, the playground is accessible to students this fall, with the understanding that splinters are an ongoing issue. The repairs were only a short-term fix, so it is time to assess how to repair and/or upgrade the playground more significantly to make it last another 25-30 years.

The total cost of Prop 2 is $1,535,000.  The local share is nearly 100 percent of the projected cost. State aid will cover less than one percent.

According to the district, the tax impact breaks down this way:

  • Senior/STAR, $19 ($1.58 a month)
  • Basic STAR, $30 ($2.50 a month)
  • No STAR, $37 ($3.08 a month).

For more details on the projects, click here.

O-A falls short in quest for sectional title in Girls Soccer

By Howard B. Owens
oakfield-alabama girls soccer

Oakfield-Alabama lost Tuesday to Williamson 4-1 in the Class C1 semifinal in Girls Soccer.

The Hornets entered the game as the #3 seed against #2 Williamson.

There is one local team left in the Girls Soccer Sectionals, Byron-Bergen, who will play for the C2 championship on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Gates-Chili against Keshequa.

Photos by Debra Reilly.

oakfield-alabama girls soccer
oakfield-alabama girls soccer
oakfield-alabama girls soccer

Sponsored Post: Bontrager Real Estate hosts real estate auction

By Lisa Ace
Bontrager Real Estate
OPEN HOUSE!!!  1508 Church Rd, Darien Center, NY 14040 (Town of Bennington) is being sold at public online auction.  The property includes a single-family, 3- bedroom house, plus a cabin and pond, located on 10 acres in a country setting. Three different pole barn structures provide space for storage, a shop, or your own projects. Enjoy plenty of wildlife and privacy!  The property will be sold subject to the seller's acceptance of the final bid. 
Open House Dates: 
-Saturday, October 28th, 2 - 4 pm
- Monday, October 30th, 3 - 5 pm
Contact Robert Todd Jantzi, Real Estate Broker and Auctioneer at 585-343-4529 or  

Western Regional OTB board promotes Bassett, approves sales of branches in Oswego, Monroe counties

By Mike Pettinella

For the first time in several months, the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. board of directors had a quorum at today’s meeting at Batavia Downs Gaming and was able to conduct a bit of business.

Initially, the board elected Dennis Bassett (City of Rochester) as the temporary chair to cover just this meeting, but later on (following several minutes of discussion about other matters), decided to keep him in that position through the November planning meeting.

The unattended resolutions have been piling up, with WROTB President Henry Wojtaszek informing the board that up to 70 resolutions will need to be considered before the end of the year.

With that being said, it was incumbent upon the board to have a chair in place, Wojtaszek noted.

A motion was made to elect Bassett as the permanent chair, but that failed to pass due to the board’s weighted voting system. All board members eligible to vote, except Erie County’s Jennifer Hibit, supported Bassett. However, since Erie County’s vote has more strength, based on population, the motion was defeated. City of Buffalo director Crystal Rodriguez-Dabney apparently was not eligible to vote as she is waiting for licensing from the New York State Gaming Commission.

Subsequently, other motions were brought forward to elect Bassett temporarily – first for October and then into November – and they carried unanimously.

The board did pass a pair of resolutions pertaining to sales of former WROTB branches in Phoenix, Oswego County, and West Ridge Road, Monroe County.

WROTB sold the Phoenix parlor for $750,000 to CM Family Trust and the West Ridge Road branch to Michael J. Cerone for $500,000.

Wojtaszek said he, with assistance from attorneys and procurement staff, did their best to maximize the sale prices.

Chief Financial Officer Jacquelyne Leach said the proceeds from the West Ridge Road sale will count toward the public benefit corporation’s bottom line as distributions in a normal sale but would not have an impact on distributions to municipalities for 2023.

She did say that the Phoenix sale has the “potential” to increase funds to the 15 counties and two major cities.

Mistakes? Yes. Corruption? No, says WROTB's temporary board chair

By Mike Pettinella
Dennis Bassett
From left, President Henry Wojtaszek, Temporary Board Chair Dennis Bassett and VP/Operations Scott Kiedrowski at today's WROTB board meeting at Batavia Downs Gaming. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

While admitting that mistakes have been made, the City of Rochester representative on the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. bristled when “alleged corruption” was brought up during his talk with the media following today’s directors meeting at Batavia Downs Gaming on Park Road.

City of Rochester representative Dennis Bassett – who was elected as the temporary board chair through November -- took exception to a Buffalo-based reporter’s query about whether the revamped board was intent “on instituting some reforms and cleaning up alleged corruption.”

“Well, we've got not only (new directors) from Erie (County) and (the City of) Buffalo, but we got a new member from Monroe County, which based upon the way the vote goes, that’s pretty good,” Bassett said, referring to the weighted voting system that was put in by New York State mandate last May. “I’d like to say we've got new board members from Erie, from Buffalo, from Monroe County that add new blood.

“And I think corruption is a is a very strong term. I've been on this board, as I said 14 years, and I don't see corruption. We’ve seen some honest procedural mistakes … and we should be held accountable for that. I'd like to say we did everything perfectly, but we haven't. But I think we -- with good intentions – made mistakes.”

Bassett said the board has addressed the problems such as the use of sporting event tickets, the way mileage is reimbursed and health insurance for board members.

“There's been some stubbing of the toes. And yes, I'd like to say we have done … everything right, but we haven’t,” he offered. “We’ve stubbed our toe. But I can also say that in those areas where we’ve had problems, we have corrected them. And that’s the key thing. We’ve listened. We’ve made some very – I would call it -- enthusiastic decisions, whether it be mileage, whether it be our entertainment, whether it be the things that we can control.”

When asked about the former board, which was dominated by Republicans, he said, “Well, you know, to the victor goes the spoils.”

“I'm a Democrat, registered Democrat, and most of the board members during my time were Republicans. And guess what? I never once felt slighted.  I will continue to say on this board, we make business decisions. We owe the municipalities and the two cities to make the best business decisions we can so we can put money in their coffers.

“We don’t stand and say this is a Republican decision or this is a Democrat (decision). Is it a good business decision? And that has been our mantra since I’ve been on the board.”

When he was asked whether spending hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past two years on lawyers and lobbyists was a good business decision, Bassett said the board didn’t have “the skill set” to ascertain the correct answers.

“We've had to hire counsel because of some of the things – whether it be the Nolan lawsuit (a wrongful termination suit by former WROTB executive Michael Nolan) … and the (FBI) investigations, sadly to say we had to do some of those things because we didn’t have the skill set to answer the questions that were proposed. But I think we’ve weathered that storm, and I don’t think we’ve got to continue down that path,” he said.

Bassett said he sees the “new blood” as a positive for the board. Actually, six new directors joined the board after the shakeup that terminated the previous board – Jennifer Hibit (Erie County), Crystal Rodriguez-Dabney (Buffalo), James Wilmot (Monroe County), Terrance Baxter (Cayuga County), Paul Bartow (Schuyler County) and Charles Zambito (Genesee County).

“I think it’s good,” Bassett said. “And just the new change we made with having people who are really younger and working, for us to be able to Zoom committee meetings so people can take advantage of getting their ideas (out there) is a big step,”

During this morning’s meeting, the board agreed to give directors the option of attending future committee meetings via Zoom videoconferencing.

It also will be looking into a suggestion from Hibit to livestream the board meetings to, as she said, “make the board more transparent and accessible to the public.”

Bassett emphasized that there will be more transparency going forward and talked about having a strategic plan in place beyond one or two years.

“I've shared with the team that we're on top of the world now,” he said. “We're making good profits. We’re having good numbers. But we need to put together a strategic plan so that we can look out for more than one year, and look at more than several months. How do we look in three and four or five years?

“The world is not going to be the same two and three years from now? So how are we planning? How are we getting ourselves ready for some of the things that may happen that cause us not to be having these record earnings.”

Farner, Martin lead Byron-Bergen to 6-1 win in Boys Soccer semifinal

By Howard B. Owens
jack farner byron bergen
Byron-Bergen's Jack Farner dribbling the ball in the first half of the Class C2 semifinal at Geneseo High School on Wednesday.
Photo by Howard Owens.

There's no doubt that it was a team effort, but Jack Farner was a standout in Byron-Bergen's sectional semifinal win over Addison in Geneseo on Wednesday, scoring four goals.

The Bees won 6-1.

In a regular season match in September, Addison beat Byron-Bergen 3-2 so the Bees went into the game knowing they had to beat a tough opponent if they wanted to advance in the Class C1 tournament. 

"Addison is a very good team," said the Bees' head coach, Kenneth Rogoyski. "The score is not a reflection of the game. Possession was maybe a tiny bit in our favor, but it was pretty even. They played the ball in our half as much as we played the ball in they're half. The score is not a reflection, but rather, we just did better things with the ball. We handled the ball and managed the ball better."

As part of the offensive onslaught, Colin Martin had two goals and two assists, Jesus Aragon, two assists, and Braedyn Chambry, one assist.

"Jack Farner, a junior on our team, had his best game," Rogoyski. "He's been phenomenal this season. And today, he wants to take it to another level."

Farner's success was made possible, Rogoyski noted, by the players around him.

"Every great forward has some great playmakers and we were feeding him some great balls, Rogoyski said. "That's 

every great forward has some great playmakers, and we were feeding him some great balls. That's the credit to our midfielder, Colin (Martin)."

With a record now of 15-2-1, Byron Bergen, the #2 seed, faces East Rochester, the #1 seed, for the sectional title in a match to be played at Avon High School on Saturday at 2 p.m.

"I'm excited," Rogoyski said. "I can't wait. I can't wait for Saturday. It's gonna be tough to have to wait three days. I want to play a doubleheader tonight. We're ready."

For more photos or to purchase prints, click here.

colin martin byron bergen
Midfielder Colin Martin with the kick ... 
Photo by Howard Owens
byron bergen colin martin
... and the score.
Photo by Howard Owens
jack farner byron bergen
Jack Farner
Photo by Howard Owens
Jesus Aragon fights off a defender
Jesus Aragon fights off a challenger for ball control, which he did successfully despite going to the ground twice while also making a couple of clean tackles.
Photo by Howard Owens.
Jesus Aragon fights off a defender
#8 Jack Farner
Photo by Howard Owens.
Martin Mac Connell byron bergen
Keeper Martin Mac Connell with a save (more photos of this sequence in the link above).
Photo by Howard Owens.
Photo by Howard Owens.

Upstate NY is primed to become America’s next semiconductor superhighway

By Press Release

Press Release:

After years of relentless advocacy, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse region has just won the prestigious federal Tech Hub designation he created in the CHIPS & Science Act, putting Upstate NY further on the road to becoming America’s semiconductor superhighway. 

Schumer pulled out all the stops to bolster the tri-city region to beat out hundreds of other applications in the nationwide competition. The proposal called the “NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub” will build on the historic investments Schumer delivered that have spurred a boom in semiconductor manufacturing and innovation across Upstate NY and with today’s designation, will now be in an exclusive group of only 31 regions in America to compete for potentially billions in federal funding to transform Upstate NY as a global hub for workforce training, innovation, and manufacturing of semiconductor technology.

“Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse are officially on the road to becoming America’s semiconductor superhighway. I created this program with Upstate NY in mind, and now three of our own cities that helped build America, have not only won the exclusive federal Tech Hub designation for semiconductors but also won a once-in-a-generation opportunity to write a new chapter for Upstate NY building our nation’s future. This 3 region Tech Hub will hit the gas on NY’s booming chips industry by attracting new companies, training our workforce for tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, and bringing manufacturing in this critical industry back from overseas to right here in Upstate NY,” said Senator Schumer. 

“I pulled out all the stops to land this Tech Hub Designation for my great home state – making the case that bringing together these three cities and giving them the resources to combine forces would create an unstoppable engine that will rev the region’s industries to life and make Upstate NY a global center for semiconductors. With this Tech Hubs Designation highlighting the region as one of only a few in the country primed to be the next Silicon Valley in critical technology, combined with federal funding now flooding this triple-threat region, America’s semiconductor manufacturing industry truly couldn’t be in better hands.”

Schumer originally proposed the Tech Hubs program years ago as part of the bipartisan Endless Frontier Act with Upstate NY in mind to help bring critical industries back from overseas in communities that have great potential to lead in new technologies and finally was able to create the Regional Tech Hubs competition in his CHIPS & Science Bill. 

Schumer has been a tireless advocate for the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse region proposal, personally writing and calling Commerce Secretary Raimondo multiple times to make the case that Upstate NY is best suited to help drive forward the nation’s semiconductor and broader microelectronics industries.

Schumer said that the three-region consortium beat out hundreds of applications and was one of only 31 regions chosen for the Tech Hub designation. The NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub proposal will now be able to compete for the next phase of the Tech Hubs Program that will invest between $50 and $75 million in each of 5 to 10 Designated Hubs.

Schumer secured an initial infusion of $500 million in last year’s spending bill to jumpstart the Tech Hubs competition, from which Phase 2 awards will be made. The CHIPS & Science Bill included a $10 billion authorization for the Tech Hubs program – meaning that designated Tech Hubs will be able to compete for significantly more investment based on future funding levels.

Schumer said that with this designation, the NY SMART I-Corridor will bring together the combined assets of Buffalo, Rochester,u and Syracuse to help the region become a globally recognized semiconductor manufacturing hub in the next decade, with innovation focused on improving the quality and quantity of semiconductor manufacturing and, along with it, amplifying the region’s microelectronics and microchip supply chain ecosystem.  The Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse consortium includes over 80 members from across the public sector, industry, higher-ed, economic and workforce development, and labor. This includes over 22 industry groups and firms, 20 economic development organizations, 8 labor & workforce training organizations, and 10 institutions of higher learning.  This application development process was led by three designated conveners, one from each region: The John R. Oishei Foundation in Buffalo, ROC2025 in Rochester, and CenterState CEO in Syracuse.

Specifically, the NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub proposal seeks to propel the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse corridor by attracting new suppliers to the region, including onshoring companies from overseas, advancing research & development programs for the semiconductor industry, training the next generation of Upstate New York’s manufacturing workforce, and specifically helping ensure that underserved populations are connected to the tens thousands of good-paying jobs expected to be created in this growing industry in the region.

Schumer has been preparing Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse for this opportunity, working relentlessly to boost Upstate New York as a global tech leader. Schumer’s tireless advocacy has resulted in billions in proposed investments from the semiconductor industry spurred by his Chips & Science Bill. In the Syracuse region alone, Micron has announced plans to invest an historic $100 billion to build a cutting-edge memory fab expected to create nearly 50,000 jobs. In Western NY, Edwards Vacuum will invest $300+ million to build a 600 job U.S. dry pump manufacturing facility to supply the semiconductor industry. With Schumer’s direct advocacy, Buffalo has already received $25 million for its growing tech industry through the American Recue Plan’s Build Back Better Challenge, laying the foundation for the Tech Hub designation they have now secured. In the Rochester region, Corning Incorporated, which manufactures glass critical to the microchip industry, has already invested  $139 million in Monroe County – creating over 270 new, good-paying jobs in the Finger Lakes region.

Members of the consortium include semiconductor manufacturers and supply chain business like Micron, INFICON, Corning, Optimax, AMD, TTM Technologies, Saab, Akoustis, L3Harris, Lockheed Martin, Edwards Vacuum, Linde, Lifatec and SRC; business organizations like NY Photonics with 120-member companies, Buffalo Niagara Partnership, and Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association (RTMA) with 85-member companies, Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance (BNMA), and the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce; education and research institutions like University of Buffalo, University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, Monroe Community College, Syracuse University, Cornell , SUNY Oswego, SUNY ESF, SUNY EOC, and Onondaga Community College; workforce development partners like Centerstate CEO, Northland Workforce Training Center, RochesterWorks, RMAPI, UNiCON, WNY Area Labor Federation, Central-Northern New York Building and Construction Trades Council, IBEW Local 43, and many more.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month a good reminder that more connectivity equals more risk

By Joanne Beck
2022 File photo of Chat Klotzbach and Michael Burns
2022 File Photo of Genesee County Legislator Chad Klotzbach presenting the Cybersecurity proclamation to Information Technology Director Michael Burns.
Photo by Joanne Beck

Michael Burns is one of those guys who is often behind the scenes, making sure that all systems are working smoothly and nothing dastardly or mischievous gets into foul things up for Genesee County.

He takes his job seriously — so much, in fact, that he sends tester emails to colleagues to see if they will open them up. Every now and then, a county employee will comment that he or she was tempted to open an odd email but thought better of it, also thinking that maybe it was sent from Burns.

Of course, by now, everyone should know not to open up a strange, random or otherwise questionable email.

And Burns, who was hired as director of Information Technology in May 2021, has been beating that drum, along with sharing other important cybersecurity reminders, ever since he took the job. 

After all, “we are more wired than ever before,” he has said. 

On Wednesday, the county Legislature acknowledged the vital role of those like Burns and proclaimed the month of October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month. 

Legislator Chad Klotzbach represented the group as information technology liaison for the state Association of Counties Information Technology Task Force. The proclamation states:

WHEREAS, in today’s world we are more interconnected that ever before yet for all of its

advantages, increased connectivity brings increased risk of theft, fraud and abuse, and

WHEREAS, as Genesee County and its citizens become more reliant on modern

technology we also become more vulnerable to cyberattacks such as security breaches,

spear phishing and social media fraud, and

WHEREAS, Genesee County Information Technology Department is responsible for

delivering secure, accurate, timely information and services to County departments, municipalities, residents and visitors effectively and efficiently, and

WHEREAS, Genesee County IT employees, consultants and vendors institute best practices and utilize available resources, and

WHEREAS, cybersecurity month provides an opportunity to increase public awareness and understanding of cyber threats while empowering employees and citizens to be safer and more secure online. Now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, the Genesee County Legislature does hereby proclaim the Month of October as Cybersecurity Month and encourages all citizens to recognize that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility in which we all have a role to play.

In addition to monitoring the county’s overall cybersecurity and other technology systems, Burns has also been involved in a project to install fiber cable from County Building 2 on Route 5 to Emergency Management Services on State Street Road and from County Building 2 to Genesee County Airport at 4701 East Saile Drive. 

The Information Technology website has several resources, from affordable Internet service providers to tips for password security, multi-factor authentication, dealing with ransomware, phishing awareness, how to keep kids safe online, and other topics. 

There’s even a Kids Safe Online poster contest.

GCC's Forum Players present: The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse

By Press Release
Photo of GCC's Stuart Steiner Theatre courtesy of

Press Release:

What: GCC's Forum Players Present: The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse.

Where: Performances in the Stuart Steiner Theatre

When: Nov. 16, 17, 18 @ 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 19 @ 2 p.m. The play is approximately 90 minutes long.

In Larissa FastHorse's hilariously funny satirical play, positive intentions collide with absurd assumptions. As a terminally "woke" teacher, Logan, a high school drama teacher/ actor, enlists the help of some interesting characters: Caden, an elementary school history teacher (frustrated, inspiring Playwright and Actor). Jaxton, a yoga practitioner/actor (politically correct to a fault), and Alicia, a simplistic actress (who has a knack for being painfully honest), scrambles to create a school pageant for children that somehow celebrates Turkey Day and Native American Heritage Month, or do they? Find out when you join us on the journey that is The Thanksgiving Play.

Larissa FastHorse (Sicangu Lakota Nation) is a 2020 MacArthur Fellow, award-winning writer/choreographer, and co-founder of Indigenous Direction, the nation's leading consulting company for Indigenous arts and audiences. Her satirical comedy, The Thanksgiving Play (Playwrights Horizons/Geffen Playhouse), is one of America's top ten most produced plays. She is the first Native American playwright in American theater history on that list. The play recently had a short run on Broadway, being the "critics pick" in the New York Times.

The Thanksgiving Play is a relatively new piece, having first been performed in October 2018 off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in NYC. This past spring, The Thanksgiving Play played on Broadway from April 20 through June 11. We are excited to have such a new and critical play being produced at GCC.

Jaime Arena is directing The Thanksgiving Play for her second time; last year she directed the play at SUNY Geneseo. Brodie McPherson is the production designer. Current GCC student Jeriko Suzette is Assistant Director, and Cass Dzielski is the Stage Manager for the production. The show features GCC students Lauren Ruch, Tony Haitz, Qasim Huzair and Isabella Wheeler as the four instructors longing to create a politically correct Thanksgiving Pageant.

Director Jaime Arena wanted to approach this play with compassion for the Native American tribes and their history. She didn't want to lose the satirical aspect, while wanting to give voice to those at the center of the story. Jaime enlisted Karlie Jones, who is Cayuga, to help. "Director Jaime Arena and I have been longtime friends since 2005, and she asked for my input/direction on this piece. Not much is needed to give - Larissa FastHorse hits all the right notes, showcasing a "woke" society wanting to help minority groups in the best way possible and navigating their way to the best answer. Giving space for us to be heard and proving appreciation without appropriation is possible. The conversation of our cultural stereotypes must be heard; this play gives us a chance to voice the current climate of our Indigenous struggles." -Karlie Jones, Cayuga Nation

"I took the same script and reimagined it by adding and subtracting what I did at Geneseo with the same sole purpose, which is to have the audience leave the Stuart Steiner stage after the performance able to understand; it is not our job to speak for any other culture but to stand beside them and have their back as they speak their truth. To me, that is the true definition of an ally." -Jaime Arena, director

Please be advised that the play includes moments depicting historical violence.

Tickets can be purchased on the Genesee Community College website under the 'Center for the Arts' tab: General admission is $10. Qualifying discounted tickets (GCC staff and faculty, seniors 55+, children under 16, non-GCC students) are $5. Admission is free for GCC students who present their ID at the box office. Please contact the Box Office with any questions. or call (585) 343-0055 x6490.

Tenney announces approval of historic regional tech hub designation

By Press Release

Press Release: 

File photo of 
Claudia Tenney

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24), and Representatives Joe Morelle (NY-25), Brian Higgins (NY-26), Nick Langworthy (NY-23), Marc Molinaro (NY-19), and Brandon Williams (NY-22) announced the approval of the New York Semiconductor Manufacturing and Research Technology Innovation Corridor (NY SMART I-Corridor) application for the Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs (Tech Hubs) Program.

The SMART I-Corridor will leverage existing and new investments in semiconductor and sensing technology along with regional expertise in advanced manufacturing. The bipartisan group of New York members built on the strengths of their unique communities in a historic effort to bring transformative federal investments to reinvigorate regional economic growth for years to come. Following enormous community effort and collaboration from their universities, field experts, and local and federal advocates, the NY SMART I-Corridor coalition has delivered a promising future for the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse region.

"By officially designating the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse corridor as a Regional Technology and Innovation Hub, we are set to witness a substantial increase in job opportunities while fortifying the nation's vital supply chains," said Congresswoman Claudia Tenney. "By designating our region, which was the home of the Industrial Revolution, as a tech hub, we will again see our community be at the forefront of innovation and drive economic and technological progress for our country. I deeply appreciate the bipartisan support from my colleagues, and I am eager to see the opportunities, jobs, and innovative advancements that this Tech Hub designation will bring to our community, our nation, and the world!"

“This historic federal commitment will power our local innovation economy, create jobs, and fortify our position as a leader in the global tech landscape,” said Congressman Joe Morelle. “I am incredibly grateful for the bipartisan support of my colleagues from the New York delegation – together we are leveraging the unique economic strengths of our regions to pioneer the industries of tomorrow and secure our nation's technological future.”

“Western New York is uniquely positioned to lead the nation in semiconductor production and this award demonstrates confidence that the workforce, research, and manufacturing infrastructure in place is prepared to deliver on this opportunity,” said Congressman Brian Higgins. “There is strength in collaboration. We are proud to support this project designed to bolster national security and deliver regional and national economic opportunities.”

“Western New York and the Southern Tier have a rich legacy of manufacturing innovation, and the approval of our Tech Hub application reflects our commitment to advancing technology, creating high-paying jobs, and securing our nation's economic and technological future,” said Congressman Nick Langworthy. “Our region's proximity to the world-renowned Micron facility in Upstate New York makes the NY SMART I-Corridor a natural choice for this transformative investment. Leveraging the expertise and resources of Micron, alongside our growing skilled workforce, reinforces our future as a premier destination for semiconductor research and production.”

"This is a significant investment into the future of Upstate New York. I am proud to be a part of the initiative that will transform our region into a prominent hub for innovation, job growth, and economic prosperity,” said Congressman Marc Molinaro. “Working alongside my fellow New York Members of Congress, we aim to continue developing advancements in technology and creating endless opportunities for Upstate."

“With a Tech Hub designation, we will welcome in a new era for New York—embracing a call to action and introducing transformational change, with our state becoming the semiconductor epicenter of the world,” said Congressman Brandon Williams. “Designating a Tech Hub for New York focused on the advancement of technologies, including the production of semiconductors domestically, will not only create jobs locally but will promote national security.”

For more information on the Tech Hubs Program Economic Development Initiative click here.

GO Health hosting Early Intervention Quarterly Meeting

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health) will be holding their Local Early Intervention Coordinating Council (LEICC) Quarterly Meeting. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 25 from 4 - 5 p.m. at the Genesee County Health Department (3837 W. Main Street Road Batavia) or by zoom.

During the meeting, advocacy will be discussed and the election of officers will take place. Refreshments will be provided. 

The LEICC is a supportive group made up of county officials, Early Intervention providers, childcare providers, parents of children with disabilities, and other community members. The members of the council are encouraged to collaborate and voice their opinions to help raise concerns to better the program, and ultimately, help the children. 

The goal of the LEICC is to afford the opportunity for parents and other members to voice their thoughts and concerns on the strengths and weaknesses of the Genesee and Orleans County Early Intervention Program and to work together to improve the program. The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments are encouraging parents to attend and to offer input as to how we can best meet the needs of all infants and toddlers.

For Zoom connection information or for more information on the meeting, please contact Sarah Kathryn McLaughlin, Early Intervention Service Coordinator for Genesee County, at 585-344-2580 ext. 5503 or 585-589-3147.

Pembroke Teachers' Federation takes a 'slice' for mental health services

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Pembroke Teachers' Federation and Homeslice 33 Pizzeria in Corfu teamed up for a great cause on Oct. 18.

Members of the PTF volunteered at Homeslice to make pizzas, work behind the counter, and greeted community members as they entered the pizzeria! Members were quickly put to work as the community came out to support this cause! 

Homeslice 33 Pizzeria was generous to donate a portion of the night's proceeds to the PTF. In turn, the PTF will be making a donation to the Genesee County Mental Health services! 

The PTF and Homeslice want to thank all of the students, families, and community members who came out to support this great event!

Submitted photos of Pembroke Teachers' Federation at Homeslice 33 Pizzeria.


GC law enforcement makes coordinated effort for STOP-DWI campaign Oct. 27-31

By Press Release

Press Release:

Genesee County law enforcement agencies, including the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia Police Department, and LeRoy Police Department will be participating in a coordinated effort with the STOP-DWI program to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving. 

The statewide STOP-DWI Impaired Driving High Visibility Engagement Campaign runs: Oct. 27 – 31.

Designate a driver. Don’t let alcohol take the wheel. When it comes to impaired driving Halloween can turn the roads into a horror fest. While families spend time with their children trick or treating and hosting parties with loved ones, law enforcement officers and STOP-DWI programs across New York State will participate in special efforts to stop impaired driving, prevent injuries, and save lives.

The STOP-DWI Halloween High Visibility Engagement Campaign is one of many statewide initiatives promoted by STOP-DWI NY and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving.

Impaired driving is completely preventable. All it takes is a little planning.

Batavia Police offer Halloween safety tips

By Press Release


Press Release:

The City of Batavia Police Department would like to remind everyone of the following safety tips to ensure a safe and Happy Halloween.


  • Wear bright-colored costumes or attach something reflective to your costume or candy bag 
  • Cross the street only at marked intersections 
  • Follow traffic signals and use crosswalks 
  • Look both ways before crossing the street 
  • Put phones down and watch where you are going 
  • Walk only on sidewalks (where provided, if none walk facing traffic) 
  • Be on the lookout for cars at all times 


  • Drive slowly and stay alert 
  • Look for children at every intersection and take extra time 
  • Back up slowly and check multiple times for pedestrians 
  • Eliminate distractions (put down phones and keep radio volume at a low level) 
  • Make complete stops at all intersections and allow pedestrians to cross the street 

The City of Batavia will observe Halloween Trick-or-Treating activities between the hours of 4- 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31 only.

Byron-Bergen overcomes quick strike by Gananda to get 4-1 win in semifinal

By Howard B. Owens
Byron Bergen vs Gananda Girls Soccer 2023
Byron-Bergen's MacKenzie Hagen on the attack during the second half of Byron-Bergen sectional semi-final against Gananda at Pittsford-Sutherland.
Photo by Howard Owens.

Gananda didn't score a goal until the second minute of Tuesday's Section V Class C2 semifinal in Girls Soccer at Pittsford-Sutherland, which sort of felt like an accomplishment to Byron-Bergen Head Coach Wayne Hill.

"Last year, we played them (in postseason) and they scored in the first 10 seconds," Hill said after the Bees' 4-1 win. "We knew they're going to be pressing hard and fast early. I felt good that we didn't get scored out in the first minute. But they banged in one in the second minute."

Despite the quick strike, the Bees held their composure.

"We stayed level-headed," Hill said. "We stayed true to our game plan and weathered a little bit of a storm and then we played our game, and we took control of the game."

It didn't take long for Mia Gray, who already has more than 100 career points through her sophomore year, to even the tally with a high, long lob, followed by a goal by Grace Diquattro (who also got the assist on Gray's earlier goal).

"They (Gananda) score a lot of goals," Hill said. "They're used to winning. They're used to scoring a lot, and I think that variable gave us a little bit of an advantage when they got down."

A penalty kick by Megan Jarkiewicz that just tipped off the fingers of Gananda's keeper, Olivia Moskal, as it arched over her head, gave Byron-Bergen a 3-1 lead and two goals up can be huge in soccer.

It seemed the Bees had increasing control of the game as it went on, though Hill said he thought Gananda had about a 55 to 45 percent advantage in control.

"We capitalized better," Hill said. "I thought it was a nice even game. I'm happy to see that kind of game."

In the second half, Libby Starowitz knocked in a bullet from about 30 yards out to give the Bees the 4-1 lead, which proved decisive.

Two of Byron-Bergen's goals sailed high over Moskal, and that was by design, Hill indicated.

"We watched some game film and thought maybe we could hit something high," Hill said. "We switched up a couple of our free-kick takers. Megan Jarkiewicz hasn't taken a free kick all year and scored on one tonight. That makes me feel good that, you know, she was able to step up and do what she needed to do at the right time."

Mia Gray, one of the team's top scorers, stayed back more in a defensive formation against Gananda and that was by design, Hill said.

"Grenada has two very, very good center mids (midfielders)," Hill said. We had to play a little bit more defensively in the middle of the field so that they just didn't start steamrolling us. So yeah, Mia and Libby were both back a little bit more, and that left our strikers a little bit more alone. So we weren't so striker-driven like we normally are. And we just needed to help out our defense a little bit."

Even though Gananda came in as the #1 seed and Byron-Bergen the #4 seed, this win wasn't an upset, Hill said. He noted that some observes have called C2 "the bracket of death" because of its depth.

"There were so many teams at the start of this C2 bracket that all realistically had a chance," Hill said. "In the last game, we played a number five seed that had 14 wins. That's incredible. Usually, the number five is about a .500 team. So there's a lot of quality teams in this. I don't know if at any point, there's an upset just because each league is tough. Each league exposes people to different situations. We see that this month. We see that the schedule that we played has prepared us for this. So to say that there were any upsets? I don't think so. I think everybody's pretty fair."

Next up for Byron-Bergen, the Section C2 final against #3 Keshequa on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Gates-Chili.

For more photos and to purchase prints, click here.

Byron Bergen vs Gananda Girls Soccer 2023
Gananda goalkeeper Olivia Moskal managed to get two fingers on a penalty kick from Megan Jarkiewicz but it doesn't enough to keep the high, arching kick out of the net.
Photo by Howard Owens.
Byron Bergen vs Gananda Girls Soccer 2023
Megan Jarkiewicz celebrates her successful penalty kick with her teammates.
Photo by Howard Owens.
Byron Bergen vs Gananda Girls Soccer 2023
Ava Gray battles Isabella Hoffmann for the ball -- and she won the ball.
Photo by Howard Owens.
Byron Bergen vs Gananda Girls Soccer 2023
MacKenzie Hagen
Photo by Howard Owens.
Byron Bergen vs Gananda Girls Soccer 2023
Emma Starowitz
Photo by Howard Owens.
Byron Bergen vs Gananda Girls Soccer 2023
Grace DiQuatrro
Photo by Howard Owens.
Byron Bergen vs Gananda Girls Soccer 2023
Elizabeth Starowitz with the ball.
Photo by Howard Owens.
Byron Bergen vs Gananda Girls Soccer 2023
Mia Gray with a long kick down field late in the game.
Photo by Howard Owens.
Byron Bergen vs Gananda Girls Soccer 2023
Ava Goff catches a pass off her chest.
Photo by Howard Owens.
Byron Bergen vs Gananda Girls Soccer 2023
Emma Starowitz
Photo by Howard Owens.
Byron Bergen vs Gananda Girls Soccer 2023
Olivia Moskal is consoled by a teammate after Gananda lost to Byron-Bergen 4-1
Photo by Howard Owens

Top Items on Batavia's List

HUGE sale thousands of items something for everyone lots of new stuff games toys housewares clothes collectibles kitchen items ect ect ect and much more rain or shine everything covered every Saturday June 1st -October 26 9-5 3657 galloway rd batavia
Tags: garage sales

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