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February 13, 2019 - 1:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Elba Central School Drama Club, news, arts, entertainment.

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The Elba Central School Drama Club presents Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" this week with performances on Friday and Saturday.

Performers, in a cast of 45 people, include Lindsay Augello as Belle, Garrett Sinemus as Beast and Young Prince, Devyn Reigle as Gaston, Carolyn Sybertz as Lumiere, Herman Sinemus as Cogsworth, Lucy LoBello as Mrs. Potts, and Elliott Walsh as Chip. Steve Hawley is the narrator.

Performances are in the Elba Central School Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Friday, and Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m. The school is located at 57 S. Main St., Elba.

Presale tickets are $6 for students and seniors and $8 for adults, available at Roxy's Music Store and the ECSD Office.

All tickets are $10 at the door.

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February 13, 2019 - 12:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, batavia, music, news, entertaiment.

Press release:

Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel has announced they will be putting on their very own Woodstock Tribute with “BATAVIASTOCK,” taking place on Saturday, July 20th. The show will consist of five tribute bands of artists who played at the original Woodstock Festival and will be headlined by Melanie, who actually performed at Woodstock in 1969.

Other performers include: Green River Revival – A Creedence Clearwater Revival Tribute, Abraxas – a Santana and Sly & the Family Stone Tribute, The Who Show – a Who Tribute, and Piece of My Heart – a Janis Joplin Tribute.

Concert Headliner Melanie hails from Queens and was one of only three women who performed solo at Woodstock in the summer of '69, playing on the first day of the festival. Known for her hits "Brand New Key," "Ruby Tuesday," "What Have They Done to My Song Ma," and "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)," she continues to perform across the country. She will be joined by her daughter, Layla.

Tickets will be available at www.BataviaConcerts.com beginning at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14th. Individual pre-ale tickets will be $10 for General Admission while VIP tickets will again be just $15. Concertgoers will be able to purchase tickets in the Premium Section directly in front of the stage for $20. Tickets can also be purchased at Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel at the Lucky Treasures Gift Shop located in the lobby.

“With the original Woodstock festival celebrating its 50th anniversary, we were inspired to put on an event that showcases tribute acts from that iconic concert,” said Henry Wojtaszek, CEO/president of Batavia Downs Gaming. “We are so pleased to welcome Melanie, who performed at the original Woodstock, to our stage as well.”

Hotel room/ticket packages will be available. Purchase of a hotel room on the night of a concert using the code BS720 includes two VIP tickets to the show while supplies last. Each concert ticket is also redeemable once at Player’s Club in the three days following the concert for $10 Free Play to be used on one of Batavia Downs Gaming’s 800+ gaming machines. The concert is held Rain or Shine. Additional information may be found at www.BataviaConcerts.com under the BataviaStock event.

February 13, 2019 - 11:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, basketball, sports, notify, elba.

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Longtime rival Notre Dame stopped Elba's effort to finish the regular season undefeated Tuesday night, beating the Lancers on their home court, 59-47.

Elba is now 18-1 and the Lady Irish are 18-2. Both teams have 13 league wins and so finish the regular season tied atop the Genesee Region.

Entering Class D2 sectional play, Elba should be the #1 seed as it shoots for its third consecutive sectional title.

Notre Dame is ranked #6 in Class B1. Batavia High School is ranked #1 entering into sectionals.

For the Irish, Callie McCulley scored 23 points and had 13 rebounds. Stevie Wilcox scored 12 points and had seven rebounds. Morgan Rhodes scored 10 points and Amelia McCulley scored eight.

UPDATE: Stats for Elba: Taylor Augello, 19 points and eight rebounds. Maddie Muelhig, 13 points, and Leah Bezon, seven points and seven rebounds.

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February 13, 2019 - 11:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, elba.

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported at North Byron Road and Transit Road, Elba.

Elba fire and Mercy EMS dispatched. Byron's ambulance also requested to the scene.

February 13, 2019 - 11:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Rochester Press-Radio Club, Ricky Palermo, news, notify.

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Press release:

Ricky Palermo’s tireless efforts to raise money for spinal cord research will be recognized when he receives the prestigious Major Donald Holleder Award at the 70th annual Rochester Press-Radio Club Day of Champions Children’s Charities Dinner, Wednesday, April 3, at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

The award is named after Holleder, a former Aquinas Institute and U.S. Military Academy football star who was killed in a Vietnam War battle while attempting to rescue several wounded members of his battalion. It is presented annually to an individual who exhibits the character, courage and achievement displayed by Holleder.

Palermo, a former three-sport most valuable player at Byron-Bergen High School, was paralyzed in an automobile accident in 1981. Since 1997, he and his foundation have held an annual golf tournament and auction that has raised more than $1.4 million. The funds have been contributed to The Miami Project, a pioneering spinal injury research organization, as well as to local organizations, such the Batavia YMCA bike program for people with neurological challenges.

Palermo will be honored at the dinner, which features 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs as the Coca-Cola Sports Personality of the Year and other award winners.

Tickets for the dinner are $135, with a table of 10 available for a discounted price of $1,250.  To reserve tickets or packages, call 585-340-1460. Credit cards or money orders are accepted as payment. 

The club gratefully acknowledges its corporate sponsors: Coca-Cola of Northern New England, ConServe, the Democrat and Chronicle, ESL Federal Credit Union, the Rochester Red Wings, and the Rochester NY Sports Commission.  

Photo: File photoRicky Palermo with his cousin John Curtiss.

February 13, 2019 - 10:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once registered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.

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February 12, 2019 - 6:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in weather, news.

A hazardous weather outlook is in effect for Genesee County tonight and a wind advisory is in effect from 1 a.m. through 10 p.m. on Wednesday.

The National Weather Service says winds will be from the west at 25 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 57 mph, making driving difficult and possibly resulting in minor property damage. Homeowners should secure personal property.

Mixed precipitation is forecast with additional snow and sleet accumulations of an inch or less. Expect snow and/or ice covered, slippery roads and reduced visibility.

February 12, 2019 - 5:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in department of transportation, dot, Route 98, accident, news, notify.

In response to a request for information on the lack of a snow fence and plow times on Route 98 the day of a double fatal accident in Elba, the state Department of Transportation issued a statement today that didn't address either issue.

A spokesman did not respond, after several hours, to The Batavian's request for information on those specific issues.

Here's the DOT's official statement about the crash Feb. 2 that took the lives of mother and son, Teresa M. Norton, 53, and Thomas M. Norton, 22, both of Albion:

This was a tragic incident. DOT’s primary focus is highway safety, which includes snow and ice preparation and response. We maintain thousands of miles on highways statewide and follow snow and ice guidelines to address severe winter weather in Upstate New York. DOT’s maintenance crews were working diligently throughout that weekend in Genesee County, engaged in snow and ice operations on state highways.

The accident occurred within days of significant snowfall when the wind was blowing at about 30 mph through the county. There were significant snow drives across patches of Route 98 that afternoon, including one where Teresa Norton's 2008 Suzuki slide sideways through heavy snow and was hit broadside by a pickup truck.  

Both mother and son were pronounced dead at the scene.

February 12, 2019 - 3:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, Le Roy, batavia, bergen.

Scott J. Hinze, 52, a registered sex offender who lives on West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with failure to report a change of address within 10 days -- a felony, and falsifying business records in the first degree, also a felony. On Feb. 11 at about 11:20 p.m. Hinze was arrested after an investigation. He allegedly failed to register his address change as a sex offender within 10 days to the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Sex Offender Registry. Hinze also allegedly falsified a sex offender address change document at the Genesee County Jail in the City of Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Batavia Court and is due there March 4. On the charge of falsifying a business record document at the jail, he was issued an appearance ticket for March 5 in Batavia City Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Erik B. Andre.

Aaron L. Heale, 37, of 25 N. Lake Ave., Bergen, was arrested on Feb. 11 by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with one count of criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument, a Class A misdemeanor. The charge comes after a complaint on Feb. 5 from a local car wash that Heale was allegedly slumped over at the wheel of his car in the wash bay. When the Le Roy police found Heale, who is on parole, he was allegedly slumped over at the wheel and awoken by the officers. During the investigation it was alleged that Heale unlawfully possessed the hypodermic syringe inside the vehicle. Heale, who is currently in Genesee County Jail on an alleged parole violation, was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Le Roy Town Court on March 14.

Jeffery J. Williams, 25, of 25 Ravine Ave., Rochester, was arrested on Feb. 10 by the Le Roy Police Department and charged with two counts of petit larceny and three counts of attempted petit larceny. The charges are based from an investigation which started on Nov. 11 when it was reported that numerous vehicles in the Bacon/Pleasant Street area were entered and items allegedly stolen. During the investigation, it was determined that Williams was visiting a person in Le Roy when he allegedly entered at least five different vehicles during the early morning hours, stealing items from two of the vehicles and ransacking three others looking for items to steal. Williams was issued an appearance ticket to be in Le Roy Town Court on March 5.

February 12, 2019 - 3:27pm
Hops for Hope will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17, at Eli Fish Brewing Company in Batavia. The brewery will be releasing its new Hope Lager at the event.
 
All of the proceeds from the new beer sale, along with the sale of several other items, will go to the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation and Gilda's Club of Rochester. Both organizations assist families undergoing the challenges of a cancer diagnosis.
 
Join us for an afternoon of “Hope” … listening to the music of Michael DiSanto, purchasing a commemorative glass that puts you in a cash drawing, participate in some games, buy some apparel and just spend a Sunday afternoon with friends.
 
Tickets are available at the door for $15 and include live music and appetizer stations provided by Eli Fish, which is located at 109 Main St.
 
Go to elifishbrewing.com for details or call 585-861-0550 or 585-423-9700 for questions.
February 12, 2019 - 3:11pm
From the GOW Opioid Task Force:
 
The GOW (Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming) Opioid Task Force is excited to announce the opportunity to become a Peer Recovery Coach.
 
This training has been grant funded by the Health Resources and Service Administration and therefore is FREE.
 
Trainees should have a high school diploma or equivalent and lived experience is preferred -- in recovery, affected family member, experience working in the SUD/Recovery field.
 
Training is six-weeks in length (46 hours total) and you must commit to completing the program. Space is limited!
 
Training will take place at the Lake Plains Community Care Network at 575 E. Main St. in Batavia. Please check out the website and flier for more information here.
 
As part of the Community Based Recovery Support Training Project, training is offered to a select group of committed community members seeking to achieve NYS Peer Recovery Professional Certification.
 
This enables them to serve families and individuals affected by Substance Abuse Disorder with evidence-based recovery supports, skills and strategies.
 
The workshop facilitators are Lori Drescher (CARC, RCP) and Keith Greer (LCSW, PCC, PRC), who are professional coaches, recovery advocates and facilitators with a combined 55 years of experience.
 
If you have specific questions please contact Charlotte Crawford at [email protected] or by phone 585-345-6110.
February 12, 2019 - 2:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in art, paintings, news, Announcements, David F. Burke.

Pictured above is "Root Man," a painting by David F. Burke of Bergen.

Bergen artist David F. Burke and fellow artist Daniel Hogan, a friend he met at Genesee Community College in 1975, will both have their paintings on display at The Little Theatre Cafe in Rochester from Feb. 23 through March 23.

The exhibit is titled "Looking at Nature Through Imagery and Abstraction."

An opening reception will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24. The cafe is inside Little Theatre 2 & 3 back complex on Winthrop Street and there's additional parking just past Hart's Grocery.

Below is an untitled painting by the artist Daniel Hogan.

February 12, 2019 - 2:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in east pembroke, news, business.
Press release and submitted photo:

On Feb. 7, the Crosby’s location at 2594 Main Road in East Pembroke held its grand reopening for the public.

This renovated location provides customers with expanded food offerings with the addition of a new Sub Shoppe, offering fresh and delicious made-to-order subs available alongside pizzas, calzones and breakfast sandwiches.

The store also features a new f’real milkshake and smoothie machine and fresh-baked cookies are available daily. 

Crosby’s is also contributing to the community as part of the grand reopening festivities in East Pembroke and will offer a $500 donation to the Pembroke School District. 

The store in East Pembroke offers Mobil gas, and is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

Growing to Better Serve Customers

Along with updated store locations in Kendall and Barker, East Pembroke is part of Crosby’s ongoing efforts to improve new and existing stores to provide a more comprehensive range of options and services for customers. 

“By renovating and updating these stores, we can provide more fresh options and expanded offerings to our neighbors and customers,” said Doug Galli, vice president and general manager of Reid Stores.

“Crosby’s thrives in each of our communities by putting a focus on making customers our priority and being actively involved in the community beyond simply offering products and services.”

In addition to the new food, beverage and fuel services offered at these renovated Crosby’s locations, every store will also feature competitively priced grocery items, tobacco products and other amenities including an ATM, Crosby’s gift cards, fuel gift cards, money orders, propane exchange and a variety of New York State Lottery games. See each individual store location for further details.

About Crosby's

Crosby’s, a division of the Reid Group, is headquartered in Lockport. The company operates 84 Crosby’s convenience stores throughout Northwestern Pennsylvania and Upstate New York.

About the Reid Group

The Reid Group, founded in 1922, is a full-service independent motor fuel marketer providing a comprehensive range of products and services for retail motor fuel outlets and convenience stores. The Lockport-based company serves retail and commercial customers.

Photo of East Pembroke grand reopening, from left: Doug Galli, vice president, Reid Stores; Sean Tooley, district leader, Reid Stores; Assemblyman Steve Hawley; Lynn Bianchi, team leader, Reid Stores; John Worth, Pembroke town supervisor; Gordon Dibble, Genesee County legislator; Michael Hicks, constituent service liaison from Rep. Chris Collins’ office; Tom Schneider, Town of Pembroke Planning Board chairman; and David George, director of operations, Reid Stores.
February 12, 2019 - 1:58pm

Press release:

Tops Family Markets and Dole Packaged Foods LLC are excited to launch the third annual Learning Garden contest granting two elementary schools in either Upstate New York, Vermont or Northern Pennsylvania a Captain Planet Foundation Learning Garden. The contest will begin Sunday, Feb. 17 and will run until Saturday, March 16.

Tops shoppers can enter their school for a chance to win by visiting topsmarkets.comor https://captainplanetfoundation.org/contest/topsmarkets/and filling out the contest application. Two lucky schools will win a comprehensive Learning Garden complete with lesson kits filled with supplies, a schoolyard garden, fully equipped garden cooking cart, and strategies for summer garden maintenance.

The Learning Garden program provides a context for multidisciplinary learning, ranging from Nutrition and Science to Social Studies, Math, and Language Arts. Students benefit by expanding their palates, taste-testing healthy foods, and learning about food origins.

“Dole is very excited to be partnering with Tops Friendly Markets again to bring two lucky schools Learning Gardens. It is so important for children to learn about where their food comes from and develop healthy eating habits at an early age,” said Larry White, vice president -- Sales, Dole Packaged Foods. 

“So many subjects can be taught in the garden and hands-on garden learning is an excellent way to support student understanding of natural systems, food origins, and healthy eating,” said Leesa Carter, president & CEO of Captain Planet Foundation.

“Captain Planet Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that kids are armed with an understanding of the natural world in which they live, and we are thrilled to be partnering again with Tops and Dole Packaged Foods to provide two lucky schools in with Project Learning Garden.”

“Tops Friendly Markets is excited to partner with Dole and the Captain Planet Foundation for a third year. We are committed to supporting educational excellence and the hands-on garden and curriculum is an integral part of the conversation when teaching kids learn where their food comes from,” says Diane Colgan, senior VP of Marketing & Decision Support, Tops Friendly Markets. “We encourage every elementary school to consider entering for their chance at winning this great free resource.”

About Dole Packaged Foods

Dole Packaged Foods LLC, a subsidiary of Dole International Holdings, is a leader in growing, sourcing, distributing and marketing fruit, vegetables and healthy snacks throughout the world. Dole markets a full line of innovative packaged, frozen and dried fruit. The company focuses on four pillars of sustainability in all its operations: water management, carbon footprint, soil conservation and packaging. For more information, please visit dolesunshine.comor doleintlcsr.com.

About Tops Friendly Markets

Tops Markets LLC is headquartered in Williamsville and operates 159 full-service supermarkets with five additional by franchisees under the Tops banner. Tops employs over 14,000 associates and is a leading full-service grocery retailer in New York, northern Pennsylvania, and Vermont. For more information about Tops Markets, visit the company's website at www.topsmarkets.com.

About Captain Planet Foundation (CPF)

Based on the critically-acclaimed animated series "Captain Planet and the Planeteers," CPF was cofounded in 1991 by media mogul Ted Turner and producer Barbara Pyle. Since then, the Captain Planet Foundation has played a critical role in helping to ensure that the next generation of business leaders and policy makers are environmentally literate citizens who leverage technology and information to manage and protect the air, land, and water upon which all life depends. 

CPF is a grant-making foundation that has funded over 2,000 hands-on environmental education projects withschools and nonprofits that serve children in all 50 U.S. states and in 25 countries internationally. More than 1.4 million children have directly participated in and benefited from these educational projects. In addition to its Small Grants Program, the Captain Planet Foundation also operates the following programs: Project Learning Garden, Project Hero, Youth Voice, and the Institute. For more information:www.captainplanetfoundation.org.

February 12, 2019 - 6:00am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, batavia, Reproductive Health Act, notify.
Video Sponsor

Writing 15,000 letters and sending them to Albany -- instead of one from a local legislative body such as the Batavia City Council -- would be the most effective way for pro-life advocates to let Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislators know exactly how they feel about the recently passed New York’s Reproductive Health Act.

That is the opinion shared by Council President Eugene Jankowski following Monday night’s emotional 90-minute public comment portion of the board’s Business Meeting at City Hall.

About 150 people, many of them connected to the Right to Life movement, packed Council chambers, with about half of them having to stand while 18 speakers took their turns at the podium.

Fourteen of them spoke in favor of City Council drafting a letter in opposition of the RHA – with some calling for Batavia to designate the community as a “sanctuary city for the unborn” -- and forwarding it to Gov. Cuomo.

The passing of the law last month, which includes provisions that permit abortions after 24 weeks if the fetus is not viable or the health of the mother is at risk, became a hot topic in the city after Batavian Chris Connelly, a self-described “man made in the image of God,” spoke out against it at the Jan. 28 Council meeting.

His strong comments prompted City Council to consider having City Manager Martin Moore draft a letter in opposition of the law and placing it on a future meeting’s agenda. News of that decision compelled many residents on both sides to write or call their council representative, and ultimately led Jankowski to seek more public input before deciding how to proceed.

And, if he was looking for more feedback, he surely wasn’t disappointed as the speakers shared a range of viewpoints in an effort to persuade the nine council members.

Lifelong Batavian Kathy Stefani, a Right to Life organizer, said that abortion has become legal “right up to the moment of birth in this country” but that it’s a federal crime to destroy an egg of a bald eagle.

Noting that the word “fetus” is Latin for “little one,” Stefani said “we are here tonight for the little ones.”

“It’s okay to give a lethal injection to a living infant but definitely not to a hardened convicted criminal,” she said. “We’re not asking for a raid on the state capital or a march down Main Street, just a letter stating right from wrong. Write a letter and make Batavia a sanctuary city …”

Jon Speed, a church pastor from Syracuse, was more graphic in his address, asking “Which is the best way to kill a baby -- a pill, saline solution, surgically in the second trimester or scissors into the neck in the third trimester. There is no good way to kill a baby.”

He spoke out against Planned Parenthood – leading to a bit of shouting in opposition to that – and urged Council to make Batavia a sanctuary city of the unborn.

“We are called to love our neighbors … born and unborn … If not, and then appointed for the slaughter, the blood will be on your hands.”

Connelly took another turn at the microphone and ramped up his comments.

“God said before I formed you in the womb, I knew you,” Connelly said. “(By taking) these positions, the blood runs in our streets. What about the children who are butchered, who are sold as commodities?”

Calling abortion “disgusting, reprehensible and unthinkable,” Connelly said that “even debating this is a signal that we need repentance before a holy and just God.”

Another speaker, Dan Devlin of Buffalo, president of an organization known as New York Oath Keepers, said he sees abortion as a constitutional issue and quoted the preamble to the Constitution of the United States to support his view.

There are two groups, not one, that this nation was established for,” he said. “We the People … to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity. Who is your posterity … It is all of our descendants until the end of time. The succeeding generations, and the unborn descendants in the womb are clearly our posterity.”

And Alex Feig of Medina asked Council to follow its own vision statement, reading several points from the city’s website, including “our children, at all ages, will have choices to grow, learn, live, play and work in our community,” and “our city will serve as a model for other small cities in its approach to an overall positive quality of life for all its community members.”

He called for Council to not only write a letter in opposition to the RHA but also to pass an “emergency ordinance” to prohibit abortion in the city.

On the other side of the debate, Nikki Calhoun of Le Roy spoke of the centuries of those seeking to control women, causing them to suffer at the hands of government and their husbands, and preventing them from voting and seeking higher education.

She defended the local Planned Parenthood’s various services, including counseling for those with little or no insurance.

“Where are these girls supposed to turn to when they need to talk?” she said.

She added that she respected everyone’s opinion and held a belief in a higher being, but also respects women who can decide for themselves.

“We’re not someone’s property,” she said. “I implore you to mind the business of the city and not our bodies.”

Erica O’Donnell of Batavia said she approached the city in August of 2017 about taking a stand about Confederate flags being flown in the city after a neo-Nazi rally turned into a deadly tragedy in Charlottesville, Va., but was told that Council refrained from issues other than city business.

“With this (RHA) bill, three branches of state government passed it,” she said. “The city decided against (taking a stand) then, and I hope that going forward you take the same approach.”

Amber Hainey of Mount Morris said a woman’s right to choose has been a law since 1973 (Roe v. Wade) and “we’re done having this conversation. Women have a right to their bodies and their reproductive health.”

Her comments were echoed by Batavian Rachel Curtin, who stated that her reproductive rights are her own, and for Council “to focus on city matters.”

At the end of the public comments – after Oakfield resident Brian Thompson’s call for Council to take advantage of the opportunity to make a “historic” decision for life and for more people to adopt children and after Batavian Frank Klimjack encouraged everyone “to write that letter, send that email and make that phone call” – it was the council members’ turn to respond.

Council Member Rose Mary Christian said she disagreed with those who said it wasn’t part of Council’s duties and said that she was in favor of sending a letter to Gov. Cuomo.

“This is a state issue because he decided to bring this forth and we do have a right,” Christian said, noting that she received 35 emails – 30 of them from people in favor of sending the letter.

She went on to say that abortion, especially in the third trimester, is “barbaric and murder.”

“With (building) a wall, they call it immoral. What the hell? Don’t they call it immoral to kill a baby?”

Council Member Robert Bialkowski said he doubted if a letter from City Council would have any impact in Albany.

“We have a governor now … writing laws … and they don’t care about this part of the world,” he said, condemning laws that promote gambling, legalization of marijuana and pay raises for prisoners.

“The majority of the people elected him … and in Erie County he’s very strong there. I encourage people next time you go to vote, think of it.”

Jankowski said personally he has “no qualms about sending this letter, but it’s not about me.”

“We represent all people in the City of Batavia and I owe my obligation to help people on both sides of this argument … as City Council we can’t fairly represent one side or another.”

He then said he would like Council to “back out of this as a body” and suggested everyone to contact their state representatives.

“I’m going to do my own (letter). I think 15,000 would raise my eyes more than one letter representing 15,000. Fifteen thousand letters dumped on his doorstep … he’d have to take note of that.”

Undeterred, Christian asked City Attorney George Van Nest about the legality of sending a letter.

Van Nest said it cases such as this, a consensus of the board would determine what action to take.

“I’d like to do it,” she said. “Would anyone else like to do it with me so we can send a letter as a body?”

Council Member John Canale weighed in, stating that he was torn over what to do after getting more feedback from constituents over this issue than any other in his eight years of service.

“I consider myself a Christian and try to live my life under Christian values, but my problem is this … I was elected by not just Republicans and not just Christians,” he said. “I now have to make a decision … I say to all of you, put yourselves in my seat; I’m very undecided.”

Canale requested that the issue be tabled to allow time for “soul-searching and to talk to our families.”

Bialkowski suggested the drafting of a resolution to be brought to the next Conference meeting on Feb. 25 and Council Member Kathleen Briggs tried to call for a vote, but that didn’t fly. In the end, Jankowski said if a council member wanted to draft a letter, it would go to the Conference meeting and they would vote on it.

“I’ll do it,” Christian said.

And, judging by her supporters’ passionate appeals, she’ll probably have many people offering to help her write it.

February 11, 2019 - 10:24pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Batavia City Council.

Batavia residents will get their chance to weigh in on the 2019-20 city budget in two weeks per a resolution passed by City Council tonight.

Following a long and heavily attended public comment session over whether it should send a letter to Albany opposing the state’s recent Reproductive Health Act (watch for a detailed report on The Batavian), Council voted on several measures, including the setting of a public hearing on the budget for 7 p.m. Feb. 25.

The proposed $27.4 million spending plan calls for $5.2 million to be raised by taxes and a tax rate of $8.96 per thousand of assessed valuation, which is the same as last year’s rate.

As a result, owners of a house assessed for $70,000, for example, would face a city tax levy of $627.20 for the year.

A separate public hearing, also at 7 p.m. Feb. 25 (the date of Council’s next Conference Meeting), will address a 3.5-percent increase in water rates and meter fees, and a 10-percent increase in capital improvement fees.

A third public hearing is on for that date and time, this one dealing with the adoption of a local law amending the city sign code.

City Council also passed a resolution requesting that State Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer and Assemblyman Stephen Hawley sponsor bills that would allow Genesee County and the City of Batavia to enter into an amended and restated sales tax allocation agreement for a period not to exceed 40 years.

Other resolutions passed by unanimous vote include:

-- A measure referring the review of the zoning of public storage rental units in the Batavia Municipal Code to the City Planning & Development Committee in response to a petition from Peter Yasses, 54 Cedar Street LLC, in relation to the lack of permitted zoning use of public storage rental units.

-- A supplemental agreement with New York State that paves the way for the city to receive “back pay” along with an annual increase in payments from the state through an arterial maintenance agreement that will extend through 2049.

This agreement stems from the discovery that the City was underpaid for work it did to maintain state highways (Routes 5, 33, 63 and 98) dating back to June 1994 and is not being reimbursed enough to cover its costs going forward.

As a result, the City will receive a one-time payment from the state for $218,539.88 to take care of the underpayments and now will be paid $183,017.40 annually, an increase of $6,500.

-- The endorsement of two bonds financing installation and construction of sidewalk and traffic signal improvements on State Street, Centennial Park, Washington Avenue, Bank Street and Richmond Avenue (pathways to schools), and water system and drainage improvements along South Main Street, Brooklyn Avenue and Union Street.

Seventy-five percent of the estimated $1.1 million sidewalk project will be paid through federal funding and the previously budgeted cost of the water system project is set at $913,000.

-- An order appointing Dwight Thornton to the city’s Board of Assessment Review for a term ending on Sept. 30, 2023.

February 11, 2019 - 5:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, byron.

Garrett Lee Chapell, of Byron, has been recognized on the dean's list at Norwich University for the fall 2018 semester.

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu

Norwich University is celebrating its bicentennial in 2019. In fulfillment of Norwich's mission to train and educate today's students to be tomorrow's global leaders, Norwich launched the Forging the Future campaign in 2014. The five-year campaign, which is timed to culminate in 2019, is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities and is designed to enhance the university's strong position as it steps into its third century of service to the nation.

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