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May 11, 2020 - 11:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in music, arts, education, news, batavia, Batavia HS.

The Genesee Wyoming Music Educators Association celebrates previous scholarship winner Andrea Gilebarto, a former Batavia High School who will graduate this spring with a degree in music education from SUNY Fredonia.

Press release:

Primary Instrument: Voice -- studying with Robert Strauss at SUNY Fredonia Secondary Instruments: Ukulele, Piano, and Flute

When asked what her favorite High School and College memories are Andrea Responded: My favorite high school experience is playing Mary Poppins in "Mary Poppins the musical." My favorite college musical experience was when I was in Chamber Choir under the direction of Dr. Vernon Huff. I think a close second was playing one of the stepsisters in the Hillman Opera's production of "Cendrillon" by Massenet, the French opera of the "Cinderella" story.

When asked where is your favorite performance venue you have performed at Andrea responded:

My favorite venue was when the Chamber Choir went to Churchville Chili High School to be a part of a promotional tour. We performed four songs that evening, and closed out the concert. The auditorium was huge and had plenty of space for our sound to resonate in. My favorite song we performed that night was "All My Trials" and "Rockin' Jerusalem," both arranged by Stacey Gibbs.

In addition to teaching, Andrea aspires to be a part of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus one day. She also aspires to be in more operas down the line.

When asked who her main influences are Andrea responded: My main musical influences are Joyce Didonato, Billy Joel and Luciano Pavarotti. I have tickets to see Billy Joel in concert, and cannot wait to see him live!

Andreas ultimate music goal is to be able to teach middle school general music and choral music while still having time to participate in an opera or a musical theater performance.

Andrea loves playing ukulele! She finds chords to pop songs she loves, and plays along to recordings.

We would like to congratulate Andrea on all of her accomplishments up to this point! We wish you much luck as you start your career as a music educator!

May 10, 2020 - 8:00am
posted by Billie Owens in nostaglia, batavia, news, 1960s.

Story and photos courtesy of Anne Marie Starowitz.

In touring the Holland Land Office Museum a visitor can be taken back to the time when Joseph Ellicott surveyed the land with the help of our Native Americans. They can imagine what it was like to cook on the hearth of a fireplace.

The numerous artifacts illustrate our early history. Every decade has its own memories and artifacts. Fast forwarding to the 1960s, people in their 60s might have shared some of these childhood memories with their children.

It always seems an exaggeration, the “hardships” our parents endured, until parents in their 60s are telling similar stories to their children.

In the ‘60s, your summer would include playing outside. What that really meant was you would create your own fun and the word “bored” was not part of your vocabulary.

Children still love to play kickball today, but kickball in the ‘60s was a game that could be played for hours. Where it was played was quite an adventure. If your front yard was big enough, that was where the bases would be put. The bases would be very creative depending on what you could find for the day.

Sandlot baseball games could be found in almost any vacant lot.

If you had a piece of cardboard from Max Pies Furniture Store you could be seen sliding down the side of the South Jackson Street overpass.

Other games included hopscotch and 7UP (not the game played in school today but one that involved a ball and a slanted roof). The players had to catch, bounce, and throw a ball in seven different ways. The one who completed the seven steps was the winner.

Rollerblades were unheard of but roller skates with ball bearings were the skates to own.

The skater needed to have a pair of shoes that had leather soles.

The skates were clamped on the shoes with a skate key.

They were quite heavy but if you were lucky enough to have a pair you learned how to maneuver them.

Misplacing the key was the biggest problem with these skates, so the skater would wear the key on a string around his or her neck.

If it was hot out, which seemed to be almost every day, a sprinkler was set up and you would run through it. There was a rope swing over the Tonawanda Creek for the daring swimmers at Kibbe Park.

Many children frequented the two wading pools in the city. In the winter the wading pools were transformed into ice rinks.

Young people also could ice-skate on the tennis courts at MacArthur Park with music playing and hot chocolate to warm them up.

On any given winter day there would be a line of children waiting to slide down the State Street Hill, today known as Centennial Park.

Backyard pools were very rare, but there was the Community Pool or as it was called by kids of the ‘60s, the New Pool. Most of the young people were very coordinated, probably because everything they did was outside, running, walking, hopping, riding a bike.

There were many versions of playing tag and there was a game called Spud (Scroll down the link's list of 30 classic children's games to find Spud).

There was also the saying that “when the street lights come on, you are to come home.”

A highlight of the summer was the Parks Program. A young person would be waiting at the park for the park supervisor to open the door to the day’s activity.

When a child would bring home a plaster of paris mold of "The Last Supper," the mom would say how much she loved it and would wonder what she was going to do with another mold from the park. It weighed a few pounds and was painted in multicolors and had a little hook attached to the back to hang it. Somehow next summer "The Last Supper” would be gone but another plaster of paris craft would soon be brought home to be admired by the parents.

Many dads were proud owners of rattlesnake ashtrays.

There were many activities that involved movement. There was the (pre-skateboard era) bongo board, a pogo stick, and tetherball (plus, jump rope and hand-clapping games*). Youngsters could also play baseball, ride bicycles or just plain walk.

Parks would play other parks in baseball and started preparing for the annual Parks Parade on the first day the parks opened.

One year the theme was "I Never Saw a Thing Like that!" Farrall Park created a "Zelepea," which had the head of an elephant, body of a zebra, and the tail of a peacock. The head moved and water squirted out of the nose.

Every park entered a float, scrapbook and crafts to be judged on the final day of the parks program.

One could not list all of the technology the young people today have at their disposal. In the ‘60s you were lucky if you had a transistor radio and a high fidelity stereo (Hi-Fi) to play your 45-RPM records on.

Popular music included The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Franki Valli & the Four Seasons to only name a few.

As far as a telephone, the phone was attached to the wall and if you were lucky it had a long cord you could stretch to another room or a closet for a little privacy.

Today a child learns at an early age, not only the rules of a fire drill, but how to react to an active shooter or a bomb threat.

People in their 60s remember the bomb drills that included hiding under their desks with their arms over their heads.

Young people today will someday have to share with their children what it was like to live in their decade. One cannot imagine using the story the people in their 60s heard when they were young -- “I had to walk to and from school in blizzards, rainstorms and extreme heat uphill both ways.”

Today, there is still the Parks Program. It has changed but then everything changes over time. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 there will not be a parks program this year.

These are only a few memories of growing up in the 1960s, unforgettable to those who lived them.

*(Watch an updated epic patty-cake demo.).

May 9, 2020 - 4:01pm

Press release:

Batavia-based Marktec Products Inc. recently sold and installed labeling equipment at the NYS Great Meadows Correctional Facility in Comstock to label hand sanitizer being produced there.

This hand sanitizer is supplied to high-risk communities and governmental entities in New York State through County Health Departments.

At the New York State Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Comstock, where hand sanitizer is produced, bottled, labeled and shipped, inmates previously applied labels by hand, which was a slow process and resulted in some labels being applied unevenly.

The containers are now labeled by inmates using three Advent Model 300 one-gallon labelers and one Advent Model 310 small-container labeler, resulting in labeling speeds of up to 20 containers per minute per machine.

Each labeling machine has a small digital ink-jet printer attached to it, to print the batch number and the date on each label.

Marktec Products Inc. is located at 8785 Ag Park Drive. Former Batavia City Councilman William E. Cox is president of the company, which makes automated systems for marking, labeling and packaging.

May 8, 2020 - 11:24am

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors voted to accept applications for two projects that will generate $9 million in capital investments.

Bright Oak Solar LLC is seeking incentives to construct a 4 megawatt community solar at a capital investment of $6 million project. The project would be located on Galloway Road in the Town of Batavia.

J & R Fancher Property Holdings LLC is investing $3 million to build a 32,254-square-foot, three-story facility to be constructed on two acres in the Buffalo East Technology Park* in the Town of Pembroke.

The project will add 17 market-rate, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments on the second and third floors, and an interior space comprised of four spaces for commercial tenants, as well as indoor parking and a fitness center.

“These projects continue the momentum in investments in residential housing and the renewable energy sectors,” said GCEDC Board Chair Paul Battaglia. “In just the first few months of 2020, we have projects that will create close to 100 new residential housing units and investments of approximately $28 million in renewable energy sector that will create 26 megawatts of solar energy.”

J & R Fancher Property Holdings LLC is requesting approximately $615,924 of property, sales and mortgage tax incentives. The project is estimated to produce $5.5 of economic impact for every $1 of proposed incentives.

Bright Oak Solar LLC is seeking approximately $978,656 in sales, mortgage and property tax exemptions.

The company will make PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) payments over the next 15 years, which are estimated to generate $122,610 in revenues to Genesee County and $257,845 in revenues to the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District. The total increase in PILOT payments and real property taxes for the project is estimated at $394,139 over 15 years.

Since both projects are seeking incentives over $100,000, public hearings will be conducted.

*Buffalo East Technology Park is located at the intersection of routes 5 and 77 and within a mile of Interstate 90 (Exit 48-A). Developed by the Genesee County Economic Development Center, the campus consists of 67 shovel-ready acres zoned for advanced manufacturing. It's home to artisan cheesemaker Yancey's Fancy, which constructed a 112,000-square-foot facility in 2014-2015, and is well suited for high-tech and green-tech projects, light manufacturing and distribution centers. -- Source: ZoomProspector.com

May 8, 2020 - 11:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, baseball, Batavia HS, batavia.

Tribute to Batavia High School's 2020 baseball team by Nickie Fazio.

May 7, 2020 - 3:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, scanner.

A female about 5 years old is reportedly walking alone down the roadway in the area of Watson and Thorpe streets on the Southside of the city. She appears to be "carrying a screwdriver in her mouth." City police are responding.

May 7, 2020 - 12:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, batavia.

Joshua Stanley Martaus, 36, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 7th degree. At 3:07 p.m. on May 5, a motor vehicle was stopped on Route 33 in the Town of Batavia following the alleged observation of a vehicle and traffic violation. The operator, Darlene Martaus, was driving while her privilege to do so is allegedly suspended in New York. Her passenger, Joshua Martaus, allegedly possessed crack cocaine at the time. Both were issued tickets to appear in Town of Batavia Court on June 8. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan DeLong, assisted by Deputy Andrew Mullen.

David E. Brege Jr., 33, of West Center Street, Medina, was arrested May 5 by the Genesee County Local Drug Task Force. He is charged with: unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation; and possession of a hypodermic instrument, a misdemeanor. His arrest followed a complaint investigated by the City of Batavia Police Department wherein he was allegedly found in possession of marijuana and hypodermic needles on West Main Street in Batavia. Brege was issued a computer-generated appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court at a later date. Additional charges are possible pending results from the Monroe County Crime Lab. In addition to city police, this investigation was assisted by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office and the Genesee County District Attorney's Office.

May 6, 2020 - 12:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business, batavia.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider a proposal from Bright Oak Solar LLC for a 4-megawatt community solar project at the GCEDC’s May 7 board meeting.

The proposed $6 million project would be located on Galloway Road in the Town of Batavia.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting will be conducted via conference and online at www.gcedc.com. The meeting starts at 4 p.m.

Bright Oak Solar LLC is the sixth community solar project proposed to the GCEDC board in 2020. If the project is approved, the projects combined would generate approximately $28 million of capital investments in the County ultimately generating up to 26 megawatts of solar energy.

The proposed incentives would set PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) payments over the next 15 years, which are estimated to generate $122,610 in revenues to Genesee County and $257,845 in revenues to the Oakfield-Alabama Central Schools.

The total increase in PILOT payments and real property taxes for the project is estimated at $394,139 over 15 years.

If the project’s application is accepted, a public hearing would be held in advance of a final resolution for project incentives.

May 6, 2020 - 12:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, news, music, arts, education, schools.

Lydia Geiger is the second winner of a 2020 John Mikulski Scholarship announced by the Genesee Wyoming Music Educators Association. 

Geiger is a senior at Batavia High School. Her primary interest is flute.

Press release:

When asked what her greatest HS memory was Lydia responded: 
College visits and auditions, masterclasses, lessons, and playing in orchestras.

Lydia's goal is to become a music educator and performer.

When asked what her favorite performance venue she had performed at she responded: 
The Musical Arts Center at The Jacobs School of Music in 2018 with the Indiana University Summer Music Clinic Orchestra. We performed Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5.

Lydia's main influences are her music teachers.

Lydia is undecided as to where she will be attending school for Music however she has these amazing colleges to choose from: 
Schulich School of Music at McGill University, Ithaca College, Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, or SUNY Potsdam.

Lydia is very excited to be performing at the Wiener Musikverein in Vienna, Austria with the Honors Performance Series in 2021.

May 6, 2020 - 11:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
          Roy Watson

A 51-year-old Rochester man was arrested Monday on drug charges following a traffic stop on Route 98 in Batavia by members of the Local Drug Task Force.

Roy L. Watson is charged with:

  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd;
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th;
  • Driver's view obstructed;
  • Unauthorized sticker;
  • Possession of an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle.

Watson was allegedly found in possession of crack cocaine.

Following arraignment in Batavia City Court, Watson was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

The Drug Task Force was assisted by State Police, the Sheriff's Office, Deputy Chris Erion and K-9 "Frankie," and the District Attorney's Office.

May 5, 2020 - 11:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's School, news, batavia, schools, education.

Students at St. Joseph Regional School helped produced this video for their teachers as part of Teacher Appreciation Week. 

May 5, 2020 - 10:34am

Bourbon & burger wishes you a Happy Cinco de Mayo! Get your Margarita and Bloody Mary Kits now! We're offering:

  • Single Margarita Kits: Includes 1 liter of margarita mix, a 375ml bottle of Jose Cuervo, & a lime.
  • Quarantine Margarita Party Packs: Includes 1.75 liters of margarita mix, 1 liter of El Toro, & limes.
  • Bloody Mary Kits: Includes a 375ml bottle of Deep Eddy Vodka & Bloody Mary mix for the next morning.

Get them now with any purchase of food. Call us for takeout or delivery while supplies last! Call 219-4242. Visit us online.

May 4, 2020 - 6:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, video.
Video Sponsor

Friend and family drove their cars down North Lyon Street in Batavia on Saturday evening in a show of support for Sterling Stroman.

Stroman has been fighting cancer for six years now but is losing that fight. He has been on hospice at home. A caretaker says Stroman is declining.

The parade, with more than 50 cars, was a surprise for Stroman, a 20-year employee of GCASA.

May 4, 2020 - 12:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in softball, sports, batavia, Batavia HS, coronavirus.

Nickie Fazio, wife of Batavia High School softball Coach Jim Fazio, made this video as a tribute to the 2020 softball team, whose season has been canceled by the coronavirus pandemic.

Fazio said:

I wanted to do something special for the Varsity girls since they did not get to play this year. My heart goes out to all of them, but especially the seniors. Took me the whole week to get it done. Thank you to everyone that sent me pictures to help me put this together. It evolved into something much bigger than I originally planned. This was the best way Coach and I could express how much these girls mean to us.

May 3, 2020 - 2:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia First Presbyterian, batavia, covid-19, coronavirus.

Sunday message from Pastor Roula Alkhouri, Batavia First Presbyterian Church: "What is Saving Your Life Right Now?"

May 3, 2020 - 1:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.


Friends and family of Joshua T. Fullmer Sr., who died Monday following a motorcycle and bicycle accident on Route 5 near Wortendyke Road, was fondly remembered Saturday evening in a candlelight vigil at the site of the crash.

From his obituary:

Josh was a wonderful young man who packed a lot of life in his 27 years, some would say he was an “Old Soul,” friends, he had too many to count but Josh always, always had an ear to listen or a hand to lend. He had an unusual love for snakes, his motorcycle and children, he was wonderful with them and they were drawn to him. Josh was employed at HP Hood in Batavia and was a wonderful husband, father, son and brother.

Top photo: His mother, Joy, stepfather, Joe, and his siblings, Justin, Jeremy and Brittany.

Photos by Jessica Pfalzer








May 2, 2020 - 7:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in dinosaurs, downtown, batavia, news.


Our local family of dinosaurs reappeared in Downtown Batavia today, this time with a little one in tow.


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