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June 22, 2022 - 1:45pm
posted by Press Release in Genesee Orleans Ministry of Concern, religion, charity, news.

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Press release:

Genesee Orleans Ministry of Concern announced today the appointment of Robert (Bob) Harker of Clarendon as the agency’s new Executive Director. Bob brings with him the skills the Board of Directors believes will promote agency growth, and expand services, allowing it to be of even greater service to people in need in the Genesee / Orleans County areas.

“I could not be more excited about the opportunity to help guide and grow Genesee Orleans Ministry of Concern in its role as the “agency of last resort”. We strive to provide services to individuals and families that for one reason or another are not being served by more conventional community assets. ”

Genesee Orleans Ministry of Concern was formed in the 1950s, serving immigrants that settled in the area. In 1968 the Ministry was incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and began serving the poor and working poor that are facing hardship or crisis. Donations are tax-deductible.

Donations, volunteers, and ideas are always welcome. Bob can be reached at (585) 589-9210.

https://ministryofconcern.org/
121 North Main St. Suite 311
Albion, NY 14411

June 22, 2022 - 7:00am
posted by Press Release in Sheriff's Office, news.

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Press release:

Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Mason S. Schultz graduated from the 140th Basic Course for Police Officers at the Erie County Law Enforcement Training Academy on June 3, 2022. 

Deputy Schultz is a 2018 graduate of Akron Central School.  Following high school, Deputy Schultz attended Erie County Community College where he earned an Associate’s Degree in General Studies in 2020.  Deputy Schultz is a second-generation law enforcement officer and was previously employed by the New York State Park Police and the University of Arkansas Police Department.

Deputy Schultz’s strong desire to become a police officer is evident in that he enrolled himself in the Erie County Law Enforcement Academy in 2021, while actively seeking employment during his attendance. 

Sheriff Sheron stated, “Deputy Schultz is currently participating in our 14-week field training program and is a great addition to our road patrol.”

June 22, 2022 - 1:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

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  • 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.
  • Sign-in issues? First, make sure you are registered for Day using the link at the top of this post; Second, if you know you're registered, use the "sign-in" link in this post; do not use the "login" box on the left side of the page.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Howard Owens:   [email protected]
June 21, 2022 - 10:14pm

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Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.

Byron resident Terry Speed learned that about his impromptu turnaround at a home on Oak Street, Batavia. He and his wife Dawn purchased the one-family building in 2016, complete with a small turnaround in the front yard. The soil settled and it became a small pond, he said.

Speed then dug a channel through the sunken area so that water could escape. He has applied for a variance to add 12 feet of loose stone to his existing 23-foot-wide driveway. That would make a 48 percent lot frontage at the Oak Street property. According to city code, “the width of driveways and parking spaces may not exceed 25 percent of lot frontage,” prompting the need for a variance.

“We needed to come and speak with you people.  I was told to apply for a variance,” Speed said during Tuesday’s City Planning & Development Committee meeting. “I would like to have a proper turnaround. I jumped the gun, it’s my fault.”

He has a business variance for his wife’s beauty salon to operate in the back of the home, he said. Customers usually arrive one at a time, but there are occasions when there are three vehicles (including his wife’s) in the driveway at one time. Given the amount of traffic on Oak Street, which is state Route 98, it’s difficult for customers to back out of the drive, he said. He added that he also thought it was illegal to back out onto a state roadway.

“People in and out of there are having a hard time,” Speed said. “Something’s going to happen. She’s hearing horns blow.”

In his application, Speed said that this issue is “due to bumper-to-bumper traffic on Oak Street weekdays,” and is therefore not a self-created problem.

As for the legal aspects of backing out onto Route 98, according to New York State’s vehicle and traffic law, there are limitations on backing up a vehicle. Section 1211 states that “the driver of a vehicle shall not back the same unless such movement can be made with safety and without interfering with other traffic. The driver of a vehicle shall not back the same upon any shoulder or roadway of any controlled-access highway.”

Still, allowing for the turnaround proposed by Speed “seems like an excessive amount, and sets a precedent for neighbors,” committee member Ed Flynn said.

He and fellow members discussed the options and issues with such a set-up, and eventually recommended a compromise: a 10-foot by 18-foot turnaround that is at least 18 feet from the road and 10 feet from the sidewalk.

Speed will continue the process with the Zoning Board of Appeals later this week.

For anyone who lives on Oak Street or other similar streets that coincide with busy state highways, how do you get out of your driveways? The Batavian would like to know your solutions for a follow-up article. Email them to: [email protected]

Illustration: Satellite view of Oak Street property requiring a variance for a larger turnaround area. Heavy traffic on Oak Street (Route 98), Batavia, prompted the variance request to create more space for visitors to turn around versus backing out onto the street. Illustration provided by City of Batavia Planning & Development Committee.

June 21, 2022 - 9:24pm

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Residents of Le Roy and beyond are invited to “Jam at the Ridge” as the summer concert series continues on June 24.

The Jam at the Ridge Campground, located on Conlon Road, features a natural amphitheater set against a former ski hill. Following the Jam at the Ridge series’ Memorial Day opening, Owner David Luetticke-Archbell expressed his gratitude for the efforts of his team.

“Our business is a family business, so everybody helps everybody,” said Luetticke-Archbell in an interview with The Batavian. “If you can’t bring your two-year-old and their grandparents to our concerts, then we’ve done something wrong.”

The series, centered on country and rock music, features upcoming performances from a range of local and traveling artists. Performers of the group Them Dirty Roses, a Southern American rock band, will play a set of original songs on July 15. Their music exceeds a combined 21 million streams on Spotify’s music streaming platform for their 2017 eponymous EP.

In an interview with The Batavian, guitarist Andrew Davis introduced his bandmates. 

“We’re a four-piece; along with my guitar, James Ford is the lead singer, Ben Crain is the bass player, and Frank Ford is the drummer,” said Davis. “We are all from a small town in Alabama called Gadsden.”

Them Dirty Roses will open for The Steel Woods, an American Country Rock band. Davis expressed his admiration for the Nashville-based performers pending the Le Roy performance. 

“We love the Steelwoods, we’re all good friends,” said Davis. “We’ve played together multiple times in the past— it’s always a good time when we get together.” 

Further, Davis commented on his expectations for Them Dirty Roses’ performance at the July show.

“It’s always a high-energy rock & roll show— if you’re not on your feet at the beginning, you will be by the end of it,” Davis said. “It’s all about a good time for everybody, so we think that it’s definitely going to be a party.”

Following Them Dirty Roses’ performance with The Steel Woods, vocalists and instrumentalists of the band The Georgia Thunderbolts will perform at The Ridge on July 16. Featured in Rolling Stone Magazine’s Country Music Picks, The Georgia Thunderbolts exceed a combined one million streams for their releases on Spotify. Lead singer TJ Lyle introduced his six-member band, featuring drummer Bristol Perry, lead guitarist Riley Couzzourt, rhythm guitarist Logan Tolbert, and bass guitarist Zach Everett.

“Logan and I grew up together, and the bass player Zach was actually Logan’s neighbor,” said Lyle. “Riley and Bristol knew each other from high school.”

As for Le Roy’s performance, Lyle reflected on his experiences throughout the region. 

“We’re starting to pick up a following on the East Coast; we’ve been very well received,” said Lyle. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to come back up there. It’s where we have some of our best crowds.”

Tickets for the Jam at the Ridge concerts are available for purchase on the campground website at: https://www.jatrny.com/home. Tickets may also be purchased over the phone by calling the camp store at (585) 768-4883 or visiting The Ridge in person at 8101 Conlon Rd.

The series will resume on June 24 with a performance by Jason Michael Carroll, a country musician from Houston, Texas. 

Photo: The Georgia Thunderbolts live, courtesy of Rory Linton, 2022. Pictured left to right: drummer Bristol Perry, lead guitarist Riley Couzourtt, lead singer TJ Lyle, rhythm guitarist Logan Tolbert, and bass guitarist Zach Everett. 

June 21, 2022 - 5:56pm
posted by Press Release in GCC, news, education.

Press release:

The U.S. Department of Education announced that Genesee Community College's TRiO Upward Bound Program will receive a 5-year, $1.5 million federal Upward Bound grant for both Genesee and Wyoming Counties ($3 million total) to help more low-income students who would be the first members of their families to earn degrees, to prepare for and enroll in college.

Upward Bound is an intensive intervention program that prepares students for higher education through various enrichment courses. At least two-thirds of the students in each local Upward Bound program are from low-income economic backgrounds and families in which neither parent has a bachelor's degree. GCC's Upward Bound program services seven schools in Genesee and Wyoming Counties.

Many Upward Bound alumni have gone on to great success, among them Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis, Correspondent for ABC News John Quinones and Hall of Fame NBA player Patrick Ewing.

"We are so pleased to be able to provide these vital services to the students of Genesee and Wyoming Counties. Without Upward Bound, many underprivileged students might lack some of the opportunities or skills needed to obtain a college degree," said Lisa Krause, director of Upward Bound Programs at GCC.

Campus-based Upward Bound programs provide students instruction in literature, composition, mathematics, science, and foreign language during the school year and the summer. Upward Bound also provides intensive mentoring and support for students as they prepare for college entrance exams and tackle admission applications, financial aid and scholarship forms.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 86% of Upward Bound participants enroll in postsecondary institutions immediately following high school graduation. In fiscal year 2021, more than 70,000 students enrolled in 966 Upward Bound TRiO projects in the United States.

In 1964, the Economic Opportunity Act established Upward Bound as a pilot program in response to the War on Poverty. It was the first of seven federal "TRiO" programs to later be authorized by the Higher Education Act to help college students succeed in higher education. It recognizes that students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions that college requires for success, bolsters students from low-income families who have not had the academic opportunities that their college peers have had and helps remove obstacles preventing students from thriving academically.

"As systemic inequality and financial hardship discourage students from succeeding in college, TRiO programs like Upward Bound take on new importance because they continue to help students who are low-income and first-generation to earn college degrees," said Maureen Hoyler, president of the non-profit Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) in Washington, D.C. COE is dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities nationwide.

As of 2021, over 3,000 TRiO projects serve approximately 855,000 participants yearly. TRiO projects are in every state and territory in the nation.

For more information contact Vice President, Development and External Affairs Justin Johnston at (585) 345-6809, or via email: [email protected].

June 21, 2022 - 5:54pm
posted by Press Release in Announcements.

Press release:

Clarkson University awarded nearly 800 bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees to students from 31 states, 19 countries, and 59 New York state counties at its spring 2022 commencement in May. (An additional 189 students received degrees this past winter and summer.)

  • Benjamin Edward Slenker of Alexander, NY, received a bachelor of science with great distinction in chemical engineering, sustain energy sys eng minor, from Clarkson University in May 2022.
  • Jacob A. Perez Gangi of Elba, NY, received a bachelor of science with distinction in civil engineering, architectural & fac eng minor, from Clarkson University in May 2022.
  • Logan Marie Cadieux of Oakfield, NY, received a bachelor of science with distinction in mechanical engineering, a mathematics minor, from Clarkson University in May 2022.
  • John Michael Igoe of Oakfield, NY, received a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering, aeronautical engineering, and business minor, from Clarkson University in May 2022.
  • Thomas Joseph Mellon of Pavilion, NY, received a bachelor of science in global supply chain management, project management minor, from Clarkson University in May 2022.
June 21, 2022 - 5:47pm
posted by Press Release in GCEDC, BOCES, news.

Press release:

Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will be hosting a free three-day dairy processing bootcamp at the Genesee Valley BOCES from June 28th through June 30th for Genesee County high school students.  The program is designed for career ready individuals seeking opportunities in the dairy manufacturing and dairy processing industries. The program starts each day at 8:00 AM and concludes at 3:30 p.m.

The Genesee County Economic Development Center and the Workforce Development Institute provided the funding for the program. The bootcamp program will connect high school graduates with local manufacturers such as HP Hood, O-AT-KA Milk Products and Upstate Milk Cooperative in Batavia, and Yancey’s Fancy in Pembroke.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our local high school graduates to get on a successful career pathway without having to immediately go to college and perhaps avoid incurring student loan debt,” said Chris Suozzi, Vice President of Business & Workforce Development, Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC). “The participants will be receiving top tier instruction from Cornell University which will include hands-on training simulation experience, plant tours and more.”

There are currently over 100 available dairy manufacturing and dairy processing positions at these Genesee County businesses with average starting salaries of approximately $20 per hour. Human resource representatives from the various companies will be on hand to explain career path options, job duties and the application process.

“We have instructors with years of experience in the dairy field and bring an extensive amount of knowledge to this program,” said Cornell Dairy Processing & Marketing Specialist, Anika Zuber Gianforte. “The dairy industry is in need of workers, this bootcamp is the perfect opportunity for someone who is on the search for a well-paying and debt-free start to their career.”

To register for the upcoming Cornell in High School Dairy Processing Bootcamp visit https://cals.cornell.edu/dairy-processing-bootcamp.

Students must be at least 18 years old and have a high school degree to participate. Additional information is available atgcedc.com/workforceprograms.

June 21, 2022 - 5:42pm
posted by Press Release in UMMC, batavia, news.

Press release:

Each year, more than 500 babies are born at United Memorial Medical Center.  Soon after birth, the newborns are swaddled for comfort and safe sleeping.  The American Academy of Pediatrics says when done correctly, swaddling is an effective technique to calm infants and promote sleep. 

Most moms will learn the right way to swaddle from the nurses in the hospital’s Maternity Department.  That’s why UMMC staff members, friends and community members are coming together for the Huge Lemonade Stand event to make sure every baby has a swaddle for safe sleeping. 

The lemonade stand idea started with the son of Peter Casey, a long-time UMMC supporter.  Patrick donated $4 from his piggy bank to the cause.  Later this month, he will run just one of the many lemonade stands at the event, hoping to raise hundreds more to help UMMC’s newborns.

WHEN: June 23, 5-7 p.m.

WHERE: Centennial Park, 151 State St. Batavia

WHAT: Interviews available with a maternity nurse, director of the program, and volunteers          

June 21, 2022 - 5:04pm
posted by Press Release in Genesee County Interagency Council, batavia, news.

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Press release:

On June 15, 2022 at their annual picnic at DeWitt Park, the Genesee County Interagency Council presented a $1,000 educational scholarship to Esperanza Hernandez. Esperanza plans to study Social Work at SUNY Brockport this fall.

Scholarship applications were accepted from all Genesee County High Schools and applicants were required to be in good academic standing, and majoring in the fields of Human Services, Social Work, Sociology, or Psychology.

Esperanza (pictured 2nd from right) standing with (from left) scholarship committee members Kari Heideman, Lisa Smith, Sheila Best (Esperanza’s Mother) and Julie Wasilewski (Batavia City School District Social Worker)

The mission of Genesee County Interagency Council is to create fellowship and understanding among community human service agencies. The council helps to identify community issues and encourages development of resolutions.

For more information about Genesee County Interagency Council please contact Incoming President Lisa Smith at (585) 344-2042 ext. 4237 or Text: (585) 483-1046 [email protected] 

June 21, 2022 - 4:57pm
posted by Legal Notices in legal notices, batavia.

LEGAL NOTICE:

Sealed bids for the Batavia Iron and Metal project will be received by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Management and Budget Services, 625 Broadway, 10th Floor, Albany, New York, 12233-5027, Attn: Bureau of Expenditures until the time of 1:00  P.M. (EST) and on the date of Tuesday, July 26, 2022

The remedial activities include, but are not necessarily limited to, PCB impacted soil removal, temporary water treatment, backfill and restoration including the transport and disposal of non-hazardous and hazardous soils.   Work will be performed under State and Federal permit requirements and USEPA self-implementation program.  

The estimated range for this work is: $15 Million to $20 Million.

Contract Documents are available in electronic format at no charge.  Electronic copies of non-biddable Contract Documents, Drawings, Specifications, Proposal forms, Addenda, and a separate Limited Site Data Document may be downloaded from the Department website http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/59233.html. Biddable Contract Documents will be available on June 29, 2022  upon request from the Division of Environmental Remediation, 625 Broadway, 12th Floor, Albany, New York, 12233-7017, Attn: Lisa Gorton at  [email protected] and Jamie Welch at j[email protected].

Proposals will be accepted only from bidders who attend the Pre-Bid Conference. All Proposals must be made on the Bid Form(s) provided in the Contract Documents, and thereafter enclosed in the envelope which will be provided by the Department at the Pre-Bid Conference. Each proposal must be accompanied by a deposit or a bid bond in the amount of five percent (5%) of Proposer’s bid amount. Mandatory pre-bid meetings will be held at the site on Thursday, July 14, 2022 at 1:00 PM (EST). Attendance at the pre-bid meetings is mandatory as a condition of bidding. Reference Contract  Section 1 – Advertisement and Notice to Bidders for full instructions and requirements.

Any questions shall be directed to Lisa Gorton, the Department’s Project Manager and Designated Contact at [email protected] with electronic copy (ec) to :Jamie Welch at [email protected].

Bidders may receive announcements of future procurement opportunities by signing up for the NYSDEC –DER’s electronic mailing list (“GovDelivery”) at https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/NYSDEC/subscriber/new.

June 21, 2022 - 4:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Quicklee’s, batavia, business, news.

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Press release:

Quicklee’s Convenience Stores, headquartered in Avon, NY, officially opens the doors of its first Batavia location to customers this week. The newest Quicklee’s is located at 204 Oak Street, at the site of the former Bob Evans. It is the 1st Quicklee’s in Genesee County, and brings the total number of family-owned and operated Quicklee’s stores to 27.

“When we first announced our plans to build, when we began hiring, and now as we open, the people of Batavia have been helpful, welcoming, and excited about this new store,” said Ken Perelli, Quicklee’s Vice President and COO. “As a family-owned and operated business we believe community support is so important, and we wanted to create a space that encouraged travelers to stop, and see what Batavia is really all about.”

At the time of its opening, the new location is stocked with a variety of cold beverages, snacks, and food items. The new, state-of-the-art touch-screen fuel pumps provide travelers with weather updates and traffic alerts. And in the coming months EV charging stations will be installed and a Tim Horton’s will open onsite.

“This store is located right off of the Thruway at exit 48, making it an ideal location for travelers as well as a great place for locals to stop,” said Brian Mongi, Quicklee’s General Manager. “We have gas, diesel, a great variety of snacks, and a friendly staff ready to help you on your way. It really is a great location, one we hope will encourage more visitors to check out the area.”

Family-owned and- operated, Quicklee’s has ties with national brands like Tim Horton’s, but its local roots are a key part of its identity. In addition to providing a variety of convenience store offerings, Quicklee’s proudly supports community organizations and works with small businesses to provide them with premium placement in its stores. 

June 21, 2022 - 2:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animal abuse, crime, batavia, news, notify.

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A pair of apparently former Batavia residents facing felony animal cruelty charges failed to appear in City Court today for arraignment, prompting Judge Durin Rogers to issue arrest warrants for both defendants.

Both Andrew A. Searight, 35, and Jerrtonia A. Scarbrough, 24, are charged with felony aggravated cruelty to animals.

They are accused of abandoning two pitbulls in apartment 60 at 337 Bank St., Batavia. The two animals were found malnourished and covered in feces in their cages inside the apartment on May 10, according to witness statements.

Both defendants were scheduled to appear earlier in June and both called the court to report that they had COVID-19. They were ordered to appear today and provide proof of positive COVID tests.

Rogers noted that both were clearly aware of the order to appear today for arraignment, and they both demonstrated with their prior calls that they knew how to reach the court if they couldn't make their appearance. 

During his remarks, Rogers referred to Searight as a former Batavia resident. He made no mention of where the defendants might be living now.

One of the two Pitbulls found in the apartment was, according to court documents, in such bad shape that she had to be euthanized.  The other dog is recovering at Genesee County Animal Shelter. He is not yet available for adoption because the owners have yet to relinquish ownership.

Rogers asked the assistant district attorney if the dog was still at the shelter, expressing concern the dog might still be with the owners while the case is pending. The ADA said she believed the dog is at the shelter.

Previously: One of two Pitbulls found abandoned in apartment in good health while mate had to be put down

Photo: File Photo of "Brad Pitt" (the name given to the dog by Animal Shelter volunteers).

June 21, 2022 - 12:53pm
posted by Press Release in opinion.

By Ken Paulson

As we gather to celebrate Independence Day, it’s a good time to reflect on how our most fundamental freedoms have served this nation well.

It’s an even better time to think about what would happen if those liberties were taken away.

Sadly, the latter doesn’t take much imagination in 2022. Your closest video screen will show you scenes of Russian troops pummeling Ukraine with the support of a majority of the Russian people.

The Russian public has been told that their country is doing noble work ferreting out “Nazis” and that the West is engaged in its usual persecution of Russia and its people. Surveys say most Russians believe it.

In times of war, people always want to see their government as the good guys, but it’s still a little hard to grasp how that many people can be so thoroughly misled.

That’s the power of the Vladimir Putin playbook. The Russian president quickly and with little opposition eliminated the freedoms of speech and press.

First, Putin bandied around allegations of “fake news,” undermining domestic news media that had far more latitude than their Soviet Union counterparts.

Then he coordinated a plan with the national legislature to pass a law imprisoning those who “lied” about the war, including even calling it a war.  Russian media of integrity had to close up shop, and international journalists in Russia had to temper their reporting.

That left the internet as the one avenue for Russians to learn the truth about their country’s misdeeds. Putin then banned social media outlets and sharply limited access to international news sites.

In short order, the Russian people were isolated, left to believe the lies of their government.

It took just weeks for Putin to wipe out freedoms of press, speech and dissent.

Could anything like that ever happen in the United States? As unlikely as it may seem, there are some areas of concern.

After all, over the past 60 years, certain presidents from both parties have been known to mislead the public about the purpose and progress of wars. And the use of “fake news” claims to evade responsibility began with politicians in this country, only to be adopted by totalitarian leaders around the globe.

Today there are active efforts to overturn New York Times v. Sullivan, the 1964 Supreme Court decision that made investigative reporting viable in the United States. And there are many politicians, again of both parties, who want to control how private social media companies are run.

Do I believe that America could fall victim to something resembling the Putin playbook? No. But it’s also no longer unthinkable.

It’s not a coincidence that the first step would-be dictators take is to shut down the press. That eliminates questions and accountability, both of which are anathema to those who abuse power.

There are some today who choose not to be informed, saying the media are biased. Well, there are tens of thousands of media outlets in this country, including manipulative cable channels, partisan sites that masquerade as news providers and those sites that would entice us with clickbait. But there are also many core news organizations of integrity, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, PBS and the very newspaper you’re reading right now. They’re the ones we need to support with readership and subscriptions.

From the very beginning of this nation, Americans understood the importance of a free press aggressively reporting on people in power. In an era when newspapers were fiercely partisan and unfair, that first generation of citizens still insisted on journalists being protected by the First Amendment.

That shouldn’t surprise us. After all, the model was right there in 1776 in the document we celebrate this week.

The Declaration of Independence called out King George III, reporting a list of injustices perpetrated by the mother country against its colonies. We had “unalienable rights,” it said, and they were being violated. Americans were no longer going to put up with this “long train of abuses and usurpations.”

That is the same spirit with which America’s free press has exercised its duties since 1791. Abolitionist newspapers took on slavery, suffragist papers focused on injustices against women and news organizations spanning centuries have reported on scandals, corruption and racial injustice.

We live in a highly polarized time, when it’s easy to dismiss the views of those with whom we disagree and deride those who publish the facts we don’t want to acknowledge.

We have to take care, though, that our internal political wars don’t turn us away from the core principles contained in the Declaration of Independence.

We remain a free people and need to be vigilant in protecting our rights and documenting the abuses in people in power, not just when the other guy’s party is in office. That’s the real spirit of ’76.

Ken Paulson is the director of the Free Speech Center, a non-partisan and non-profit center based at Middle Tennessee State University. www.freespeech.center

June 21, 2022 - 12:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, batavia, sports, baseball.

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The Batavia pitching staff surrendered 13 hits to Niagara Power at Dwyer Stadium on Monday evening but the Muckdogs managed to escape with a 5-0 win.

At 9-2, the Muckdogs are in first place, a half-game ahead of the Utica Blue Sox, in the PGCBL Western Division.

They're home again tomorrow evening, 7 p.m., against Watertown.

Joe Tobia, from Buffalo, and a sophomore at the University of Albany, started and went 4 1/3 innings giving up seven hits.  He's 1-0 with a 0.000 ERA, tied for the league lead.

Levis Aguila, Jr. a junior at Felician University, was 2-3, scoring a run and getting a walk. 

Medina's Brian Fry picked up another hit in three plate appearances.  He's hitting .400 on the season, fourth-best in the league. His OBP is .560 and his OPS is 1.160.

The Muckdogs scored once in the second inning, three in the third (two runs were unearned), and one in the fifth.

Top photo: Niagara Power catcher Jadyn Lobliner waits with ball in glove as Levis Aguila, Jr. attempts to score in the bottom of the third inning.

Photos by Howard Owens

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Shortstop Bryan Belo completes a double play in the fourth inning.

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Brian Fry completes a double play in the third inning.

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Levis Aguila Jr.

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Alec Maag scores in the second inning

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Manager Joey Martinez.

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Brian Fry with a hit in the third inning.

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Tyler Cannoe with a hit in the third.

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Brian Fry scores in the third inning.

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Mike DeStefano pops up from a slide into second base in the third inning after a throwing error by shortstop Mason Kulpa that allowed two runs to score with two outs.

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Starting pitcher Joe Tobia

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June 21, 2022 - 8:15am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, bdc, batavia, notify.

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Seven days into her new job Tammy Hathaway was already full-speed ahead.

After all, the city resident and new director for Batavia Development Corporation has the passion, background, and curiosity to take the job and run with it, she says.

Her background includes working at Rural Opportunities (Pathstone) and being on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative planning committee and on the City Planning and Development Committee, so structuring a file or project for financing, grants, and combined loans mean just one question for her.

“How can I put it all together? Those puzzle pieces are comfortable for me,” Hathaway said during an interview with The Batavian. “But learning about the actual projects? Yeah, that's what I'm really super excited about.”

Just prior to her interview, Hathaway — formerly executive director of United Way of Genesee County — was pouring over files full of project notes. She counted in her head at least 14 ongoing projects that she will be diving into — Theatre 56, Jackson Square, the Healthy Living campus, and Ellicott Station, to name a few.

Her flowing locks and love for high- and well-heeled fashion belie someone whose cravings for detail include building structures, construction plans, and even the wastewater treatment plant. Staff was talking about using sonar equipment to measure the sludge, and “I was, like, I’m home,” she said.

She talked about how a local contractor had stopped in before the interview and showed her a compressed structural beam. She hadn’t seen anything like it before, she said and asked where she could buy some. The contractor was surprised.

“Yeah, and I go, ‘Oh, don't be fooled when you see me around town in my stiletto collection,’” she told him.

 Over at BDC, her focus will home in on Brownfield Opportunity Areas, a new category of sites for her.

“That's one of the things I'm very intrigued about. And that's the stuff that I want to know. I went up to a project earlier today that's already under construction, and it is about looking ahead to do a progress report. So to walk in and see, you know, new I-beam and structural stuff. You know, it's familiar to me. So it was just kind of going and taking photos and talking the talk,” she said. “But it's gonna be those other pieces that are like, ooh, this is new. This is what intrigues this switch in position. This job offers me so much that I want to know.”

For those who may know Hathaway, you’re also aware that she’s not shy to express herself. Admittedly, she has cursed a time or two while serving on a board and strives to be a nice, friendly person despite those inadvertent expletives. She agrees she's rather flamboyant “all day long,” and is fascinated by what makes people tick, she said.

“And just as I'm as inquisitive about people, I am as inquisitive about a lot of things, the mechanisms of how things work,” she said, explaining why she has served on up to six boards at a time. “So it's not that I can't say no, I don't like to say no because I want to know more, so when I'm already on five boards, and (Executive Director) Nate Varland comes to me at Leadership Genesee class and asks ‘would you like to be on the Board of Commissioners of the Batavia Housing Authority?’ Yes. Yes, I do. And he's like, are you serious?”

The 51-year-old’s job duties also include overseeing the agency’s grant and loan program. She doesn’t believe it’s as much about what a person wants to sell as it is about practicality: is that business a good financial investment? Does it fit into Batavia’s commercial landscape?

Her secret asset for determining who gets money? “I’m not emotionally attached to anything, except for Batavia. I want everyone to flourish,” she said. “The success in the city of Batavia depends on if they have a sustainable business plan.”

One of her “absolute best talents” is to surround herself with a solid network of friends. It’s that “amazing support system” that keeps her going, especially when dealing with the “hiccups” in life. She has at times posted thank-yous on Facebook for a gift, often her favorite snack, left on her porch.

“There are flowers and, mostly, Doritos,” she said.

The 2020 Geneseean of the Year recipient isn’t certain about why she’s been so drawn to construction-related topics. Her first husband got into construction, and she became more intrigued by listening to his discussions, and it grew after working for Rural Opportunities, writing rehab grants, reviewing bids for construction and becoming all the more curious with each step.

Another piece of it was her attitude as a woman in a traditionally male field:  “I don't want you to know more than I know about it,” she said. “You know, I get that you’re boys and stuff.”

So what does Hathaway think makes for a vibrant downtown? Her answer was swift: cultural options. And she believes Batavia is on the upswing for that, with a variety of culturally rich offerings through the Business Improvement District, at Jackson Square, Eli Fish, the Farmers Market, and GO ART!, she said.

It takes initiative, and her philosophy is a way to encourage that from the community.

“I’ve always tried to get people to believe that giving is contagious. If I do it, and it makes you see that I have fun doing it, then maybe you will want to do it, and we can really have fun to do it together. You know, so the more people that we get involved in doing the cultural stuff, that just makes us ask, why do we want to leave if there's things happening here all the time?” she said. “I do think the vibrancy of our little city is that culturally we want things to do. We have people who are committed to creating things to do. Sometimes it takes a few more hands down. The more people we get involved, the easier it is. And when we can create, you know, those businesses where we live here and work here, and now we can play here. I'm a Western New York girl, through and through.”

Photo: Tammy Hathaway, new director for Batavia Development Corporation, in her office at City Hall. Photo by Joanne Beck.

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