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Batavia Lions Club gives away bikes at Muckdog game

By Brian Hillabush

The Batavia Lions Club gave away a pair of bicycles at Monday night's game between the Batavia Muckdogs and the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

Everybody was a winner at the game sponsored by the Lions Club as Batavia downed the Scrappers 2-0, with three pitchers combining for the shutout. But a pair of youngsters walked away with an extra prize.

Gunner Rapone of Batavia was the winner in the boy's bike raffle and Jessica Perry of Strykersville took home the girl's bike.

Lions Club president Steve Watson is also in the photo, presenting the prizes to the winners.

Howard B. Owens

Well, it's like this -- A well-connected businessman came up to me late last week and said, "Who is this Andrew Erbell guy?" He was curious because of your anti-local business attitudes. He said he asked around and nobody he knows knows you. So I asked around -- people that should know you if you own a 50-person operation in this area, and nobody knows you. And so I checked the White Pages. You're not listed. I checked voter registration, and you're not registered to vote.

In your first comment on the site, you made reference to the real name policy. I took that as a decision to accede to the policy and participate. Now I'm not so sure.

So would you like to stop by my office tomorrow with your ID?

Jul 28, 2009, 12:17am Permalink
Andrew Erbell

No and I don't see why that is necessary.

I've made a conscious choice since I started to not plaster my name all over the company. It's earned it's own reputation and runs itself quite well enough without my name attached to it every which way from Sunday. I intend to keep it that way.

I don't have any anti-local business attitudes. I just don't have any animosity towards the Wal-Marts or any other national chains of the world either. If that warrants my banishment, so be it.

Jul 28, 2009, 12:41am Permalink
bud prevost

Howard, I guess I just realized how difficult your real name policy is to enforce. My guess is you were banking on people doing the honor system, and adhering to your wishes. Mr. Erbell, or whatever your name is, your admission that this is not your real name diminishes any credibility your statements on here make. I've been curious how you could own a business in Leroy, and no one has heard of you. I'm curious to know if I do know you or not (this is my real name, no one else would want to be me :D).
BTW, your last name isn't Grasso is it?

Jul 28, 2009, 6:44am Permalink
Howard B. Owens

Bud, it is an honor system. I don't make it a habit to check identity. I only check when a suspicion is raised for some reason, usually from a reader. (This doesn't count the obviously fake accounts -- those are easy to deal with).

The "Mr. Erbell" incident also demonstrates one way in which running a community news site in a small community makes a real name policy a bit easier -- if you're not using your real name, and you participate at any significant amount, eventually people are going to say, "Do you know this guy? I don't know this guy? Anybody know this guy?" The vast majority of people who comment on this site regularly I either know or know somebody who knows, and the longer I live and work here, the truer that gets.

So in one way you could say "Mr. Erbell" participating for six months without getting caught is a failure in the system. In another, it's a success, because eventually people started to say, "who is this guy?"

Also, it demonstrates the need for a real name policy. He was pushing agenda that on its face is valid and legitimate, but we have to wonder if he would say the same things if the entire business community knew who he really was, and if he would say the same things publicly, given the public policy import, and if he truly is a small business owner, don't people deserve to know who it really is saying those things? I think they do.

Jul 28, 2009, 8:15am Permalink

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