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Howard B. Owens's blog

June 15, 2020 - 9:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, news, NY-27.
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Nate McMurray notified supporters in Genesee County that he would be at City Hall this afternoon for a get out the vote rally. A reporter and photographer from The New York Times were there to cover it.

June 15, 2020 - 6:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, racial equality.

img_2483alllives.jpg

Hailey Kirkpatrick decided to draw a colorful message, "All Lives Matter," in the driveway of Batavia Middle School today after her uncle gave her some chalk because she wanted to spread a message of harmony.

She said, "There are a lot of races around the world that are treated badly and it’s not just black people and there are a lot of people who are still racist in this world, and I think if saying all lives matter rather than black lives matter will show that we are as one. We are all people. We’re all one species and we need to get along to make this world a better place."

img_3345alllives.jpg

June 15, 2020 - 6:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, news, NY-27.

Press release:

Today, Congressional candidate Nate McMurray voiced his continued concerns about ballot integrity and voter suppression after the first weekend of early voting came to a close in New York’s 27th District.

McMurray’s campaign has established a hotline with the New York Democratic Lawyers Committee to continue to address the issues on behalf of voters. 

“We are getting reports that people are not getting absentee ballots they applied for and should have received by now, and some are being told to just go vote in person," McMurray said. "The problem is many are very worried about voting in person because of the health risks.

"That’s why the Governor originally expanded voting by absentee ballot. Now here we are just days from when absentee ballots must be postmarked by, and voters receiving them last minute will be under pressure to turn them around overnight wondering if their vote will even be counted”

Further, the locations of early voting polling sites had not been made readily available in all places. In particular, the Erie County Board of Elections failed to even post a list of early voting locations until McMurray brought a lawsuit compelling the Board of Elections to take action. Still, many are showing up to their usual polling location confused because they received no notice by mail.

“I’m not saying there is deliberate malice, but the result will lead to fewer people going to the polls because of widespread confusion," McMurray said. "And of course, it’s not just the voters who are struggling. Board of Elections employees across NY27 are exhausted and have little outside help.

"It is our duty to protect access to the ballot and elections integrity during this public health crisis. Every voter should have received their ballot by now and have basic confidence in the process, and the sad truth is, they haven’t."

Voters who are experiencing any issues voting by absentee or obtaining early voting information please contact: NYS Democratic Lawyers Council Voter Protection Hotline: ​(585) 213-1710, or email:   [email protected]

June 15, 2020 - 5:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, Bethany.

A caller reports hearing a loud boom and can now see smoke and flames near a barn in the area of 10740 Transit Road, Bethany.

A second caller reports a chicken coop is on fire.

A responder reports seeing a lot of smoke as he approaches.

Bethany fire responding. The chief has asked for a second alarm. The location is south of Sparks Road.

UPDATE(S) (By Billie) 5:52 p.m.: Alexander, the city's FAST team, Le Roy, Town of Batavia, Pavilion and Stafford are responding as mutual aid. Town of Batavia is also having a crew stand by in quarters.

UPDATE 5:56 p.m.: The city's FAST team is cancelled per Bethany command, so is Town of Batavia Ladder #22 to the scene.

UPDATE 5:58 p.m.: Fire Police are on scene to control/direct traffic. Mutual aid is also on the road responding from Attica and Wyoming.

UPDATE 6:01 p.m.: Genesee County Sheriff's deputies are on scene.

UPDATE 6:12 p.m.: Fire is under control. Responding tankers can continue non-emergency.

June 15, 2020 - 12:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in union hotel, corfu, news.

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As the restoration of the Union Hotel continues, work crews discovered a historic artifact: A billboard poster for the Ringling Brothers Circus and a performance one summer long ago in Batavia.

The advertisement was found paneling in the bar, said owner Tom Dix.

Dix said he doesn't know what will become of the billboard but "somehow it will be saved."

Below, Video from February 2019 about the effort to restore the Union Hotel.

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June 15, 2020 - 10:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.10, which is 7 cents higher than a week ago. One year ago, the price was $2.70. The New York State average is $2.22 – 2 cents higher than last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.87.

AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.25 (no change since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.19 (no change since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.12 (up 1 cent since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.21 (up 1 cent since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.24 (up 3 cents since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.11 (up 1 cent since last week)
  • Watertown --$2.22 (up 3 cents since last week)

The national average gas price is on the rise along with demand. According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand has continued to increase. If demand continues to trend higher, motorists will likely see pump prices continue to increase through the end of the month.

Oil prices are mixed and domestic crude prices decreased last week amid increased market concern that a second wave of COVID-19 may emerge and could lead to another reduction in crude demand. Domestic crude inventories are up and that also helped push oil prices down.

From GasBuddy:

"As gasoline demand continues on the road to recovery, the national average has advanced for another week, making it seven straight weeks of rising gas prices as the easing coronavirus situation inspires more Americans to hit the road," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

"Data from Pay with GasBuddy shows U.S. gasoline demand rose 2.4  percent last week to its highest level in over three months, giving renewed confidence that amidst OPEC's crude oil cutbacks, supply will remain in check. I expect the upward trend to continue across most of the country ahead of July 4, with prices perhaps rising another 10-20 cents by then.

"The one thing that could bring restraint to rising gas prices is if we see a significant second wave of COVID-19 cases, but for now, I'm optimistic that won't happen."

June 15, 2020 - 10:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in advertisement, Deal of the Day.

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]
June 14, 2020 - 10:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in racial equality, batavia, news, video, George Floyd.
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Area residents today turned out to the Peace Garden to draw on the sidewalk with chalk messages and pictures in support of racial equality.

June 14, 2020 - 4:05pm
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]
June 14, 2020 - 4:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, news, video, covid-19, coronavirus.
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Yesterday evening, we visited Le Roy to check in on three restaurants that are now serving dine-in customers as part of the Phase Three reopening.

CORRECTION: I forgot to include the lower thirds in the video identifying the speakers. They are in order of appearance, Monique Mottler, a server and front-of-house supervisor at Farmer's Creekside Inn; Sean Valdes, co-owner, D&R Depot; Racheal Olear, general operations supervisor, Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew. My apologies to all.

June 14, 2020 - 12:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Roxy's Music Store, batavia, news, notify.

rosesforroseroxys2020.jpg

Roses have been placed in the doorway of Roxy's Music on West Main Street in memory of owner Rose Marie Caccamise, who passed away June 5.

There was no formal obituary released to the local media. Attempts to get more information about her death and the future of Roxy's Music Store have been unsuccessful.

She was 80 years old.

Roxy's Music was founded in Batavia in 1934 by her parents, renowned accordionist Roxy Caccamise and his wife Nellie. Rose took over the business in the 1960s, eventually moving it from 331 W. Main St., Batavia, to the Genesee Country Mall, and eventually to its present location at 228 W. Main St.

The legendary store was a magnet for area musicians -- and accordionists from around the world -- for decades. Hundreds of local musicians took lessons at Roxy's over the years.

Caccamise was also an accomplished athlete. She finished fourth in 1956 for the Melbourne Olympics in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.5. She was among the first inductees in 2002 in the Batavia High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

roseroxyhistory.jpg

Rose Caccamise, center, with her parents in an undated photo, Nellie Caccamise and Roxy Caccamise.

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June 13, 2020 - 3:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, video, batavia.
Video Sponsor

A look at Batavia restaurants who, with the arrival of Phase Three of the pandemic recovery, were able to open on Friday.

June 13, 2020 - 10:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, schools, education, news, video.
Video Sponsor

Parents, students, teachers, and administration at Jackson Primary School in Batavia celebrated the end of the year and promotion day with a parade on Friday.

June 13, 2020 - 10:27am
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]
June 12, 2020 - 6:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Chris Jacobs is releasing the following statement today in response to Governor Cuomo’s threat to withhold state funding from police departments. (Buffalo News, 6/12/20

“Governor Cuomo’s threat to withhold state funding from police agencies is not only irresponsible but dangerous and insulting. At a time when our law enforcement officers are under attack and a growing group of radicals is turning to violence over a peaceful discussion, the last thing our officers should be worried about is having their funding cut.

"Now more than ever, we need to ensure that our officers have all the necessary resources and equipment needed to do their jobs and return home safely to their families. This is just one more example of how Governor Cuomo single-handedly decides to put his political agenda over the needs and safety of New Yorkers.

"I will not stand for this, and I will be a staunch advocate and fighter for the brave men women of our law enforcement in Congress.”

June 12, 2020 - 3:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, video, live stream.
Video Sponsor

Genesee County Public Health COVID-19 briefing for June 12, 2020.

Press release:

  •    Genesee County received zero new positive cases of COVID-19, for a total of 201 positive cases.
    • One of the previous community positive cases have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation.
    • Zero of the total active positive cases are hospitalized.
  • Orleans County received 1 new positive cases of COVID-19, for a total of 247 positive cases.
    • We are very saddened to report the loss of another county resident to COVID-19. This person was a resident of Orchard Rehabilitation & Nursing Center. Our deepest condolences to this individual’s family and friends during this very sad time.
    • Fourteen of the total active positive cases are hospitalized. Please note those in the hospital may be from the community or a state-regulated facility. We do not separate them out to protect their privacy.
    • Two of the previous community positive cases have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation.
    • The new positive case was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • The individual is in their 60s.
    • The positive individual resides in Carlton.

We encourage everyone to remember to be polite and respect individual privacy. If you have a complaint about someone or a business use the appropriate channels provided by the state. Using social media to air your complaints and accusing individuals / businesses of wrongdoing generally does nothing to fix the problem. Be compassionate of other people and spread kindness.

June 12, 2020 - 11:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, Batavia Rotary Club, batavia, covid-19, coronavirus.

img_2043rotarycovid.jpg

Submitted photo and press release:

Responding to community needs, the Batavia Rotary Club is contributing a $20,000 donation from its Foundation to assure Genesee County residents have access to food and other essential items during this time of increased needs.

"We want to make sure the families and individuals are not suffering during this time of financial uncertainty and increased health concerns," said club President Bob Knipe.

The Rotary Club tapped its endowment that was created by various fundraisers conducted throughout the years, he explained.

The contributions will be made in two waves. The first $10,000 is being donated now, primarily focused on assuring food supplies for needy families and for emotional support for senior citizens. 

"One-hundred percent of the contributions are going to provide support directly to people, not for administration," said Rotarian Ed Leising, who has served on a special COVID Relief committee for the club.

The Salvation Army in Batavia will receive $7,000 for its emergency food distribution.

The United Way of Genesee County will receive $2,400 for its backpack program that provides food to families with school-age children.

Genesee County Office for the Aging will receive $600 toward emotional support for local senior citizens who have been isolated during this period of stay-at-home social distancing.  

A second round of $10,000 funding will be released in about a month.

"At that point in time, we anticipate having more of an understanding on the economic impact of layoffs and joblessness caused by the pandemic," said Rotarian Sharon Kubiniec. 

Rotary is an international service club whose motto is "Service Above Self."  The Batavia Club has been in existence for more than 100 years and provides regular financial support to community organizations such as Crossroads House, the YWCA Domestic Violence Safe House, college scholarships to local students, youth sports and capital improvements to United Memorial Medical Center. 

"We are working to continue supporting the organizations that we have been sustaining for many years, but club members were adamant to respond during this unprecedented time of need for our neighbors," said President Knipe. 

For more information about Batavia Rotary, visit its website at www.bataviarotary.com.

Photo, from left: Rotarian Donna Saskowski, Rotarian Ed Leising, Tony Condello from the Genesee Senior Foundation, associated with the Office for the Aging, Diana Fox of the Office for the Aging, Rotary President Bob Knipe, Rotarian Sharon Kubiniec, Tammy Hathaway, executive director of the United Way of Genesee County. All the Rotarians are members of a special COVID Relief Committee.

June 12, 2020 - 11:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, covid-19, coronavirus, news.

Press release:

Officials at Batavia Downs today announced that with the expectation that Phase Three reopening is implemented in the Finger Lakes Region on today, June 12th -- the Fortune's restaurant will be open for dine in or take out from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The gaming facility remains closed at this time.

There will be a limited menu to choose from. That menu is available on the Batavia Downs website as well as their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

New safety regulations will be put into place for those visiting the facility. All patrons must park in the south parking lot (Valet Lot) and come through the valet entrance. The valet is not operating at this time.

To ensure the safety of our guests and employees, upon entry into the facility guests are required to wear a mask up until the time that they are seated at their table. Please note that the restaurant will operate at a limited capacity. All persons within a dining party must also adhere to safe social distancing while waiting in the lobby.

If coming for take out, you must wear a mask for the entirety of your visit as you check-in at the hostess station for your food.

Fortune's will also be open on Friday, June 19th.

“We look forward to opening up our restaurants on these next two Fridays,” said Henry Wojtaszek, president and CEO. “We’re working hard on a plan for reopening the entire facility and will do so once we get the go-ahead from New York State.”

To make an order for take out or to make reservations, please call (585) FORTUNE (367-8863) after 11 a.m. on Friday, June 12th.

June 12, 2020 - 10:43am
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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