Local Matters

Community Sponsors

September 11, 2019 - 4:21pm

Press release:

It is an ancient Greek word and an ancient practice, but as an occupation today it is experiencing significant growth. Doula, pronounced dool, is an ancient Greek term that translates today as a professional person, usually but not always a woman, who provides physical, emotional and informational support during pregnancy, birth and postpartum experiences.

The BEST Center (Business and Employee Skills Training) at Genesee Community College is offering a three-day Birth Doula Certification Training course in October 2019 for the first time ever. 

The new course teaches how a doula works in concert with a midwife, doctor or obstetrician to personalize both the childbirth experience and education that helps prepare for a positive childbirth.

A birth doula provides guidance before, during and after a birth offering appropriate comfort measures, support to the father / husband / partner and other family members, and bridges any potential gaps between the medical team and the emotional aspects of child birth.

The doula endeavors to identify and honor the mother's desires while maintaining a comforting, respectful environment throughout the birthing process.

Today, there are more than 10,000 doulas practicing in the United States. Recent studies have indicated that the presence of a doula in the birthing process results in decreasing the risk of a Cesarean birth, low birth weights of the baby, less complications as well as an increase in breastfeeding.

Additionally, a bill was recently passed by New York State Senate to require professional certification of doulas and it is expected to be reviewed and signed by Governor Cuomo this fall.

Erie and Kings counties have also expanded a pilot program to cover doula services under Medicaid in a multifaceted effort to help maternal mortality and racial disparities in providing access to prenatal and perinatal care.

"The course identifies a growing opportunity in the healthcare industry of helping bridge the continuously growing demands placed upon medical professionals and the interests and concerns of patients and their families," Alexandria Misiti, program coordinator at The BEST Center.

"In just three days with eight hours of instruction each day, participants can step into a dynamic new heathcare career option."

The cost for the course is $499 per student and the sessions are scheduled at Genesee Community College's Batavia campus in the Conable Technology Building in room T119 from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.on Friday through Sunday, Oct. 25, 26, 27.

Online registration is available here and the deadline for registration is Oct. 11.

The main concepts covered in the course include:

1. Significance and long term impact of the birth experience;

2. Suggestions for emotional and psychological support;

3. Non-pharmacological comfort and pain management techniques;

4. Communication skills;

5. Doula ethics and standards;

6. Business aspects of a doula practice;

7. Doula Certification.

Instructors for the course are: Julia Sittig, MSW, AdvCD/BDT (DONA), LCCE who has been an Advanced DONA Certified Birth Doula since 2004 as well as a Lamaze International Certified Childbirth Educator; and Christy Muscasto, CD/BDT(DONA), LCCE who has the same credentials and has been practicing for more than a decade. 

Additional course details are available here. Advance registration is necessary and limited seats are available.

For further information contact The BEST Center by calling 585-345-6868 or emailing [email protected] for more information.

September 10, 2019 - 3:31pm

Press release:

Genesee County Job Development Bureau is hosting a Job Fair from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at the One Stop Career Center, 587 E. Main St., Eastown Plaza, Suite 100, Batavia.

No RSVP or fee is required – just show up on Sept. 18th, dressed professionally, bring plenty of resumes, and put your best foot forward!

Whether you are hoping to find a fresh start, a better job, or a new career direction, job seekers will find a wealth of exciting opportunities at the Job Fair.

“We are excited to partner with the GLOW Workforce Development Board and NYS Department of Labor to bring employers and job seekers together,” said Teresa Van Son, director of the Genesee County Job Development Bureau.

Local employers will be here, from a variety of industry sectors, eager to hire for immediate openings in a wide range of fields. The job fair is open to the entire community.

“This opportunity connects workers with great employers looking to hire," Van Son said. "In line with our mission to help people discover their potential and support them in reaching their career goals and prosperity; while assisting businesses by providing driven and trained candidates to fill their needs, this job fair is a great way to connect face-to-face with employers."

For more information, please contact the Genesee County Career Center, at 585-344-2042 or [email protected]

September 8, 2019 - 4:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Le Roy, photography, The Photography Co-Op.

Submitted photos and press release:

LE ROY --Two open houses will introduce a new business at 43 Main St., Le Roy, on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13-14.

The Photography Co-Op will offer a gallery, a camera room and meeting space for events and classes.

The open houses are on Friday, Sept. 13 from 5 to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

All are welcome.

This is the third business venture for Jim DeLooze on Main Street in Le Roy. After working at Kodak in the research labs for 16 years, he took an early buyout and opened a photography studio specializing in weddings and portraits. After retiring, he ran “58 on Main,” which was a gallery and coffee shop.

The Photography Co-Op offers photographers a space to show their work and to use a camera room at affordable prices; the gallery is commission-free.

Participants can rent gallery space and the camera room/studio for a month at a time or on a yearly basis and have the option to use the meeting area for show openings, classes or other events.

Upcoming events include “Travelog: Alaska” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 9, featuring the photography of Linda Keister. On Friday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m., Jim Dusen will present a 3-D Photography Show.

Both of these are free and open to the public. Please e-mail Delouse at [email protected] to reserve a space for Oct. 18.

Photography classes are being planned and will include a basic photo class on the Exposure Triangle and a Drop-In Shoot for tabletop photography where photographers can work along with Jim on getting the best still-life photographs. Future classes will include crafting with photos.

More information is available at delooze.com and by e-mailing Jim at [email protected]. Information on classes and events is also on the Facebook group “Photography Enthusiasts of Western NY.”

September 6, 2019 - 12:10pm

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved incentives for two projects and accepted an application for incentives at its Thursday, Sept. 5, board meeting.

Graham Manufacturing will invest $2.03 million across multiple projects at its City of Batavia campus which will include an expansion of the company’s welding school, repurposing an existing 4,000-square-foot structure and construction of a new 8,875-square-foot warehouse.

The project would start this fall and be in operation by the end of the first quarter of 2020. The project also will contribute to the Batavia Pathway to Prosperity (BP2) Program. The company will receive sales, mortgage and property tax exemptions of approximately $210,000.

Provident Batavia LLC received approval for incentives to construct a 13,000-square-foot addition to an existing office, warehouse, and distribution facility leased to SCP Pools. The $1.194 million project will retain 15 jobs in the Town of Batavia.

This project is estimated to produce a state and regional economic impact of $594,122 and $61,516 in property taxes over 10 years. Total incentives are approximately $156,312.

Finally, the GCEDC Board accepted an application for incentives from Six Flags Darien Lake LLC for a new $1.575 million 60-foot-tall water ride at the Hurricane Harbor water park in the Town of Darien. If approved, Six Flags would receive sales tax incentives of approximately $126,000. The project will help retain 380 jobs at one of the county’s largest sales tax revenue generators.

September 6, 2019 - 12:04pm

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) adopted their 2020 budget at a board meeting today, projecting expenditures of $29.7 million.

The budget includes $25.5 million in grants for the development of infrastructure at the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (WNY STAMP).

Of that total, $20.2 million is dedicated to the advancement of Phase I infrastructure at the campus (remaining funds from the original $33 million state allocation); and $5.3 million is dedicated to the advancement of Phase II infrastructure (initial funds from the $8 million Empire State Development grant).

The 1,250-acre WNY STAMP campus in the Town of Alabama is the largest high-tech greenfield site in New York, and connects low-cost hydropower, large-scale infrastructure, and the Buffalo-Rochester Metro Corridor’s workforce talent.

“The GCEDC is building WNY STAMP to be a market-ready site, and a catalyst for the success of the people of Genesee County and companies that will create a stronger future for our region,” said Paul Battaglia, chairman of the GCEDC.

As a public benefit corporation, the GCEDC generates fees from economic development projects and other sources to run the agency’s operations, programs and services.

The GCEDC anticipates $375,000 in revenues from project origination fees and $3,800 in revenues from revolving loan fund interest; $300,000 in annuities from projects approved in previous years.

Revenues also include $300,000 that will be received from the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation (GGLDC), and $50,000 anticipated from the Genesee County Funding Corporation, to support the agency’s overall Economic Development Program.

“There is a large body of work that occurs at this agency each year, and I am pleased that we continue to find resourceful ways to serve the businesses and citizens of Genesee County,” said Lezlie Farrell, CFO of the GCEDC.

“Operating expenditures have been controlled and reduced wherever possible.”

The GCEDC budget anticipates a $233,000 allocation by Genesee County to support economic development and a growing return on investments to the county.

In 2018, the last full year of data available, GCEDC projects (current and expired) produced more than $4.4 million in combined PILOT -- Payment In Lieu Of Taxes -- payments and property taxes to local taxing jurisdictions.

“Genesee County is a vital partner in our efforts to bring new business and growth to our region," Battaglia said. "We rely on the Genesee County Legislature to support our budget and operations so we can continue to enable business and community success.

"In 2018, Genesee County benefited from $19 returned on every one dollar allocated to GCEDC operations.”

September 5, 2019 - 5:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, restaurants, downtown, business.
Video Sponsor

Kourtney and Cait Kunichika have opened Islands Hawaiian Grill on Main Street in Batavia (former location of Larry's Steakhouse).

Kourtney, from California, moved to Western New York to play hockey at RIT and eventually became a professional hockey player in Buffalo.

While living in Batavia, she started working at local restaurants and found she really loved food and hospitality, so the restaurant is inspired by both her passion for her Hawaiian culture -- especially since there are no Hawaiian restaurants in Western New York -- and her passion for the restaurant business.

September 5, 2019 - 10:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Quaker Houghton, batavia, business, National Grid.

Press release:

National Grid has approved a $100,000 economic development grant that Quaker Houghton will use to offset costs related to new electricity service. The new service is necessary to support a building expansion and installation of state-of-the-art equipment at its 4d Treadeasy Ave. facility.

“National Grid is often part of the discussions and works with manufacturers like Quaker Houghton that are planning expansions and need upgrades to their energy infrastructures,” said National Grid Regional Director Ken Kujawa.

“Projects like these that support investments in local businesses are those that can help our customers lower their operating costs, be better positioned to compete and meet customer demand.”

The grant was made through National Grid’s Electric Capital Investment Incentive program. The program is among a suite of economic development programs offered by the company to offset customer costs related to upgrading electricity infrastructure needed to accommodate expansion or new construction project.

More information about National Grid’s economic development programs is available at www.shovelready.com.

September 4, 2019 - 2:37pm

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider approving incentives for two projects, and consider accepting an application for another project, at its Thursday, Sept. 5, board meeting.

Graham Manufacturing plans to invest $2.03 million across multiple projects at its City of Batavia campus, including expanding the company’s welding school, repurposing an existing 4,000-square-foot structure and construction of a new 8,875-square-foot warehouse.

The company is seeking sales, mortgage and property tax exemptions of approximately $210,000.

Provident Batavia LLC is seeking incentives to construct a 13,000-square-foot addition to an existing office, warehouse, and distribution facility leased to SCP Pools in the Town of Batavia. The $1.194 million project would retain 15 jobs in the Town of Batavia and create opportunities for future growth of the company. 

Total incentives are approximately $156,312.

Finally, Six Flags Darien Lake LLC is seeking sales tax incentives of approximately $126,000 for a new $1.575 million 60-foot-tall water ride at the Hurricane Harbor water park in the Town of Darien. The project will help retain 380 jobs at one of the county’s largest sales tax revenue generators.

Thursday's GCEDC Board meeting will take place at its offices at 99 MedTech Drive in Batavia at 4 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.

September 3, 2019 - 4:05pm

Press release:

SYRACUSE -- The 51st Annual Butter Sculpture at the New York State Fair was taken down, but it didn't go to waste.

American Dairy Association North East, in conjunction with Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners and Noblehurst Farms, dismantled the 800-pound sculpture today at the New York State Fairgrounds.

Ultimately, the inedible butter will make its way to Noblehurst Farms in Pavilion (and Linwood), a "Dairy of Distinction," where it will be recycled in the farm’s methane digester and converted into renewable energy to power the dairy farm and produce liquid fertilizer for crops.

Noblehurst Farms has been recognized for achievements in sustainability and community partnerships to divert food waste from local landfills. (For previous coverage of an example of these efforts, click here.)

This year’s sculpture, “Milk. Love What’s Real,” featured a grandfather and child dunking cookies into milk and a young couple sharing a milkshake, illustrating how our love for real dairy connects many cherished moments in our lives.

Here's a link to a time-lapse video of the sculpture's deconstruction, which actually took 90 minutes to do.

About American Dairy Association North East

The American Dairy Association North East (ADANE) is the local affiliate of the National Dairy Council® and the regional consolidation of three promotion organizations including the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council Inc., Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program.  Committed to nutrition education and research-based communications, ADANE provides science-based nutrition information to, and in collaboration with, a variety of stakeholders committed to fostering a healthier nation, including health professionals, educators, school nutrition directors, academia, industry, consumers and media.

Funded by dairy checkoff dollars from more than 12,000 dairy farm families in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Northern Virginia, ADANE works closely with Dairy Management Inc.™ to bring a fully integrated promotion program to the North East region. For more information, visit AmericanDairy.com

August 30, 2019 - 1:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, The Coffee Press, business.


The Coffee Press on Jackson Street in Downtown Batavia held its official grand opening on Thursday and beer and wine was introduced to the beverage offerings.

Owner Derek Geib said beer and wine will help the business build an evening crowd as well as give people coming downtown another option.

Previously: The Coffee Press on Jackson Street, now open, aims to be hometown hangout





August 27, 2019 - 2:06pm

From the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce will host the 30th annual Decision-makers Ag Tour on Wednesday, Sept. 18.

It is open to the public.

The initial tour begins at 8 a.m. at the Kennedy Building at the Genesee County Fairgrounds, 5056 E. Main Street Road, Batavia.

After registration / check-in, breakfast and a quick welcome and discussion with Bill Schreiber, of O-AT-KA Milk Products Co-Operative Inc., attendees will board the bus and be transported to the next location.

The bus will return to the fairgrounds once the tour ends at 12:30 p.m.

The tour will include:

  • Autumn Moon Farm Winery, 7585 W. Bergen Road, Bergen
  • Black Creek Cidery, 6885 Warboys Road, Byron
  • Sweet Life Country Store, 100 S. Main St., Elba


Via email at:   [email protected]

Online by visiting the chamber website's events page here, then click on the button for the ag tour.

Or call the chamber office 585-343-7440.

August 23, 2019 - 4:43pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) toured several farms in Genesee, Orleans and Monroe counties yesterday, speaking with farm owners and employees on their concerns and trepidations with the recently passed the Farm Labor Bill.

Hawley is the former owner and operator of his family’s farm in Batavia, a longtime member of the Assembly Agriculture Committee and past President of the Genesee County Farm Bureau.

“I want to thank all the farm owners and their families for having me on a tour of their facilities,” Hawley said.

“I understand how detrimental these new labor regulations can be to our agriculture sector and I will be pushing very hard to have a seat at the table for the Commissioner of Agriculture and Farm Bureau members on the new wage board.”

  “As a former farm operator, it was great to meet so many dedicated families that are driving New York’s agricultural sector here in Western New York,” Hawley said.

“A consistent theme at all of the farms we visited was the new labor regulations pushed by Downstate politicians and their detrimental effect on family farms throughout the state. Many owners are concerned about labor shortage during an already short growing season and the possibility of migrant workers leaving to earn more money in other states.”

Photo: Assemblyman Hawley on his first stop of the farm tour at CY Farms in Elba, a second- and third-generation family farm where sod, spinach, corn and onions are grown.

August 23, 2019 - 11:59am
posted by Billie Owens in Le Roy, business, Le Roy Little Ones.

Story by Mary Margaret Ripley:

Le Roy – Alex Wood is the proud new owner of Le Roy Little Ones, a gently used children’s clothing store on Mill Street in Le Roy. 

Wood, a native of Pavilion, opened her storefront on Oatka Festival weekend July 13 and has seen steady business since.

What prompted her to want to open her own retail store was the constant outgrowing of clothes her young son went through and the expense and travel it took to buy new and used clothing in the city.

“I don’t know how people can afford brand-new clothing for their kids, especially when they outgrow them so fast,” Wood said.

After the bank she worked at in Elba closed, and after discussing it with her boyfriend, Wood started looking for locations that would suit her plan for a retail store.

Enlisting a local real estate agent, Wood found the perfect location at 3 1/2 Mill St. (across from the side of the Post Office) and the owner of the building, Bill Kettle, was thrilled by his new tenant's plans.

“I think it’s a great idea that helps a lot of families not only in Le Roy but all the surrounding communities!” Kettle said. “Given how quickly our kids grow and the cost of new clothing, a store like Le Roy Little Ones keeps kids in the right size clothes while making it very affordable at the same time.”

Most of the clothing and footwear in the shop costs $5 or less. Sizes are infant premie to kids' large. While not a consignment shop, Wood does take clothes and shoes in excellent condition for store credit.

All major credit cards accepted.

Hours of operation for Le Roy Little Ones are: Wednesday and Thursday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Sunday.

Phone is 297-8058.

Photo by Mary Margaret Ripley.

August 19, 2019 - 1:07pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Shoppers may have noticed the bearded gentleman with the ear-to-ear smile at the Batavia Public Market. Mike Vickner and his wife, Jan Goodenbery, of “Rooted in Joy” sell the best of the season harvested from their farm located in Oakfield.

They have fruits, vegetables (especially garlic!), flowers and delicious baked goods. They also provide “pet-the-bunny therapy,” he says with a grin.

Dedicated to providing food grown in an environmentally sustainable manner (no chemicals, only natural fertilizers, and “chickens that live a chicken’s life”) Vickner believes in preserving the Earth and her bounty with his own Hippocratic oath of “do no harm.“

In addition to his passion for farming, Vickner is committed to his role as a caregiver at Crossroads House here in Batavia and its Board of Directors has graciously proclaimed Rooted in Joy as their official market farm.

As members of the Crossroads family, Mike and Jan will provide information at their stand about upcoming community events and fundraisers to support the Crossroads mission of providing the very best in comfort care for residents in Genesee, Wyoming, and surrounding counties.

“We’ll see you at the Market!”

August 8, 2019 - 11:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, kathy hochul, video, business, education.
Video Sponsor

Press release:

Manufacturers, agribusinesses and the skilled trades have been sounding the alarm about the needs to bring more awareness and preparedness for a future workforce in order to meet the demands of the ever-changing workplace and the wave of retirements anticipated as a result of an aging workforce.

In the Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming County (GLOW) Region, economic development agencies, workforce development leaders and educators are doing just that through a new initiative formally announced today by New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

The daylong hands-on career exploration event – GLOW With Your Hands – will be held on Sept. 24 at the Genesee County Fairgrounds.

More than 1,000 students from 28 school districts across the GLOW Region are expected to attend the event where they will be able to experience first-hand activities associated with careers, like welding, bricklaying, electrical wiring, heavy equipment operation, advanced manufacturing, and many others.

"As our economy evolves with growing opportunities in clean energy, construction, and advanced manufacturing fields, New Yorkers will have increased access to workforce development and training for jobs of the future," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who spoke at today's event.

"Collaborative visions to bring together events like these are part of our ongoing effort to ensure young people have the skills they need to get a good-paying job and achieve their fullest potential.”

The economic and workforce development agencies and education groups are collaborating to make students aware that there are real family-sustaining jobs in the GLOW Region that do not necessarily require a four-year college degree.

More and more school districts in the GLOW Region are creating a curriculum to meet the workplace needs of employers. The demand by employers for workers to fill these jobs is growing every day and organizers of the event want to communicate to students that they can have successful careers immediately after high school graduation.

GLOW With Your Hands organizers include the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC), the Livingston County Economic Development, Orleans County EDA, Wyoming County IDA, GLOW Workforce Development Board, Genesee, Livingston and Wyoming counties' Business Education alliances and the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership.

Major employers in the GLOW Region and various construction trades unions will be attending the event to simulate the functions and skills of the various jobs that are in demand.

August 7, 2019 - 2:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, honeybees, pollination, business, genesee county.

Press release:

Standing amidst a swarm of advocates, at the Rochester Beekeepers Association’s beehives at Tinker Nature Park, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today revealed how a recent under-the-radar decision on bees could sting Upstate, the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region, its local agriculture efforts, and even a budding jobs niche that supplies summer farmers’ markets and local restaurants.

Schumer detailed a recent fed decision by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to stop collecting data on honeybees that puts the species and Upstate New York’s economy, at risk. Schumer said that the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region is a hive of productivity, but that this recent decision by the feds could derail much of what keeps Upstate competitive and robust as an agricultural hub.

Calls on USDA to 'reverse course immediately'

The senator called on the USDA to reverse course immediately, and instead, step up their work on bee populations. He revealed numbers that proved his point and hit home the critical importance of honeybees to Upstate New York and the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region’s agriculture sector.

“It sure helps, but you don’t need to be a beekeeper to understand the benefit pollinating bees have on the Upstate economy and the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region,” Schumer said. “Look around and you will see that they boost an agricultural hive of economic productivity.

"From farmers’ markets, to farm-to-table restaurants, to the farms and apple and cherry orchards that solidify the Rochester-Finger Lakes area as an agricultural hub, we have a lot to tout —and it is because of bees like these. So to find out that, in an under-the-radar move from Washington, the USDA has clipped the wings of a critical data-collection program on honeybee colonies, impacting jobs and productivity in places like Rochester, really stings.”

Schumer explained that earlier this July, USDA said it would stop collecting data for its "Honey Bee Colonies" report. The "Honey Bee Colonies" report, conducted by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, is released on an annual basis and contains critical data, tracking active honeybee colonies, new colonies and lost colonies.

The senator called the decision to suspend data collection for the report especially concerning, considering the devastating honeybee colony losses experienced in the United States over the past few decades.

Plummeting honeybee colonies

According to a report from USDA, the number of active honeybee colonies plummeted from six million in the 1940s to roughly 2.5 million in 2017. More recently, during the winter of 2018, beekeepers suffered their worst losses on record.

Data from the University of Maryland’s Bee Informed Partnership shows that beekeepers lost 37.7 percent of their colonies during this season, 8.9 percent higher than the average for winter. Schumer argued that this historic population decline shows that USDA should ratchet up its honeybee data collection, not shut it down.

Schumer said that New York State and the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region have not been immune to the devastation of honeybee colonies.

According to the most recent "Honey Bee Colonies" report released by USDA, between January and December of 2017, New York State beekeepers lost a total of 17,700 colonies of honeybees. Meanwhile, in the first six months of 2018, New York State beekeepers lost 7,000 colonies.

Schumer said these losses, combined with the fact that according to a June 2018 New York State Department of Agriculture report, crops dependent on honeybee pollination are worth $1.2 billion annually to the state, present a critical need to understand what exactly is causing them and how they can be reversed. This data is critical to protecting the honeybee-reliant Upstate New York agricultural industry.

Upstate ag is 'honeybee-reliant'

“We need this data to keep New York as an agricultural juggernaut,” added Schumer. “What’s the real stinger here is that the bees are part of the economy. They keep local businesses and jobs buzzing. To enact a new policy that discounts bees and their impact on New York is bad environmental, economic and agricultural policy. We are here today to say: reverse the decision, and instead step things up as this insect’s population spirals.”

The dwindling bee population is of particular concern for the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region’s agricultural industry, which is a hive of economic activity.

According to USDA, $234,935,000 worth of agricultural products were sold out of Genesee County in 2017; $221,295,000 worth of agricultural products were sold out of Wayne County in 2017; $205,160,000 worth of agricultural products were sold out of Ontario County in 2017; $155,282,000 worth of agricultural products were sold out of Orleans County in 2017; and $76,643,000 worth of agricultural products were sold out of Monroe County.

Furthermore, in 2017, Wayne County was home to 25,939 acres of non-citrus fruit and nut farms with 185 total farms; Ontario County was home to 1,384 acres of non-citrus fruit and nut farms and 53 total farms; Orleans County was home to 57 total farms; Genesee County was home to 21,927 acres of vegetable production; and Monroe County was home to 1,100 acres of non-citrus fruit and nut farms and 44 total farms.

New York ranks second in the nation in apple production, and Wayne and Orleans counties are the two top apple-producing counties in the state, meaning the bee population is imperative to the sustainability of this critical agricultural sector in the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region.

Wayne County produces more apples than any other county in New York State, and nationally ranks as the fourth-highest apple-producing county in the country. More than 25,000 acres of farm land in Wayne County is devoted to apples, which accounts for over half of the total apple acreage in all of New York State.

Prospect of extinction

The prospect of the extinction of honeybees also presents a significant to challenge to New York State’s burgeoning honey industry. In 2017 alone, 3,046,315 pounds of honey were collected from New York State farms and sales totaled $8,660,000. Schumer said that should honeybee colony numbers continue plummeting, not only would these sales be jeopardized, but Rochester-Finger Lakes restaurants and farmers’ markets would be forced to pay more for or completely stripped of the freshest, locally sourced honey.

Schumer explained that these dire numbers show the absolute necessity of USDA’s "Honey Bee Colonies" report. Therefore, Schumer urged the USDA to reverse course and maintain the collection of data for the "Honey Bee Colonies" report, to accurately track honeybees in the United States and protect Rochester-Finger Lakes agriculture from getting stung.

Advocates rally: beekeepers, farm-to-table restaurateurs, growers and educators

Schumer was joined by Pat Bono (beekeeper/owner of Seaway Trail Honey, director for NY Bee Wellness, an educational 501c3, and organizer of Rochester Beekeepers), Tim Pratt (beekeeper & director of programs at Tinker Nature Center); Dan Winter (president, Empire State Honey Producers Assoc. & owner of Winter Apiaries in Wolcott, Wayne County), farm-to-table restaurateurs: Stephen Rees (owner, Relish restaurant in Rochester’s Southwedge) Dan Martello (owner, Good Luck restaurant in Downtown Rochester), Lizzie Clapp (owner, Le Petit Poutine food truck), and Evan Schutt (owner, Schutts Apple Mill in Penfield).

“The USDA 'Honey Bee Colonies' report has provided critical data for decades that beekeepers rely on to protect the health of our colonies and that farmers depend on to safeguard the viability of their next pollinator dependent crop," Bono said. "I appreciate Senator Schumer’s efforts to resume this reporting because ceasing this data collection leaves us in the dark, unable to see or anticipate trends that are vital to preserve our local honeybee hives.”

“New York Farm Bureau values the role that pollinators play in the agriculture industry and New York Farm Bureau membership represents the diversity of New York agriculture including farmers that rely on honey bees to perform pollinator services as well as the beekeepers that provide these valuable services," said Rene St. Jacques, assistant director of Public Policy for the New York Farm Bureau.

Sweet cash: pollination-dependent crops pour $1.2 billion into NYS ag economy

"Pollinators are incredibly important to the agricultural economy in New York State, which is a leading producer of specialty crops that require or benefit from pollination, including apples, pears, cherries, strawberries, pumpkins, and beans, just to name a few. These pollination dependent crops contribute $1.2 billion annually to the state’s agricultural economy.

"The honeybee provides 50 percent of crop pollination services in New York State, yet there continue to be losses of honeybee colonies year after year. These losses not only impact honeybee producers and their livelihoods but the overall agricultural economy and well as the sustainability of the New York State food system.

"For the benefit of the entire New York agriculture industry, it is imperative that honeybee colonies continue to thrive and in turn must be accurately monitored to ensure longevity of both bees and farmers."

August 5, 2019 - 3:00pm

You’re invited to Whole Life Fitness grand opening, located at 624 E. Main St., Batavia.

Check out the new fitness facility in Batavia, join us Saturday, Aug. 10th from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. – featuring raffles, giveaways, demonstrations, sign-up specials, competitions, and meet our staff!

For more information, click here.

August 2, 2019 - 8:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business, batavia, Graham Manufacturing.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved incentives for Graham Manufacturing at the board’s Aug. 1st meeting. The GCEDC board also accepted an application for incentives from Wendt Propane.

Graham Manufacturing is investing $1.075 million for capital improvements to expand various properties at its campus in the City of Batavia. The company will renovate an existing 8,000 square feet of buildings, including an expansion and renovation of its 4,000-square-foot welding school to meet market demand for welders.

An existing 4,000-square-foot manufacturing building also will be repurposed and the company will build a new 5,000-square-foot warehouse for storage needs. A supplemental application from Graham Manufacturing was accepted at the meeting, with a public hearing to be held.

“Graham Manufacturing has a very long history in our community and once again the company is demonstrating its commitment to our community by making capital investments in its infrastructure,” said GCEDC Board Chair Paul Battaglia. “When companies are making these types of investments, it means they intend to stay and grow which is always a positive sign.”

Wendt Propane, based in Sanborn in Niagara County, is seeking sales, mortgage and property tax exemptions of approximately $125,000 to build a new 9,600-square-foot facility in the Town of Le Roy.

The $1.3 million project consists of $800,000 is construction costs, $410,000 is equipment costs, and $90,000 in real estate costs. Construction of the new facility would result in the creation of four new jobs.

August 1, 2019 - 12:48pm

The business community is invited to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Harvester Center in Batavia, the world's first business incubator.

In partnership with Start-Up Genesee, which is the networking event coordinator, and the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, the anniversary celebration will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15. The address is 22 Masse Place.

These organizations are thrilled to have such a unique and forward-thinking facility in our county.

Catering will be provided by D & R Depot Restaurant.

There is no cost to attend, but registration is required.

Click here to find out more and click the button on the right side of the page to register. Or call 343-2800.

July 31, 2019 - 12:52pm

Press release:

Seventy-two years ago, Henry J. Mager founded Arctic Refrigeration in his garage. Over a span of 60 years, he built the Batavia company into a successful mechanical contracting firm. Mager never obtained a college degree, but he could engineer a solution to any obstacle that posed a problem.

He was constantly thinking of better ways to do things, and inventing ways to do them.

In 2009, Henry passed away from a lengthy battle with cancer. His legacy lives on, and the Cedar Street business he built is looking to give back to the community.

In hopes of maintaining this legacy, to promote technical (trade) education to future generations, and support local cancer-based charities, the Mager Family and Arctic Refrigeration have hosted a charity golf tournament every year since Henry's passing.

The scholarship and charitable donations are funded entirely by community fundraising and local corporate donations though the golf tournament. This is the 10th year for the annual Henry J. Mager Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament, which will be hosted by Terry Hills Golf Course on Sept. 7th.

In the United States today, we are at an emergency level of underemployment in the building trades. People entering the job market as plumbers, electricians, carpenters, welders and mechanics is at an all-time low.

We hope to promote the trades, and encourage our youth to enter these fields. Traditionally, we offer at least one $1,000 scholarship to an area youth who decides to pursue a technical or trade education; many years we've given two of these awards as the applicants were very impressive.

Do you know of an area youth that may be interested in entering the building trades? We humbly ask teachers, counselors, aunts and uncles, friends and parents to nominate the recipients, as we find many trade students will not apply themselves.

Would you or your business like to support the trades in our area? We are now accepting golfers, sponsors and prize donations for our tournament on Sept 7th.

Sponsorship opportunities include:

  • Corporate Sponsorship -- $450 -- Hole sponsorship, corporate name and logo on promotional materials, golf foursome with gift bags, drinks (beer, water, soda), lunch for four, chicken dinner for four, awards presentation;
  • Team Entry -- $375 -- Golf foursome with gift bags, drinks (beer, water, soda), lunch for four, chicken dinner for four, awards presentation;
  • Hole Sponsorship -- $175 -- Sponsor a hole on the golf course, designated by your corporate sign, corporate name and logo on promotional materials, chicken dinner for two (please confirm dinner with payment), award presentation (no golf included in this option).

On the day of the event, registration and lunch begins at noon. Shotgun start is at 1 p.m. The tournament features 18 holes of golf with cart and scramble scoring. Chicken dinner, with awards and raffles, to follow. All proceeds benefit Henry J. Mager Scholarship Fund and a donation to Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

For golfer information, sponsor information, or to donate to the scholarship, please contact:

Jon Mager: [email protected]


Teresa Tamfer: [email protected]

As we enter our 10th year, we truly thank each and every one of you who have helped, donated and supported us.



Copyright © 2008-2019 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button