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March 18, 2020 - 3:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, covid-19, Whitman Printing.

Whitman Printing in Batavia is offering to print up to 100 takeout menus for free, for local restaurants/bars.

They will be printed using black ink and standard-size copy paper. No artwork or layout services – they’ll print from a file or copy an existing menu.

Besides the menus, Whitman Printing is also doing two other offers for the community:

  • Free posters for COVID-19 recommendations available for pickup in their lobby, located at 3817 W. Main St. in Batavia;
  • 50-percent off printing and copies for students and teachers.
March 18, 2020 - 3:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in covid-19, UMMC, visitor restrictions, news.

Press release:

Consistent with Governor Cuomo's directive for long-term care facilities, Rochester Regional Health has implemented enhanced visitor restrictions to further protect our patients, our team members, and our community.

United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia is restricting ALL visitors until further notice.

Limited visitation will be allowed for the following patients only:

  • Pediatric patients may have two designated guardians on site at a time;
  • End-of-life patients may have one on-site visitor at a time;
  • Obstetrical patients may have one on-site visitor at a time.

Visitors and guardians must be symptom-free (no coughing, no fever, no runny nose) and must not have knowingly been exposed to an individual with COVID-19 within the past 14 days.

March 18, 2020 - 3:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in covid-19, news, National Grid.

Press release:

National Grid is directing $500,000 to support customers affected by the health impacts, financial hardships and disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding will provide immediate relief to families and individuals in need and bolster efforts by local organizations to assist communities across Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island.

"We are committed to helping our customers through the difficult times and unchartered challenges associated with this pandemic," said Badar Khan, National Grid’s interim U.S. president. “We recognize this is an unprecedented and rapidly changing situation. We want to do our part to look out for our customers and protect the communities where we live and serve.”

A portion of the funds will be dedicated directly to National Grid’s customers experiencing financial hardship. The Company will also work with community-based organizations and funds to help support many of the basic needs being interrupted.

The following represents a sampling of some of the programs and funds that will be targeted:

  • The United Way Rhode Island Crisis Fund 
  • The Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund 
  • Boston Resiliency Fund
  • The United Way of Central MA "We Care Fund"
  • Island Harvest on Long Island
  • The United Way and other organizations across our New York footprint

In addition, National Grid has taken the following steps to further protect the safety and well-being of our customers and employees: 

  • Suspending collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any financial hardship the COVID-19 pandemic may have on customers;
  • Encouraging customers who are struggling to pay their National Grid bill to contact the company as soon as possible for assistance;
  • Offering the expertise of our Consumer Advocates, who provide crisis intervention support for customers in need, working closely with state and county Social Services and community assistance organizations;
  • Requiring our employees to take precautionary measures before entering a customer’s home to limit exposure to our customers and our workforce.   

“Ensuring the health and safety of our employees and customers is our number one priority,” Khan said. “We have a comprehensive emergency response plan in place to keep the lights on and the gas flowing for our customers. Our pandemic team is meeting daily and we’re closely monitoring all developments associated with this evolving and complex situation.”

Khan noted that the Company also is sharing its preparedness plans with regulators, federal, state and local officials, emergency response organizations, customers and other key stakeholders. Additional information on National Grid’s pandemic preparedness and a customer Q&A can be found here.

“We will continue to closely monitor our customers’ needs during the pandemic and find new ways to assist where we can,” Khan said.

March 18, 2020 - 3:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in Classic Optical, batavia, news.

Classic Optical is closed for the remainder of the week because of COVID-19. We are planning to reopen on Tuesday March 24th, but that is dependent on conditions at that time.

Classic Optical is located at 44 Batavia City Centre in the City of Batavia.

Phone is (585) 343-1920.

Visit online here.

UPDATE 12:39 p.m., March 19: Customers can contact the business owner and optometrist Robert "Bob" Chiarmontee via email, which he checks often: [email protected]

March 18, 2020 - 2:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in covid-19, news, Town of Alexander.

Town of Alexander issues the following new policies until further notice due to COVID-19.

Following order by our governor and resolutions passed by the Town Board, the Alexander town offices were closed as of yesterday, March 17, until further notice. 

TOWN CLERK: 585-591-2455, [email protected]

The office doors will remain locked until further notice. Residents may utilize the court drop box on the outside of the building for payments, paperwork, or requests for transfer station cards or by mail as well. If there is an urgent situation that needs to be addressed in person please call to set up a possible appointment. Receipts and cards will be mailed to you as soon as possible to keep business running as smoothly as possible.

Dog licenses can be mailed in or dropped in the drop box. And anyone in need of a handicap permit can call and one will be mailed to you.

Clerk’s hours to answer calls will be as follows:

Monday, Tuesday and Friday 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and 1-4:30 p.m. 

Wednesdays 8:30-2:30 and Thursdays 10-11:30 a.m.

VILLAGE CLERK: 585-708-4167 [email protected]

The office doors will remain locked until further notice. Residents may utilize the village drop box on the outside of the building or call or send mail. 

TOWN ASSESSOR 585-343-1729, ext. 207 [email protected]

The assessor’s office will be closed to the public until further notice.

BUILDING AND ZONING 585-343-1729, ext. 238 [email protected]

Permits can be mailed to the Alexander Town Clerk or dropped in the drop box. If you need a permit to fill out they can be found on the Town of Alexander website. 

TOWN COURT 585-591-8165

Town court is CLOSED until further notice. Any questions feel free to call.

TOWN SUPERVISOR 585-591-0783 [email protected]

Please call with any questions or concerns.

  • Town of Alexander, P.O. Box 248, Alexander NY 14005
  • Village of Alexander. P.O. Box 266, Alexander NY 14005

We apologize for any inconveniences this may cause but our employees and our communities best interest was in mind when we made these decisions. Thank you for understanding.

Shannon Tiede

Alexander Town Clerk/Tax Collector

March 18, 2020 - 2:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in covid-19, NYSFB, business, agriculture.

Statement New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher:

“The agricultural community is strong. We understand adversity and come together in trying times. Our farms and agribusinesses are working hard to follow safety protocols and ensuring food production continues for the people of New York State and the country.

For this to continue, it is also important that agriculture remain open for business. New York Farm Bureau has sent a letter to Governor Cuomo commending him on the state’s response to COVID-19, but also asking that any mandatory business closures exempt farms, agricultural businesses that serve as a supply line, and food processing plants.

The letter reads in part, “Despite the spread of the COVID-19 virus, cows need to be milked, livestock needs to be fed, seeds need to be planted, machinery has to be repaired and regulations mandating environmental compliance will need to be met in order for food to continue to be placed on store shelves. The state’s food security and livestock health depend on obtaining an exemption from mandatory workplace staff reductions or closures for businesses across the state.”

In addition, New York Farm Bureau is concerned that the United States’ Consulates have suspended in-person processing of H-2A agricultural guest worker visas just as the spring planting season is weeks away. While we understand that plans are being implemented to consider workers who have previously been granted H-2A visas, it would halt the hiring of any new foreign workers. This could delay both planting and harvesting on farms and result in lower food production.

New York Farm Bureau has expressed our thoughts to the White House and members of New York’s congressional delegation. We have also encouraged our members to contact their representatives as well.

The letter to President Trump reads in part, “With the continued spread of COVID-19, now more than ever, it is essential that America maintain its level of high-quality food production to ensure food security for the nation. These H-2A visa workers help to plant, manage, and harvest essential crops, including fruits and vegetables. While we are not asking the Administration to jeopardize public health and safety or border security, NYFB requests that the Department of Labor (DOL) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) ensure that all H-2A visa applications are reviewed and acted upon in a timely manner to ensure the flow of approved H-2A workers into the U.S.”

Americans are coming together to get through this pandemic as a united nation. Farmers are doing their part, and the people of this great state and country can rest assured we will get the job done for us all.”

Click here to read the full letter to Governor Cuomo.

Click here to read the full letter to President Trump.

New York Farm Bureau is the State’s largest agricultural lobbying/trade organization. Its members and the public know the organization as “The Voice of New York Agriculture.” New York Farm Bureau is dedicated to solving the economic and public policy issues challenging the agricultural community.

March 18, 2020 - 2:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in covid-19, hlom, news.

Dear Holland Land Office Museum Supporters:

We at the Holland Land Office Museum have been watching the current circumstances regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. Though we had originally planned to stay open, with the recent updates to the situation within our local community, the Board of Directors and I have decided to close the museum to the public for the recommended two-week period until April 1st.

This closure is in addition to canceling and rescheduling the remainder of events scheduled for the remainder of March.

We will be continually evaluating the situation as April approaches and will keep everyone updated if we decide to cancel or reschedule further events.

Any updates to our situation will be communicated through our website, Facebook page, and email. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact the museum by phone at 585-343-4727 or by email at [email protected]

Thank you for your support and understanding of this decision. We hope for everyone to stay safe and healthy.

Ryan Duffy

Executive Director

March 18, 2020 - 2:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in covid-19, GCC, Roz Steiner Gallery, art, Express It, news.

The Roz Steiner Art Gallery at Genesee Community College is closed through March 31st.

Tomorrow, two public receptions for the Fine Arts students' exhibit 'Express It' are also cancelled.

The director of the gallery, Mary Jo Whitman, posted a video of the works in the student exhibit, which was on display starting March 3, on Facebook and it can be viewed here.

Here is the official statement from the gallery:

"In accordance with directives issued by Governor Cuomo this week, all state agencies, including Genesee Community College, are taking action to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19. As such the Roz Steiner Art Gallery will be closed through March 31, 2020 and the opening receptions for 'Express It: GCC Fine Arts Student Exhibit' have been cancelled."

March 18, 2020 - 2:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in covid-19, GC Board of Elections, news.

Genesee County Board of Elections
Dick Siebert and Lorie Longhany

Beginning Thursday, March 19, the Genesee County Board of Elections will be closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic for the safety of the voting public.

Voter registration forms for registering to vote or for any of the following -- change of address, name change, party enrollment changes, as well as absentee ballot applications -- can all be accessed on our website here, by phone at (585) 815-7804 during regular business hours, or by email at:   [email protected]

These forms can either be mailed back to us at Genesee County Board of Elections, 15 Main St., Batavia, NY 14020, or placed in the DMV drop box on Court Street at County Building One in the City of Batavia.

March 18, 2020 - 2:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in covid-19, news, Richmond Memorial Library.

Press release:

Below are the most recent updates from Richmond Memorial Library. We will send more information as it becomes available. 

Upon the recommendation of New York public health officials, the Richmond Memorial Library is closed to the public until further notice to minimize public interactions and the spread of this virus -- COVID-19.

Currently checked-out materials can be renewed online or by telephone, or returned to a library drop box. Due dates will be extended through May 18 via telephone renewal, and overdue fees will be waived on materials returned up to three weeks after our re-opening date, yet to be determined.

Online services are being highlighted and promoted, including streaming and downloadable services.

Other services which can be sustained while closed to the public are being considered by library administration and staff at the first available opportunity.

These measures will be updated regularly.

Thank you for helping to keep our community safe and healthy!

March 18, 2020 - 1:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in NY-27, Beth Parlato, covid-19, news.

Press release:

Beth Parlato, Conservative Republican candidate in the NY-27 congressional district race, today released the following statement regarding the COVID-19 pandemic:

“COVID-19 is not a political problem or a partisan problem. This is an American problem. It’s a world problem. It’s a pandemic. And it needs to be taken seriously, especially for the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

"With that, our campaign is shifting our focus to assisting the most vulnerable and those in need in NY-27 during the coronavirus crisis.

"I will not sit idly by as our neighbors are struggling. We are here to serve the community. Our campaign will be using our website as a resource for those in need. Anyone in need in NY-27 can submit a request for essential food and household items. We will be fielding requests, collecting donations, organizing volunteers and deliveries to our vulnerable neighbors who cannot leave their homes.

"You can sign up for assistance, to volunteer or donate items at bethforcongress.com.

"We are in this together. We will get through this together.”

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotline:        
Helpful websites for COVID-19 updates: 

March 18, 2020 - 1:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, covid-19, New York State budget.

A Legislative Column from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

As many of us are aware, the virus known as COVID-19, or coronavirus, has required us to make many changes in our day-to-day lives. From limiting social interactions to setting up curfews in the evenings, these changes are most definitely out of the ordinary. But, I have a feeling we will all be grateful such care is being taken to prevent the spread of the disease when we look back at this event.

However, during this public health crisis, it is becoming clear that some attempts to push forward policy that has not been properly debated or discussed are becoming commonplace. My stance is what it has always been: the government’s role is not to avoid transparency, and I will fight to make sure New Yorkers know what their government is doing.

We are not here to tie the bow on the governor’s bad policy in the middle of a crisis. It’s wrong and it’s dishonest. It’s disappointing to think that the governor would take advantage of the situation by trying to jam his political wish-list into what is supposed to be a policy-free budget. We need to pass a budget that responsibly keeps the state operating, one that allows the state to be financially stable, so we can return at a safer, later date to debate and determine the merits of any and all proposals that do not have a financial impact on everyday New Yorkers.

Additionally, we need to lead by example. While I agree that state legislators should be working day and night to support New Yorkers in this time of crisis, I am equally mindful of keeping legislators as healthy as possible. We are needed in our districts now more than ever, which leads me to believe that pushing back a voting deadline for the budget is more important than ever.

March 18, 2020 - 1:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in Town of Bergen, news, covid-19, State of Emergency.

From the Bergen Town Supervisor:

In the best interests of the Town of Bergen and our residents and businesses, and in collaboration with the Village of Bergen and the Bergen Fire Department, I will be issuing  a State of Emergency for the Town of Bergen as of 3 p.m. today (3/18/2020).

The declaration allows the Supervisor discretion to use all facilities, equipment, supplies, personnel and other resources of the Town of Bergen to cope with the COVID-19 emergency.

I anticipate that it will be critical to have Town of Bergen personnel available to respond to various needs arising in the Town. I am sure we will all rise to the occasion to help each other, safely, during this time.

Thank you,

Ernie Haywood,


March 18, 2020 - 1:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, pembroke schools, news, video, live stream, covid-19, coronavirus.
Video Sponsor

This afternoon we're talking with Pembroke's school superintendent, Matthew E. Calderon.  The stream is also available on YouTube.

March 18, 2020 - 1:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in Tops Friendly Markets, Le Roy, batavia, news, Seniors, covid-19.

Press release:

In these uncertain times we at Tops Friendly Markets feel the need to address the concerns of our most vulnerable population, our seniors 60 years of age and older.

We've heard you and therefore, effective Thursday, March 19, and until further notice, Tops will open its doors for this select audience only, allowing them to shop from 6 – 7:30 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday.

Rest assured we will not be asking for identification as we trust the community will not abuse this privilege. Tops also has curbside and pickup delivery as an alternate shopping solution.

Please visit Topsmarkets.com to shop online.

March 18, 2020 - 1:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in covid-19, DSS, news.

Press release:

This press release is intended to provide guidance about the current procedures in place at Genesee County Department of Social Services regarding COVID-19.

Our office is currently open during regular business hours operating with minimal staffing. However, we are asking that people use other means of accessing our services whenever possible.

Regarding our various programs, here is some specific guidance:

SNAP/HEAP: Applications can be made online here or both programs. All interviews are being done via phone whenever possible. Paper applications are also accepted via mail, email, fax, etc.

Temporary Assistance(cash assistance): All requirements for in-person interviews have been suspended. Applications can be mailed, emailed, faxed, dropped off, etc. and you will be contacted for an interview. This includes all requests for emergency assistance.

Child Care: Paper applications can be mailed, emailed, faxed, dropped off, etc. and you will be contacted for an interview.

Medicaid: A majority of individuals can apply online here for Medicaid or other health insurance programs. For individuals who have been informed they must apply through our office, an application can be mailed, faxed, dropped off, etc. and you will be contacted for an interview. We ask that individuals who have a "spenddown" for this program, please send check or money order in the mail if possible.

If you need a paper application for our programs, we have placed some just inside the building for easy access. For all programs, please make sure you provide a phone number where you can be reached. If you do not have access to a phone, you may come in person to our office to be interviewed.

Payments for child support: When at all possible, please send payments via check or money order directly to: NYS Child Support Processing Center, P.O. Box 15363, Albany, NY 12212-5363 or pay online here.

Child Welfare and Adult Protective Services continue to provide all necessary services. There is decreased staffing and additional health precautions are being taken.

Please use the drop box located outside the building whenever possible. We will be checking this several times daily. Please call our office with any questions regarding our services at 585-344-2580. Once connected, if you know the extension of your worker, you may enter that. Otherwise, dial 0 for the operator.

Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our community healthy.

Chelsea Peyman

Secretary to the Commissioner

Genesee County Department of Social Services

March 18, 2020 - 1:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in Village of Bergen, State of Emergency, news, covid-19.

Public Notice

The County of Genesee and the State of New York have declared States of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The outbreak poses an immediate danger to public health and safety which endangers the residents and businesses of the Village of Bergen. 

 I believe it is in the best interest of the Village of Bergen and our residents/businesses for me to issue a State of Emergency in the Village of Bergen, which will allow me the discretion to use any and all facilities, equipment, supplies, personnel and other resources of the Village of Bergen in such a manner as may be necessary or appropriate to cope with the disaster or emergency resulting there from.

In particular, but with no limitation, I anticipate that it will be critical to have Village of Bergen personnel available to respond to specific, but current unforeseen, needs arising in the Village. The Village of Bergen will be coordinating efforts with the Town of Bergen.

Therefore, I have exercised the authority given to me as the Mayor and Chief Executive Officer of the Village of Bergen, pursuant to Article 2B of the Executive Law of the State of New York, and hereby declare a state of emergency effective this date (March 18, 2020) at 3 p.m. in the Village of Bergen, Genesee County, New York.

This state of emergency shall remain in effect for the next 30 days unless and until rescinded or extended by me for an additional 30-day period.

Any residents in need of special or emergency assistance are advised to contact 9-1-1. All residents are advised to monitor the Village of Bergen website, local media reports for continued updates and advisories.

Anna Marie Barclay


Village of Bergen

March 18, 2020 - 12:59pm

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is fighting for small business relief with the “Small Business Recovery Act of 2020,” an act that aims to provide critical financial help at a time when the survival of many small businesses hangs in the balance.

With small businesses making up 99 peaceful of business in New York State, and employing approximately half of the state’s workforce, the impacts of the COVID-19 virus, or coronavirus, threaten not only public health, but the entire state’s economy in the long term.

The Small Business Emergency Recovery Act of 2020 would:

  • Immediately direct the state’s settlement reserve fund of $890 million toward small businesses;
  • Create a 0-percent interest loan program dedicated to helping small businesses meet their payroll commitments;
  • Repurpose available tax credits to help the needs of the state’s existing small businesses;
  • Use all economic development discretionary funding for existing small businesses within New York State;
  • Move tax deadlines for remittance, business tax, and personal income tax ahead 180 days, and;
  • Suspend all regulatory fees on small businesses for 180 days.

“Our citizens are diligently following instructions as given to them by the state government in the interest of stopping the spread of this terrible virus,” Hawley said. “I don’t think  this drastic shift in lifestyle should punish citizens and families who own small businesses and do what we as legislators have asked.

"It’s not only in the best interest of the economy to support these businesses, but as neighbors, it’s the right thing to do for our fellow New Yorkers.”

March 18, 2020 - 10:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in 2020 Census, news, video, live stream.
Video Sponsor

Coming up at 11 a.m.: Census 2020: An interview with Felipe Oltramari, Genesee County Planning director.

To watch the stream on YouTube, where you can also comment and ask questions during the interview, click here.





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