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March 29, 2020 - 4:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia First Presbyterian Church, religion, batavia.

Video: Sunday message from Pastor Roula Alkhouri, Batavia First Presbyterian Church.

March 29, 2020 - 12:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in Greta Patterson Hansen, batavia, history, news, New Pool, Swimarama.

This article is from the book "Back in the Day, Snapshots of Local History, The Way I See It," by Anne Marie Starowitz, 2017. Reprinted with permission from the author. 

Growing up in the ‘60s in Batavia would be considered very uneventful to today’s young people. The parks program was very popular and the highlight was the parks parade. Main Street was closed down for an afternoon to let all of the different parks parade their floats down Main Street. Young people played outside, made up their own games, and walked or rode their bikes.

In the winter the tennis courts were converted to an ice rink. In the summer the tennis courts would be used for evening dances. There was nothing like dancing under the stars on the tarmac of a tennis count.

The highlight of the summer of 1962 was the opening of the “New Pool.” How the pool became a reality was not important to the young people of Batavia. All they knew was the new pool meant happy days ahead. Young people would wait anxiously in line for the doors to open holding onto their 25 cents and waiting to get a key for a locker. No one ever noticed a plaque on the wall with the name Greta Patterson.

Greta Patterson was the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Guy Patterson of 41 Ellicott Ave. When Greta was two years old she began learning to swim. She loved to swim and did not have a fear of water. Some of her first lessons were in Branton’s pool on River Street. Mrs. Branton and her daughter Sibyl were her first swimming teachers. She also swam at the indoor pool of the New York State for the Blind School, YMCA, and Conesus Lake. She continued to swim during all of her school years.

Greta graduated in June 1955 from Batavia High School. Five days after her graduation she made swimming history. She swam fifteen miles from Angola, NY, to Crystal Beach, Ontario, in thirteen hours. As she exited the cold water of Lake Erie she was treated as a heroine. The day after her historical swim she was welcomed on the steps of Batavia City Hall by Mayor Herman Gabriel and was serenaded by St. Joseph’s Drum Corps. The radio station WBTA broadcast the event. In the same year her picture was in the November issue of Seventeen Magazine.

Her swimming achievement inspired the building of a city pool that would be completed seven years later. Members of the Kiwanis Club decided to launch a fund to build a swimming pool somewhere in the city. Several local social clubs joined the effort under the chairmanship of Robert DeLong. He was to head a fund-raising committee.

The first event was a public entertainment program that would be called a Swimarama. The event took place at the Batavia Downs and a Buffalo talent scout provided an all-star cast of entertainers. On August 8, 1955, 9,000 people sat in the stands at the Downs to watch the opening ceremonies. Leading the parade around the track was Greta Petterson riding in a sulky drawn by a racehorse. The entertainers followed in convertibles. The music of St. Joseph’s Drum Corps and the Brockport-Batavia Cavalier Drum Corps filled the air. There were singers, dancers, and impersonators. The event raised $6,000 for the new pool fund. The contributions were slowly coming in. In 1958 William Henry became the new chairman of the pool committee and he established a door-to-door drive hoping that every family would donate one dollar to the new pool fund. Finally, they were very close to their goal of $80,000.

In 1959 the building contract was awarded to Ed Leising to excavate a choice piece of land in MacArthur Park. The pool would measure 60 feet by 100 ft. and would accommodate 100 swimmers.

The pool opened July 9, 1962. People from the summer recreation program were trained to be lifeguards. The pool was never given an official name but the Kiwanis Club did place a plaque on the wall at the main entrance acknowledging Greta Patterson’s part in the creation of the pool. The pool will be forever called the “New Pool” for those young people that made the pool the highlight of that summer and many summers to come.

In 1991 the pool needed major repairs. Due to the high cost for repairs, the pool was closed and was filled with dirt and made into basketball courts. In 1997 the bathhouse was remodeled and made into the Batavia Youth Center. It was decided to ask Greta if she would accept the honor of having the new Youth Bureau dedicated to her. Greta Patterson Hansen was honored.

Greta’s history has come full circle from being Batavia’s famous swimmer, inspiring the community to create a community pool, to coming home and having the Batavia Youth Center dedicated in her name. Today the Batavia Youth Bureau is housed at 114 Liberty Street in St. Anthony’s former school.

Picture below and at top courtesy of Anne Marie Starowitz. Photo of the painting of Greta Patterson as a little girl, courtesy of the Holland Land Office Museum. The book "Back in the Day, Snapshots of Local History, The Way I See It," is available at the museum.

March 27, 2020 - 6:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Blondies Sip-N-Dip, business, batavia.


In December, Andy and Laura Pedro purchased Blondies Sip-N-Dip on East Main Street Road in Batavia. Today, they officially opened for the spring, summer, and fall seasons.

Because of social distancing restrictions, right now, they can't serve walk-in customers but they have opened a walk-up window and they can use that window to service drive-thru customers.

"Not ideal," said Andy, "but we'll make it work."

March 27, 2020 - 2:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones.

Madison Moore, of Batavia, was recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society. Moore was initiated at Ithaca College.

Moore is among approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year. Membership is by invitation only and requires nomination and approval by a chapter.

Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors are eligible for membership. Graduate students in the top 10 percent of the number of candidates for graduate degrees may also qualify, as do faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction.

Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 under the leadership of undergraduate student Marcus L. Urann who had a desire to create a different kind of honor society: one that recognized excellence in all academic disciplines. Today, the Society has chapters on more than 300 campuses in the United States and the Philippines. Its mission is "To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others."

More About Phi Kappa Phi

Since its founding, more than 1.5 million members have been initiated into Phi Kappa Phi. Some of the organization's notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, novelist John Grisham and YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley. Each year, Phi Kappa Phi awards nearly $1 million to outstanding students and members through graduate and dissertation fellowships, undergraduate study abroad grants, funding for post-baccalaureate development, and grants for local, national and international literacy initiatives. For more information about Phi Kappa Phi, visit www.phikappaphi.org.

March 27, 2020 - 2:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tops Markets, news, batavia, notify.

New York has delayed its plastic bag ban because of the coronavirus crisis until May 15 and Tops in Batavia is allowing customers the option of plastic bags, a spokeswoman for the grocery store chain said.

"Tops is temporarily not enforcing (the plastic bag ban) in order to help with sanitation concerns surrounding reusable bags and COVID-19," Kathleen A. Sautter said. "If a customer brings in a reusable bag and does not bag their own groceries themselves, the cashier will then bag their groceries in either a plastic or paper bag free of charge. This procedure will be rolled out at all of our stores until further notice."

UPDATE: This morning (March 27), Tops spokeswoman Kathleen A. Sautter corrected the information she provided Friday to say that paper bags will cost customers 5 cents each, but plastic will be free.

March 27, 2020 - 1:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, batavia, news.

A two-vehicle collision with minor injuries is reported in front of Miss Batavia Diner at 566 E. Main St. in the city. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

March 26, 2020 - 2:46pm
Press release:

The Salvation Army in Genesee County in cooperation with FoodLink and Northgate Free Methodist Church in Batavia announce two upcoming distribution dates for a “Pop Up” Mobile Food Pantry.

We know that many in our community have relied on the once monthly Mobile Food Pantry hosted at The Salvation Army’s Main Street location. Due to current events, this will not be possible for the foreseeable future.

Beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday, March 27th, and again on Wednesday, April 1st, The Salvation Army will oversee the food distributions at Northgate Free Methodist Church, located at 8160 Bank Street Road.

This will be done as a “drive-thru” distribution to insure social distancing and proper hygiene.

Residents are asked to pull into the church lot and go around the back of the building via the north side. Pull up to the pallets and volunteers will load the items for you.

Do not get out of your car or attempt to help. This will continue until all the products are gone.

Items vary but always include fresh produce. We cannot guarantee any particular items or quantities of items.

There are no residency requirements or financial restrictions in order to take part in this distribution.


Please arrive no earlier than 9 o'clock as the lot will be closed. We will need time to set up and organize.

We will open the lot at 9 in the morning and begin as soon as we are set up and ready.

March 26, 2020 - 2:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, history, news, video, batavia, coronavirus.
Video Sponsor

We're talking with Genesee County Historian Michael Eula about the 1918 global flu pandemic, better known as the "Spanish Flu" and its impact on Batavia.

We had technical difficulties -- we're going to try again.

March 26, 2020 - 1:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in Tops, news, batavia, Le Roy.

Press release:

Beginning as early as today (March 26), Tops will be rolling our additional safety measures at all of its 162 stores in New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont. There are two Tops stores in Genesee County, in Batavia and Le Roy.

Those safety measures include installing plexiglas shields on as many of their front-end registers as possible. Where plexiglas cannot be affixed because of equipment limitations, associates will be provided with protective face shields which will also be used by Tops associates working in our pharmacy department and at our customer service desk.

This installation process will take place over the course of the next few weeks.

These safety measures are in addition to Tops existing PPE (personal protection equipment) procedures, which include providing gloves for their associates, hand sanitizer and wipes for their associates and customers respectively; and the newly instituted Comfort Zone areas at the registers providing more social distancing between customers as well as the customer and Tops associate.

Additionally there is an associate assigned at each store specifically in charge of sanitization of the front-end registers, check stands, conveyor belts, customer service desks, point-of-sale devices and other frequently touched surfaces most accessed by customers on a continual basis during operating hours.

March 26, 2020 - 11:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Lipson Cancer Institute, UMMC, news, batavia.

When patients complete treatments at the Lipson Cancer Institute, there is a bell the patient rings inside the institute. But with social distancing restrictions, there are few people around to hear it. This morning, when Jody Breslin, who is also radiologic technology at UMMC, completed her treatments, staff lined Summit Street to ring handbells to celebrate the end of her treatment.

March 25, 2020 - 12:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia, Le Roy.

Amanda S. McDonald, 26, of Ellsworth Avenue, Batavia, is charged with making unreasonable noise. She was arrested at 9:13 p.m. on March 13 after she allegedly played unreasonably loud music at her residence, an upstairs apartment in the 100 block of Ellsworth Avenue, which "could be heard several houses away." McDonald was processed, issued an appearance ticket for Batavia City Court, and she is due there on March 31. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Wesley Rissinger, assisted by Officer Adam Tucker.

Derrick Roy Kio, 29, of North Road, Le Roy, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. The defendant was arrested at 12:45 p.m. on March 19 on North Road in Le Roy after he asked law enforcement for help in removing a person from his residence who was not welcome there. Upon arrival, it was discovered that an order of protection was in place directing Kio to stay away from the other person and that they had been living together for quite some time, in violation of the order of protection. He was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Le Roy and is due there May 11. The case was handled Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Erion.

Josie R. Panepinto, 18, of Ellicott Avenue, Batavia, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. Panepinto was arrested after allegedly damaging another person's property during a domestic incident at 8:45 p.m. on Maple Street in Batavia. The defendant was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on May 19. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Miah Stevens.

Douglas J. Taylor, 31, of Church Street, Medina, is charged with petit larceny and possession of a hypodermic instrument. At 11:11 a.m. on March 20, Douglas was arrested on the charges at the Dollar General Store on East Main Street in Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket to be in Batavia City Court on May 19. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Peter Post.

Taylor L. Finnin, 27, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of drug paraphernalia in the second degree. Finnin was arrested at 3:49 p.m. March 12 on Swan Street in Batavia. The defendant was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on March 24. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Connor Borchert, assisted by Officer Wesley Rissinger.

Daniel G. Cherry Jr., 22, of Middle Road, Munnsville, and John R. Gorton (no age or residence provided) are charged with unlawful possession of marijuana in the second degree. They were arrested at 1:12 a.m. on March 14 in the Eastown Plaza parking lot on East Main Street in Batavia after a complaint of two males smoking marijuana in a vehicle. Both men were issued appearance tickets then released from custody. They are due in Batavia City Court on March 31. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Alec Roberts, assisted by Officer Jordan McGinnis.

March 24, 2020 - 4:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, batavia, news.

A motor-vehicle accident with unknown injuries is reported in the city at North and Summit streets. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

March 24, 2020 - 3:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, batavia, UMMC, covid-19, coronavirus.


As a precautionary measure, UMMC has erected tents outside its Emergency Department to help triage patients if it becomes necessary to deal with an overflow of people during the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a previous interview, CEO Dan Ireland emphasized this is an act of preparedness and not a signal that they're already needed.


March 23, 2020 - 5:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Tops Friendly Markets, jobs, employment, batavia, Le Roy.

Press release:

While the current situation hasn’t been easy on anyone, if you find yourself or someone you know looking for a job, Tops Friendly Markets is hiring for temporary and permanent positions and they welcome your application.

Stop by any one of Tops' 162 stores, their warehouse in Lancaster, NY, or visit here online to learn more.

March 23, 2020 - 11:43am

Press release:

During this COVID-19 pandemic, Rochester Regional Health remains focused on the health of our community and continuing to deliver safe and accessible care for individuals who need it. Effective today, March 23, we are temporarily redirecting all lab draw services to the Rochester Regional Health Laboratory located at:

  • Rochester Regional Health Laboratory City Center, 106 Main St., Suite 47B, Batavia

Our Batavia (16 Bank St.), Le Roy (3 Tountas Ave.), and Pembroke (860 Main St.) laboratory service centers are closed until further notice. We appreciate your understanding.

March 23, 2020 - 10:47am

Press release:

Area health care practices are seeking ways to help their patients while simultaneously minimizing coronavirus spread. Sleep Insights, a local sleep medicine practice in Batavia, has quickly implemented an effective option for patients seeking help with their sleep: telehealth.

Telehealth refers to the exchange of medical information from one site to another through electronic communication. A live interaction (think FaceTime, Skype or videochat) between a health professional and a patient provides a virtual alternative to the traditional in-person doctor’s visit. This interaction is commonly referred to as telemedicine.

Last week, the sleep medicine practice began moving all scheduled appointments at their 10 regional locations to a telemedicine platform.

In addition, people who need a new patient visit, follow-up appointment or CPAP setup are also able to be seen via telemedicine. Home sleep apnea testing is still being offered and CPAP supplies are available; both will be mailed to patients when possible. Noncritical overnight sleep testing will be suspended at certain locations.

“Since we’re an independent practice and not part of a healthcare or hospital system, it allows us to creatively and quickly respond to unique situations such as COVID-19,” said Dr. Jacob Dominik, Sleep Insights’ medical director. “Fortunately for patients, telemedicine is relatively easy to implement at all our locations and patients can ‘see’ someone at any of our 10 locations.”

If a patient is interested in using telemedicine, Sleep Insights provides the patient with setup instructions to be completed prior to their appointment. The patient and provider each need a private environment, such as an enclosed, private room in someone’s home or office. A secure internet or cellphone connection and working camera on an iPhone/Android, laptop, computer, or iPad are also needed.

Both New York State and Medicare have waived previous restrictions in the use of telemedicine. Telemedicine now covers all medical services and is available to all patients from any geographical location.

Sleep Insights Batavia is accepting new patients and sleep testing patients: 585.219.4330 or visit www.sleepinsights.com.

About Sleep Insights

Founded in 2005, Sleep Insights is a regional, integrated sleep medicine practice offering consultative, diagnostic testing and sleep therapy services. Sleep Insights is an independent sleep center, not owned by or affiliated with a hospital. The company’s main site is in Rochester, NY, with 10 locations throughout Central and Western New York: Rochester, Syracuse, Batavia, Geneseo, Dansville, Niagara Falls, North Buffalo, Batavia, Orchard Park, Springville and Olean.

Sleep Insights provides sleep specialist appointments, home sleep apnea testing, overnight sleep testing, respiratory therapists, CPAP supplies, and the latest sleep therapies in one convenient location and under the supervision of board-certified sleep specialists.

Patients are seen at Sleep Insights for a variety of sleep disorders that can affect their sleep quality and ability to function. Some of the most common conditions impacting sleep include snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia, daytime sleepiness and fatigue, restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy and parasomnias, which are abnormal behaviors during sleep.

March 23, 2020 - 10:30am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, Cornell Cooperative Extension office.

Press release:

In keeping with the Governor’s proclamation regarding business closures, Cornell Cooperative Extension, 420 E. Main St. in Batavia, closed Saturday, March 21, until further notice.

You may call our offices at 585-343-3040 with questions. We will return your call as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your understanding and please know that the Cornell staff is eager to return to work to serve the people of Batavia and Genesee County.

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