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July 21, 2009 - 5:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, genesee county, weather.

A severe thunderstorm warning for Genesee County has been issued until 6 p.m. by the National Weather Service.

Large hail, heavy rain, damaging wind and lightning are expected. Stormy conditions could continue, with a 60 percent chance of rain expected tomorrow.

July 21, 2009 - 9:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, events.

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This Harley Fatboy will be awarded to a lucky winner of the Town of Batavia Volunteer Fire Department during community event Saturday, with the first drawing at 8 p.m. to midnight.

There will be food from Clor's and music by 7th Heaven.

The event is at the Town of Batavia Fire Department Recreation Hall, 8380 Lewiston Road.

July 21, 2009 - 9:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, traffic, Oak Street.


Word is this morning, driver frustration is high on Oak Street, as portions of the road have been reduced to a single lane near Main Street.  Traffic is backing up southbound with occasional long lines both east and west on Main (but, then, long lines at Main and Oak aren't unusual).  A DOT supervisor at the site said "if the weather cooperates" the work will be done, from Oak to the Thurway, will be done in three days.

Meanwhile, if you're coming from into town from north of the Thruway, consider entering Batavia on State Street.

July 21, 2009 - 8:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

We just received this message from the Chief Jerome Brewster, Genesee County Sheriff's Office:

Yesterday, we investigated a series of larcenies from parked vehicles along Hopkins Road, T/Batavia. Deputy Thompson reported that approximately 20 vehicles were entered, none forcibly, and items removed. Thefts occurred during the early morning hours of July 20 (approximately 12 AM to 5:30AM). We ask that anyone with information please contact us at 345-3000 x3227 (Deputy Thompson) or call the main number at 343-5000. Attached below are photographs of  two bicycles that were found in the area. We hope that some of your viewers might be able to identify the owners for us.

UPDATE: Deputy Brian Thompson sends along this update:

Just to clarify for your readers the Huffy bike in photograph is  Orange in color. The photo shows pink probably due to flourescence? (SP)

These bikes are probably not the culprits but maybe. They were left on peanut  tracks just off from Hopkins Rd. along with some dropped evidence. The  entries into vehicle happened Sunday Night and Early Monday Morning. 11:30 to  12:00 PM to about 05:30 AM.

Please remind readers to keep valuables in house and cars locked. Different  age we now live in!! Thanks for your valuable service!

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July 20, 2009 - 6:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Doty Mansion.

stoddard_dotymansion.jpgIf you're fascinated by the Doty Mansion, here's a rare chance to see inside.  I just received this e-mail from Lisa Stoddard, who owns the grand old home with her husband, Tim.

We'll be having an open house this Thursday the 23rd  at 7:00 pm and another one Thurs, July 30th at 7:00 pm. This will  be for the lower apt. Any perspective tenants will have a chance to see the apt. and fill out an application at those times. Nosy neighbors are welcome!! and anyone else interested in the history and the architecture. People should park on Highland Ave and go up the back driveway to the first door by the mailboxes.

Previously: Batavia couple slowly, lovingly restoring one of city's grand old mansions

July 20, 2009 - 2:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, consolidation, taxes.

In discussing consolidation, much has been made of the negative property tax rate paid by Town of Batavia residents -- a nice benefit that may or may not survive the town's need for infrastructure improvements and the potential of a change to sales tax distribution in a few years -- but one hidden impact of the town's tax structure is the benefit derived by the multinational corporations that populate Veterans Memorial Drive.

These corporations -- already beneficiaries of billions and billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies across the USA -- also get a tax break being located in the town.

This is as an additional unfair competitive advantage the big box retailers have over City of Batavia businesses and another issue that will need to be addressed in consolidation.

Town Supervisor Greg Post mentioned to me last week that the town invested millions, in his words, in making it possible for the big box stores to locate in the town. I'm not sure how what he means by that statement, but any large scale investment by the town -- which he sees as a positive -- is a further reason to ensure these businesses are taxed fairly and competitively, on par with other businesses in the region.

Of course, a world of no taxes is ideal, but when you're talking about the vitality of a community, protecting your small businesses form the unfair advantages of multinational retailers should be a priority on the community agenda.

Should consolidation pass, when it comes time to write a new charter, this tax inequality issue must be addressed. And if consolidation doesn't pass, the town board owes it to the community fix this inequity.

The businesses on Veterans Memorial Drive require a good deal law enforcement (an expense shared by the entire county), fire and infrastructure support. The chains should be paying their fair share of taxes just for that reason.

Protecting and enhancing downtown, as well as the diversity of other small, locally owned businesses is essential to the vitality and health of Genesee County.  Allowing the big boxes to avoid an equal tax burden with other businesses threatens one of our greatest resources -- our independent businesses.

July 20, 2009 - 9:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Ramble Music & Arts Fest.


Sue Cappiello, right, a Batavia native now living in California, won a new Schecter Tempest electric guitar when her winning ticket was drawn in a raffle at last weekend's Batavia Ramble. The raffle was held to raise funds for the Mental Health Association in Genesee County. Here, she poses with MHA staff member Charley DelPlato and her new guitar. (Picture and caption submitted by Sue Gagne)

July 20, 2009 - 7:26am
posted by St. Joseph School in batavia, st. joseph school, Vacation Bible School.
Event Date and Time: 
August 3, 2009 - 9:00am to August 7, 2009 - 12:00pm

St. Joseph School of Batavia, Vacation Bible School
"Adventure Canyon"
August 3rd - 7th
9AM - Noon
ages entering-K through grade-6
$5 per child
$12 for family of 3 or more
call 343-9660 to register

July 20, 2009 - 7:22am
posted by St. Joseph School in batavia, st. joseph school, Bingo, Friday.
Event Date and Time: 
July 24, 2009 - 5:30pm to December 18, 2009 - 5:30pm

Friday Night Bingo at St. Mary's Church Hall

  • Doors open at 5:30, games begin at 7:30
  • Split pots
  • progressive pot
  • raffles
  • food available

All proceeds benefit the children of St. Joseph School

July 17, 2009 - 9:14pm
posted by Patricia Hawley in batavia, Announcements, sports.

BATAVIA -- GeneseExcel Sports is pleased to announce several additions to its roster of coaches for their Premier Soccer Camp with Liz Masterson. According to Ted Hawley, Camp Coordinator, “We’re lucky to have such a high level of coaching staff come in for this camp.” Along with Liz Masterson, captain of the Rhino’s W-League and Elmira College Women’s Soccer Coach, “we have coaches from the Buffalo Flash, from the Olympic Development Program, as well as collegiate stars,” Hawley added. Because of the staff additions, the sign-up deadline has been extended to July 22. “We’re confident that local athletes from the surrounding region will benefit from this unique opportunity to interact with coaches of this caliber.” The camp is scheduled from July 30 through August 1 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m at the Community Fields Complex, Bank St. Rd., Batavia (at the Saile Dr. intersection). Ages 9 – 22 are welcome. Cost for the 3-day event is $130.00. Pre-registration is necessary; walk-ins will not be accepted. For more information, call 585.343.3329 or email [email protected]. Staff includes:

Jon Poulakis:
Jon Poulakis is a thirty-year coaching veteran and holds a USSF National license.  He has coached at every level of soccer including Pro-AM, high school, and at the collegiate including the University of Tennessee, Rochester Institute of Technology and William Smith College. He was the Olympic Development Program coach for the State of Tennessee and the Girls’ U-17 coach New York State.  He has coached both travel and premier teams and was one of the founders of the Rochester Spirit, the first Girls’ Premier Club in Rochester. Furthermore, Jon is on the teaching staff at the University of North Carolina for the summer camps with Anson Dorrance He is currently the Director of Coaches for the Irondequoit Soccer Club and the Director of Youth
Development for the Western New York Futbol Club.

Jacquie Lacek:
Jacquie Lacek played 4 years at Central Michigan University from 2003-2006 before joining several W-League teams including the Rochester Ravens, Rochester Rhinos, and West Michigan Firewomen. She is currently rostered on the Buffalo Flash and is the assistant coach for the U-17 Empire Buffalo girls. Jacquie has been a camp facilitator at numerous camps throughout the Western NY region including: Pittsford Mendon, St. John Fisher College, Rochester Ravens, Midland Soccer Club, ODP tryouts in Region III (Michigan), and Assistant coach for the Rochester Jr. Rhinos U-13 Girl’s soccer team in 2004.

Brittany Kinmond:
Brittany began playing for the Rochester Jr. Rhinos before moving up to the Rochester Rhinos at the age of 15. Currently playing for the Rochester Ravens, Brittany will be a senior at Spencerport High School this fall, where she hopes to break the100 goal mark!  Named to the All-Greater Rochester team for the past two years, she was also selected as All-Greater Rochester Player of the Year in 2008.  Brittany will attend Syracuse University this January.

Adam Palumbo:
Adam has served on the coaching staff for several local clubs including Irondequoit Soccer Academy, Western New York Futbol Club, and North West Elite Soccer Camp (Seattle, WA). He was the assistant coach for Rochester Women's Rhinos in 2008. A National D and E license holder, Palumbo played soccer at Nazareth College and was a two-time Empire State member. 

Rachel Kruze:
Rachel graduated from West Virginia University and played in the WUSA for the Philadelphia Charge. She also played professionally in Iceland. As a member of the Rochester Rhinos, she captained that team for two seasons. Rachel coaches Hornell High School’s JV squad and assists with the varsity squad.

Gretchen Hawley:
As a member of the Batavia High School Varsity Soccer team, Gretchen earned 2nd team All-County and was twice recognized for All-Greater Rochester Honorable Mention. She was also singled out as a 1st team All County player. Gretchen captained the squad in her senior year before heading to Elmira College to play for the Soaring Eagles. This year, the 3-year veteran on the varsity squad will be returning for her 4th and final season.  She has received the Unsung Hero award and has started every match but one for the last two seasons. She will graduate in spring 2010 with a degree in Biology.  

Ellie Hamilton:
Ellie graduated from Victor High School this spring where she received All Greater Rochester recognitions as well as Team Offensive MVP (2008). A member of the Doug Miller Soccer Club, she will be attending Elmira College in the fall to join the women’s varsity soccer team.

July 17, 2009 - 7:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, pembroke.


A two-alarm fire at a house in Pembroke was called in shortly before 7 p.m. and reported knocked down at 7:09. It was at 8219 Remson Road. A crew of four firefighters was sent in to relieve another four-person crew at 7:16, which had gone into the home to check for inhabitants.

The fire site was in the West part of Genesess County. No reports of any inhabitants, injuries or property damage yet available.

UPDATE (by Howard): I went to the scene and it was pretty much over by the time I got there, and not much to see.  It was an electrical fire that started in the basement.  There was some damage to the home on the ground floor. I'll have some audio from the incident commander in a bit. There were no injuries either to the residents or firefighters.

UPDATE: Audio Report from the Scene

July 17, 2009 - 12:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.


Now here's something you don't see on Main Street every day -- I have no idea what this protest parade is about. The guy in denim is holding a sign that says "Free ..." and I could not read the rest. I didn't get a better picture because I wasn't looking through viewfinder -- I was too busy trying to read the dang sign and figure out what this was about. I'm hoping they walk back by on the south side of Main, and if they do, I can ask what this is about. Anybody know what those two flags in the back are? (and thanks to whomever texted me to alert me, or I might not have noticed -- hope you weren't texting while you were driving!)

UPDATE: From a reader:

The one with the star on a blue field is Burma

The Star on red is the flag of the National League of Democracy--a Burmese group for peace.

There was a van parked out front for awhile that had a sign on the side that said "March for Burma, Ft. Wayne, IN to NYC"

From another reader:

I'm guessing the protest is to free Aung San Suu Kyi, the world's only incarcerated Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Could be wrong -- but there's been some news about her. And the other flag - though I can't really tell what it really looks like -- looks like the ones she has pictures with.

July 17, 2009 - 11:26am
posted by Charley Boyd in batavia, irish, mcmahon school.

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It’s not just the advanced dancers collecting medals and trophies at the McMahon School of Irish Dance.  Their Under Age 7 Three-Hand won first place at the Rochester Feis on Saturday, July 11, where more than 1000 dancers from a number of states and Canada competed.   Pictured are Courtnee Yasses, Ty Heineman, and Sarah McGinnis who all attend the Batavia location of the McMahon School (GCC). 

Overall at this competition, the McMahon dancers who participated received 32 medals and trophies, including 6 first place awards, and a first place by Rachel Prutsman at the Preliminary Championship level. 

Other dancers that competed were Madison Ball, Maeve Cooper, Jennifer Crossen, Taylor Heineman, Courtney Kacur, Quinn Kacur, Elayna Kinney, Katelyn Knoll, Megan Knoll, Magdelyn McGinnis, Shelby McGinnis, Valerie Mostyn, Eileen Torres, and Ashlee Yasses.  All dancers are instructed by World-Certified Instructor Moira McMahon.  For class information please visit www.McMahonIrishDance.com

July 17, 2009 - 11:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.


An eight-car funeral procession passed through Main Street off of Bank a few minutes ago -- smooth as silk, even with DPW crew setting up to paint the crosswalk on Bank Street (far right of picture).

July 17, 2009 - 10:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.


Sometimes, I don't even need to leave the office to find something interesting to post. I just look out my window.

A few minutes ago, I happened to glance out and spot this group of, um, chefs?, on Main and Bank.

I have no idea what this is about.

UPDATE: Just received this from Melinda Chamberlin:

You might be wondering what was going on today in Batavia when a bunch of student chefs were seen walking across Main Street. 

The Genesee County Business Education Alliance is an organization directed by Melinda Chamberlin.  The organization works to foster partnerships between business and education and to prepare students for the world of work.  Each summer, the BEA offers two career camps for students who will be entering 7th or 8th grade in the fall. 

The 2009 Culinary Arts Camp was Monday, July 13 – Friday, July 17, 8:30am-12:30pm.  The camp began on Monday with a tour and a behind-the-scenes look at the operations of Tops Food Market.  Tuesday through Thursday was spent learning culinary skills and cooking under the tutelage of Chef Kyle Haak, the Genesee Valley BOCES Culinary Arts Instructor.  Some of the food that the students prepared included: ham and cheese frittatas, orange flavored French toast, roasted potatoes, oven fried chicken tenders, broccoli with homemade cheese sauce, brownies with a chocolate glaze, scones with strawberries and homemade whipped cream, and frozen smoothie popsicles.  The students all received aprons, chef hats, cookbooks, and cookbook holders.  The cookbook, There’s a Chef in My Soup: Recipes for the Kid in Everyone by Emeril Lagasse, provided the majority of the recipes.  Chef Kyle Haak shared some of his personal recipes with the students.  The final day of the camp was spent touring restaurants in downtown Batavia.  The camp started at Jackson Street Grille/Belladessa’s where each student made their own personal pizzas.  Then, they proceeded across Main Street to Sunny’s Restaurant where they all helped make the garlic butter.  At Larry’s Steakhouse, the students learned about the differences in the cuts of meat offered on the menu.  The students wrapped up the tour and the camp back at Jackson Street Grille/Belladessa’s where they enjoyed their pizzas. 

The other career camp offered this summer is M.A.S.H. (Medical Academy of Science and Health) Camp.  It is July 28 – 31.  Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:30am-4:30pm, the camp will be hosted by United Memorial Medical Center.  Thursday, 8:30am-4:30pm, the camp will be at the New York State School for the Blind.  The final day of the camp will be a half day, 8:30am-12:30pm, at the Genesee County Nursing Home.  Students will receive scrubs and other medical tools.  The camp is $35.

If you are interested, have questions, or would like to register a student, please contact Melinda Chamberlin at 343-7440 ext. 25 or at [email protected].  Transportation is not provided. 

July 17, 2009 - 9:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Here in Batavia, we've had a bit of a problem recently with a thief or thieves breaking into unlocked cars and taking whatever isn't screwed down.

It doesn't just happen in Batavia, of course.  Places like Fargo, N.D. have thieves, too.

Of course, our thieves don't leave notes telling car owners they should have locked their car.

Neary was about to leave for work Wednesday morning when he discovered a note on a B.B. King CD sitting on the console of his unlocked 1999 Cadillac Escalade in his south Fargo driveway.

“You have amazing taste in music,” the note read. “Don’t worry about your credit cards and driver’s license – I know I can’t use them … after tonight at least. Seriously though, lock your car in the future.”

Sure enough, four of Neary’s bank cards were gone along with his license, $60 in cash and a flashlight. The wallet was still inside the vehicle along with Neary’s Social Security card. A GPS unit inside another family car also was taken.

Neary had left the keys in the ignition of his SUV, his wallet in the console and the doors unlocked.

July 17, 2009 - 1:02am
posted by Robin Walters in batavia.

We were at Columbia Avenue tonight for our weekly cookout. I got to tell you there was alot of old fashioned fun going on! With Pastor George Williams playing his washboard to jump roping on the streets! Our Care-A-Van band is growing! Tonight we had Dave Hollenbach, Rich Campbell, Roxy Yeager, Mike and Shirley Wagner, Kara Laird, Pastor Williams, Pastor Charlie Piscitello, and Dave Scherff and son join us.  We are always looking for more volunteers. Anyone good at face painting? The kids would love it!

the washboard.jpg

I loved the sound of the ole washboard!

Care-A-Van band singing to their heart's content

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Pastor Charlie Piscitello and seeing eye dog Wolf

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Whether they were young or old, they enjoyed jumping on the street!

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Our friend Rick who is a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and is from out of state enjoyed the time on the streets tonight!

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 We are so ever grateful for the continued support of all of  you in the community who help us go forth to make a difference. We will be back on Columbia Avenue this Sunday at 2:30 for Street church. Come on out and join us!

God Bless and Keep the Light On!

Robin Walters, Public Relations Director Care-A-Van Ministries

July 16, 2009 - 1:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Oliver's Candies.


It's been non-stop kids since 11 a.m. at Oliver's Candies, where the Jelly Belly RV made a stop today.  The RV will be at Oliver's until 3 p.m.


July 15, 2009 - 2:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, Oakfield.


The driver of a 1996 Pontiac was injured Monday night in a single-car rollover accident on Route 63 near Galloway Road in Batavia.

C.J. Friesma, 24, of 27 S. Pearl St., Apt. 3, Oakfield, reportedly told Deputy C.A. Parker that he lost control of the car for reasons unknown. He was driving southbound on 63 when the car began a counter-clockwise rotation. The car traveled across the northbound lane and down an embankment, where it overturned.

Friesma reportedly suffered a shoulder injury and was transported to UMMC.

The Pontiac's owner, Nicole E. Friesma, of Oakfield, told Parker that she called Friesma about 11:15 p.m. to pick her up from work, and he was asleep.

The accident occurred about 11:25 p.m.

(Picture submitted by Chief Robert Hunt, Town of Batavia Fire Department)

July 15, 2009 - 9:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, genesee county, Mercy Flight, ambulance.

Employees of Mercy Flight's ground ambulance service in Genesee County can expect to be held to high standards, CEO Douglas H. Baker told a gathering of local leaders last night in a meeting the Fire Training Center.

"I'll probably be in Genesee County more than you want to see me," Baker said. "I'll be here nearly every day. I'm going to make sure that this is either done my way, or it's not going to be done at all. We're not going to be embarrassed."

Baker made it clear that Mercy Flight employees will be expected to be professional, compassionate, courteous and enthusiastic. He said while the job is hard at times and enthusiasm can wane, he expects employees to reflect his enthusiasm for the profession.

"When our crews respond, they will be kind and responsive," Baker said. "If they're not, I don't care how good of an EMT they are, they're not going to work for us."

Baker said he expects the level of service in the county to be the same or better under Mercy Flight.

The organization has ordered four new ambulances that are in production now.

While it remains Mercy Flight's goal to retain as many city ambulance service personnel as possible, all potential employees will need to pass a background check and make it through an interview process.

"We're not going to hire somebody just because they're working now," Baker said.

But he also assured leaders that the new service will seem very familiar to them because they will see a lot of familiar faces and many of the same policies and practices that current personnel are using will remain in place.

"In general we will keep doing what you've been doing for all these years, unless you want us to change," Baker said. "We intend not to change, not even the people."

Indicating that Mercy Flight's goal is to be responsive to community concerns, Baker said that if officials aren't happy with anything that Mercy Flight is doing, it's their responsibility to make sure Mercy Flight managers or executives know about the problems so they can be addressed.

Ambulances will be based at UMMC North Street, UMMC Bank Street and at the airport, with another kept on standby. If it proves that that configuration isn't working for the community, and the statistics back up any issues identified, Mercy Flight will move ambulances to new bases as needed. And if necessary, Mercy Flight will add a fourth, or even a fifth crew, if it turns out more resources are needed to meet guaranteed response times.

"I don't want to be making decisions about where the ambulances should be," Baker said. "I want the community to decide where the ambulances should be."

Each municipality is being asked to sign a contract with Mercy Flight, but if officials from a particular town or city don't sign, Mercy Flight will still respond to emergencies in those communities. The only difference is the local leaders will not be able to hold Mercy Flight to guaranteed response times.

"I'm thrilled for an opportunity for a contract," said Town of Batavia Supervisor Greg Post after the meeting.  "I think they carry the greatest degree of professionalism. And I'm pleased there's another step in getting government out of the ambulance business."

Batavia City Councilman Sam Baron also said he feels good about Mercy Flight coming into Batavia. He said city residents can feel confident that the level of ambulance service under Mercy Flight will be just the same as what they've had in the past.

AUDIO: After the meeting, I recorded a separate interview with Mr. Baker.

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