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December 13, 2020 - 11:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A three-vehicle accident, unknown injuries, is reported at West Main Street and Wortendyke Road, Batavia.

East Pembroke fire and Mercy EMS responding.

A deputy just arriving on scene reports a large debris field.

UPDATE (By Billie) 11:42 a.m.: This accident involved a car and a pickup truck. The third vehicle referred to initially was that of a witness to the accident. An older female driver was making a left onto Wortendyke from West Main Street Road and said she did not see the oncoming pickup truck. She was shaken up by the collision and being evaluated by medics at the scene. The pickup driver was not injured. The East Pembroke assignment is back in service.

December 12, 2020 - 7:27pm

There isn't much to change in Batavia PD policy, members of Batavia Police Stakeholders Group indicated at their bimonthly meeting on Thursday but that doesn't mean there shouldn't be a change in the relationship between the department and the community.

There should be more communication, less misunderstanding, and more personal interaction between police officers and members of the Black community so that both police officers and members of the community see each other as people and not just numbers and uniforms.

The stakeholder's group was formed in response to an executive order signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo instructing every municipality with a police department to open a community dialogue about police policies, procedures and practices in an effort to reduce the incidences of police brutality.

There seems to be unanimous agreement on the committee that police brutality isn't an issue in Batavia. Chief Shawn Heubusch was praised for his presentation of the previous meetings outlining police department policies and procedures that already address proper police officer conduct.

No votes were taken, nothing committed being part of the final report that will go to the governor's office after being approved by the City Council, but there was an apparent agreement that some sort of ongoing focus group that would bring to light the concerns of Black residents about police conduct would be formed.

Committee member Anibal Soler Jr., superintendent of Batavia City Schools, said such a focus, however, needs to be constructed in a way that members of the Black community would feel safe to discuss issues. A police presence in the group might chill speech, he indicated.

Nathan Varland, Batavia Housing Authority director, referenced comments made earlier by Brandon Armstrong, a local business owner, and said perhaps a list of such concerns should be made so they can be addressed. He suggested the wider Black community be surveyed to gather other examples.

What Armstrong discussed was the perception -- if not the practice -- of Black residents being pulled over for minor traffic law infractions.

"We have to look at what's happening to people of color here in Batavia," Armstrong said. "It's not on the surface. There are just things that are used against us. There is a certain law, I think it's obstruction of view, if having something hanging from your rearview mirror. I've been pulled over for that for a Glade air freshener. It is illegal, but are they pulling over every single person who has a handicapped or air freshener thing on their rearview mirror? See, those things are used to target people of color to pull them over, to see what they have going on."

He said he's hearing from people visiting his barbershop that the latest tactic is people not using their signal within 50 feet of making a turn.

"People aren't looking at those but I know because I can ride down the street and within two minutes I can see about four people with something hanging from their rearview mirrors and they're not being pulled over," Armstrong said. "You see what I'm saying?"

In response to comments made early in the discussion by Raelene Christian about police being vilified and attacked, Greg Munroe said people misunderstand the concerns Black citizens have about the police.

"We have to stay on task," Munroe said. "Defunding the police does not mean we're not going to have a police department. It doesn't mean that at all. It's just defunding is a scary word. I understand but it's not. What it means is very simple. There are mental health issues that primarily happen in the Black community. Black people are targeted. It seems like they are targeted because they seem not to be understood. If the defunding, or whatever word you want to use, take that and help the police get more resources on how to deal with different situations, so things like what happens in the country do not happen."

There is a lot of misunderstanding, Victor Thomas said, about what Black concerns are about police.

"I just wanted to touch on what Greg was saying about Blacks being misunderstood," Thomas said. "I think that's a big part of it. The police brutality in Batavia doesn't happen as much as the Black people being misunderstood in Batavia."

Matt Wojtaszczyk, a detective with Batavia PD but on the committee representing the Batavia Police Benevolent Association, told members police officers want to know how to do their jobs better and connect better with community members.

"Whenever someone asks us to do an event, we really try to make an effort to do so," Wojtaszczyk said. "What else can we do? What are some other ideas out there? What else can we do to reach our minority communities? What can we do better? Tell us, because I think we really want to. We truly do."

Thomas's answer was: Get to know people.

"It's really a personal thing that has to happen between the Blacks and the police officers," Thomas said. "The police have to show these Blacks that they're not just a number in Batavia. They're not just a sentence getting ready to get slapped down on a judge's desk and sent up the road for years. The Black community feels that way deeply in Batavia."

It's that kind of distrust, Soler noted, that would make a focus group that included police officers potentially less productive. However, he said, both Blacks and police officers, as well as community members, need to work on themselves as well, educate themselves about each other. He suggested a number of documentaries and books both sides could watch or read.

Both Munroe and Soler noted it was kind of eye-opening to hear Heubusch talk at the first meeting about the arrest process and the fact that when a police officer tells someone they're under arrest, the conversation is over. It's time to comply with the officer's orders.

Munroe said he's had the same conversation with members of the Black community since that meeting and they all the same response he had, that they didn't know that.

"One thing that I learned from the chief was, man, once a police officer tells you those things, game over, you have to comply," Soler said. "Once you're told you are being put under arrest, that's it. Our community doesn't understand it. That's work we've got to do in our community of color. Once the police officer's -- 'I'm now placing you under arrest. You can't go. 'Now, wait a minute. Let's talk about it.' It's already too late. To Raelene's point, then you've got to go to court and go through through the process.

"We don't get taught that. We're taught, you know, 'I'm going to fight. I'm going to keep fighting until I can get my say. Then it becomes that we've put our officers sometimes in these really tough positions. But I just want to make sure that our police officers are really checking their own implicit bias in terms of trying to keep themselves educated, trying to understand some of these stories and narratives."

The topic of implicit bias came up several times during the evening's discussion.

The open dialogue started with Christian raising the issue of police being attacked in recent years. 

"I'm also concerned with minorities and how they're treated as well," Christian said. "I'm also concerned about how everyone is treated as a whole. But who I'm really concerned with a lot of times as our police officers, they're being vilified. They're being shot execution-style. 

In a long opening remark, she added, "The mainstream media doesn't tell you about all the unarmed white men that are shot. It happens. And I'm not saying it's right. And what happened to George Floyd, let me just be clear, was egregious. It was disgusting and despicable. And our police officers, most of them, I would say 99 percent of them agree with what happened to George Floyd was despicable and a disgrace. And Derek Chauvin, the police officer, did that, killed him. And I know he killed him because he did. He deserves to spend the rest of his life in jail and prison period. But I also feel like our police, they're being vilified and our police are being brutalized. Molotov cocktails are being thrown at them. They're being shot at. They're being shot execution-style, and there's no provocation for that. "

Later she added, "There's a broader picture here that, you know, yes, we can address police brutality. Does it happen? Yes. And is it going to continue to happen? Yes."

Her remarks elicited a calm response from several other committee members, among the more pointed from Director of Mental Health Service Lynda Battaglia, "I want to say to that -- this is the entire point of this meeting. It is the entire point of the executive order to end police brutality, so to say. Will it continue? Yes. Is unacceptable. It has to stop."

Munroe said, "This group was put together because of police brutality, period."

After addressing Christian directly, Soler said, "The reality is an implicit bias that many people who don't have a choice of how they look every morning when they wake up (deal with). I think Victor made a good point. Police choose to wear a blue uniform that, you know, historically has been designed to keep order and guidance in a community. Black people just wake up. Unfortunately, their communities are often the most targeted for patrols, for a variety of things to do, commingle with socioeconomic status. And so some of the comments that were made show your implicit bias. You don't really realize it."

W/hen next she had a chance to speak, Christian told Soler she wasn't biased and she took exception to being judged.

Soler apologized.

"I just want to be real quick and apologize again," Soler said. "If you think I was passing judgment, I was just more commenting on the overall feedback that was provided. So I apologize if you think I made a judgment. You're right, I don't know you. I was just trying to comment on this. I want to make sure we're clear that I'm not judging you at all. I just wanted to point out implicit bias is not something you necessarily know you have. That's why it's implicit."

December 11, 2020 - 3:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia First Presbyterian Church, batavia, news.

img_3284church.jpg

Some much-needed stained glass window work is being completed today at Batavia First Presbyterian Church on East Main Street.

Pastor Roula Alkhouri said, "We have been waiting for this repair for over two years. The windows needed repair and so did the sills. In fact, the sills were rotting and needed to be replaced. Every few years, we have to do maintenance repairs on these stained glass windows and there are only a few places that specialize in such work.

"It is a combination of art and maintenance as the repairs need to keep in mind the beauty of the windows. The studio we work with is Pike Stained Glass Studio. They do excellent work."

img_3281church.jpg

December 11, 2020 - 3:21pm

img_3306tpoys.jpg

City firefighters Ryan Clair and Ryan Whitcomb collect toys from a car at Ken Barrett Chevrolet Cadillac today as part of the annual Salvation Army toy drive sponsored by Ken Barrett and WBTA.

To comply with CDC guidelines related to COVID-19, this year's toy drive was a drive-thru affair. By early afternoon, the beds of multiple pickups had been filled and ready to take to a local hub to prepare the toys for distribution to children in Genesee County.

December 10, 2020 - 6:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, live stream.
Video Sponsor
December 9, 2020 - 7:19pm

Major League Baseball Enterprises Inc., a multinational corporation based in New York City, is killing off professional baseball in Batavia.

That's an oversimplification but that is likely the end result.

The New York-Penn League, founded in Batavia in 1939, is breaking apart -- though a smaller independent league may survive -- and since the NY-P owns the Muckdogs, the league in its new form, if it survives at all, won't have the wherewithal to operate a baseball club in Batavia.

Today, MLB announced that its Major League teams have selected their affiliates for the 2021 season and Batavia is not on that list.

Only four NY-P teams are on the list.

Some NY-P teams have chosen to join what will be known as the MLB Draft League. The new league will consist of collegiate players who compete on a limited schedule from May until the All-Star break when the MLB will conduct its annual amateur draft.

For more than a year, MLB and MiLB have been in negotiations over a new operations agreement, with the number of Minor League teams being reduced by at least 40 franchises.  That plan also would have eliminated the Muckdogs as a Major League-affiliated team.

The plan announced today goes a step further by eliminating the MiLB completely. MLB teams will have license agreements (they'll no longer be known as franchises), with each affiliated team and the Minor League system will be operated out of the MLB offices in NYC.

It's unclear if the owners of the 120 teams being offered license agreements will agree to the MLB terms. They just received the proposed contracts today.

Red Wings Gave it Their Best Shot

In 2008, the Genesee County Baseball Club, owner of the Muckdogs at the time, entered into a 10-year operations agreement with Rochester Red Wings. The Red Wings operated the team at a loss for those 10 years but the agreement gave them a 50-percent ownership stake in the team.

In 2018, the NY-P would not allow a new operations agreement and took over ownership of the team with an agreement that would allow the NY-P to recover its operating losses from any eventual sale of the club. The GCBC, a community-owned organization, would receive any money left from the sale that wasn't paid out to the Red Wings or the NY-P.

It is unclear if any of the financial stakeholders in the Muckdogs will be compensated for MLB's apparent unilateral elimination of the team.  

Ben Hayes, commissioner of the NYPL, said he's asked the question directly and hasn't gotten an answer.

Naomi Silver, chief executive officer of the Red Wings, said she also doesn't know whether the Muckdogs owners will be compensated for the loss of the team. 

An attorney who specializes in antitrust and business competition law, Luke Hasskamp, with Bonalaw, based in Los Angeles, said Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball are both protected by an antitrust exemption that prevents those harmed by MLB's actions from filing an antitrust claim. 

Major League Baseball is a legal monopoly.  

Where to Go from Here?

The legal options for the Muckdogs stakeholders are limited, he said. The last affiliation agreement the Muckdogs had with a Major League team, the Miami Marlins, expired after the unplayed 2020 season, so there may not be a breach-of-contract claim. 

Other legal options don't seem to apply to the Muckdogs, such as claims that the stakeholders made financial commitments and investments based on a promised continued relationship. Since the Muckdogs have been under a cloud of financial hardship -- making them a target for acquisition and relocation -- there are no apparent promises of continued play in Batavia.

The commissioner's office, with its new plan for player development, is not specifically eliminating the Batavia Muckdogs. The lack of an affiliation with a Major League club, however, along with the upheaval in the NY-P caused by the new alignment, makes it impossible to operate the Muckdogs as a professional baseball team, causing its estimated $6 million value to evaporate. 

Asked if the stakeholders could claim the MLB unjustly deprived them of appropriate compensation for making the Muckdogs as a financial asset valueless, Hasskamp compared the idea to eminent domain, but said since MLB is a private organization any such comparison does not legally apply.

"It’s an interesting argument, not one I have thought through much, but it’s challenging, in my opinion, not only because MLB isn’t a public entity because also, as you pointed out, MLB isn’t really taking property," Hasskamp said. "It’s just taking action that will impact the value of others’ businesses. This may be relevant to a party’s damages."

At the end of that email to The Batavian, Kasskamp said, "One other thought: It will be interesting if this stirs any greater interest in Congress to revoke baseball’s antitrust exemption. These contractions are going to impact a number of communities / congressional districts, and more than 100 congressmen noted their displeasure when the contractions were first announced."

Will Schumer Keep Fighting for Batavia?

On a couple of recent visits, we've asked Sen. Charles Schumer, a die-hard baseball fan, if he would pursue legislation to revoke MLB's antitrust exemption. He didn't give a direct answer. He just promised to keep fighting to save teams like the Batavia Muckdogs and Auburn Doubledays.  

This afternoon, we asked a member of his staff for a statement and clarification on Schumer's position on the antitrust exemption and didn't get a response.

Today, in a phone conversation, Hayes offered no hopeful take on the future of the Muckdogs given today's announcement, other than to say there is still much that is unknown about the MLB plan and how Minor League team owners will respond to the license offers.

Silver said the team owners haven't even had a chance to fully review the contracts and discuss the best course of action. She said she's hopeful the Red Wings will be made whole for their losses incurred while operating the Muckdogs.

"We're sad to think there will be no Muckdogs baseball in Batavia," Silver said. "We worked hard for 10 years to try and save the team."

She noted that Batavia is not the only community suffering a loss of a team because of the MLB's decision.

"Batavia is not being singled out," she said.

Tabelski: Games Will be Played at Dwyer

While the prospect of a professional baseball game ever again being played in Batavia seems dim, that doesn't mean there won't be organized baseball played at Dwyer Stadium in the coming years.

Rachael Tabelski, interim city manager, said she has been contacted by representatives from collegiate leagues (often called wooden bat leagues) and semi-pro leagues looking to move into Dwyer. She said the city has yet to respond to those inquiries because there is still a contract in place with the NY-P that gives the league control of what baseball is played in the stadium. Unless and until that contract is resolved, the city can't find a new tenant. 

There will be a tenant in Dwyer again, Tabelski said. 

"As somebody who grew up going to Clippers and Muckdog games, it's very sad to think about losing the team," she said. "I think it's very difficult to look at losing the baseball team we've loved, but there will still be an opportunity for baseball in this town."

And the next team to make Batavia home could very well be called the Muckdogs. The Genesee County Baseball Club has retained the rights to the Muckdogs trademark (it was recently renewed).

December 9, 2020 - 12:19pm
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 registered, 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]
December 7, 2020 - 12:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in justin williams, Le Roy, music, arts, entertainment.

Le Roy musician Justin Williams has been spending his free pandemic time writing and recording new material. Here's his latest release, "Back in a Hard Place."

December 7, 2020 - 11:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.16, up 3 cents from one week ago. One year ago, the price was $2.58. The New York State average is $2.25 – up 2 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.68. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.22 (up 3 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.19 (up 2 cents since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.24 (up 6 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.24 (up 3 cents since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.33 (up 3 cents since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.19 (up 5 cents since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.30 (up 2 cents since last week)

The national average price for a gallon of gas has inched up 4 cents in the past month, but it is 42 cents lower than last year at this time. Since mid-November, domestic crude prices have steadily increased topping $45 per barrel, contributing to pump prices rising across the country. Crude prices increased amid growing market optimism that vaccines for the coronavirus will be available in coming weeks, but then oil prices stalled as the number of infections surged domestically.

Going forward, low demand will likely limit price gains, with the latest report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showing that demand decreased dropped to its lowest reading since early June. Demand typically drops in the winter driving season, so American drivers should expect gas prices to remain lower when compared to last year’s pump prices, moving into 2021.

From GasBuddy:

"With oil's rally to a new COVID-19 high-water mark, gas prices have begun to follow, even as gasoline demand crumbles to some of the lowest levels in months," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "Optimism continues to propel oil markets higher, led by positive news on a COVID-19 vaccine, but should anything change timing wise, we could a reversal, but for now it remains full steam ahead with markets focused on the promise of oil and gasoline demand rising, or the best potential outcome of the situation. Should the hype be overblown, a correction could happen in the weeks or months ahead. For now, motorists may see more volatility in oil markets then we've seen in months."

December 7, 2020 - 11:36am
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 registered, 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]
December 6, 2020 - 7:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chrstmas, elba, Oakfield, video.

The Elba Betterment Committee hosted the community's Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration on Saturday night along with a socially distanced visit from Santa. The video also includes visits to the Christmas Tree displays in Pavilion and Oakfield.

December 6, 2020 - 6:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A two-car accident reported at Oak and Richmond in the City of Batavia.

An officer on scene reports there is no injuries. The northbound lane is blocked. There is debris in the roadway but no apparent fluid leaks.

UPDATE 6:28 p.m.: A fluid leak is now reported.

UPDATE 6:30 p.m.: Engine 11 responding.

December 6, 2020 - 6:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news.

img_7480unusuallights.jpg

Law enforcement is being sent to Broadway Road (not sure if Darien or Alexander) for the report of lights going eastbound.

Maybe from an airplane, the dispatcher reported.

It's unclear if that means the airplane is on the ground or in the air.

UPDATE 8:10 p.m.: Nicole Dorman submitted the photo. The photo was taken on Route 262 in Elba.

UPDATE: The lights were apparently related to a SpaceX launch

December 5, 2020 - 11:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, news, batavia, covid-19, coronavirus, notify.

Statement from Batavia City School District Superintendent Anibal Soler Jr.:

Dear Batavia Blue Devil Families,

As the number of positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise across New York State and specifically in Genesee County ​(8-percent positive test rate -- current highest in New York)​ it brings a number of challenges for the school district.

These challenges include but are not limited to the following:

  • Our ongoing ability to staff in-person learning with certified staff members.
  • Guidance regarding close contact and quarantining: we continue to have a large number of students and staff members unable to attend in-person learning and work because of the fact that educators/ district staff are not designated as essential employees under current New York State Department of Health guidance, which forces them to quarantine even if they are not showing symptoms.
  • Despite the CDC reducing the number of days for quarantining to 7-10 days, the NYSDOH is still requiring a 14-day quarantining window.
  • Social gatherings are still occurring outside of school, which bring new positive cases into our school district.
  • The influx of parent and family requests that want to move their children from in-person hybrid learning to a 100-percent full virtual model.
  • Over this last week our number of total positive cases in our schools increased to 39 and the number of students and staff that have had to quarantine as a result was over 100 between our four school buildings.

    Therefore, ​I have made the difficult decision to move our school district to 100-percent Virtual Remote Learning effective immediately and through the upcoming winter break. I will monitor and reassess this decision and I will provide families an update prior to our return on Monday, Jan. 4th.

    Moving our entire district to 100-percent Virtual Remote Learning will give us the ability to focus primarily on one mode of teaching and learning and allow us to prepare for updated guidance from New York State that prioritizes safe in-person learning for all. Families of children who receive specialized instruction and various mandated therapy will be contacted by the district with options for teletherapy and targeted support. BOCES Career Technical Education students will also attend their program virtually. This does not impact out-of-district placements and students who attend BOCES Alternative Academy and ITP programs. For the majority of our students this equates to the loss of five in-person learning days over the course of the next 12 school days.

  • The district will continue to provide daily breakfast and lunch for pick up at Jackson Primary and John Kennedy from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. during this period.

    It is also important to remind you that if we are to return to any form of in-person learning that we still need parents and guardians to fill out our consent form located here. To date, we only have 483 (24 percent) of in-person learning families who have given consent. Please know that if and when we are designated a color zone, that random testing will be required and only families who give consent will be able to attend in-person learning.

    At a time where we should be focused on celebrating an upcoming winter break and spending time with our families, I know that this decision will impact many of you negatively and that is not my intent. Ultimately, my intent and one of my main responsibilities as your Superintendent, is to always protect the physical and mental health and safety of our students, staff and community.

    If you have any additional questions or concerns please feel free to call your child’s school for support.

    WE are Better Together...WE are Batavia!

    Anibal Soler Jr.
    Superintendent of Schools

December 5, 2020 - 1:51pm
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 registered, 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]
December 4, 2020 - 5:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, Chris Jacobs, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) delivered a floor speech today calling on Democratic House Leadership to immediately consider additional relief for small businesses.

Find a transcription of his speech below:

“I rise in support of extending the successful and bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program by making $138 billion in already appropriated funds available to help more businesses that are experiencing dire and desperate need.

"This week it was reported that almost 30 percent of small businesses in New York have closed for good due to the COVID-19 epidemic, and many more will face the same fate without further aid. $138 billion appropriated to the PPP is just sitting here in Washington, D.C., instead of helping our nation's small businesses.

For months we have asked the Speaker to allow a vote on H.R. 8265, which simply enables the SBA to do another round of grant awards -- getting this $138 billion out on the street before it's too late for many of these hard hit businesses. This legislation is targeted, addresses a dire need across the nation, and requires no additional federal funds.

"I urge the Speaker and her leadership to reconsider this tactic and allow this legislation to come to the floor for a vote. I'm confident it will receive bipartisan support. Thank you very much, I yield back.”

Background: H.R. 8265 – The Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act – would extend the application deadline for the Paycheck Protection Program, allowing for $138 billion in already appropriated funds to be made available to small businesses. The legislation was originally authored by Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH).

December 4, 2020 - 1:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in UMMC, news, covid-19, coronavirus, notify.

drtesserummc.jpg

The number of patients visiting UMMC's urgent care clinic at the Jerome Center has more than doubled over the past month due to a greater prevalence of COVID-19 in the community, according to Dr. Andrew Tisser, urgent care medical director.

"We've seen a very large increase in both symptomatic and asymptomatic covid testing and need for medical care in Batavia specifically speaking to the urgent care center," Tisser said this morning during a conference call with local media. "Our volume in the last three or so weeks has increased by about 110 percent."

The number of patients visiting urgent care has done from about 25 per day to 50 or 60 per day, and about 80 percent of the visitors are coming to the client for COVID-related reasons.

There is currently a surge of COVID in the community and there is no way to know if we're at the peak or if the caseload will only get bigger in the coming weeks or months. Either way, Tisser expressed confidence that UMMC and Rochester Reginal Health is ready to adapt to changing circumstances. He believes the urgent care center can handle the coming caseload even if there is an increase in community spread.

That said, the community can help, Tisser said. He encouraged local residents to wear a mask, keep socially distant and follow other CDC guidelines to help control the spread of COVID.

In the spring, healthcare workers were hailed as superheroes and feted with free meals and parades. That attention has faded and people are seemingly paying less attention to guidelines about social gatherings. Tisser acknowledged that there may be a degree of COVID fatigue that may have set it but healthcare workers aren't looking for any special attention.

"We don't want to be seen as heroes," Tisser said. "We want everyone to be socially responsible and know that we're doing our best. So if everyone would please do their best, that would be really helpful. But we are here to help you. We're here to take care of you."

Tesser explained to help people and to keep everybody safe, there are now two ways to access the urgent care clinic. The main lobby for standard urgent care but for people seeking COVID-related service, a doorway with a phone where clients can speak to a nurse who can triage their needs. If it's a test for symptomatic or asymptomatic clients, they are asked to wait in their car where the test can be administered.

People who show up at the clinic are usually there because they're symptomatic and were referred by a primary care physician or they are a known close contact with a COVID-positive person and need to be tested as a result.

Tesser said people who are symptomatic should contact their primary care physician to get guidance on testing and evaluation.

The urgent care clinic only handles mild COVID-19 cases, people with a low-grade fever, a mild cough, other mild symptoms. More serious cases are generally referred to the emergency room.

"We're here to help you, but please try to help us," Tisser said. "The virus is not going away any time soon. We are hopeful with the vaccine coming, but it will take time to get everyone on the vaccine. So everyone needs to keep doing what they're doing to the best of their ability and just be smart and stay safe."

December 3, 2020 - 6:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

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Today, the first time since the pandemic hit Western New York, residents of Genesee County who are not showing symptoms of COVID-19 could get free coronavirus test locally.

The newly available rapid test is important, said Paul Pettit, public health director, because asymptomatic people can spread the disease. Identifying them will help slow the spread.

"The folks in the community that may be positive, that don't know they have it, they may be contributing to some of our higher numbers that we've been seeing over the last month," Pettit said.

In the first hour, 100 people were tested and three tests were positive.

Those three people, Pettit said now know they should isolate themselves and avoid contact that might lead to the disease being passed on to a vulnerable person, perhaps a family member.

"These folks probably would not have gotten tested," Pettit said. "So they would have been out in the community going to hang out with their friends or family, doing different activities and they might not have known they had it so bad. By doing stuff like testing like this, it allows them to be identified and now we can put them under isolation and again, hopefully, reduce those transmissions."

As many as 350 tests were administered today. The final number of positive tests of that 350 has not been released yet.

Pettit said rapid tests for asymptomatic people will be available in Genesee County on Tuesday and Thursday through at least January. The location may not always be at the Emergency Management Office on State Street Road. Future locations, or if it will be moved, has not yet been determined.  

More than 30 people volunteered to help with testing. More may be needed in the future.

Among the advantages of the free rapid test is that people who might want to travel or visit elderly family members in senior facilities were having a hard time getting required tests.  

The testing will also help get a clearer picture of how prevalent the disease is locally.

Getting the tests for Genesee County has been a long and concerted effort by local officials, state and federal representatives.

People who do get tested need to recognize that the test is only a "snapshot in time," Pettit said.

"Literally, if you test today and your negative, that's great," Pettit said. "Go home, go do your thing, continue to practice all the social distancing. But the bottom line doesn't mean you won't be positive tomorrow or the next day or the day after. So really, it's one of those things there really isn't a rhyme or reason necessarily on getting tested. I mean, obviously, we don't want people coming out here every day because we want to make sure we have availability for people that need it also. But a test is a snapshot. It's only good for the time you get tested, just like with anything else."

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December 3, 2020 - 7:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Silo fire, fire, news, byron.

A silo fire is reported at 5625 Chapell Road, Byron.

A farmworker will meet a chief roadside. It is a conformed silo fire, the dispatcher told a chief.

The location is just east of Transit Road.

Byron, South Byron fire departments dispatched. Town of Batavia's ladder truck along with an engine from Elba requested to the scene.

UPDATE 7:39 a.m.: Batavia can stand down. The silo is about 15 feet in diameter and contains wood chips. The location is apparently a transfer station and not a farm. 

UPDATE 7:48 a.m.: Byron command is all set with the equipment on location.

UPDATE 8:44 a.m.: Assignment back in service.

December 2, 2020 - 12:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in wny national cemetery, veterans, news, pembroke, notify.
Video Sponsor

The WNY National Cemetery, which was dedicated in a ceremony Monday (see video), is now accepting reservations for interments for deceased qualified veterans, according to a spokesman for Veterans Affairs.

Les' A. Melnyk, chief of public affairs and outreach for the VA's National Cemetery Administration, said families and funeral directors who wish to schedule interments can do so by calling the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at (800) 535-1117. 

Interment dates and times are determined on a first-come, first-served basis in accordance with the family’s wishes and available time slots at the cemetery, Melnyk said.

Information regarding who is eligible for interment at a national cemetery can be found here.

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