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June 26, 2009 - 10:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Victorian Manor.

Victorian Manor in Batavia, which has been facing financial difficulty (just last fall, there were $1.54 million in liens against the property), has a new owner and a new name.

It's now The Manor House, owned and operated by Manor House, LLC.  The financially troubled Sunwest Management transferred the facility to a group of 10 individual investors.

Full press release after the jump:

June 26, 2009 - 9:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Zigrossi Motors.


If you've driven past Zigrossi Motors on Route 5 in Batavia last night or this morning and took note of a seemingly empty parking lot, don't jump to the conclusion that Zigrossi is out of business.

While you will be seeing less inventory on the lot over the next few months, that isn't why the lot was emptied last night -- that had more to do with hail than the fact that the business is being sold.

Harry Zigrossi has been in the car business for 30 years, he said, and he's ready to retire.

A buyer has been found, but because of the General Motors bankruptcy, the deal cannot close until early 2010, unless GM emerges from bankruptcy sooner.

"Because we were fortunate enough to be on good asset side of the General Motors list and not the bad asset side, we can be sold," Zigrossi said. "If we were on the bad asset list, there would be no new dealer and we would be shutting down."

Meanwhile, Zigrossi is still open for business. The new cars on the lot are all for sale and the service department remains open.  Zigrossi said all operations will continue until the new dealer assumes control.

June 25, 2009 - 9:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, public market.


This afternoon, I popped over to the first day of the Downtown Public Market on Ellicott and Center. First stop: Alston's Bone-Suckin Bar-B-Que sauce stand. The sample alone was worth the trip.  Then I had a couple of red hots from the Jackson St. Grill said.

The market closed early today after the National Weather Service sent out a severe thunderstorm warning.

It will open again next Thursday in the same location at 8:30 a.m.

June 25, 2009 - 9:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Salvation Army, weeds.


Since I complained about it, I should note the clean up: When I was driving to the office this morning, I noticed this man out in front of the Salvation Army Thrift Store on Jackson cutting the grass strips in front of the parking lot.  When I drove home, the whole area looked much nicer.

June 25, 2009 - 11:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, UMMC, Swine Flu, h1n1.

A case of H1N1, often misidentified as "swine flu," has been reportedly contracted by a member of the United Memorial Medical Center staff, according to Randy Garney, interim director of the health department for Genesee County.

Citing privacy concerns, UMMC spokeswoman Colleen Flynn said she could not share any information about the reported case. Flynn did confirm that a memo was sent to employees on Tuesday.

Garney indicated people should not dwell too much on where a case might be found, but realize H1N1 is prevalent throughout the state.

"The general public should realize it's here," Garney said.

People, he said, are largely unaware of how  widespread H1N1 is at this point because most cases are never severe enough to lead to the person seeking medical attention.

But if you have flu-like symptoms, you have H1N1.

"It's considered H1N1 right now because we're beyond the flu season," Garney said. "If anybody has those symptoms, they should consider it H1N1."

Flu symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, chills and extreme tiredness.

While H1N1 is pervasive throughout New York, the fatality rate is very low, less than .1 percent.

"The more troubling part of H1N1 is that it's being more aggressive with five- to 21-year-olds," Garney said. "Flu is usually more aggressive with people over 65, but H1N1 is not bearing this out."

Because H1N1 is such a new strain, Garney said, there is still much scientists are trying to learn about the strain. It's possible that older people at one time contracted a variant of the strain in their younger years and now have some level of immunity.

Garney reiterated that people with flu-like symptoms should stay home and avoid as much as possible and avoid unnecessary contact with other people.  Also, wash your hands and maintain other sanitary practices.

June 25, 2009 - 8:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield, Stafford, corfu.

Andrew Kosiorek, 37, 53 W. Main St., #101, Corfu, is charged with criminal contempt and harassment following an alleged incident in Batavia. Kosiorek reportedly following a family dispute in which he allegedly struck another person. The person allegedly attacked is covered by a protection order.

Patricia M. Morris, 58, 5359 Horseshoe Lake Road, Batavia, is charged with DWI , driving with a BAC of .18 or more and driving left of road markings in a no passing zone. Morris was stopped following reports of erratic driving in the City of Batavia and Stafford.

Jennifer L. Heil, 26, 5690 Eagle Harbor Road, Oakfield, is charged with DWI,driving with a BAC of .18 or more and driving left of pavement markings. Heil was charged following a traffic stop in Stafford.

June 25, 2009 - 12:06am
posted by daniel cherry in batavia, Super Cruise Latinas.

zzzZZZZZzzzz june 23 car show   c cherry video-picss 051.JPGzzzZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz june 23 car show   c cherry video-picss 053.JPGzzzZZZZZzzzzz june 23 car show   c cherry video-picss 039.JPGzzzzzzzzzzzzzzjune 23 car show   c cherry video-picss 088.JPG

On tuesday night the boys and i went to the super cruise.They had a DJ.A 50/50 raffle we lost.It was alot of fun.Vintage automobiles make great images.

June 24, 2009 - 6:54pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, baseball, sports, Ryan Gugel.

Ryan Gugel, the Gulf Coast League barely got to know you.

gugelhits.jpgThe Batavia high grad who signed a free agent deal with the Philadelphia Phillies organization after the Major League Baseball Draft didn't get to play in the GCL Phillies opener because he's been promoted from the short-season rookie league to long-season A ball.

The catcher will make his professional debut with the Lakewood BlueClaws of the South Atlantic League.

The club is 42-26 and leading the Northern Division.

Fellow BHS grad Chris Page was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds organization, but has yet to sign a contract. The Reds drafted four first baseman and is waiting to offer him a contract until a position opens up.

June 24, 2009 - 5:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Fire trucks are responding to Notre Dame High School for a tripped fire alarm.  A custodian on scene reports no smoke nor fire seen. Crews on scene also report nothing showing.

View Larger Map
June 24, 2009 - 5:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.

An oven fire has been reported at 19 Hart St., Batavia. Fire engines are responding.

UPDATE 5:10 p.m.: Burnt food only.

View Larger Map

June 24, 2009 - 2:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Announcements, royal rangers, Todd Crossett.

Batavia Police Youth Det. Todd Crossett completed his first marathon May 25 in 4 hours and 4 minutes, and it was for a worthy cause.

Crossett ran into the Buffalo Marathon to raise funds for the Royal Rangers, a scouting group of 30 boys supervised by Crossett.

He raised $400, which will help boys participation in the Royal Rangers.  Many would not be able to attend camp outs without the funds, according to a BPD press release.

June 24, 2009 - 10:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Police are responding to Emory Upton's monument at Ellicott and Main.

A woman is there moving around mulch and fiddling with plants, telling a person there that she is cleaning up her father's grave.

June 24, 2009 - 7:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Darien, Alabama.

Scott A. Fehr, 34, 8378 Lake Road, Corfu, is charged with DWI. Fehr was reportedly found parked on Galloway Road. Further investigation revealed he allegedly hit a sight while turning left from Route 63 onto Galloway. He then allegedly left the scene without proper notification. He was also charged with a BAC of .08 or more and leaving the scene of a property damage accident without notification.

A 17-year-old employee of Darian Lake is accused of stealing $765 from the theme park. He is charged with petty larceny. The youth is from Strykersville.

Travis Bauer, 20, 4685 Crittenden Road, Akron, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Bauer was allegedly found to be in possession of marijuana during an investigation of a reported domestic dispute in Alabama.

Debra Farminger, 47, 24 Lewis Road, Akron is accused of pushing and hurting another family member during a domestic dispute in Alabama. She is charged with harassment in the second degree.

June 23, 2009 - 5:56am
posted by chris johnson in batavia, fundraiser, mayhem.
Mayhem Riders MC Club

Benefit Fund Raiser for Patsy Rapone
Saturday August 22nd 2009 @ 2:00
Barre Sportsmen's Club
13234 Gray Road
Albion, NY 14411

Mr. Rapone is the Father of one of our club member’s. He is a devoted, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother, and friend. He was diagnosed with small cell cancer, along with this battle he has heart problems, we are joining in an effort with other clubs, businesses, friends, & family member’s to help out the family with expenses.
Dice Run, Food, Drinks, Live Music, Chinese Auction
Dice run will start at Stans Harley Shop 4425 W. Saile Drive Batavia, NY
Sign up will be from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. we will make 5 stops and end at the Barre Center Clubhouse.
Highest and Lowest will win prizes
$25 Rider $10 passenger (includes benefit)
Tickets for this benefit will be sold prior and the day of for $15 Under 12 $5
Call (585) 356-0889 or (585) 813-9730 for tickets they will also be sold in different locations around Batavia

we are looking for any area business that can donate any items for the chinese auction,if you can help please contact the above numbers.


June 23, 2009 - 1:47am




As the regularly scheduled legislative session drew to a close, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C – Batavia) was pleased to have been able to have over a dozen pieces of his legislation passed, despite a banner year for Albany’s notorious dysfunction.


“Despite all the chaos, changes in leadership and gridlock, I was able to get some common-sense and important pieces of legislation passed that will greatly help the communities in Western New York, as well as the rest of the state,” said Hawley.


Of the 15 pieces of legislation that Hawley sponsored, which passed the Assembly, five bills specifically helped local communities in Western New York.  These bills include measures to help town court proceedings in the towns of Elba, Oakfield and Batavia, and the city of Batavia.  These four municipalities are leading the way in the state for finding an innovative solution, to their individual need for new and upgraded court facilities, will help local governments save taxpayer dollars by sharing services and building a joint court facility.


Perhaps Hawley’s largest statewide initiatives that passed were measures to help firefighters.  Assembly Bill 2733-A establishes the volunteer firefighter and volunteer emergency services recruitment and retention fund.  Assembly Bill 6051-A allows firefighters to operate a fire truck without possessing a commercial driver’s license, saving fire districts endless amounts of time, which can be better spent training, as well as thousands of dollars annually.  This measure was passed by both houses and signed into law.


            Hawley’s passed legislation also includes a number of initiatives to help those with disabilities.  Assembly Bill 7848 requires access aisles of handicapped parking spaces to be marked with a sign and stripes; and Assembly Bill 7849 requires that handicapped parking spaces be at least 8 feet wide.


            The Assemblyman also played an instrumental role in leading the fight against some of the more dangerous bills that came to the floor, such as the “Farm Death Bill.”  Hawley stated, “The fight against this harmful bill, brought together farmers, farm workers, and agribusinesses, and bipartisan legislators from across the state.  This opposition was an example of Albany at its finest.  Unfortunately, its passage in the Assembly highlighted the standard dysfunction in the State Capitol, but I am hopeful that our collective voices will help prevent this bill from coming to fruition in the Senate.”


            Hawley also lead the charge for other important measures, such as property tax relief.  During and after budget negotiations the Assemblyman stood on the Assembly floor to demand relief for overburdened homeowners and businesses, specifically calling on both houses and the Governor to reinstate the STAR Rebate Check and restore cuts made to the traditional STAR programs.  Hawley also called on the Governor to make smart usage of the $1 billion in federal stimulus dollars which have not yet been appropriated.  He commented, “We need to begin looking at ways to make it easier for residents and businesses to survive.  Maintaining jobs, and attracting new ones, are necessary to keep our economy moving.”



June 22, 2009 - 9:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weeds.

Now that I'm a city resident, there are things (though not many) that bug me a little more than they did in the past.

One of these pet peeves is the weeds in the Salvation Army parking lot on Jackson near Ellicott.  Weeds from the curb to the front door, in every crack, and weeds at the base of the light polls, and weeds along the north side of the parking lot. Not to mention the building hasn't been painted in decades and the front sign polls look like they came off a rusted battle ship. 

I drive past this location every day and feel sorry for the owner of Floral Fantasies, who must try to run an elegant business next to this mess.

It's just plain unsightly.

Apparently, I'm not the only city resident who's had enough of the weeds around town. It turns out City Council members get regular constituent complaints, but the current ordinance is proving ineffective at getting property owners to make their land and buildings a little less ugly.

The proposed changes would give property owners 48 hours to clean up weeds, trash or debris once a notice has been posted on the property. If the work isn't done in 48 hours, outside crews will be brought in to clean up the mess and the property owner will be assessed the price of the clean up and fined $250. A second violation in the same calendar year would yield clean-up costs and a $100 fine.

The only controversial point in the proposed changes is that an alternative penalty is 50 days in jail. The council debated this provision for a good 15 or 20 minutes after Councilman Bill Cox raised an objection to the language.

"This is America it’s not Russia," Cox said. "We don’t put people in jail for not cutting their grass.  We can fine them heavily, but even to to threaten them with jail is not what we do."

Councilman Tim Buckley took an opposing view, saying a violation of the law is a violation of the law and the threaten of jail time would encourage people to pay their fines, rather than let them slide (the city can put a lien against the property, but would have no other recourse to collect unpaid fines and bills).

"Deep in our hearts don’t want to send anybody to jail," Buckley said. Later adding, "I understand where Mr. Cox is coming form. This is America, but in America when you break the law, you pay the penalty."

Several council members, City Attorney George Van Nest and Asst. City Manager Sally Kuzon all said that sending people to jail for not cleaning up their property would only be used in extreme cases.

"I think the judges and the police officers involved would have enough discretion to recognize this is an extreme measure," Councilwoman Marianne Clattenburg said.

Removing jail time from the proposed language failed on a 4-5 vote.

Next, the proposed changes will be the subject of a public hearing.  I didn't write down the date and will update this post as soon as I have it. 

BTW: If somebody wants to organize a clean up crew to help out the Salvation Army, I'll set aside a Saturday to pitch in and whack a few weeds.

June 22, 2009 - 9:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, consolidation, Charter Review Commission.

The City of Batavia's two-year effort to amend its charter is running head-on into any idea of consolidating the town and the city into a single government in the near future, according to John Roach, chairman of the Charter Review Commission.

Roach said this evening that City Attorney George Van Nest informed the commission that state law prohibits any other measure from being on the same ballot.

That means city officials will need to choose - new charter or push for consolidation.

"If we thought consolidation would pass, we would pull the charter," Roach said.

The Charter Commission's term expires, under state law, on election day. If there is no vote this November, then the city will need to appoint a new Charter Review Commission and the two-year process will start over.

Roach noted there are some issues in the revised charter that will not controversial, are critical. Among them the need to drop the requirement for the city to employee a City Engineer, a position that is currently vacant and is apparently no longer needed.  Also, under state law each member of the seven-member planning board should serve seven-year terms. The commission is recommending reducing the board to only five members so terms will be only five years (yes, that's the way state law works, according to Roach).

City Council President Charlie Mallow, a strong proponent of consolidation said to him there's no question, consolidation should be on the November ballot, not the charter.

Asked about the risk of the town not passing consolidation and then the city would need to start over on the charter, Mallow said, "That's the risk you have to take. That's something as an area we have to reach for."

City Manager Jason Molino, who serves on the consolidation committee, declined to say which choice he favored.

"It's up to the elected officials," Molino said. "If they feel fit to put it forward to the populace then they will."

June 22, 2009 - 6:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Fire crews are on scene at 14 Shady Lane, Batavia, off Route 33, where a gas was reportedly broken by somebody digging.

The broken line is apparently a main line.

UPDATE 6:40 p.m.: National Fuel on scene.

View Larger Map

June 22, 2009 - 1:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.


"Bear" is safe, much to the relief of Robert Zickl, the 11-year-old son of Asst. D.A. Will Zickl.

Young Robert was obviously distressed while firefighters were inside his home at 10 Woodcrest Drive, Batavia.  A paramedic said it was all she could do to keep him from from going into the house.

His father paced the driveway, running his fingers through his hair.

"As I came up, my very first thoughts were Robert, but then I saw him and his buddies over there (in the yard across the street), and I thought, 'that's good,'" Zickl said. "Soon it became an issue about Bear. He's very attached to his dog."

It didn't take long, though, for Bear to come running out of the front door and into the arms of Will Zickl.  Bystanders, including, I think, police, paramedics and firefighters, cheered when Bear came bounding out of the front door of the home.

Firefighters said the dog was hiding in a bedroom.

The fire probably started in the laundry room, according to Chief Ralph Hyde. He said the fire was contained to that area, but there is smoke damage throughout the house, and some water damage. Most of the water damage, he said, came from a water hose on the washer melting and spraying water.

The fire was spotted by a neighbor who alerted Zickl's brother Phil, who was in the back mowing the lawn. "You think that's a problem," the neighbor told Phil.

Phil immediately called 9-1-1 and then went to the house, not sure if Will's wife or his children were still inside.  He said he couldn't see in the house because of the smoke.  He touched the basement door and it was warm, so he stood aside as he opened it, and smoke came billowing out.

The fire was extinguished by city fire crews within 10 minutes of the initial 1 p.m. call.

All members of the Zickl household, including Bear, are safe and accounted for.


Top picture: Will Zickl with Bear. Bottom picture, Robert Zickl and Phil Zickl with Bear.

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