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January 6, 2009 - 8:41am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, Buffalo, Rochester, governor Paterson, Albany, state, upstate, Geneseo.

Folks in the region will have several opportunities to meet and speak with our governor in February. An article in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reports this morning that Gov. David Paterson will hold a series of at least four town-hall style meetings upstate to "allow residents to ask questions and interact with the governor on the ideas he lays out in the State of the State address." Gov. Paterson will give his State of the State this Wednesday at 1:00pm.

Of those meetings that have so far been scheduled, three will be held within a short distance of Batavia: one in Buffalo on February 18, one in Rochester on February 11 and another in Geneseo on February 12. Others will likely be held in Watertown and Binghamton.

From the article:

Paterson has moved away from Spitzer's plan to split up some state duties, particularly economic development, into upstate and downstate branches. Paterson has argued that New York is one state with a united purpose.

Andrew Rudnick, president of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, said an upstate address isn't necessary so long as the governor gives the region the attention it needs.

If the symbolism of an upstate speech, "isn't followed up by definitive policy and asset allocation, what much difference does it make?" he said.

Most people would likely agree that the most pressing issue now facing the state is the budget crisis. A few weeks ago, Paterson released his budget proposal that caused quite a stir. We've put together a poll with a few topics that might come up when the governor visits upstate. Pick whichever you most want to hear about. I figure that the budget proposal will likely be a major part of the State of the State this Wednesday, so try to think what's most important to upstate other than that.

January 5, 2009 - 10:34pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports, Oakfield, Notre Dame.

 The Batavia girls basketball team got a 17 point, 13 rebound, six block performance from senior center Jaycee Shirk and will be moving on to play Pavilion in the finals of the Batavia Rotary Tournament at Genesee Community College.

The Blue Devils improve to 7-1 and got plenty of help in beating Oakfield-Alabama 45-32 as Stacey Hein had seven points and nine assists with Brittany Mazurkiewicz adding nine points.

Hillary Bates scored 10 points to lead the Hornets (4-5).

Pavilion knocked off Notre Dame 40-36 in the other opening round game. O-A and Notre Dame will play in the 6 p.m. consolation game on Wednesday with Batavia and Pavilion going at it in the finals at 7:45 p.m.

January 5, 2009 - 4:37pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, Attica, basketball, sports, Lions Club.

Many thanks to Sean Feeney for sending along this remembrance:

I remember playing in what I think was the original Batavia Lions Club tournament in December 1975 while playing for Attica. We played Batavia in the opener losing by a point or two to Batavia led by now coach Buddy Brasky and Jimmy Orosco. Kevin Kellogg and Doug Miller were our leading scorers. We played Notre Dame in the consolation game. ... I do not remember who Batavia played in the final. I believe Buddy Brasky was the tournament MVP.  Myself and I think Jimmy Orosco were on the all tourney team with someone from ND and the other team in the tourney. Batavia warmed up to the Ohio players "Love Rollercoaster".

The Batavian is great. I love catching up on high school sports back in WNY!

Sean Feeney
Alpharetta, GA

I wanted to post this to the site to see if it sparked any other memories in our readers. Was this the original Lions Club tournament in 1975? Or did it start later on, in 1982, as we had believed? Do you remember? Did you play?

January 5, 2009 - 1:40pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, Announcements, budget, city council, finance.

From the City of Batavia:

Please be advised that Batavia City Council will hold a budget work session on Saturday,
January 10, 2009.  The meeting will be from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm in the Council Board Room on the second floor of City Hall.

January 5, 2009 - 12:30pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, business, coffee, Hot Shots.

All the lights are extinguished. All the percolators are turned off, the swizzle sticks packed away and the steamers have all run out of steam. It's official... the end of an era.

Main Street Coffee is closed.

We would like to wish former proprietor Rob Credi the best of luck in his future endeavors. Credi took us in when we were still crawling, just learning how to walk, back in May. Main Street Coffee was the home base for The Batavian for several months before we procured an office of our own. We were always treated like family there. And we'll always consider it our home away from home. We hope that right now Credi is still sleeping, for once not having to get up before dawn to help us start our day with a fresh cup of coffee and a hot bagel sandwich.

All that being said, what do we do now? Where do we go now for a good cup of coffee served with class and culture and often—especially in the case of Credi—a touch of comedy? Let's take it to the polls... I'll tell you all right now that I'm voting for Hot Shots. I've always been and plan to remain a staunch supporter of locally-owned and operated cafés. So that's me. How about you? 

January 5, 2009 - 10:40am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia.

We've tallied the results and put together our lists of The Batavian's Top Ten Posts and Top Ten Stories of 2008. You may notice that we don't run them down neatly one through ten. There were many ties. So here you are:


Top Ten Posts of 2008:

1. Batavians choose not to live like they do in big cities...

2. Waterfowler's morning...

3. Le Roy remembers Hooks...

4. O-A stuns Pembroke in final seconds...

5. Saturday Day Trip... (Tie - 5th)

5. Chainsaw artist Rick Pratt... (Tie - 5th)

6. A truck that's got a story to tell... (Tie - 6th)

6. Contemplating Bill Kauffman's Batavia... (Tie - 6th)

7. Hillary's Seat: If We Were Speaking Locally... (Tie - 7th)

7. Telling stories that tell stories: The art of Brian Moore... (Tie - 7th)


Top Ten Stories of 2008:

1. Pontillo's in Batavia closes—owes more than $112,000 in back taxes...

2. Muckdogs win NY-Penn League Championship...

3. My T Acres barn fire...

4. High school football...

5. Six-year-old brings loaded gun onto school bus...

6. First major winter storm... (Tie - 6th)

6. Elections... (Tie - 6th)

7. House fire on Lewiston Road claims life of teenage boy...

8. Youth football...

9. The mall...


There you have it. The people have spoken! Please follow the links to view the vote count or to navigate and view any of the top posts you either missed or wish to read again. Thank you! Here's to a new year that will be even more exciting than the last.

January 5, 2009 - 8:13am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, consolidation, Syracuse.

A potential consolidation for Batavia has caught the attention of more than just the local crowds. An editorial from the crew at the Syracuse Post Standard that went up a few days ago asks the question: One Batavia for all?

If Batavia's voters approve municipal consolidation next fall, it should make waves at least throughout the state. As Attorney General Andrew Cuomo recently noted, New York's 10,521 local government entities are excessive. Towns, villages, school districts and special assessment districts consume too many tax dollars and pit folks against each other who should join forces.

Is Batavia ready to make waves? What good or bad could come from the consolidation?

January 5, 2009 - 7:51am

A story in the Democrat & Chronicle yesterday features Batavia Notre Dame graduate Tim Sullivan, now one of the country's best basketball shooting coaches. Sullivan, who graduated in 1978, then "walked onto the team at Canisius College in Buffalo," now puts on some 400 shooting clinics across the country each year.

This article, by John Boccacino, is a fun read, and there are more than a few great tips for any amateur basketball enthusiast looking to beef up his or her shot. It's clear that Sullivan knows his stuff.

After every shot attempt Sullivan preached that, as part of their follow through, the participants kiss the shoulder of their shooting side to guarantee a complete, accurate shot.

His wise words were met with confusion. "When he started talking about that, my friend Matt Noto and I looked at each other and said, 'OK, that won't work,'" said Steven Ciotti, 13, a seventh-grader at Greece Athena Middle School who plays for Greece Basketball Association's seventh-grade house team. "But then he started shooting and he just wasn't missing. I think he made almost 95 percent of his 200 shots and we were all amazed."

January 4, 2009 - 6:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Jordan M. Hadfield of Batavia was struck by a car -- allegedly on purpose -- in Watertown yesterday.

The Watertown Daily Times reports that Eric W. Walker, 27, of Watertown, is being charged with two counts of second-degree reckless endangerment and one count of falsely reporting an incident as well as leaving the scene of a personal injury accident.

Allegedly, Walker struck Hadfield and then drove home, where he called police and said somebody had smashed the windshield of his car while it was parked outside.

No word on the condition of Hadfield, or even if he was taken to the hospital.


January 3, 2009 - 12:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

Congratulations to Justin Forrester and Malissa Moore, proud parents of the fist baby born in Batavia in 2009.

Newspapers do the "first baby" every year story, but reporter Joanne Beck does a good job with the story of little Jayden Mariah. Click on over a read it.

January 1, 2009 - 7:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.

Quick thinking and the amazing athleticism of a 72-year-old resident of a Bank Street townhouse  may have saved the lives of him and his wife as he single-handily battled a fire, according to a Democrat & Chronicle story.

Something awoke the couple at about 3:40 a.,m. this morning, and the man -- who is not identified -- jumped from his second floor window, grabbed a shovel, smashed a window and extinguished the fire before firefighters arrived using water and a five-gallon bucket.

The couple was treated and released for smoke inhalation at United Memorial Medical Center. The man also sustain some cuts on his feet from broken glass.

The apartment, at 337 Bank Street, suffered enough damage to make it unlivable. It did not have a working smoke detector, according to Chief Tom Dillon.

December 31, 2008 - 1:44pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, fire, emergency.

City of Batavia fire crews responded to a call at 21 Liberty Street, Ficarella's Pizzeria, this morning at 11:15am, according to Captain Craig Williams. Callers reported a smell of smoke inside the building. When firefighters arrived on the scene they saw smoke inside and smelled wood burning.

A fire was quickly located in the attic and extinguished by the personnel on scene. Crews were on scene for about an hour. No injuries were reported.

A malfunctioning neon sign caused the fire. Damage is estimated at $2,500.

December 30, 2008 - 8:37pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports, Notre Dame.

The Batavia boys basketball team won the Batavia Lions Club Championship for the fifth consecutive year, and did it in convincing fashion. The Blue Devils thumped Notre Dame 59-33.

Andrew Hoy earned MVP honors, following in his older brother's footsteps, by scoring 43 points in the tournament, which easily made him the highest scorer in the tournament.

After four straight Blue Devil championships, this was a tournament where many area fans figured the Fighting Irish had a serious chance.

And ND came out red hot.

Batavia had a 4-0 lead before Greg Barr scored five consecutive points to put Notre Dame ahead 5-4.

Matt Thompson hit a 3-pointer and then added another bucket and the Fighting Irish had a quick 10-4 lead.

Marcus Hoy hit one of two free throw attempts with an Andrew Hoy 3-pointer tossed in the mix to get Batavia within a point.

Marcus and Adam Pettinella scored back-to-back buckets and the Blue Devils had a 13-10 lead after the opening period of play.

Batavia went on a tear in the second quarter and opened up a huge halftime lead.

Pettinella had five points, Andrew scored six and Rob Hoy pitched in five as the Blue Devils were up 34-17 at intermission.

Joe Schlossel had eight quick points in the third quarter and Andrew Hoy added eight points in the third quarter to give Batavia a 52-26 third quarter lead.

Notre Dame coach Mike Rapone received his first technical foul in three years near the end of the third period when he asked an official "How do you play 24 minutes against Batavia and not get a foul shot?". It was his first technical foul call since he received one against Prattsburgh a few years back.

Batavia did attempt just two free throw attempts over the first three quarters.

But in the end, it was the effort of Andrew Hoy and a ton of support from his supporting cast that gave the Blue Devils the trophy.

Schlossel finished with eight points and eight rebounds with Marcus Hoy getting eight points with five dimes. Pettinella had seven points.

Batavia's defense did an excellent job of limiting Notre Dame star Kevin Francis, who scored nine points and did make the all-tournament team. Vinny Zambito was held to three points, but made the all-tournament squad based on his 18-point opening round performance.

Thompson had eight points.

Rob Hoy made the all-tournament team with five points and Marcus made it for his scoring and passing efforts. Andrew, of course, was the MVP after making the all-tournament team as a freshman last season.

 Albion defeated Perry 53-39 in the consolation game, with Russell Craft leading the way with 19 points. He made the all-tournament team.

Notre Dame won the jayvee tournament, beating Batavia 62-43 in the finals. Perry beat Albion in the consolation game 61-49.

 

 

 

 

December 30, 2008 - 11:46am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, fire department, fire, emergency.

Two adults, whose names have not been released, were treated for smoke inhalation early this morning after a fire broke out inside their apartment at Walden Estates at 337 Bank Street in the city of Batavia.

City fire crews report that the fire was contained to the first-floor dining room of the two-story frame house around 3:36 am. Firefighters were on scene for just under two hours battling the fire which caused heavy smoke damage to the first and second floors.

No one else was reported injured. Details of the cause of the fire are under investigation.

December 29, 2008 - 7:51pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports.

 It never really wound up being much of a game.

The defending Lions Club Champion Batavia Blue Devils dominated Albion 76-40 in the opening round, with Andrew Hoy having a fantastic game. The sophomore - who was on the all-tournament team last year - kicked off this year's tournament with a 24-point, seven rebound performance. Hoy nailed five 3-pointers.

Each year when Batavia wins the Lions Tournament, it always seems that a single player has a huge game.  We've seen players like Phil Santiago, Michael Chmielowiec and Mike Hoy all have huge games to win MVP in recent years, and Andrew is well on his way.

The Blue Devils were on a tear early, going on a 13-0 run near the end of the first quarter and early in the second. But the Purple Eagles got four straight points from Matt Monacelli with a few minutes left in the half and closed the gap.

Mike Lee hit a shot for Batavia at the buzzer to make it 33-18.

Eight different Blue Devils scored in the third quarter to open up a 62-32 advantage after three periods of play and there was no coming back from that.

Dakota Irvin scored 11 points, and point guard Marcus Hoy scored seven points and dished out 13 assists. Lee had nine rebounds.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Also: Batavia's jayvee team beat Albion 59-42 and Notre Dame downed Perry 61-51. The two Batavia squads will be in tomorrow's final.

 

December 29, 2008 - 11:03am
posted by Steve Ognibene in batavia, city, snow, parks, flood, wind.

It started actually Saturday as temperatures were rising in the upper 30's climbing to low 50's overnight.  We had received about 2+ feet of snow just in the last week and now it was melting very rapidly.  Today's high was in the upper 50's and the tonawanda creek was above flood stage of 9 feet and peaked around 11.4 feet according to the weather channel this morning.  It's now at a little over 12 feet and hopefully cresting soon.  Also during this time we had very high winds which were approx 35-45mph most of the day.  This morning there were gusts passing through around 50+ mph for about an hour.  As the day went on the city crews were on scene along with tree and power companies to help battle the flooding and tree damage due to high winds.  On every street I saw tree limbs, debris and even uprooting in some areas that had left much damage through the city.

Here are some pictures to share of areas around the city:

A tree fell hitting a house on east avenue and pulled utility wires.

Tree was uprooted on Lincoln Ave. damaging houses and a red SUV due to the 50+ mph winds.

Many side streets had flooding on the south side.  Ganson Ave, Elmwood and pictured here is Jackson Avenue.


Kibbie park or should I say Kibbie lake?  The winds were very high in the afternoon during this time.

The tonawanda creek filled up rapidly due to the fast melting of snow.  Here is a picture showing the River Street bridge with a vehicle coming across.

Look familiar?  Corner of Walnut and Law streets had major flooding.  A trucker was able to pass through heading south on Rt 98.

Let's hope the worst is over and we can recover a bit before heading into the New Year.

December 29, 2008 - 8:54am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, weather, flood, Tonawanda Creek.

The National Weather Service has cancelled the flood warning for Batavia:

The flood warning is cancelled for the Tonawanda Creek at Batavia. At 8am Monday the stage was 8.6 feet and falling. Flood stage is 9.0 feet. Forecast: The river fell below flood stage later this morning and will continue to fall to around 5.7 feet by Tuesday morning. Impact: At 10.0 feet, moderate flood. Minor to moderate flooding along the entire reach from Batavia to Tonawanda. Most focused in Alabama swamps, rapids, and northern Clarence and Amherst, and also in city of Batavia west of Main Street.

December 28, 2008 - 8:13pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, storm, flood, rain.

 I went around town for a while seeing what damage has been done. Some streets were closed down, trees obviously knocked over and very high flood waters ... some people don't even have back yards right now. There also a lot of homes in parts of town without power.

December 28, 2008 - 6:03pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, perry, sports, byron, Notre Dame, Albion.

 

Back in 1982, the Batavia Lions Club and Pete Arras decided putting together a basketball tournament would be a good idea to give some good basketball teams a chance to play on the court at Genesee Community College and make it possible for Batavia and Notre Dame to play each other.

Little could anybody have known, here we are in 2008 and the tournament is stronger than ever. It is also probably regarded as one of, if not, the best boys basketball holiday tournament in Section 5. There are typically around 2,000 people that attend the tournament at GCC every year.

That original tournament featured Batavia, Notre Dame, a very good Byron-Bergen squad and Albion. (The photo above is the original photo of the coaches).

With the Fighting Irish and Bees hooking up late in the previous season, so that was a great way to start the tourney. The two squads played in February with B-B winning 51-48. 

The opening round rematch was a stunner, with Byron-Bergen knocking off Notre Dame 54-43. Albion knocked off Batavia 62-45 

The Bees went on to claim the first Batavia Lions Club championship with 35-30 win over Albion, with Bill Ferris claiming the MVP trophy.

Ferris was also the MVP in the second year as the Bees routed ND 47-30 and then Batavia 80-43.

Notre Dame was the favorite when they matched up with B-B in the finals in the tournament's third year, but it was again the Bees claiming the title with a 52-48 victory. Notre Dame's Jim Pursel was actually the MVP of that tournament, mostly because of his 29 point effort in the opening round win over Albion.

History was made in 1985 when Batavia and Notre Dame finally had a chance to play each other in the finals. With ND playing in the Genesee Region League and Batavia in the Monroe County League, these teams never get a shot to go against each other.

Tournament MVP Ron Nenni dropped in 20 points and the Fighting Irish toppled Batavia 65-52.

The tournament has seen many changes in participants over the years, with teams like Oakfield-Alabama, Attica, John Marshall, Nichols, Bishop Timon, Perry, Williamsville North, Akron, Pembroke, Le Roy, Caledonia-Mumford, Iroquois and Alexander all having experienced playing in the classic tournament.

Despite not winning until 1989, Batavia leads the tournament with wins with 13. The Blue Devils have won the last four titles, and seven of eight. Timon knocked Batavia off in overtime in the opening round of the 2003 tournament and then toppled Notre Dame 48-44 in the finals.

Byron-Bergen - which hasn't played in the tournament since 1994 is tied with Notre Dame for  second in tournament titles with five. 

Perry has won two championships and Timon has the other.

There have been some special performances over the years. The most recent was by Batavia's Michael Chmielowiec - a senior at the University of Rochester - who set the single game scoring record with 40 points against Bishop Timon in 2004. He also owns the tournament scoring mark with 64 points.

There have been four other 30-plus point performances: Tom McCulley of Notre Dame dropped in 38 in 1991, Batavia's Phil Santiago scored 35 points in 2002, PJ Leavy of Batavia had 33 in 1995 and Notre Dame's Tim Wascott had 32 in 2002.

Leavy had 57 points in that 95 tournament, Albion's Ernie McDonald had 49 total points in 1983 and Batavia's Rick Lundy had 48 in 1997.

This year's tournament features the same four teams that have been in the last three tournaments. Batavia opens up against Albion at 7 p.m. Monday night, with Notre Dame and Perry following at 8:45 p.m.

The consolation game is at 7 p.m. Tuesday with the finals at 8:45 p.m.

Admission is only $2, includes a program with rosters and money raised helps the Lions Club to provide scholarships to local students.

If you are interested in checking out basically the entire history of the tournament, check out this link on Flickr for over 80 photos and stories from tournaments in the past.

Here is a link to the entire history of the tournament, with the scores for every opening round, consolation and championship game as well as MVP of that year's tournament.

Also, feel free to share past memories if you've played or watched memorable tournaments.

Also, here is the video from this year's team at the Lions Club dinner introducing the teams.

(most clips in the post and flickr gallery are used with permission from The Daily News)

December 28, 2008 - 11:11am
posted by Michael S. Cole in batavia, thebatavian.

Good Morning Batavia,

I sit here at my trusty computer this morning mulling over the "new look" Batavian website with nothing but "awe".

To be able to view the events and happenings in my home town is just amazing.  I especially enjoy the video of the basketball games and comments. I can almost see myself, Jon Walton,Bill ,Randy, Gary,Sonny,Charlie, and the rest of the gang on the floor. It's too bad we didn't have the technology back then, it would be nice to see ourselves (then again maybe not!) The gym almost looks the same.

The view around town just astonished me. My congratulations goes out the staff of the Batavian for a job well done. Keep it comin'. I hope the folks in Batavia appreciate what you have done, and if not I sure do.

I look forward to more.

P.S. If there are any folks from the 1974 graduation class still in town, speak up!. Sign my guest book. Love to hear from ya.

Nate...

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