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February 21, 2020 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in the batavian sessions, music, arts, entertainment, video, 'A' Blues Band.
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February 21, 2020 - 11:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Forum Players, GCC, theater, arts, entertainment, news.

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Press release:

The Forum Players, Genesee Community College's Theater Arts students, and members of the local theater community are excited to open the 2020 spring season with "Doubt: A Parable," written by John Patrick Shanley, which won both a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award in 2005.

This performance is a brilliant and powerful drama that tells the story of Sister Aloysius, a Bronx school principal who takes matters into her own hands when she suspects the young Father Flynn of improper relations with a male student.

Shanley not only wrote the play, but he also wrote the screenplay and directed it as a film starring Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

GCC's talented Forum Players bring this parable to life with four live performances, directed by Maryanne Arena and Jaime Arena, which are intended for mature audiences (age 16 and up). Performances are in the Stuart Steiner Theatre, 1 College Road, Batavia.

  • Friday, Feb. 21 and Saturday, Feb. 22, both at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 23, at 2 p.m.

The cast includes:

  • Lucine Kauffman, of Elba, as Sister Aloysius
  • Sam Rigerman, of Batavia, as Father Flynn
  • Nevaeh Vindigni-Kretchmer, of Rochester, as Sister James (alternating the role)
  • Alyssa Young, of Holley, as Sister James (alternating the role)
  • Francesca Pieter, of Willemstad, Curacao as Mrs. Muller (alternating the role)
  • Caitlynne Tape, of Syracuse, as Mrs. Muller (alternating the role)

The crew includes:

  • Brodie McPherson, of Rochester, as technical director and production designer
  • Emily Grierson, of Perry, as stage manager
  • Tiago Ortega, of Sao Paulo, Brazil, as a backstage assistant
  • Leah Plummer, of Bradford, Pa., as a backstage assistant

Tickets for these shows are available online here. The cost is $8 for adults, and $5 for seniors (55+) and students (16+) and GCC faculty/ staff. GCC students with ID are $3, and GCC alumni with ID will receive a $2 discount on an adult ticket.

To reserve seats, you may also contact the GCC box office at [email protected] or (585) 345-6814. 

Photos by Howard Owens.

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February 21, 2020 - 10:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

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  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Billie Owens:   [email protected]

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February 20, 2020 - 3:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, oakfield-alabama.

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Tuesday night, Brianna Smith became Oakfield-Alabama's all-time scorer in girls basketball, sinking a three-pointer to put her at 1,311 career points.

The Hornets beat Holley 47-27 to move to 12-7 on the season.

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here.

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February 20, 2020 - 3:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Today, President Donald Trump endorsed Chris Jacobs in a tweet. Nate McMurray had this to say in response:

“It’s a good thing the president endorsed Jacobs early, because it took several years for Jacobs to endorse the president or even say his name,” McMurray said. 

“If I was Stefan Mychajliw, Beth Parlato, or Rob Ortt, I’d feel pretty betrayed right now. Jacobs became a Trump supporter overnight to try and win this position. Money talks. I invite President Trump to come to NY-27. I invite him to stand on a stage, look me in the eye and explain to me and the people of NY-27, why he wants to make cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

"I want to see what he has to say for himself for taking away care from our elderly, our rural hospitals, or all those people who earned the right to those benefits through years of hard work. He needs to explain, because Jacobs sure can’t.”

February 20, 2020 - 3:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Conservative Party, news.

Press release:

The Genesee County Conservative Party is excited to announce the following endorsements: 

  • Beth Parlato -- 27th District Congresswoman 
  • Ed Rath -- 61st District State Senator 
  • Stephen Hawley -- State Assembly 
  • Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. -- Genesee County Sheriff 
  • Scott German -- County Treasurer
  • Jeremy Karas -- Council at Large 
  • Tom William -- Town Justice, Town of Batavia 

Congrats to all of the candidates.

February 20, 2020 - 3:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

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

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February 20, 2020 - 1:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, basketball, Notre Dame, Mike Rapone.
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The Lyndonville Tigers held down a team that four times this season scored more than 90 points, and twice in the past four games going over 100, to just 58 points on a night that team really wanted a win.

The Fighting Irish wanted the win for their Head Coach Mike Rapone, who in his 40th season was on the cusp of his 700th career win.

Lyndonville is a good team, Rapone said after the game, but part of the problem was "the pressure of trying to win the 700th win," he said. "Other people did."

Victory looked far from certain through the first three-quarters of the contest. Notre Dame took their first lead of the night with about 20 seconds left in the first half and then quickly lost it, so they went into the locker room down 19-18.

Instead of coming out fired up, the team still seemed tentative for most of the third quarter and trailed heading into the fourth 40-29.  

Then Mark Sanders got hot, hitting a trio of three-point baskets to help spark a comeback.

He finished the night with 14 points. Gabe Macdonald socred 12 and Cody Henry scored nine.

For Lyndonville, Nathan Dallenbeck scored 21 points and Nathan Dydorle, who also had several blocked shots and steals, scored 16 points.

"I'm proud of the accomplishment, but know it couldn't have happened without all the great young men I have been fortunate enough to coach at Notre Dame," Rapone said.

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February 19, 2020 - 3:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Farmers Insurance Agency, batavia, business.

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Jeff and Carolyn Houseknecht opened a new Farmers Insurance Agency office at 214 E. Main St., Batavia, with a ribbon cutting this afternoon.

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February 19, 2020 - 3:26pm

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After more than a dozen years of effort by county officials, the aging bridge over the Tonawanda Creek at South Lyon Street may finally get replaced, perhaps sooner rather than later.

The project has been approved for a $498,400 federal grant.

Yesterday, the Public Service Committee recommended approval of a resolution authorizing the county to spend an additional $124,600 from the county's 1-percent share of sales tax and beginning the design phase of the project.

Highway Superintendent Tim Hens said under current terms of the grant, administered by the state, construction can't begin until 2023 but the county will push to accelerate the project.

"We are going to design it as quickly as we can and then we're going to press to have it funded in advance of (October 2022)," Hens said. "It depends on what money is available at state level and in the region. If projects get delayed or something comes in under budget, well, there is a possibility there might be money lying around that we could jump on."

Hens said he first submitted the project for Federal funding in 2006. The funds were awarded in 2007 but then the recession of 2008 meant a cut in spending. He resubmitted it in 2011 but Federal authorities determined that as a single-lane bridge, it didn't warrant saving.

"We argued that the traffic counts are higher than you think they are," Hens said. "We had the city, our city, the DPW, help us out on traffic counts. We had the traffic counts of around 2,500 cars a day at the peak."

The bridge is an important link for traffic between the bridges at Oak Street and at River Street, Hens said. 

In 2014, there were more cuts at the Federal level and it was pulled off the docket again. Hens resubmitted the project in 2017 and was denied funding.

The plan is now, with a grant awarded, to start the design phase immediately, because, Hens said, once money is spent on the project it is less likely to suffer another cut in spending.

"It's posted for five tons now," Hens said. "It's been in pretty rough shape. To make it go another three years might be pushing the limits from an engineering standpoint. It might get to the point where the posting drops enough where you can't get a car over it and it's closed."

The current bridge is Army surplus and was set in place in 1982 and a temporary fix for the old bridge it replaced.

The hope is to design a two-lane bridge. That's tough because the abutment of the current bridge is right under the pavement of South Main Street. Hens said the plan is also to design another truss bridge so that the character of the current bridge is maintained.

February 19, 2020 - 2:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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       Brandon Fogg

A man who threatened a police officer with a BB gun is doing well in drug treatment, according to reports given to Judge Charles Zambito, but that wasn't enough to keep him out of jail for eight months.

Brandon Fogg, 32, pulled out what looked like a handgun while wrestling with a police officer at a location on Cedar Street one night in early June and a citizen intervened and stepped on Fogg's hand.

That intervention may have saved Fogg's life.

A week later, he entered a guilty plea to menacing and since then has been through treatment at Bradford and Atwater and is currently in an outpatient house run by GCASA.

His attorney, Jamie Welch, argued for an intermittent jail sentence given Fogg's success and the potential for disrupting that success with a continuous jail term.

Fogg told Zambito that he's been eight months clean. He thanks Zambito for the chance to go through treatment and giving him his life back.

"Being sober, next to my children, is the most important thing in my life," Fogg said. "I've done everything you've asked of me and I believe I've done well. I stand here another man ready to accept whatever you decide."

Zambito said considering the seriousness of the offense, a jail term that served as a sanction was necessary.

"You mentioned you wanted to commit suicide by cop," Zambito said. "You're lucky that didn't happen because it certainly seems like the officer would have been justified. Even though it was a toy gun you pulled on an officer, only the intervention of a bystander saved you."

Zambito said he didn't believe eight months in jail would disrupt Fogg's path of sobriety.

February 19, 2020 - 1:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in quinten edmonds, crime, murder, news, batavia, notify.

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Michael Paladino, who would have turned 44 years old today had he not been murdered by Quinten J. Edmonds on June 1, 2019, was remembered today in County Court as a loving son, brother, and father, but his aunts and mother, who each asked that Judge Charles Zambito give the lifelong criminal the maximum prison term available.

And so Zambito did, 20-years-to-life.

There was no expression of sympathy from the judge, even in response to an apology from Edmonds -- who didn't just react in the heat of the moment to Paladino's attempt to protect two women Edmonds was attacking: he took the time and effort to go to the apartment of an acquaintance on Ross Street and retrieve a knife.

“For whatever reason, you thought you had a score to settle with him," Zambito said. "You say you didn’t intend to kill him but when you stab somebody that many times with a knife, I don’t see how it can be reasonably viewed that you didn’t know he wouldn’t die from those injuries.”

Edmonds had told Zambito minutes before, "I take full responsibility for what happened and I apologize to the victim’s friends and family and to my family. This isn’t who I was raised to be and I didn’t intend to take anybody’s life that night. I was drinking and I took the situation too far and I’m sincerely sorry."

Family members said they will never recover from the death of Paladino.

"The loss of Michael has hurt our family beyond words," said Carol DiFrancisco, an aunt. "There are no more birthday parties, backyard parties, holidays, or other gatherings that will be the same. Our family is forever broken."

At the close of her statement, she said, "Quinten Edmonds has given Michael’s loving family a life sentence of eternal sadness.”

His aunt Nancy Elmore said, "He was a big man, not just from a physical standpoint but from the kindness of heart. His actions on June 1, 2019, will tell you that. Rendering aid to people he didn’t even know without regard to his own safety shows he was a kind, gentle, caring man."

The sister of Paladino's mother, Barbara Fay, read a statement on her behalf.

She said, "The pain will never go away for any of us. I don’t know how I could survive this if not for my loving family you see here. It helped me survive and pushed me forward."

She called Edmonds a brutal criminal who has no regard for human life.

"He should never walk free again to repeat his actions."

The family vowed to show up at his first parole hearing in about 20 years to oppose his potential release.

Throughout today's hearing, except when he was speaking, Edmonds sat motionless in his chair at the defense table and stared straight ahead. He never looked at any of the other speakers.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman also asked that Edmonds be shown no leniency in sentencing. He questioned Edmonds' claims that he was too intoxicated to know what he was doing and that he didn't intend to kill Paladino.

“He said he got the knife to scare Mike," Friedman said. "He didn’t need to scare Michael Paladino. He was the aggressor in this case and when he got to the corner he could have left. He did not and he got the knife because he intended to kill Michael Paladino."

Edmonds claims he was intoxicated, Friedman explained to Zambito, but he had the presence of mind to know to go to a residence he had been to before. He knew the residence well enough to know where to find a knife in the kitchen. Later, when Edmonds recounted events in his interview with a probation officer, he recalled details that are consistent with what witnesses said and the police investigation showed.  

“There is no indication he was so intoxicated that he was incapable of planning a murder," Friedman said.

Friedman said Zambito's decision was all about how long he wanted to protect society from a person who is committing such a horrible crime.

Defense Attorney Fred Rarick did not request for his client anything other than the sentencing recommendation agreed to at the time of Edmonds' guilty plea in August. He says, however, while acknowledging that his statement would be subject to misinterpretation, that perhaps something good could come from the events of June 1: That rather than first jump into a situation where people are fighting and yelling, people should call 9-1-1 first. If Paladino had done that, Rarick said, perhaps this whole outcome could have been avoided.

That drew a bit of a rebuke from Zambito when he spoke.

“I trust Mr. Rarick is not trying to blame Michael Paladino because that would be an injustice.”

Zambito acknowledged that Edmonds had a difficult childhood. He didn't have a father. His mother struggled to raise him but, Zambito said, Edmonds had a "loving grandmother who tried to raise him right."

Even so, Edmonds' criminal history became when he was 12 years old and he then spent the next 20 years either confined or awaiting confinement.

“You had many opportunities to deal with those issues, issues you had to know you had, and you never did," Zambito said. "That one is on you. It’s one thing to say you come from a difficult background, you were brought up in difficult circumstances. But life isn’t fair and at some point you had to recognize you have a problem. You don’t deserve to live in the community. You’re too much of a risk, too much of a danger to the rest of us and to people like Michael Paladino.”

NOTE: At the end of the proceedings, DA Lawrence Friedman informed the court that during the pretrial sentencing investigation, a records check in Monroe County by the probation department found that the correct spelling of the defendant's first name is "Quinten." He moved to have all court documents corrected. Contrary to previous reports, we've used the spelling "Quinten" in this story.

February 19, 2020 - 7:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Pavilion, news.

A vehicle fire is reported at 6973 Ellicott Street Road, Pavilion.

There are reports of explosions. 

The vehicle is next to a structure.

Several callers report flames showing.

Pavilion fire dispatched.

February 18, 2020 - 10:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, bergen, news, batavia, notify.

A man accused of taking a teenage girl across state lines was scheduled for sentencing in Genesee County Court today but when his appearance time came, he wasn't in court.

It turns out Guillermo Torres-Acevedo was confused about his sentencing agreement and didn't want to appear until he spoke with the attorney representing him in Federal Court.

He couldn't reach his attorney, Alexander J. Anzalone, a Federal public defender, who was away from his phone because he was in County Court waiting for Torres-Acevedo.

Once the confusion was cleared up, Torres-Acevedo was transported by a deputy from the jail to the courthouse.

Torres-Acevedo was not sentenced today because he has not been sentenced yet in Federal Court, where he's facing from 70 to 96 months in prison.

The 23-year-old Batavia resident, who entered a guilty plea in early December to rape in the second degree, apparently thought he couldn't be sentenced in County Court until after he was sentenced in Federal Court; however, that wasn't the actual plea agreement. His sentencing locally was delayed until after his originally scheduled appearance before a Federal judge but there was no promise that his sentencing would come after that appearance.

His local attorney, Thomas Burns, asked that sentencing for Torres-Acevedo be delayed not just because a locally imposed sentence could affect the upper end of the possible sentence in Federal Court, but also because there are documents he and Anzalone are trying to obtain that could impact the decisions of the judges in both jurisdictions on the defendant's possible sentence.

Burns said both attorneys recently became aware of information that indicated Torres-Acevedo was neglected and abused as a child in Puerto Rico.  Both attorneys are seeking time to obtain documentation from Puerto Rico that would substantiate this claim and that information could have a bearing on sentencing.

Judge Charles Zambito granted the request to delay sentencing to 9 a.m. April 20 but warned Torres-Acevedo that he wouldn't wait indefinitely for the documents to be produced or for a Federal judge to issue a sentence. Zambito said he could very well go ahead with sentencing in April even if the other issues haven't been resolved.

As a precaution, at the request of District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, Zambito signed a "drag order," giving deputies permission to bring Torres-Acevedo to court by force if necessary on April 20. Burns didn't oppose the order but said that since today's initial refusal to appear was just a misunderstanding he was certain the drag order would be unnecessary. 

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February 18, 2020 - 10:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.
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     Denzell Johnson        Shafatiah Miller

Two Monroe County residents, Denzell Johnson and Shafatiah Miller, fled police in the area of Ellicott Street and South Swan one night last month following an attempted traffic stop.

They were eventually captured and Johnson was charged with criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds, obstruction of governmental administration and unlawful fleeing a police officer.

Both men, under the terms of New York's bail reform initiative, were issued appearance tickets.

Social media wags said it was the last we would see of them in Genesee County.

Today, promptly at 1 p.m., they were both in City Court for their arraignments.

Both entered not guilty pleas and were ordered to return to court on March 12.

Judge Durin Rogers placed them on nonmonetary restrictions, such as a requirement to report to Genesee Justice and to report in as requested by the agency. Miller was given a curfew for 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Both were admonished that failure to comply with the court order could result in additional nonmonetary restrictions.

February 18, 2020 - 9:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

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

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February 18, 2020 - 9:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, video, news, Steve Hyde, economic development.
Video Sponsor

Last week, we sat down with Steve Hyde, CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center, and talked about the state of economic development here in 2020.

Here are some key quotes:

On developing Downtown:

One of the keys that we're in today is our industrial development activities are almost outpacing some of our other readiness elements in our community. And I'm talking about placemaking. I'm talking about housing. I'm talking about live, work and play activities in our gut and our population centers and our downtowns. That's part of the reason why we've become very invested in a lot of the downtown revitalization initiative activities and projects. 

On the future of WNY STAMP:

We're really kind of focusing our target marketing on the site between the north campus, which is 850 acres, and the south campus, which is about 400. By the end of this year, the south campus is going to be shovel ready. What that's going to allow us to do is really dial in our marketing. We're going to focus on food and beverage in the southern part of the campus and warehousing and distribution, because the capacities of what's going to be shovel ready as far as water, sewer, electric, meet the needs of those industries. So we're going to really focus on those industries, diversify the focus, still focus on clean tech and tech up in the north campus. 

On the challenges of economic development in New York:

Upstate New York has been in decline for 50 years and many people say it. But that's part of the reason why you have to swing for the fences on big industrial development projects. You know, the only way that you're going to bring yourself out of a situation where you're gonna turn that economy around, you're gonna have a chance to change the trajectory of your economic cycle is by doing things differently, swinging for the fences. And in our case, we have this advantage at the stamp site, and the ag park is kind of proof positive that you can do it at scale. We've had a lot of success at the AG Park, which has proven, I think to a lot of the investors at the state level that STAMP can work.

On Ellicott Station:

We are down to three months away from hearing about Ellicott Station. One of the biggest challenges with Ellicott Station was the time it took to get here where we are today. The problem was, we set ourselves up because that big announcement back in March of 2016 that, you know, Severino Companies was chosen. Yeah, they were chosen. That was exciting. But I think it was we kind of did it to ourselves. We portrayed that as ready to break ground. It wasn't. That was just the developer being selected. There wasn't a dollar aligned with it. That's part of the reason why we've engaged so fully in that project, to do all we can to try to help that project get funded. 

On the importance of the Muckdogs to economic development:

The Muckdogs play right into what I've been almost screaming about, right? It is getting lifestyle energized back in our community. And they offer one of those special attractions for folks of all ages, including the millennials, that we need to come here and work in these growing businesses, to have a lifestyle experience. I mean, what is another example of Americana but sitting out in the summer night and seeing fireworks and having a hot dog and hanging out with a beer or a soda, whatever your preference is, and enjoying a good summer American night with a professional baseball? 

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February 17, 2020 - 3:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in video, Public Coffee Hub, food trucks, batavia.
Video Sponsor

Rob Credi, former proprietor of Main Street Coffee, has a new business venture and it puts him back in the coffee business: Public Coffee Hub, a food truck for caffeine addicts (and those who just like coffee). 

February 17, 2020 - 3:02pm

duane_whitmerlib2020.jpgPress release:

Duane Whitmer, the Libertarian Party candidate for Congress in the 27th District of New York, today accepted Democrat Nate McMurray’s invitation to Chris Jacobs to debate McMurray eight times during the election.

So far, Jacobs has ignored the invitation eight times.

“Chris may be afraid to debate Nate,” Whitmer said, “but Nate is apparently also afraid to debate me as he left me out of the invite. So, I hereby accept Nate’s invitation to Chris to debate Nate.”

Whitmer, who is the chair of the Erie County Libertarian Party, received the endorsement from the district county chairs of the Libertarian Party last night and is also petitioning to be on the Right to Bear Arms ballot line for both the special election on April 28th and the general election in November.

“I will really spice up this debate that would otherwise feature two corporate lawyers affiliated with Delaware North who are political centrists,” said Whitmer. “Without a candidate who proposes real change for the 80 percent of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, the audience could very well fall asleep from sheer boredom.”

Whitmer, who is a tax adviser who represents taxpayers before the IRS, said his key issues if nominated would be: ending the twin wars on peaceful gun owners and drug owners; ending the pointless foreign undeclared wars started by George W. Bush and Barack Obama; and drastically cutting federal spending to stop borrowing from our grandchildren to pay for our own greedy programs.

Whitmer, who ran track at Fredonia State, is originally from Franklinville and now lives and works in Lake View.

February 17, 2020 - 12:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in American Warrior Festival, veterans, T.F. Brown's, video.
Video Sponsor

On Saturday night, Dan Clor, director of the American Warrior Festival, threw a party to thank T.F. Brown's and other sponsors of the festival that supports veterans.

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