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February 17, 2010 - 12:52am
posted by Timothy Walton in batavia, notre dame high school, sports.

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File photo: BHS's Adam Kurek prepares to save a shot by ND's Kyle Gannon in the last matchup on January 19, 2010.

Almost exactly a month after the last time the Notre Dame Fighting Irish hosted cross town rival Batavia Ice Devils, the two teams will meet again. This time, there is more at stake. Saturday at 1:00pm the rivalry will continue into sectional play in front of what is sure to be a packed house at the Falleti Ice Arena, as the third seeded Irish will host the sixth seeded Ice Devils.

"I'm not sure if I sure be nervous or excited to play Batavia again", says Notre Dame senior Ivan Madafferi. "It's going to be one of the biggest things I will have a chance to be a part of."

The two teams have already faced off twice this season and split the pair of games. Notre Dame defeted the Devils in Batavia's David M. McCarthy Memorial Tournament 4-1, and Batavia took revenge during the second game and was victorioious 2-1.

"We'll prepare for the game just like we would for any other sectional game", says Batavia senior Will Mulcahy. "For us it helps playing Notre Dame because we always play our best hockey against them, so playing them in sectionals is just a plus". Mulcahy lead the Ice Devils in points during the regular season with 21 goals and 6 assists.

Both Notre Dame and Batavia played in the same division for the season where Notre Dame finished in second and Batavia followed in third. The way the seedings work, more teams join into the bracket for sectionals which gave the two teams the seeding differential and the opportunity to play again.

"We have been preparing for this all season" says Batavia senior Corey Kocent. "Sectionals is a true test to see how far your team has come by season end. At the beginning of the year, we made it clear that we wanted to win a sectional title."

The two teams have not faced each other in sectional play since the 2003 playoffs, where Batavia came away victorious and eventually moved on to the state championship game.

The Irish finished this season with a 12-5-2-1 (W-L-T-OTL) record and Batavia finished at 10-9-1.

Notre Dame has found much success this season with junior goaltender Tom Dehr, who is ranked one of the top goalies in Section V. He finished the season with a save percentage of 91.9% and just 1.92 goals allowed per game.

Although he may be an advantage for the Irish, their tendency to take penalties may be the advantage for Batavia, who was the least penalized team with only 109 penalty minutes, compared to the Irish who had 234.5 this season. To overcome this ND senior Jerod Adams says "we just have to worry about what's going on on the ice and keep focused on not take any bad penalties". "It's going to be key for us to not let the emotions of the building get to us", added Madafferi.

The winner of the game will move on to face the winner of  (2)Victor  vs (7)Canandaigua.

February 16, 2010 - 11:44am
posted by Kevin Manne in batavia, charities, Catholic Charities, Bohn's.

Ron Fronckowiak and Jim Java from St. Maximilian Kolbe
Parish in Corfu review materials with other volunteers during the
workshop portion of Saturday's 2010 Appeal gathering at Bohn's
Restaurant & Lounge in Batavia.

About 70 parish workers, clergy and volunteers from Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties took part in a luncheon and volunteer training workshop Saturday at Bohn’s Restaurant & Lounge in Batavia. The annual event was held in preparation for the 2010 Appeal for Catholic Charities, which carries a goal of $10.5 million.

Fund-raising events and activities for the annual campaign are already under way. One week in particular – Appeal Week which will take place March 21 through March 28 – is vital to the overall campaign as parishes across Western New York will celebrate those parishioners who have already donated, and encourage those who have not yet donated to consider what they can do. The theme for Appeal 2010 is “Whoever. Whenever. Wherever.” capturing the very essence of the organization’s mission - to serve anyone in need throughout our eight-county region, empowering individuals, children and families to achieve and maintain meaningful, healthy and productive lives.

February 16, 2010 - 6:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, pembroke, Darien.

Alexander John Delahanty, 20, of 29 Woodstock Lane, Brockport, is charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument. During a traffic stop in Bergen at 6:10 p.m., Sunday, by Deputy Matthew Butler, Delahanty was allegedly found in possession of a fake Colorado driver's license.

Accidents reported on the state police blotter:

12:55 p.m., Feb. 14, Broadway, Town of Darien, two vehicles; Driver 1: Scott R. Dalba, 44, of Oakfield; Driver 2: Steve M. Trader, 35, of Attica. One reported injury.

2:30 p.m., Feb. 14, Phelps Road, North Pembroke, one vehicle; Driver 1: Joseph A. Dicenso, 49, of Oakfield. No injuries.

11: 32 p.m., Feb. 14, E. Main and Ross streets, City of Batavia, two vehicles; Driver 1: Charles A. Ledger, 21, of Medina; Driver 2: Thomas E. Wolfe, 32, of Batavia. No injuries.

February 15, 2010 - 9:18pm
posted by Scott Grefrath in batavia, business, Genesee Community College.

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 In times of a tough economy, there is only one way to find a guaranteed job; you have to create it and that’s just what current Genesee Community College student and the college's CEO Club President, 20 year old Tim Walton did.

During the summer of 2007, Tim was going into his senior year at Batavia High School and had a busy schedule ahead since he was the captain of the Batavia Ice Devils varsity hockey team and school mayor. This left a lot of responsibility but not a lot of time to hold a job.

After a childhood where Walton had owned a lemonade stand at age 8, on Meadowbrook Golf Course, managed the ice rink sound booth since age 12, and owned a web based business at age 16, Walton always had the mindset to be his own boss. “I knew that when I got older, I wanted to sell things, own my own business, and be creative with it at the same time”. That was when Walton, who has always been artistic, decided to explore graphic design and jobs that go along with that. “I thought to myself; I like designing things, why not design stuff to put onto shirts and mugs?”  He then contacted a local print company to print clothing and other companies to print the promotional (pens, mugs, etc) wholesalers that would print the products for him, and allow him to resell them to his customer at the retail value. This is when Walton, officially launched his home based, yet professional, TopLine Shirt Company.

February 15, 2010 - 6:08pm
posted by Peter O'Brien in batavia, garbage.

At what point is the City of Batavia responsible to replace my garbage can because it was hit by a car again when it was not placed away from the edge of the curb on a windy day?  I leave the house before the trash collector arrive and I return after 4 sometimes after 10 pm on garbage day.  I can't be there to take my can back up.  But you can bet that if I put a bunch of bricks in the bottom so it can't blow away I would get a citation for something. 

Replacing my can every 3 months is getting ridiculous.  Either let us get cans like Suburban Disposal that a heavy enough not to blow away except in the worst storms and get a lift on the trucks, or come up with some other solution before I bill the city.

February 15, 2010 - 5:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Centennial Park.

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Gigi Dombrowski pushes son Dane, 3, down the snow covered slope of Centennial Park this afternoon. With the sun out and temperatures in the 30s, it was a great day to snowboard in the park.

Below, Devon, 6, and Angelique, 5, who were in the park with their grandfather Wayne Hintz (not pictured), take their own ride.

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February 15, 2010 - 2:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

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The future of the Batavia Elks Lodge, #950, hangs in the balance, but could be decided as soon as tomorrow, according to Ruler of the Elks, Timothy Garlock.

"We need to reorganize and shape up," Garlock said. "Some folks will not be in the same positions. We can't do the same things we did prior to closing and that's the bottom line."

As The Batavian first reported Saturday, the local Elks Lodge had its charter revoked for a reported problem with complying with Grand Lodge requirements.

elksclosed.jpgKenneth Burns, one of the three trustees appointed to oversee the lodge, said he wanted to stress that there is no allegation of misappropriation of funds or anything similar.

"I don't want any rumors started against these guys," Burns said.

He characterized the Grand Lodge revoking the local charters as merely an administrative matter.

Like Garlock, he doesn't know what's ahead for Lodge #950.

"I"m not really in a position to say much," Burns said. "It (the closing) could be temporary. It could be long term. It could never (open again)."

Garlock said the lodge has been operating in sound financial shape, paying all of its bills and it has money in the bank. He said it has 210 members.

"We continue to have an impact on the local community," Garlock said. "Like a lot of volunteer organizations these days, we could stand for a few more bodies, but times are what they are."

Among the Elks' charitable activities is a recently completed free-throw basketball tournament and there are local students currently having essays judged in a national Elks scholarship contest.

Garlock also confirmed that the Elks building at 213 E. Main St. is owned by the Grand Lodge and not the local lodge.

Garlock said he could know Lodge #950's fate as soon as tomorrow.

February 15, 2010 - 7:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Basom, crime, pembroke, Bethany, Alabama.

Charles M. Blatt, III, 47, of 317 E. Main St., upper, Batavia, is charged with harassment 2nd and disorderly conduct. Blatt is accused of becoming disruptive at 9:15 p.m. on Saturday inside Batavia Downs Casino. When he was approached by security personnel, he allegedly attempted to strike a security officer. He also allegedly became verbally abusive. He's also accused of flipping over a security desk. Blatt was jailed on $1,500 bail.

James A. Hancock, 40, of 8289 Lewiston Road, Batavia, is charged with harassment 2nd and criminal contempt 1st. Hancock is accused of going to his ex-girlfriend's house on Elm Street on Feb. 4 and hitting her in the head. In doing so, Hancock allegedly violated an order of protection that prohibited contact with the ex-girlfriend and to engage in no offensive conduct. Hancock was jailed without bail.

Sidney M. Jonathan, 44, of 6988 Meadville Road, Basom, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, improper left turn, failure to yield half the roadway, operating with a cell phone, unregistered motor vehicle, uninspected motor vehicle and aggravated unlicensed operation. Jonathan was reportedly involved in a property damage accident at 12:14 a.m., Saturday, at the intersection of Judge and Poodry roads.

Timothy J. Stephens, 28, of 3 Norris Ave., Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and moving from lane unsafely. Stephens was reportedly stopped by Officer Kevin DeFelice at 1:47 a.m., Saturday.

Kernardo R. Fields, 19, of 67 Walden Creek Drive, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Fields was cited by Officer Dan Coffey at 2:10 a.m., Saturday.

Sath P. Dhanda, 29, of 5458 Clapsaddle Road, Bethany, is charged with disorderly conduct. At 10:48 p.m., Thursday, Dhanda was reportedly at Larry's Steakhouse, 60 Main St., Batavia, when he allegedly caused a disturbance by shouting obscenities in a public place. He was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Joseph C. Barone, 30, of 317 E. Main St., Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and unsafe backing. Barone was reportedly involved in a minor accident at 1:10 a.m., Saturday, on Route 33 in Bergen.

William R. Crosby, Jr., 29, of 2717 Marshall Road, Medina, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and inadequate tail lamp. Crosby was stopped by Deputy Chris Parker at 11:14 p.m., Saturday on Route 77 in Alabama. Crosby was allegedly found in possession of a pipe and a grinder and both allegedly had marijuana in them.

Teresa Ka Yan Tam, 26, of 416 Lafayette Ave., Buffalo, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and speeding. Ka Yan Tam was stopped at 1:35 a.m., Saturday, by Deputy James Diehl on Route 5 in Pembroke for allegedly speeding.

Michael W. Smith, 31, of Batavia, is charged with assault 3rd. Smith was arrested by State Police at 11:32 a.m., Saturday, in the Town of Batavia. No further details were released.

Andrew L. Kosiorek, 38, of Batavia, is charged with DWI, unlawful possession of marijuana and aggravated unlicensed operation. Kosiorek was apparently involved in a  traffic accident (no details provided) and was arrested by state police at 12:19 a.m., Sunday.

Matthew C. Cardinale, 30, of 18 Miller St., Seneca Falls, is charged with disorderly conduct. Cardinale allegedly caused a disturbance in the bar of the Holiday Inn at 2:10 a.m., Monday. Cardinale was allegedly swearing in public and refused to listen to hotel staff. After deputies arrived, they told Cardinale to leave the bar and he reportedly would not comply, and continued to swear in public, "causing alarm and annoyance." Cardinale was jailed on $500 bail.

Nocole Kate Hagadorn, 31, of 18 Miller St. Seneca Falls, is charged with disorderly conduct. Hagadorn was arrested at 2:39 a.m., Monday, in the lobby of the Holiday Inn for allegedly causing a disturbance. Hagadorn was jailed on $500 bail.

Anthony Christopher Sistrunk, 19, of 309 E. Glen Ave., Syracuse, is charged with menacing 3rd and harassment 2nd. At 11:52 p.m., Sunday, deputies responded to an alleged physical domestic fight at College Village. Sistrunk was arrested and charged with the listed offenses.

Accidents from the state police blotter:

2:20 p.m., Feb. 13, Bloomingdale Road, Alabama, two vehicles; Driver 1: Jacob J. Everett, 29, of Williamsville; Driver 2: Laura L. Vosburgh, 30, of Lancaster. No injuries reported.

12:58 p.m., Feb. 11, Asbury Road, Town of Le Roy, one vehicle; Driver 1: Jordan D. Boyd, 17, of Le Roy. No injuries reported.

February 14, 2010 - 8:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, city council, landlords.

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A number of local landlords are deeply concerned over the Batavia City Council's decision a week ago to deny Michael Pullinzi the chance to buy a piece of property he won at city auction.

The 5-4 vote punctuates a growing frustration with the code-inspection process, which they say puts an unfair burden on the landlords without holding tenants accountable.

Jeremy Yasses (pictured), an Oakfield resident who owns eight properties in the city, as well as several other tenant-occupied buildings outside of Batavia, describes himself as a budding entrepreneur who is trying to build a real estate business.

The 13 citations mentioned by the council against Pullinzi as the reason for denying him the chance to purchase 9 Willow St., is piddling compared to other landlords, according to Yasses. Other landlords, both on and off the record, say much the same thing.

Yasses, for his part, readily admits to getting between 40 and 50 citations a year from city inspectors.

Almost all of them, if not all of them, are for things tenants have done.

And that's the problem, according to Yasses. Tenants are not held accountable, so there's no motivation for them to change. If a tenant puts his garbage out on Wednesday, Yasses gets a notice, so he goes and picks it up on Thursday to correct the violation. Then the same thing happens the next week, and the next.

"Did we get to the root of the problem?" Yasses asks.

yasses02.jpg"I own the property. I’m held accountable," said Yasses. "I’m not passing the buck, but have the tenant standing right there next to me (in court). That’s how you hold them accountable."

Terry Platt, who operates one of the largest residential rental businesses in the city, said he's no stranger to receiving violation notices for things tenants have done, and he's concerned, also, that the current system isn't really helping to address the problem.

"There's no tenant responsibility," said Platt, who also serves on the city's Neighborhood Improvement Committee (NIC). "We can kick them out, but if they move out, they just move to someplace else in the city and do the same thing over again. How is the city going to clean up the city if there is no tenant accountability?"

(Point of disclosure: Platt is my landlord.)

From the city's perspective, the only option is to hold the landlords accountable. They're the ones who own the property and the only recourse for the city is to cite property owners for any problems outside a house or apartment.

February 14, 2010 - 7:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Masons, charities, Cara-A-Van.

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Last week, the Batavia Masons presented Paul and Bridget Ohlson with a $500 check to support their Cara-A-Van Ministries.

"We were proud to be able to make a small contribution to such a worthy cause," said Jim Rosenbeck (handing the check to Paul), Master of Lodge #475 of the Free and Accepted Masons. 

"Our lodge has decided to begin regularly identifying worthy causes within the community to financially support," Rosenbeck added. "With membership in all community service organizations dwindling, we feel that this is one way that we can help make a difference in Batavia."

February 14, 2010 - 11:30am
posted by Robin Walters in batavia, Care-A-Van Ministries.

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Meet Abigail, a young girl who was found sharing the love of Valentines day with residents of Washington Towers. Her and her grandma Linda were going door to door and sharing Valentines with the residents on this chilly Saturday morning.

February 13, 2010 - 10:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

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The Batavia Elks Lodge, #950, has been closed by order of the Grand Trustees of the National Order, according to a letter posted on the door.

A sign in a window says "closed until further notice" and carries a date from yesterday.

The lodge is located at 213 E. Main St., Batavia.

The shut-down notice accuses the local Elks of failing to make required reports and failure to comply with the Elks' auditing and accounting manual.

The letter states that the charter for Lodge #950 has been revoked.

Appointed as trustees of the lodge are Patrick Burns, of Ransomeville, John Ziezeiula, of Lockport, and Kenneth Perry, of Niagara Falls.

The notice informs the local Elks that they are to turn over all items used in ceremonies as well as books, papers and emblems to the trustees.

Local members, according to the notice, can apply to have their membership transferred to other lodges.

(Thank you to a reader for the news tip.)

February 13, 2010 - 9:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, baseball, Batavia Muckdogs, sports.

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Easily more than 200 people gathered at the Batavia Party House last night for the Batavia Muckdogs Booster Club's annual hot stove dinner and auction. There were plenty of laughs and people expressed a lot of excitement about the coming season, which could be a critical year for drawing enough community support to keep the team in Batavia.

At the podium, Brian Paris honors "The Voice of the Muckdogs," Wayne Fuller, for his many years of service to the team as the public address announcer and official score keeper. Fuller stepped aside from those roles after the 2009 season. But his voice won't be far from a microphone during the upcoming season; he'll serve as color man on WBTA's broadcast of games.

More pictures after the jump:

February 12, 2010 - 12:31pm

Everybody likes a little friendly competition, right? And if it's for a good cause, all the better!

These guys definitely feel that way:

Half of them are pictured above...

...and here's the other half!

High schoolers from all over Genesee County are getting involved in "Change for Change" (C4C), a fundraising project for United Way of Genesee County. Student government reps from Batavia High School, the NYS State School for the Blind, Oakfield-Alabama High School and Pavillion Central School gathered in the BHS auditorium Yesterday to kick-start the project. 

February 11, 2010 - 1:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, Lions Club.

Here's a letter of thanks to the community from the Batavia Lions Club.

The Batavia Lions Club, with the help of many community members, was very busy during the past Christmas holidays with several annual projects directed at serving the residents of Batavia and the Genesee County area.

During the Thanksgiving holidays, several Lions helped decorate downtown for Christmas. On Main Street alone, 43 light poles were decorated with individual lighted snowflakes along with lighted garland that was wrapped around each pole. Additionally, the Lions placed 24-inch red bows at the base of each snowflake. Lighted garland wrap was also placed on about 30 poles up and down two of our side streets.

The Lions Club’s investment in these decorations is in the neighborhood of $15,000 of which 100 percent of the money was raised from our community, local businesses and through funding we received through the office Assemblyman Steve Hawley. It takes approximately 60 man-hours to install and to disassemble all of these decorations. This year, with nice weather, the Lions were rather fortunate (usually these 60 hours are spent outdoors in the freezing Western New York weather).

Again this year, several Batavia Lions helped serve the annual Christmas dinner provided by T.F. Brown's restaurant. Working with Ben and Rick Mancuso and their crew, we served turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and all the fixings to many local families. In addition, the Lions provided toys for each and every child who attended. We would like to thank Ben and Rick for their wonderful generosity at a time of year when the need is most apparent.

This year’s Lions Club Boys Basketball Tournament was a resounding success. This tournament has become one of the premier high school tournaments in New York State.  This year, Batavia High School defeated Notre Dame High School for the title in an extremely hard fought game. The games were played at the newly renovated Genesee Community College gymnasium. The attendance was excellent in spite of the snowy conditions we experienced on the first night. We thank the college and its staff for their cooperation in providing this beautiful venue to showcase our local high school talent.

Finally, working with area schools and churches, the Lions Club provided certificates for food baskets from Tops Markets and new blankets for local families in need. Nineteen $50 gift cards for food and 17 new blankets were distributed through local schools. In addition, 18 $20 food cards and 18 blankets were given to needy families in our area through Father Ivan Trujillo.

We would like to express our appreciation to all who assisted in these worthy community projects. Our work would not be possible without the cooperation and help of so many.  Batavia is a city that truly cares and the members of the Batavia Lions Club feel very fortunate to be able to serve such a community.

February 11, 2010 - 11:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, OTB, State Lottery.

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The OTB is ready to do just about anything to avoid having the State Lottery pull all of the video lottery terminals from Batavia Downs Casino.

That was the message from Western OTB attorney Timothy McCarthy following a closed session meeting of the board at the casino and racetrack this morning.

"They're the boss and it's important they are treated as such and that we not get in a fight as to what we may have done," McCarthy said.

timothy_mccarthy.jpgWhile characterizing the issues raised by the State Lottery in a Feb. 3 letter to the OTB board as "procedural" and "administrative," he said the board is taking the warning very seriously and will react accordingly.

He stressed that there are no allegations of criminality or missing money.

Before the board went into closed session, McCarthy said a private meeting was necessary in order to discuss possible litigation.

After the meeting, McCarthy said there is no plan to get involved in a lawsuit, but given the nature of the enforcement action, the possibility of a hearing and the need to preserve attorney-client privilege, he thought the private session was necessary.

"We chose not to be pugnacious," McCarthy said. "We chose to try and work with the Lottery. We take the Lottery very seriously. The determination by the board was, 'let's find the best way to keep peace.' The best way to keep the peace is to go hat in hand to the Lottery. There is no benefit to be achieved by being litigious, but nevertheless, that option, as it obviously must, was considered."

McCarthy noted that Batavia Downs has provided $75 million in revenue for state schools since it opened with VLTs (slot machines) in May 2005. The Downs also provides a good deal of revenue to local government agencies.

He said the board will do what's necessary to maintain that cash flow.

"If they (board members) want to characterize it as going to the woodshed, they may very well characterize it as such," McCarthy said.

The board agreed to send a four-person delegation to Schenectady to meet with Lottery officials in order to find a solution to the threat of closure.

Among the Lottery's requests is that the Downs hire a consultant to help put the procedural and administrative issues back in order. McCarthy did not say so explicitly, but the tone and tenor of his remarks indicate a willingness to follow that advice.

The members of the delegation will be Paul Lattimore, from Cayuga County, Richard Bianchi, Monroe, Richard Siebert, Genesee and Marcia Touhey, Orleans.

Previously:

 

February 11, 2010 - 9:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, city council, landlords.

Michael Pullinzi says he has a record as a landlord that he will stack up against anybody.

He feels he was treated unfairly by the Batavia City Council on Monday when the council voted 5-4 to deny him a property at 9 Willow St. that he won in a city auction of delinquent tax properties.

"I challenge them to do a fair comparison of all landlords in the city on the same seven-year period, and I guarantee I will be near the bottom of that list," Pullinzi said in a comment left on the site. "I put over $100K into my properties last year alone and have several open contracts for windows, roofs, siding, carpet, already for this year. I have always been very cooperative with code personnel and all issues are resolved promptly."

Pullinzi's comment was removed because The Batavian has a policy of not editing comments, but there was one sentence that ran counter to site standards.

A copy of the memo given to council is thin on details, but lists reported violations that appear to have more to do with tenant conduct than landlord misconduct.

The list violations include failure to remove debris, yard waste and garbage. The memo also cites grass violations in "multiple" years at 4 Swan St.

Other reported violations include "paint" and "interior viol."  There was also reportedly an unlicensed auto reported at 44-46 Walnut St. in 2003.

"If they had bothered to contact me, I could have explained the most of the 13 code citations over seven years were tenants putting out an extra bag of trash," Pullinzi said. "Most issues in the notices were resolved before I even received the notice and I never had to received a secondary notice on any matter."

The memo states that all violations were corrected and that none of the property owners who bought property at the auction had any outstanding violations, nor had any of the property owners been billed for corrective actions taken by the city.

Among the violations Pullinzi said he received notice on was for a driveway that needed potholes fixed.

"The problem was that it was not my driveway and instead was a city alleyway along the side of my property," Pullinzi said. "To date, the city has not fixed the potholes they demanded I fix, and it has been years."

While the city memo doesn't specify police calls to properties owned by Pullinzi, he said any concern about such calls is misplaced.

"I rent to a lot of handicapped and special-needs tenants and the majority of the police contacts were for emergency medical care calls," Pullinzi said. "Others were for my finding a tenant in a diabetic coma about a year ago, and another contact was my finding the tenant deceased and contacting police. I guess (City Council President Marianne) Clattenburg and (Councilwoman Kathy) Briggs are saying no one should rent to ARC or special-needs individuals or those with medical concerns."

Pullinzi owns properties at 4 Swan, 44-46 Walnut St., 25 Fisher Park, 203 Ross St. and 511 Ellicott St.

February 10, 2010 - 9:05pm

Batavia area senior citizens and youth got together last week to celebrate their outstanding service to the community. It was a mutual admiration society with a broad age range.

The "Minnie Tea Celebration" was held by the Retired Senior Volunteer Program in conjunction with the Genesee County Youth Bureau. It took place at the Senior Center on Bank Street in honor of RSVP volunteers who helped the Genesee County Health Department at the end of 2009 as well as teens who planted and cared for an indoor garden for the Minnie Garden Project. 

RSVP volunteers served the health department by distributing flu vaccines -- both seasonal and H1N1 -- and by performing other tasks such as nursing, paperwork and triage. Thanks to the diligent work of these hearty seniors, the GCHD managed to issue over 6,000 doses of the vaccine by the end of 2009.

 

Meanwhile, area high-schoolers got to try their hands at gardening with the help of Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener David Russell. He was beaming with pride at the tea party and couldn't say enough about the students' dedication to the Minnie Garden Project.

"I'm so proud of the job these kids did," Russell said. "These are kids with different backgrounds who came together and did an excellent job. I'm really proud of them."

In addition to being awarded certificates, the youths were given the honor of having their produce served as hors d'oeuvres at the tea party.

The party was funded by a grant written by 22-year-old former Youth Bureau member Vicki Ripper. Since she finished working at the bureau in November, AmeriCorps Vista volunteer Lauren Paluta and Youth Bureau employee Angela Barbeau have taken control of the program.

Paluta put together last week's event with RSVP Coordinator Dorian Ely. Paluta was the hostess in Ely's absence and, together with Barbeau, she presented certificates of appreciation to the senior and youth volunteers.

 

 

In the last two photos, Hannah and Leah Rosenbeck hand out decorated terra cotta flowerpots to the seniors as they return to their seats after receiving certificates. See the article on RSVP's intergenerational project for more information on this.

February 10, 2010 - 6:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, baseball, Batavia Muckdogs, sports, Russ Salway.

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If the Muckdogs don't last in Batavia, it won't be because Russ Salway didn't put every ounce of passion he has behind the effort to save the team.

The Le Roy native spends at least 10 hours a week in an office at Dwyer Stadium calling on local and regional businesses trying to sell season ticket packages and special event attendance as well as stadium advertising.

If you bump into him around town, he's likely going to want to talk at some point about the Muckdogs and the need for fan support this season -- this season, especially.

Salway has also set up a group on Facebook called, appropriately enough, Let's Keep the Batavia Muckdogs in Batavia.

Russ Salway doesn't work for the Muckdogs or the Rochester Red Wings, who took over management of the team three years ago. Salway is a volunteer.

"We are obviously operating with a small staff, so we can't get to everything," said General Manager Travis Sick. "So to have somebody like Russ, who is so familiar with the community and knows a lot of people, is a great help.

"He's a tremendous help to us," Sick added. "A lot of people say they want to help, but very few come through like Russ. He's great."

Salway said he is putting so much time and effort to promote the Muckdogs because he can't image Batavia without minor league baseball.

"If we lose the team, we'll never get another one," Salway said.

Last season, the Muckdogs lost about $150,000. That deficit was covered by Rochester Community Baseball, the community group that owns the Red Wings. Club officials say they can't sustain those kinds of losses indefinitely. 

"The Red Wings are definitely behind baseball here, but we need to show some improvement," Sick said. "This is still a business and we can't sustain a hundred-thousand-dollar loss year after year. I don't want to call this a make-or-break year, but we've got to show some improvement."

And Salway says he's making progress. He's finding more people and businesses willing to make a commitment to the Muckdogs this season.

"People are really stepping up," Salway said. "There is no reason we can't make this work."

Sick said season ticket sales are slightly ahead of sales from this time last year.

Salway has become such an integral part of promoting Muckdogs baseball, that it's hard to forget it's not his real job. He has worked for O-AT-KA Milk Products for 15 years, where he mixes ingredients for speciality drinks. 

His schedule allows him to go to Dwyer Stadium to field phone calls for a couple of hours during the week. He runs the Facebook group from home at night.

You might think all of this extra time spent on a volunteer effort might put a strain on his personal relationships, but Salway said that his fiancee, Kellie Porter, is 110 percent behind his effort and even puts in volunteer hours herself.

Both Salway and Porter are doing it, not just for the community, he said, but for their children.

"My kids grew up down the road from Dwyer and we've been going to games for years," he said. "I want the team to remain for years so I can take my grandchildren. It's such a great thing for the community. It's a safe, family-friendly environment. It's really the last place in the county were you can go and see old friends and make new ones."

Sick said it won't take much for the team to show progress -- if more people would just go to one more game a year and a few bring some friends, that would help. The team draws about 2 percent of the population to games. If that number just ticked up a notch to 3 percent, it would make a huge difference, Sick said.

The Muckdogs are part of a tradition of professional baseball in Batavia that goes back to 1939. The New York-Penn League was founded in Batavia. Salway said Batavia shouldn't lose that continuity and that sense of history.

The next big event in the life of every Muckdog's fan is the Hot Stove Dinner on Friday at the Batavia Party House. It may be possible to purchase tickets ($25) at the door, but it would be better to buy them in advance at Dwyer Stadium.

February 10, 2010 - 2:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, animals, pets, pictures.

kiwi_gum01.jpg

I happened to stop in Terry Platt's office today and the conversation eventually got around to dog tricks. It turns out his dog, Kiwi, likes to chew gum. That was entertaining to watch.

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