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September 17, 2008 - 1:14pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Daily News, business, agriculture, chamber of commerce.

Bed, Bath & Beyond opened for business Tuesday at the Towne Center off Veterans Memorial Drive in the town of Batavia, according to the Daily News. Target already opened in July and a Lowe's home improvement store is currently getting ready to "co-anchor" the shopping complex along with the large-scale retailer. Michael's Crafts expects to open Sunday, and Petco hopes to hold its grand opening on September 26. An AT&T store is likely to occupy another of the buildings on site. Roger Muehlig reports that the developer was hoping to get a restaurant to settle into one of the 8,500-square-foot buildings at the site, "but no occupant has been announced."

A couple of stories in today's paper were already posted to this site. News of Dave Wellenzohn's departure from the helm of Muckdogs management was featured on The Batavian yesterday afternoon. Sophie's Run: a run from Ontario, Canada to New York City by Nicole Chuchmach and her team of runners in an effort to raise awareness for colorectal cancer was featured on The Batavian Monday.

Genesee County's Chamber of Commerece is gearing up for the 19th annual Decision Makers Forum and Tour, which will be held at Batavia Downs Tuesday. Tom Rivers reports:

The Chamber each year uses the forum to focus on a topic critical to agriculture. The forum in recent years has explored renewable energy, groundwater and other environmental issues, new technologies on the farm, wind energy and immigration policies.

This Tuesday, the Chamber will discuss careers in agriculture.

Anyone can attend the forum but they must register. Call (585) 343-7440 ext.27 or send an e-mail to the Chamber to register.

We encourage you to pick up a copy of the Daily News at your local newsstand. Or, better yet, subscribe at BataviaNews.com.

August 20, 2008 - 2:59pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in crime, Daily News, business, police, planning.

A Batavia detective will become a full-time member of the Genesee County Drug Task Force, according to the Daily News. This marks the first time since 2002 that a member of the city force joined up full-time on the multi-agency task force. Police Chief Randy Baker said he hopes the group will continue its focus on "the big guy," as well as the "smaller concerns of neighborhoods." At least, that's what I think he says. Here's the full quote, from reporter Scott DeSmit:

"We met and we wanted to refocus our efforts ... They were doing long-term investigations, focusing on getting the big guy rather than addressing the smaller concerns of neighborhoods. That's all tied together and that's what we're doing."

It's not clear if the chief is saying that the task force was concentrated on the big guy and now they will focus more on smaller concerns, or my interpretation up above. I phoned the chief to clear up the ambiguity. He was unavailable. I left a message.

UPDATE: Chief Baker did get back to me this afternoon to confirm that the second interpretation is correct, that the task force will do more to address the "smaller concerns."

Plans for the soon-to-be-built Sallome's Deli on Oak Street—check out their job listing on our site—were approved by the city planning board last night following a brief debate over the number of signs to be allowed. There's no mention of when the deli will open at 34 Oak St., but the hours will likely be from 8:00am to 8:00pm six days a week.

Richard J. Peters II, 18, of Batavia, was sentenced to 11 1/2 years in state prison for the rape of a four-year-old girl. Wyoming County Judge Mark H. Dadd added 20 years of post-release supervision. Peters could have faced up to 25 years in prison for pleading guilty to a felony county of first-degree rape and a felony count of first-degree criminal sex act.

As the wrecking ball gets set to smash Le Roy's historic Masonic Temple to the ground, Genesee County's Economic Development Center gets set to give Walgreens $122,375 in tax exemptions. The temple, a few neighboring retail spaces and a couple of homes around the corner are all being torn down to make way for the pharmacy chain.

Batavia's town planning board has determined that the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park will have a "significant impact on the environment." A public hearing has been set for 7:00pm on September 16 at the town hall, 3833 West Main Street Road, for residents to hear about the impact and voice their opinions on the project. "The potential effects of constructing the Ag Park," writes Paul Mrozek, "include increased noise, odor and traffic and converting 200 acres of vacant land into an industrial park."

August 2, 2008 - 9:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, thebatavian, jobs.

We launched our free employment listings during the middle part of the July.

I was just looking over our stats -- in just that short of a time, more than 1,000 people looked at the jobs page. That tells me, there is a local online audience looking for employement opportunities.

Click on the "jobs" tab above and follow the directions on how to post your free employment ad.

We can easily assume that Batavian readers are engaged, informed, energetic people; you don't want to miss your chance to make your next great hire at no cost.

August 2, 2008 - 10:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, hudson city bancorp, ronald hermance.

Slate profiles Ronald Hermance Jr., CEO of Hudson City Bancorp. Hudson is based in Jersey, but Hermance is originally from Batavia.

Despite the proximity to Manhattan, Hermance and his 140-year-old bank have never been part of the fast-money Wall Street scene. And thanks to its geographic and cultural distance, this bridge-and-tunnel bank has thrived amid the mortgage debacle.

Hudson City in late July reported that second-quarter profits were up 52.3 percent. In the 2008 first half, mortgage originations rose 50 percent from 2007. And yet its balance sheet is pristine. "Only 328 out of 79,929 loans are nonperforming at the end of the second quarter," he said. (But who's counting?) Last Thursday, Hudson City sported a market capitalization of $9.46 billion, twice the size of the Blackstone Group.


Hudson City banks the old-fashioned way: It takes deposits and makes mortgages to people who buy homes in which they plan to live. And then it hangs on to them. No subprime, no securitization. Hudson City's bankers are steady daters in a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am era. "We don't have Wall Street bundle up the mortgages and sell them to someone in Norway," Hermance says. "We're going to live with those loans."


CNBC's motormouth James Cramer has dubbed Hermance a modern-day George Bailey. And while it has been a wonderful life of late for Hermance (last year he was paid a total of $8.45 million, and his shares in the bank are worth about $114 million, according to Hudson City's 2007 proxy), comparisons between the balding, mustachioed banker and Jimmy Stewart only go so far.

It's a fascinating story even if the world of high finance isn't your thing. Read the whole thing.

August 1, 2008 - 7:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, economy, graham corp, oil.

High oil prices are pushing refinery upgrades and expansion, which is good news to Batavia-based Graham Corp. Its revenue and profits are soaring, reports the Buffalo News.

Graham is coming off a fiscal year where profits and sales were the highest ever by a wide margin. The company’s stock, which traded for just over $10 in January 2007, now stands at $89.

And Graham’s order backlog and new order bookings are running at a record pace, prompting Lines to predict that the company’s growth spurt is far from over, with sales expected to rise by another 15 percent to 20 percent during the fiscal year that began in March. That would push revenues to around $100 million for the first time ever.

The article indicates that Graham is continuing to expand its work force, at home and aboard.

July 2, 2008 - 2:32pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in business, downtown, BID.

Batavia's downtown Summer Sidewalk Sales kick off Saturday, July 12th from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Be sure to stop by these shops for special deals:

  • Adam Miller Toys & Bikes
  • Continental School of Beauty
  • House of K
  • PIECES Gallery
  • The Mane Attraction Salon
  • Valle Jewelers

Summer Sidewalk Sales are sponsored by the Downtown Batavia Improvement District.

June 12, 2008 - 3:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, video, blondie's.

In this video we found on YouTube, this Batavia toddler seems pretty happy with the ice cream at Blondie's.

May 30, 2008 - 7:08am

The D&C profiles Batavia's Brothers-All-Natural, which makes healthy crispy snacks.

Buried deep in the story is some pretty big news:

Brothers-All-Natural recently signed a multi-year license agreement with the Walt Disney Company to co-brand its product with Disney characters, to go into stores in July at Toys "R" Us, Kids "R" Us, Babies "R" Us and Wal-Mart.

"This is a huge stamp of approval when you get a name like Disney to associate themselves with your brand," said Matthew Betters, 36, co-CEO of Brothers-All-Natural.

Near the end of the story, we also learn the 15-employee company has offices in Ecuador and North Carolina, in addition to Batavia, but manufactures its products in China.

May 29, 2008 - 8:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, graham corp.

Batavia-based Graham Corp. (AMEX: GHM) has made Business Week's list of fastest growing small companies.

From the article:

This year's Hot Growth ranking also features a whole lot of heavy metal. Dotting the list are small manufacturers with low-cost structures and the ability to make specialized products that can't easily be copied by foreign rivals. Among the success stories: Graham (GHM), a Batavia (N.Y.) maker of heat-transfer equipment, and Haynes International (HAYN), a Kokomo (Ind.) supplier of specialty alloys used by jetmakers and gas drillers.

This morning, the stock opens at $63.50 per share.  It's 52-week high is $71.58 and 52-week low is $13.45

Graham's 2007 revenue was $65 million, with an EBIDTA margin of 11 pecent. Graham employs 265 people.

The company, which claims no long-term debt and $36 million in available cash, is announcing this week that for fiscal 2008 revenue is $86.4 million.

According to it's corporate history page, Graham was founded in 1936 and moved to Batavia in 1942.  The company went public in 1968.

Jerald D. Bidlack, 71, is chairman of the board, and James R. Lines, 46, is president and CEO.

Business Week's description of the company:

Graham Corporation engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of vacuum and heat transfer equipment used in the chemical, petrochemical, petroleum refining, and power generating industries worldwide. Its products include steam jet ejector vacuum systems; surface condensers for steam turbines; vacuum pumps and compressors; various types of heat exchangers, including helical coil heat exchangers marketed under the Heliflow name; and plate and frame exchangers. These products are available in various metal and non-metallic corrosion resistant materials. Graham Corporation’s products are used in a range of industrial process applications, including petroleum refineries, chemical plants, pharmaceutical plants, plastics plants, fertilizer plants, liquefied natural gas production facilities, soap manufacturing plants, air conditioning systems, food processing plants, and other process industries, as well as power generation facilities, such as fossil fuel, nuclear, cogeneration, and geothermal power plants.

May 27, 2008 - 7:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in economic development, business, agriculture, GCEDC.

Steve Hyde  of Genesee County Economic Development Center presented an update on Agri Park development and tonight's council conference meeting.

The proposed ag park could be worth $1.4 billion to the local economy and create 1,100 jobs.

It will cover 200 to 300 acres near Oatka Milk in the Town of Batavia.

It will be the only ag industry focused part in the Northeast.

A Canadian company seems ready and serious to be the first tenant of the park, bringing 100 jobs and taking advantage of current monetary exchange rates.

"We’re not coming here today to ask for help, but to look for a partnership that says this benefits the people in the community," Hyde said.

Grants of $6 million are currently available to fund Phase I.


May 26, 2008 - 3:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Daily News, wbta, muckdogs, business, pepsi, summit.

We're a little behind in our Daily News reading (with Philip on vacation).  From the Saturday/Sunday edition, however, there were some items of note.

  • Becky Wolford won a contest to sing the National Anthem prior to a Muckdogs game.  She's also survived a brain tumor.  The story by Joanne Beck details her diagnosis and  efforts to fight the disease, which included much prayer and multiple surgeries. It's a fine news feature, but fails to acknowledge WBTA's role in sponsoring the contest.
  • The Economic Development Center has approved a $36,000 mortgage and tax abatement to help Summit Lubricants move into the former Pepsi plant at 4-D Treadeasy Ave. Summit manufactures heavy lubricants and has been in Batavia since 1991 and its expansion will lead to 17 new jobs.
  • In Lifestyles, ag reporter Tom Rivers profiles Bob Welker, a herdsman at Stein Farms, where he helps deliver calves and tend to sick cows. "It takes a special person to be herdsman because not everyone can work with sick animals every day," co-owner Dale Stein told Rivers. "You have to e willing to do everything for the animals. Maybe one in a hundred cold do it -- maybe one in a thousand.

We recommend you pick up your copy of the Daily News at a local newsstand, or subscribe on the Daily News web site.



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