Local Matters

Community Sponsors


March 26, 2009 - 2:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, BID.

Monday, a couple dozen downtown business people gathered at Generation Center on Center Street to discuss ways to improve the business environment downtown.

John Roche, owner of Adam Miller Toys, made an especially impassioned plea for businesses downtown to promote other businesses downtown.

He noted that often times people wind up in Batavia without knowing much about all that downtown has to offer. He talked about when he finds an unfamiliar face in his business, he is sure to tell them about other retailers or places to eat.  He said all of the businesses need to support each other this way.

He noted that a personal recommendation from one business owner about another business carries a lot of weight with customers.

Today, the Daily News, has a story about BID efforts to bring more customers downtown.

It's a fine story, but I wish I had taken notes on John's speech (I was there to be a businessman, not a reporter).  John's impromptu address was full of vigor and community spirit. John isn't mentioned in Joanne Beck's story at all.

As a complete aside, I finally made the Daily News, though quite accidentally, I'm sure and not at all noticeable to anybody but my mother, if she saw the picture, but I'm sitting in front of Don Burkel in this photo.

March 25, 2009 - 5:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, crime, Country Max.

Wooden cargo pallets were stolen Tuesday from the rear of Country Max garden and pet supply store on Main Street in Batavia.

And it's not the first time, either. But this time the folks at Country Max say they caught the pilferers on film.

“We think we know who it is,” said the store worker. “Now we're waiting to catch them if they try it again.”

The pallets pile up as retail shipments are off loaded. They come free with the merchandise, but they're still the retailer's property and not up for grabs.

Unlike previous stockpiles, the one stolen this week was to be sold. In this economy, every little bit of legal tender helps.

March 25, 2009 - 3:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Pok-A-Dot, Present Tense Bookstore.

Blogger Stephan Lewandowski tells of his recent visit to Elba and Batavia, with the requisite visit to the Pok-A-Dot and search for a bookstore that sells Gardner and Kauffman.

On my way north on 63 near downtown I see the Pok-A-Dot is open for lunch business. The Pok-A-Dot is a 40s lunch counter, a tent of a building erected for temporary shelter but surviving into a new century. It must be nice in the summer because you can order your food, then sit under shelter off to the side of traffic to eat it up. In the winter, it seems to be made mostly of glass, and everybody crouches over the heat sources at the stove top, grill, and deep fryer. Almost all the patrons are men, and most have their coats and hats still on. All the cooks and servers are women.

In the Pok-A-Dot, there are six or eight tables and a counter seating twelve or fifteen that bends around the grill. I sit at the counter, nearer the heat. The waitress never offers me a menu. She just comes up and says, “What will you have?”

March 25, 2009 - 8:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Alabama.

Randall W. McKeown, 46, of Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt in the first degree and harassment in the second degree. McKeown allegedly sent repeated text messages to a person he was ordered by the court not to contact. He is being held without bail.

Joshua Gebhard, 21, of Churchville, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Gebhard was found to allegedly possess the marijuana after Sheriff's deputies responded to a loud noise complaint in Stafford.

Michael Smoke, 20, of Basom, is alleged to have had inappropriate contact with a 12-year-old child in Alabama. Basom is charged with acting in a manner injurious to a child under 17-years-old.

Joseph C. Hufford, 42, of Middleport, was arrested in Byron Monday for alleged DWI. Hufford was allegedly involved in a single-car accident. Upon investigation, Sheriff's deputies concluded he appeared to be operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. He was charged with DWI and driving with a BAT of .08 or more. He was released on an appearance ticket.

March 24, 2009 - 4:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Announcements, Rotary.

Press Release:

At its weekly lunch meeting today, the Rotary Club of Batavia announced that Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella has been selected to be their 61st Annual Rotary Show.  Show dates are November 5th – November 9th at the Batavia High School Auditorium.

The musical based on the age-old fairy tale was first broadcast on CBS television in 1957 and starred Julie Andrews.  It was reprised in 1965 as the first color broadcast musical for television and starred Lesley Anne Warren.  A more recent adaptation was broadcast that starred Whitney Houston and Brandy.

The selection made by the Batavia Rotary Show Committee will be the original production with one modification added from the 1965 version.  It will include a cast of 30 to 35 Adults and 8 to 10 Children.   This is the first time that Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella has been selected by the Rotarians.

This year’s production of Cinderella will be directed by Patrick D. Burk.  This is Burk’s first time directing for the Rotary Club of Batavia.  Burk is widely known as the creator of the Batavia Players Summer Youth Theater Program and the Shakespeare in Springtime Program, which just completed this past weekend.  

“I am excited and honored to be offered this opportunity by the Rotary Club, “ Burk stated. “I have always enjoyed working with this group and have had a lot of fun on the Rotary Stage in the past.  I am pleased with the show selection and look forward to offering this truly family oriented show to the Rotary audiences.” 

Known for its costuming and beautiful sets, the pre-production work will begin with meetings in April and continue with the selection of show and musical staff.  Auditions will be held in September.   Show Chairperson is Laurie Mastin,  Business Manager is John Saville and the President – Elect is Ted Hawley.

Burk previously directed this version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella for the Gates Community Theater at Robert’s Wesleyan College in North Chili.  He has performed in countless stage productions as well as directing and producing shows.  Some of his Rotary Show appearances include Daddy Warbucks in Annie, the King in The King and I, Bung Foo in Thoroughly Modern Millie  and Charlie Cowell in The Music Man. 

March 24, 2009 - 7:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia.

At last night's City Council meeting, council members debated whether to continue a $235-per-month car allowance for the city's top-three employees, WBTA reports this morning.

Councilman Bill Cox suggested that the monthly allowance be changed to a per-mile-driven reimbursement for the city manager, police chief and fire chief. WBTA posts audio of his comments.

Mary Ann Clattendburg spoke in favor of the stipend, saying that removing the allowance would amount to a cut in pay. Here's audio of her comments.

March 23, 2009 - 11:10pm
posted by Tasia Boland in batavia, Announcements, schools, cancer, roswell.

 From the press release:

Batavia High School will be “Goin’Bald” for Roswell Park Cancer
Institute on Wednesday, March 25, at 7:00 PM in the BHS gym. The event,
sponsored by the National Honor Society and part of the annual Roswell’s
Goin’ Bald for Bucks appeal, will be sandwiched between two exciting
games of volleyball - the first between the BHS girls’ varsity
volleyball team and the boys’ varsity basketball team, and the second
game between staff members from throughout the school district. During
the intermission between the two games, any brave person who has
volunteered to go bald for Roswell will have their heads professionally

“Our school community has been touched by cancer too often not to recognize the importance of the research that is ongoing at Roswell,” said Adam Pettinella Batavia High School National Honor Society President, “Our efforts this year are in honor of Mrs. Kay Dean, BHS health teacher, who passed away from cancer two years ago.” He said she was an active member of the faculty and everyone’s favorite teacher would have loved to have been a part of this special event.

The following teachers will have their heads shaved Wednesday evening:  from Batavia High School - Mr. Adam Garlapow, Mr. Nate Korzelius, Mr. John Kirkwood, Mr. Adam Fusco and Mr. Mark Warren; from the Middle School - Mr. Jeff Tress; from Jackson School - Mr. Carm DelPlato; from Robert Morris School - Mr. Michael Calandra and Mr. Jerry Sloan and from John Kennedy School - Mr. Paul Kesler, principal.

The following students are also shaving their heads and have raised their own donations through sponsorship - Taylor Hubbard, Will Ely, Chad Luce, Andrew Maxwell, Sunny Rathod and John Richards.

This is the first time BHS has participated in this event. All proceeds will be donated to Roswell.

“We hope we have a great turn out,” said Pettinella.

March 23, 2009 - 6:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire.

Fire units are responding to a "good size" brush fire at 8910 Lehigh Road in the Town of Batavia.

One crew on the scene has reported the fire spreading.

No further information available at this time.

UPDATE: A few minutes after this initial post, crews reported the fire was largely put out and clean up was in process.

View Larger Map

March 23, 2009 - 4:25pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports, alexander, Notre Dame.

Alexander's Anni Lehtola was recently named Genesee Region League Player of the Year by Birdseye Foods.

The 5-foot-9 senior averaged 16 points with five rebounds and two assists per game. The foreign exchange student from Finland led her team to a top seed in Class C and the sectional finals.

Notre Dame senior guard Kevin Francis received the honor for boys basketball, helping his team to a top seed in Class D1.

Francis scored 20.9 points with 5.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 5.1 steals per game. He set school records with 130 assists and 112 steals.

Both players are selected to play in the Ronald McDonald all-star game.


Here is a video feature on Lehtola from the season.

March 23, 2009 - 2:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, animals, agriculture, Galloway Road.

Four-legged critters had the Town of Batavia's public works department scurrying around Monday morning.

First there was the passel of sheep munching on trash in the front yard of a house at 2905 Galloway Road, creating a bit of a traffic hazard.

A dozen sheep and a lamb were spotted chomping garbage shortly after 10 this morning. A cow mooed encouragement from the back yard. Forty-five minutes later only crumbs remained.

A public works employee for the Town of Batavia showed up and said the foragers lived behind the two-story white house and had gotten out of the pen again. Usually the owner's home to round them up, the worker said.

The commotion caused the sheep to mosey away from the road and head toward the rear of the property.

A Sheriff's deputy arrived. They reported shortly thereafter that the wooly ones were shooed into their pen, which was then jerryrigged to stay shut. Hopefully.

Meanwhile, a skunk was lolling about in a park tennis court. On the scanner, authorities considered how best to remove it. One suggested shooting it. Another said it would be saved for lunch, prompting another to recommend roasting the skunk. None of the options were exercised.

The next critter call was about dogs in the road someplace, hampering traffic.

March 23, 2009 - 10:38am
posted by Tasia Boland in batavia, technology.

The Batavia City School district knows the importance of staying updated with technology. In November the district received the Torchlight Award from Promethean Inc, an international award-winning company which creates interactive learning technology to help teachers develop lessons that engage, educate, assess, and motivate learners.

Now the district has formed a committee to go wireless. Pamela Schunk, Director of Learning for Batavia City School District, said this will hopefully save money.

Schunk said the thing about technology is its expensive and  always changing, but the district is doing its best to meet the state’s standards.

New York State standards look at ways schools are developing their mission statements, and are constantly revising the standards.

Schunk said Batavia City School district develops their technology mission statement from the state’s standards and use it to guide everything they do.

The Technology Mission Statement
The Batavia City School District’s technology mission is to provide students with the technology, on-line resources, and bandwidth necessary to acquire the knowledge, develop the attitudes, and master the skills needed to meet the New York State Standards.

Just over a year teachers have been using a software program called Tech Paths. The program uses curriculum mapping which enables teachers to stay organized and communicate with other teachers and administrators.

All classrooms in the district have at least one computer and most have at least four student computers along with an inkjet or last printer. If the school needs new technology it is up to the teachers to apply for it.

Six technology classes are offered at Batavia High School that include, Desktop Publishing 1 and 2, Communications in the 21st Century, Media Production in the 21st Century, Fundamentals of Web Design, and Fundamentals of Java Programming.

“All students have to be engaged,” said Schunk about the goals of a learner centered classroom, “The information has to be relevant, and have meaning.” She continued saying it must be challenging, and teachers really have to know their students background ability, and interests.

March 23, 2009 - 8:37am
posted by Melissa George in batavia, jaycees, Clor's, Chicken.
Event Date and Time: 
April 19, 2009 - 11:30am to 2:00pm

The Batavia Area Jaycees will be hosting a Clor's Chicken Barbecue on April 19, 2009 from 11:30am2:00 pm.   Cost for the dinner is $8.00 and includes half a chicken, salt potatoes, baked beans, roll & butter.

March 23, 2009 - 7:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, elba, pembroke.

Andrew J. Ashley, 22, of Le Roy, was arrested in connection with an alleged altercation on March 15 in which Ashley reported punched another person in the face. The victim suffered a broken nose and a cut cornea. Ashley is charged with assault in the third degree.

Neil H. Farley III, 18, of Elba and his 17-year-old brother were arrested at their Ridge Road home Friday evening for allegedly throwing an under-age drinking party. The 17-year-old was allegedly found in possession of marijuana and several marijuana pipes were reportedly found in his room. Both are charged with unlawfully dealing with children in the first degree.

Kevin E. Moscicki, 21, of Oakfield, was arrested Saturday morning in Batavia and charged with DWI. The Sheriff's office reports that Moscicki's vehicle was observed making an unsafe lane change and an improper right turn, which led to a traffic stop.  Further investigation revealed Moscicki was allegedly operating the vehicle while intoxicated. He was charged with driving with at BAT .08 or more.

Gregory L. Brennan, 40, of Batavia was charged with DWI following a traffic stop on Slusser Road in Pembroke. He is accused of driving with a BAT .08 or greater and operating a motor vehicle without a license. Brennan was arrested early Sunday morning.

Robbie J. Stanton, 31, of Batavia, is charged with a felony DWI and operating a vehicle with a revoked license following a traffic stop in Pembroke Saturday morning.

Joseph M. Menas, 30, of Elba, was arrested and charged with DWI Thursday night after the Sheriff's office received a report of a car of the road on Route 98. When deputies arrived, the driver was not with the vehicle. Menas was subsequently found at a nearby residence. He is charged with DWI and aggravated DWI.

March 22, 2009 - 9:26pm
posted by Robin Walters in batavia, community awarness.

Ok, I got to experience my first local home show this past week-end here in Batavia.


Care-A-Van Ministries had a booth there. When I first arrived, I had to walk by the inviting hot tub. Now that sure did look relaxing! I got to tell you, Paul is a creative soul. Upon arriving at our booth, the street lights were shining bright. The walls were adorned with pictures of the ministry including the summer picnics that we hold in the local neighborhoods.


Larry Hicks our Donations Director and Paul were busy handing out homemade brownies that were baked by Paul and Bridget. Care-A-Van has become known for its famous brownies which are chocolate with gooey chocolate icing. I confess, I had a “few” over the week-end!  I was amazed at the creativity of the other vendors as well. There were many children that were busy working their way around enjoying the candy baskets that adorned many of the booths. I had a great time with Paul and Bridget today. It was so much fun handing out the brownies and sharing God’s love. We had a great week-end sharing and bringing awareness to the community about the ministry.


At the local health department, I got to ask questions about the pesty bats that fly around outside my home. The executive director, Doug, told me that if you wake up to a bat in the home, you really should capture it and have it checked for rabies. The teeth on bats are so small that one may not realize they have been bit while sleeping.  Now that gives me chills! As I wandered the concourse, I got to meet some really great people. I want to personally thank each and every one of you for a warm welcome.


There is a lot of organization that goes into putting on such a show. Hats off to the folks who organized such a great event! Oh, and I have another confession. As we were cleaning up, I found the $ 5.00 coupon to try out the Batavia Downs Casino. The wheels were spinning in my mind. Man, can you imagine how many people in Batavia could be fed if I won the jackpot? So yes, I headed up stairs with the $ 5.00 gift coupon in hand.

I learned I had to have my driver’s license with me. So back downstairs I went to get the license. I wandered the area looking for the “lucky” machine. Needless to say, I did not win a dime. As I pushed the buttons, I kept looking around at all the people that were hoping to win big.


It is right then that I stopped and gave thanks. There truly was a winner today. That winner was a woman who the ministry saw on the street Saturday that had many hurts and pains going on in her life. With encouragement from God through Care-A-Van she accepted an invitation to church for this morning. The ministry team picked her up and took her to church at the Assembly of God. Through many tears, and prayers she accepted the Lord as her Savior today. She came to realize that she no longer needs to live her life and put up with the abuse and muck and mire of her life. She learned today that there is a different way of life for her. She learned that there is hope for her and her family. I must say, she was the lucky one. She truly hit the jackpot! The great news is that this is jackpot is available for anyone and the best part is – It is Free!


Thanks again to all of you for a super fun week-end! I look forward to next year.


PS.. If you thought Paul's brownies were good, you should try out the Easter Dinner Care-A-Van is having on Easter Sunday at the Assembly of God church. Paul and Bridget are doing the cooking and baking. The time for the Easter dinner is from 2:00-4:00 PM.


Hey Howard, by the way, I found my camera tonight! So I will try to include pics! One's mouth would be watering with a picture of Paul's brownies!


March 21, 2009 - 4:43pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports.

 The Batavia boys basketball team prides itself on its defense. And it is because of defense that the Blue Devils nearly shocked Jamesville-Dewitt Saturday morning in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class A semifinals.

J-D has been the top ranked team in the state all season long and has a senior guard that is heading to Syracuse next year on a basketball scholarship, but Batavia's game plan was perfect and they forced the Red Rams to play at Batavia's pace.  Batavia only gave up 40 points, but lost the game 40-32.

The Blue Devils came out and surprised J-D with an early run, taking an early 8-3 lead. Batavia led 10-5 after one period of play, with Andrew Hoy hitting a pair of 3-pointers.

Batavia held J-D star Brandon Triche to just two points in the opening frame.

But the Red Rams went on a 14-0 run to open the second quarter and took a seven point lead. Batavia's defense kept them in the game though and the Blue Devils only trailed 20-13 at the break.

Andrew and Robert Hoy each had 3-pointers in the third quarter and J-D's lead was cut to 24-23.

The Red Rams went on a run after that and opened up a five point lead. Robert hit another 3-pointer and Batavia was only down 32-30 with just two minutes left in the game. Triche answered right back with a bucket and J-D hit some free throws down the stretch, ending an amazing season for the Batavia basketball team.

Triche ended up with 17 points but Batavia did a good job fighting the size disadvantage again. Coleman only scored two points in the contest.

Andrew Hoy led the Blue Devils with 15 points.

Batavia ends the season with a 22-4 record and has the honor of being just the second team in the program's history to make the state final four. Jamesville-Dewitt is now 25-1 and will be playing Peekskill in the finals tomorrow afternoon.


March 21, 2009 - 12:01am
posted by Robin Walters in batavia, community awareness.

Have you ever knocked on a door only to find out no one was home? Well that was the way it was Thursday night on our night out with Care-A-Van. We headed out the local college GCC to visit the door rooms. We knew ahead of time that it was spring break but we still wanted to be able to go out and brighten the evening for those students that may have not been able to head home for spring break.

Each time we go there, one of the security guards goes around with us. On this particular evening it was a plus to have her with us. She knew what rooms were occupied. Even though a lot of the  94 rooms were empty we still left them a brochure about the ministry, a gospel track, a big bag of cookies and a personal invitation to the Easter Dinner that Care-Van is hosting on Easter Day, April 12th . This dinner will be held at the Assembly of God church beginning at 2:00 PM. If you have nowhere to go, come join us for Easter Dinner. Paul and Bridget will personally be doing the cooking! I have even heard that there will be a chocolate fountain, now how could one resist that?

Bridget was kind enough to send along Goulash on the bus to feed the hungry workers.

This was a big plus as a few of the students came out to the bus to have dinner with us.

Elder Ron got to spend some quality time feeding them not only physically but spiritually as well. PJ was busy getting bags of groceries to send back to the doom room with these young folks.  Dave and I were busy hitting up the candy bowls that adorn the booths. Dave told me that he calls it the “Calorie Van”. Goodies are readily available for anyone who climbs on board.  Paul kept busy with synching his IPOD into the new stereo system to provide the music entertainment of the evening.

Do you remember the story about how Jesus fed thousands with a few fish and loaves of bread? God did that tonight with the goulash. Just as we were getting ready to leave, three young men came out to get something to eat. Now mind you, I swear that crockpot was empty. There was not much left when I got a chance to eat.  The one young man had eaten 4 bowls! But Elder Ron said sure we have food, come on board! I watched from the back of the bus as he filled 3 bowls to the rim full of Goulash! I truly witnessed how God provides just enough. It still boggles my mind where those last 3 bowls of goulash came from.

When the students arrive back home from spring break, they will find a surprise treat waiting for them. For the students that were home, they got a special extra treat. It truly was a special evening spent at the college. We got to meet some young men from Spain and England. Typically, we do not get to spend this much quality one on one time with the students. God blessed us just as much as he blessed these young students.

So next time you knock on a door and no one is home, I encourage you to think of how you could brighten the occupant’s arrival home. Maybe you could leave a special treat, or maybe a welcome home note, or maybe just a note to let them know that you do truly care and if they ever need anything they can give you a call. This is what Care-Van does. We go forth and let them know we are there because we care! Have a great week-end!

March 20, 2009 - 11:58pm
posted by Session Placeholder in batavia, Announcements, events, Service Clubs, dinner meetings, Business Women.

The Batavia Business Women's Club will hold their April 2 Dinner Meeting at  Batavia Downs, in the Board Room. Your choice of Steak or Chicken Entrees, $12. The guest speaker will be Genesee County Clerk, Don Read. Please RSVP by March 30 to Mary Ellen at 343-1610 or Diane at 343-1423 ext. 230.

March 20, 2009 - 8:02pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in batavia, basketball, sports.

The Batavia basketball team is favored on the court more often than not. Saturday morning will be different.

The Blue Devils will be taking on a team that has been the top ranked team in the state all season long, has a player getting a full ride to Syracuse and is the defending state champion.

Senior Brandon Triche scored 28 points in Jamesville-DeWitt's 90-61 win over Scotia-Glenville in the regional game and is the biggest name on the roster because he will be playing for 'Cuse next season. But he isn't the only big-time player on the roster.

The biggest challenge Batavia faces is a youngster. Dajuan Coleman is a 6-foot-8 freshman that is going to cause serious matchup problems. The Blue Devils have been undersized all year and have done well against big players for the most part. But there have been times that players with this kind of height have dominated. 

Batavia forward Joe Schlossel has had a tremendous season and has played much bigger than his listed size of 6-2. But he's going to need a lot of help with Coleman.

Jamesville-DeWitt is extremely athletic and will attempt to run the floor. If Batavia can get rebounds, they should be able to slow things down. The Blue Devils need to get into a half court game to have a shot in this matchup.

Batavia has won games this season because of a strong perimeter game, led by sophomore Andrew Hoy. The Blue Devils will have to put up some impressive shooting numbers from beyond the arc to win this game.

The game is at 10:45 Saturday morning and the winner will battle either Peekskill or East Hampton at 1 p.m. Sunday. 

March 20, 2009 - 7:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Batavia Police are looking for a hero who broke up an attempted robbery by two young thugs on Ellicott Street near Jackson on March 5 at about 1:30 p.m.

The victim was a 90-year-old woman.

She was accosted by two young men in their late teens, but an unknown passerby chased the suspects away.

Police want to talk to the hero as well as any other witnesses.

The BPD's press release does not indicate whether investigators have yet identified the suspects.

The hero or other witnesses are asked to call Det. Kevin Czora at 585-345-6311 or the BPD at 585-345-6350.

Subscribe to



Copyright © 2008-2019 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button