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June 23, 2022 - 9:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Lee Zeldin, news, batavia.

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In what is being billed as a "Save Our State" rally, gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin is scheduled to make an appearance in Batavia at noon outside the Old Courthouse.

Previously: Lee Zeldin, running for governor visits Batavia, gets business perspective on state's needs

Photo: File photo from Oct. 15, when Zeldin visited Chapin Manufacturing with Assemblyman Steve Hawley. Photo by Howard Owens.

June 23, 2022 - 4:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in solar farm, Cypress Creek Renewables LLC, batavia, news.

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Three poles at each entrance of a pair of proposed solar projects off of Ellicott Street Road in the Town of Batavia will be less of an eyesore than four, members of the town planning board decided on Tuesday.

At one time, the developer, Cypress Creek Renewables, proposed four poles.

At Tuesday's meeting, project attorney Mark T. Sweeney, after a lengthy discussion of the topic, asked the planning board to commit to three poles if that is truly their desire.

"What we would ask then is that the board clarify the condition of approval to require us to have a maximum of three poles per project," Sweeney said. "Then we can agree, we can accept that and redo a redesign for that. What we really need tonight is to be able to walk away knowing what it is we have to do. So that would be my ask of you as a board is to clarify and modify that condition of approval so that we can do that."

The number of poles is not a straightforward design decision, Sweeney explained during Tuesday's discussion.  The equipment that is mounted on the poles can be placed on the ground but at much greater expense.  The design must be approved by National Grid. The ground-mounted equipment is big and bulky and must be fenced in. And ground-mounted equipment is a special order and supply issues are delaying delivery.

Introduced in June 2019, the proposal from Cypress Creek Renewables LLC calls for the construction of two solar farms on property owned by Don Partridge at 5117 Ellicott Street Road.

  • A 5-megawatt array on 18.2 acres of a 65-acre parcel of otherwise agricultural land, known as Trousdale Solar I;
  • A 4-megawatt system on 19.6 acres of a 71-acre parcel of otherwise agricultural land, known as Trousdale Solar II.

The four-pole plan Cypress Creek came up with for each project -- and that received a nod of approval from National Grid -- helped the company balance competing factors and the company sought to maintain that balance, Sweeney said. 

"There's a balance, you know, in what SEQR requires," Sweeney said. "The site plan evaluation requires a balance of the impacts versus the cost. One of the things we were looking at is just that element of it. I understand if there's a particular impact that is to be avoided, or identified that we weren't aware of, that's one thing, but just simply ground-mounting something at a significant cost would be -- for no significant benefit to the environment, from a visual standpoint -- would be in our position, something we've tried to avoid. "

When the equipment is ground-mounted, it must be placed on a two-foot-high base, Sweeney said. The equipment enclosure is six feet tall.  And because it is electrical equipment, it must be surrounded by a fence. 

"You do have some residual visual impact resulting from that installation," Sweeney said.

Board members asked why there couldn't be three poles at each location since other solar projects have been able to meet that requirement. 

Sweeney said he couldn't answer that question.

"I understand completely where you're coming from, and having consistency with other projects," Sweeney said. "I don't know why those projects have three. I don't know what their equipment lineup is. I assume that it's substantially similar, but it might be different. The project size might be different panel types, inverter types -- there's a whole level of engineering that goes into what may cause the number to be different. It could be that it could have been an earlier project that got a higher incentive from NYSERDA by being in a different block. So they had more money available to spend on that type of thing. There may not have been any landscaping associated with that project. They could take the money from the landscaping budget and put it into that. There are all kinds of different things of which we're not aware."

To help mitigate the visual disturbance of four poles, the poles were designed to be back from the roadway and screened from view by landscaping.

In the end, board members decided they would rather see only three poles on each site.

"I think even four poles with all the lines and all the stuff hanging out from them, it's just going to be an eyesore, not only for people who live there, but just driving by," said board member Jonathan Long. "It just doesn't fit in with the character of the neighborhood. In my opinion, saying that it's a cost to the project is, in my opinion --  this is going to be there 20-plus years, part of the scenery there; it's not going to go away. So the upfront costs are minor compared to long-term impacts."

Once Sweeney said he would like board action affirming they would accept three poles instead of four, a motion was made and passed.

Photo: Bridget Cuddihy, project developer for Cypress Creek, and Mark Sweeney, project attorney. Photo by Howard Owens.

Previously: 

June 23, 2022 - 4:37pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp..

Patrons of Batavia Downs Gaming wagered close to $90 million during the month of May, according to the chief financial officer for Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp.

“Credits played in May came to $88.8 million with 7.2 percent of that – or $6.4 million – slotted into the “VGM (video game machine) net win” category,” Jacquelyne Leach said today. “Conceptually, about 8 percent of the total amount wagered makes up the net win.”

Leach reported that year to date “net win” stands at $31.6 million – a staggering number – but the public benefit company keeps a bit more than half of that amount.

Forty-nine percent of the net win goes to the New York State Gaming Commission, Leach explained, with 90 percent of that earmarked for education and 10 percent staying with the commission, which oversees gaming operations.

That leaves 51 percent, which stays with WROTB, Leach said, and is divided as follows:

  • 37 percent -- Batavia Downs vendor fee, which includes a 10 percent distribution for harness horse racing purse payments, the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association and breeders’ payments and 27 percent for operating expenses, such as payroll, utilities, etc.
  • 10 percent -- Marketing allowance to promote Batavia Downs Gaming and horse racing.
  • 4 percent -- Capital awards fund for capital improvements, debt service, etc.

“After all of the obligations are met and all operating expenses are paid, then the rest is distributed to our member municipalities,” Leach said, adding that the corporation’s surcharge distribution for May was $88,459 and that $315,000 has been generated for the municipalities since Jan. 1.

WROTB’s geographical area is comprised of 18 counties, 15 of which participate as members of the corporation, and the cities of Buffalo and Rochester.

In 2021, WROTB distributed $123,409 to Genesee County, $85,235 to Orleans County and $84,619 to Wyoming County. All told, distributions to all member municipalities for last year came to $5,793,184.

June 23, 2022 - 4:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Le Roy.

A single-vehicle accident is reported in the area of 78 Clay St., Le Roy.

The vehicle struck and sheared off a utility pole.

Le Roy Fire and Le Roy Ambulance dispatched.

UPDATE 4:34 p.m.: Route 5 is being closed at Clay Street.

June 23, 2022 - 3:00pm


Live music in June includes:​

  • June 17th - Identity Crisis
  • June 18th - Josh Hawkins
  • June 24th - TBD
  • June 25th - Martin Petrillo
  • July 1st - TBD
  • July 2nd - Joel Russlett

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June 23, 2022 - 2:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Country Meadows, batavia, land use, news, notify, Stringham Drive.

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A public hearing is not required for approval of a 76-unit expansion of the Country Meadows housing community at 5121 Clinton Street Road, Batavia, but since some residents of Stringham Drive might be concerned about it, the Town of Batavia Planning Board agreed at Tuesday's meeting to hold a hearing.

A public hearing requires notification to neighboring residents and gives them an opportunity to express concerns or ask questions.

The hearing will be at 7 p.m., July 19 at the Batavia Town Hall.

Country Meadows is operated by Rochester MHP Portfolio LLC and owner Jeffrey Cook.  It currently contains 174 manufactured homes.

Stringham Drive is immediately to the south of the 75-acre parcel.

Engineer Glenn F. Thornton presented the development plans to the board on Tuesday and said steps are being taken to address any potential concerns of Stringham Drive residents.  

He said there is an additional 50 feet of separation between the new home lots and the property lines of Stringham Drive homes.

"It's heavily vegetated over there (along the southern boundary of the development), so we're proposing to leave all of the vegetation in place to kind of screen the two properties from each other," Thornton said.

The new lots will be slightly more spacious than the existing lots, he said. The current lots are about four to an acre, he said.  The new lots will be 2.5 per acre.

Much of the reason for the larger lots are the constraints imposed by the geography and infrastructure of the area being developed.   There needs to be proper stormwater drainage and there is an existing "fairly wide" town sanitary sewer easement through the property.

"I think everything we're proposing is within the 6,000 square foot minimum lot size," Thornton said. "The separations between the homes, the setbacks from the property lines, I believe everything is code compliant, so we're not looking for any variances."

Much of the discussion Tuesday was about stormwater drainage.  The plan includes a swale, already a natural feature of the property, to drain water into a retention pond so it can be slowly drained into the town's stormwater drainage system, as well as berms to help channel runoff.

The new development will not increase runoff on Stringham Drive, Thornton said.

"Stringham Drive's drainage is coming our way actually," Thornton said. "We're actually capturing the runoff from Stringham Drive that's coming out on our property and routing it around our home sites, trying to get it up into this swale (pointing to an architectural drawing) up in here. Really, anything within the development area we have to capture and route into our stormwater management areas. So anything we have is going into those areas where we'll mitigate the flow to existing conditions as it leaves the property."

There are currently three driveways serving the development.

Planning documents submitted by Thornton's firm state there will not be a significant increase in traffic as a result of the additional pre-manufactured homes. It states there will be 275 additional vehicle trips daily, with 19 additional trips during the peak morning hour and 42 during the peak afternoon hour, and most of those trips through the property's western driveway.

That driveway can easily accommodate the additional traffic, the report states.

Photo: Glenn Thornton. Photo by Howard Owens.

June 23, 2022 - 12:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Concert Band, batavia, Centennial Park, news, notify.

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The Batavia Concert Band opened its 96th season on a perfect evening in Centennial Park on Wednesday with a tribute to long-time member Bob Knipe and a thank you to its 2022 sponsors, including (but not limited to) GO ART!, Brighton Securities, WBTA, and the Batavia Rotary Club.

Upcoming concerts are at 7 p.m. on July 27, July 6, July 13, July 20, July 27, and Aug. 6.

The July 3 concert will feature soloist Dave Hollenbeck, as part of the Pam Frisby Memorial Concert Series.  

The July 27 concert will be conducted by Batavia native and resident Joshua Pacino, current music teacher at Notre Dame.

Returning for his ninth season as conductor is John Bailey, Instrumental Music teacher at Pembroke Central School District and the organization is under the leadership of General Manager Jason Smith.

The concerts in the park are free.

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June 23, 2022 - 11:52am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp..

The law firm representing Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. is preparing to file a motion to dismiss a suit filed by a former state senator alleging that the public benefit company illegally offered health insurance to its directors and improperly distributed sporting event tickets.

That’s the word from WROTB President Henry Wojtaszek this morning following the monthly board of directors meeting at the Park Road facility.

“That’s correct,” Wojtaszek responded when asked by The Batavian if filing a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by George Maziarz was going to be the first order of business by attorneys for Hodgson Russ LLP of Buffalo. “We don't believe it's brought properly, either substantively or procedurally. So, we'll make a motion to dismiss right off the bat.”

In mid-May, Maziarz, a state senator from Niagara County for 10 years through 2014, met with local media across the street from Batavia Downs Gaming to provide details of his suit – action that focuses on previously investigated accusations of misuse of sporting event and concert tickets and the legality of “gold-plated” health insurance given to appointed board members.

An audit by the New York State Comptroller’s office criticized WROTB over the handling of the tickets and also use of a company vehicle stemming from 2018-19, but Wojtaszek said those issues have been addressed and corrected.

Wojtaszek contends that Maziarz is waging a personal vendetta against him and WROTB in retaliation of Maziarz’s conviction of public corruption while in office.

The corporation’s board of directors this morning approved a contract to pay Hodgson Russ up to $25,000 to fight the suit.

Hodgson Russ also is representing WROTB in a $14.5 million wrongful termination lawsuit filed last August by Michael Nolan, the former chief operating officer at WROTB who was let go of his position in December 2020.

“We are just waiting for the judge to rule on the motions that are before him right now,” Wojtaszek said today. “We expect that (to happen) in three to six months.”

In other developments, Wojtaszek reported:

  • The timetable of the Park Road Reconstruction Project “is coming along very well – we still anticipate them completing the project sometime in late September, early October.”

He said the traffic pattern may be changing soon, adding that Ryan Hasenauer, director of Marketing, will be sure to let the public know in advance.

“We met with the contractor, CATCO, yesterday and with the Town of Batavia, and there may be some effort to open up to two-way traffic at some points of Park Road to alleviate some of the traffic jams and also to help facilitate moving the project along and completing it in a more timely manner,” he said.

Wojtaszek said officials are looking at opening the road for two-way traffic starting at the intersection of Richmond Avenue (near Alex’s Place) and north toward Veterans Memorial Drive in the next couple weeks.

“The town needs to check with all the people involved, including the emergency services and the DOT (Department of Transportation) to make sure that can be accomplished. But again, we like to move to that next phase where maybe we reopened two-way traffic and where a different part of the road is closed off entirely.”

  • The “odds are good” that the track’s harness horse racing season will be extended into January and February of 2023 as negotiations with the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association are ongoing.

“We have a good relationship with the horsemen in Western New York,” he said. “They presented us with a very reasonable plan to have the racing occur here at Batavia Downs. So, the board is inclined to have the racing in January and February and we just have to work out the details of the contract.”

The 2022 racing season is set to begin on July 20 and originally was scheduled to run through Dec. 17 (with racing two or three nights per week). Previously, Wojtaszek indicated that the WNYHHA would reimburse Batavia Downs for the cost of operating in the first two months of next year.

  • WROTB is looking to streamline its Off-Track Betting branch locations, likely moving from the current 10 throughout the region to maybe seven or eight. Along those lines, the corporation is entertaining a purchase offer for Military Road branch in Niagara Falls and will be putting the West Ridge Road, Rochester, branch on the market soon.

“We have a lot of EZ Bets now and we have our machinery at different bars and restaurants that help alleviate the need for full-scale branches,” Wojtaszek said.

  • The corporation is considering hiring an insurance consultant in the wake of rising premiums.

The board approved a resolution to pay $1,089,824 to Garland Insurance & Financial Services for property and casualty liability insurance for one year, through June 1, 2023. Wojtaszek said the premium increase by about 7 percent from the previous year.

“The insurance industry has gone up, overall. We know that it’s a very tough environment, but the increase was substantial,” he said. “So, yes, we’d like to have someone else look at it try to help us with the insurance.”

Previously: Former state senator with his own corruption history files lawsuit against Batavia Downs alleging corruption

Previously: WROTB's Genesee County director sees 'no basis' for Nolan's lawsuit vs. corporation, president, board chair

June 23, 2022 - 8:20am

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Rendering by JMZ Architects and Planners for the new Student Success Center, shows the Conable Technology Building, to the far right, which is slated for a new roof.

It looks like Genesee Community College will be getting a new turf field, cooling tower, arts center connector and a roof for Conable Technology Building, with half of it to be paid for by Genesee County.

The county Legislature approved the request for 50 percent funding — $1.3 million — of the college’s capital projects during its Wednesday meeting.

The projects are to cost $950,000 for the turf field; $1.06 million for a new roof; $410,000 for cooling tower; and $180,000 for the  Arts Center connector replacement for a total of $2.6 million. The Legislature had committed to paying for half in November 2021, and the bill has been delivered. The county’s Ways & Means Committee had previously reviewed and recommended that the county pony up for the expense.

During talks last fall, college President James Sunser had called the projects “long-standing critical needs,” and urged the Legislature to enter into a 50-50 agreement to pay for them. The projects are part of GCC’s Facilities Master Plan, which was approved by the college’s Board of Trustees before being submitted to Genesee County and New York State’s Dormitory Authority. If the county committed to paying for half, the state would do likewise, Sunser had said.

The turf field will be a replacement for the nearly 13-year-old soccer and lacrosse field adjacent to Richard C. Call Arena; a new cooling tower would replace one that is “well past its useful life,”while an updated connective corridor will be situated between original buildings, from the cafeteria to the fine arts building and theater. A new roof for the Conable Technology Building would shore up one that was part of the original 2000 structure, which has developed leaks, Sunser had said. A new parking lot for Conable, at a cost of $800,000, would have made the county's total $1.7 million, and is not on the list approved by the Legislature.

At that meeting in November, Legislator Gary Maha had expressed concern about doling out $70 million for a new county jail, and that this additional spending was “kind of hard to swallow in one year.” Nonetheless, the full Legislature agreed to the move on Wednesday.

The county plans to transfer $1.3 million into the general budget, with 1 percent of sales tax offsetting the increased spending.

“Genesee County will be responsible for $1.3 million for said projects,” the resolution states.

 

June 23, 2022 - 8:00am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, County Legislature, batavia, notify.

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In a time when gasoline has hugged the $5 a gallon price, and everything from food and clothing to furniture seems to be climbing in cost, sometimes it makes sense to flip the script.

That’s what Genesee County Legislator John Deleo did for the traditional prayer before Wednesday’s meeting.

Instead of posturing for divine guidance, he simply asked for some comfort.

“We ask you to look over us,” he said in the Old Courthouse chambers. “Inflation, the state of the nation … are taking a toll on us. People are finding it harder to buy food, or gas to go to work.”

In a June 10 article, “Inflation Sped Up Again in May, Dashing Hopes for Relief,” The New York Times pointed to high inflation and the Federal Reserve’s attempts to control it as contributing to “a sour economic mood.”

“Consumer confidence, which has been sinking since last year as households shoulder the burden of higher prices, plunged to a new low in a report out Friday,” the article stated. “President Biden’s approval ratings have also suffered, and Wall Street economists and small-business owners increasingly worry that a recession is possible in the next year.”

No wonder Deleo put away the platitudes and took to straight talk. The pressure is mounting, he said, and he asked the “heavenly Father” to keep people in His care.

“And give them the strength to get us through this,” the legislator said.

He also tacked on a plea that, instead of turning water into wine, that there are other, more valuable commodities to focus on.

“Let’s go with gas and diesel,” he said.

2022 File Photo of Genesee County Legislator John Deleo during a county meeting. Photo by Joanne Beck.

June 23, 2022 - 7:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sunset, news, pembroke.

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Photo submitted by Joanne Meiser.

June 22, 2022 - 10:48pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, County Legislature, mental health services, notify.

An approved request for $55,000 to pay for after-hours mental health services for the remaining six months of this year will extend Spectrum Health and Human Services to Dec. 31.

Genesee County Legislature approved the request Wednesday as one of 11 items previously reviewed by the Ways & Means Committee earlier this month.

The county’s day treatment program was closed, and funding for that will be redirected to the after-hours, on-call mental health needs of the county, Director of Community Mental Health Services Lynda Battaglia had previously said.

The goal is to potentially use county mental health staff for the after-hours needs, however, that’s not feasible given a current staffing shortage, staff had said. At the time, Legislator Gary Maha questioned the $55,000 price tag and short-term time period.

“For six months?” he said. “That’s a lot of money.”

The services were used mostly during the pandemic, staff said.

Genesee County Legislature agreed to provide a total not to exceed $55,0000; it will be transferred out of personal services, arts and crafts, activity fees, and food and paper monies that were not expended due to the closure of the Day Treatment program earlier this year.

Spectrum Health and Human Services is based in Orchard Park. The agency’s original contract was due June 30, which has now been extended to the end of this year for crisis services.

Other approvals included:

  • To set a public hearing for 5:30 p.m. July 27 for an amended local law regarding the county’s weighted voting plans. There is also to be a public hearing at this time for a proposed operating budget for Genesee Community College's academic year 2022-23 in the amount of $37.2 million, with a sponsor share of $2,736,374. Genesee County is responsible for the sponsor share, and this reflects a $50,000 increase from the past year's share.
  • To set a temporary part-time position for the Board of Elections to assist with early voting, per election law mandates. The position has been established at a rate of $20 per hour effective June 27, and has been created due to the impending retirement of a current Democratic board clerk/machine technician. The departing employee is to be available to help train the new, part-time person. This move has a budgeted salary of $55,000, deemed “sufficient for 2022.”
  • A bid of $1,468,100 by Montante Construction for stonework at Genesee Justice, 14 West Main St., Batavia.
June 22, 2022 - 10:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pembroke Central Schools, schools, education, news, pembroke.

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A lot can change in 52 years -- monumental world events like wars, recessions, and pandemics pass by, and new inventions like mobile devices and electric cars transform lives.

But some things stay constant.  

Love, for example.

That's the case for Greg Kinal, who grew up in Elma and then accepted a job teaching social studies at Pembroke High School.

"Prior to taking the job in 1970, I had never been to Genesee County," Kinal told The Batavian on Wednesday. "I didn't know Batavia was here.  "But once I arrived in Pembroke, I fell in love with the community. I fell in love with the kids. I fell in love with the school.  It’s hard for me to come up with the idea that I’m going to be leaving.  I just love this area."

In 52 years of teaching at Pembroke, Kinal said he's taught all manner of young people -- high achievers and those who get by -- but he's found, and it's the reason he loves the kids, that they are all eager to learn.

"Sometimes you get the impression, 'oh, social studies --  groan,' but when we learn about the Vietnam War, kids bring in their grandfathers' medals, or when we talk about World War I, they talk about their family history. There is always interest in the topics we go over."

Now it's time to slow down, said the 74-year-old Kinal, who has two biological children and two stepchildren, and four grandchildren. In retirement, he still plans to be a substitute teacher, but he wants life to move at a slower pace.

"I find that I come to school on Monday and the next day, suddenly, it's Friday," Kinal said.  "I want to take it easier and not have my whole life be in a rush."

Photo illustration courtesy Pembroke Central School District.

June 22, 2022 - 9:48pm
posted by Press Release in Announcements.

Press release:

Dawn Hunter of Batavia, NY, (14020) earned Part-Time Honors at SUNY Canton during the spring 2022 semester. Hunter is a SUNY Canton Legal Studies major.

The college created Part-Time Honors to recognize students who earned at least a 3.25 GPA in 6 to 11 credit hours of course work. It stands alongside the college's Dean's List and President's List as one of the top awards given for academic success.

SUNY Canton offers extensive support for its part-time student populations, including prior learning assessments in addition to veteran and military services. It is currently recruiting non-traditional students and individuals who may have some college but no degree. The college offers online degrees and in-person completion programs which are designed to help meet the need of balancing work, family and other obligations.

June 22, 2022 - 9:47pm
posted by Press Release in Announcements.

Press release:

SUNY Canton recognizes approximately 600 students for earning a spot on the President's List during the spring 2022 semester.

"President's List is the highest recognition awarded for academic success during a single semester," said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran. "I hope that you take great pride in this impressive achievement. I appreciate your hard work and I wish you the best in your future endeavors."

President's List recognizes full-time students who achieve a 3.75 or greater GPA. A complete list of all honor students runs on www.canton.edu.

The SUNY Canton President's List Includes:

  • Zechariah Gowanlock, a SUNY Canton Emergency Management major from East Bethany.
  • Tonya D. Dioguardi, a SUNY Canton Health Care Management major from Le Roy.
June 22, 2022 - 9:44pm
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) released the following statement after text was advanced for the bipartisan Senate gun safety legislation. 

"The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act represents meaningful reforms that I believe will decrease gun violence and save lives. This bill is thoughtful, balanced, and comprehensive. I will do all I can to advocate for this bill’s passage in the House of Representatives with bipartisan support."

June 22, 2022 - 8:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Barber Conable Post Office Building, batavia, news.

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At first blush, it looks like another bureaucratic SNAFU. The newly installed railing on the newly installed cement steps outside the Barber Conable Post Office Building in Downtown Batavia encloses more than half the structure.

The design has drawn derisive comments on social media, such as "Great example of wasting tax dollars."

There is an explanation, said Mark Lawrence, strategic communications specialist for the USPS in WNY.

"The Batavia Post Office had a water infiltration issue that could only be accessed by removing a large portion of the front steps and the handicap-accessible ramp," Lawrence told The Batavian in an email. "The repairs were completed and the front steps were returned to their original state.  The handrails are in the original location, as they previously were, in order to reduce slips, trips, and falls."

Previously: Batavia's post office building is 100 years old

Top photo by Howard Owens

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File photo from 2019. Photo by Howard Owens.

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An undated postcard of the Batavia Post Office sometime after the cement steps were installed.

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The post office shortly after its construction in 1919.

 

June 22, 2022 - 2:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, batavia, news, notify.
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Fantasia Speed Dontaya Kyles

Fantasia Octavia Speed, 21, of Weaver Street, Rochester, is charged with grand larceny 3rd, grand larceny 4th, and conspiracy 5th. Speed is accused of stealing something from Walmart at 3:28 p.m., June 20.  Speed was released on her own recognizance.  The grand larceny 4th charge stemmed from a an arrest warrant held by the State Police. NOTE: Attempts to obtain more information on the alleged offense, specifically what was stolen, from the Sheriff's Office were unsuccessful.

Dontaya Nell Kyles, 30, of Affinity Lane, Greece, is charged with grand larceny 3rd. Kyles is accused of stealing merchandise from Walmart valued at more than $3,000. Kyles was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released on her own recognizance.

Lauren Kay Pellegrino, 40, of West Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with assault 3rd and menacing 3rd. Pellegrino is accused of assaulting another person at 8:45 p.m., June 20. She was arrested by Officer John Ceneviva and arraigned in Le Roy Town Court. She was released on her own recognizance and an order of protection was issued for her alleged victim.

Peter Jerome Vangalio, 49, of Genesee Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal contempt 2nd. Vangalio is accused of going to the home of a person of a protected party in an order of protection at 11:55 p.m., June 19, on Genesee Street in Le Roy.  He was arrested by Officer Zachary Klafehn and released on an appearance ticket.

June 22, 2022 - 1:51pm
posted by Press Release in Floyd Rayburn, NY-24, news.

Press release:

Congressional hopeful, Finger Lakes contractor and Canandaigua resident Floyd Rayburn, learned the fate of his campaign today, after court proceedings in which his petition signatures were challenged by Claudia Tenney’s campaign. He will not be on the Republican Primary ballot for New York’s 24th Congressional District. However, candidates with signatures from well outside the district will remain.

Rayburn promised supporters to fight for small business owners; to combat inflation, including soaring gas prices, ensure equal pay for all through skills-based wages and revamp the failing education system.

“I’m disappointed that I will not appear on the primary ballot,” said Rayburn. “We ran into some issues with some of our petitions, knocking us down below the required number of signatures. At the time same, I’m frustrated with the disservice being done to the residents of this district. I had only 17 days to collect and vet more than 1,000 signatures. My opponents, however, had 38 days to do the same. Unlike Ms. Tenney, I sought out the approval of district residents and received their signatures in support of my campaign to represent them. Her petition signatures are from an entirely different district: the one she had initially announced her run for.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their support and their hard work on my behalf. It is my sincere desire to serve this district, and my country, in Washington. Rest assured, I will mount another campaign in the future and deliver on my campaign promises. Our struggling residents need help. They need someone from the district who understands their issues and someone who has put in time building the community and raising a family in it as I have. Claudia Tenney, a known ‘carpetbagger’ and divisive politician, is neither.”

Rayburn is a lifelong resident of the Finger Lakes region, a contractor and a small business owner who has completed projects and created hundreds of jobs throughout the Finger Lakes and Western New York regions. For the last 40 years, he has owned and operated one of the most successful masonry businesses in Upstate New York, helping to build the district with his own hands. Born and raised in Bloomfield, Rayburn grew up working on his family’s dairy farm and also understands the difficulties of the state’s countless farmers.

While Rayburn got support from within the district – with only 17 days in which to collect signatures –Tenney collected signatures for the redrawn 23rd Congressional District she originally announced she would run for in Central New York and the Southern Tier.

When the maps were redrawn again, Tenney abandoned her bid and decided to run for the 24th District seat which includes most of Oswego County, parts of the Finger Lakes, and goes into Western New York’s Niagara County. She is now running for a different seat, in an entirely different region of the state, yet she was allowed to submit signatures that are not only from counties outside the district she is bidding to represent but nowhere close to it. Tenney does not live in the district, as Rayburn has his entire life, she garnered little to no support from actual residents of the district, nor has she spent any time representing it throughout her political career.

Similarly, Mario Fratto, another challenger for the 24th District’s Republican nomination, received many of his signatures from outside the district as he originally set his sights on another. In fairness, he does have signatures from within the district as he is a resident of Geneva, which was originally considered part of the district he first planned to run for – an entirely different situation than Tenney’s move to find the path of least resistance.

Regardless of the situation, both candidates had unfair advantages by having 38 days – compared to Rayburn’s 17 – to collect nearly the same amount of signatures and by being allowed to submit signatures from residents outside the district which they had already collected. This is a disservice to those who reside in New York’s new 24th Congressional District, as one of their own is now denied the opportunity to represent them.

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