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Howard B. Owens's blog

April 8, 2021 - 2:45pm

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The Batavia Society of Artists held its first -- and they hope it will become an annual event -- Tabletop People's Choice Awards at Eli Fish Brewing Co. in March.  

More than 400 people voted.

The winners and prizes: 

  • 1st Place $100:  Joan D'Alba
  • 2nd Place $50:  Bethany Zimmerman
  • 3rd Place $25:  Brian Kemp

Photos of winning pictures posted in order. Submitted photos.

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April 7, 2021 - 6:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, video, poetry month, Batavia Players.
Video Sponsor

Poetry Month: "The Shortest Day" by Sarah Cooper read by Wendy Williams.

April 6, 2021 - 5:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elm Street, batavia, news, fire.

City fire was dispatched to a residence on Elm Street for a garbage container fire and it turned out there was extension into the house.

The fire is out.

Firefighters are commencing overhaul.

UPDATE 5:56 p.m.: City fire is clearing the scene.

April 6, 2021 - 5:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, Batavia Players, video.
Video Sponsor

April is National Poetry Month, and as we did last year, we've asked Batavia Players to read some poems for us. Today, "Pangur Ban" is read by Dorothy Gerhart.

You, members of our community, are also invited to submit videos of yourself reading a poem. Please record your video with your camera set to produce a horizontal frame, keep it steady, well-lit with good quality audio. You can send us your video via wetransfer.com, emailed to: [email protected].

April 6, 2021 - 2:32pm

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An expert in pediatric infectious diseases with Rochester Regional Health is encouraging all young people, 16 years and older, to get vaccinated for COVID-19 but in Genesee County, for 16- and 17-year-olds, getting vaccinated is going to be more difficult.

Of the three vaccines being administered around the state and the nation are from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for 16- and 17-year-olds.

There are no clinics for the Pfizer vaccine planned for Genesee County, which means 16- and 17-year-olds looking to get vaccinated will need to travel Rochester or Buffalo to get the shot in the arm -- twice.

"We are encouraging the 16 and 17-year-olds to sign up for the state-run vaccine sites that provide the Pfizer vaccine which can vaccinate those who are 16 and older," said Nola Goodrich-Kresse, public information officer for the Genesee County Health Department.

There are several state-run clinics in our region, Goodrich-Kresse said.  Individuals aged 16 and 17 can check the state site for vaccine locations and check to make sure they are for the Pfizer vaccine.

"Currently, we do not know when or if Pfizer will be provided again locally," Goodrich-Kresse said.

Dr. Cynthia Christy, associate chief of pediatrics for Rochester General Hospital, who spoke to regional media yesterday to encourage young people to get vaccinated, acknowledged that COVID-19 poses little health risk to most young people but said people age 16 and older should consider what it could mean for people around them if they became contagious.

"I would imagine that teenagers do have the sense that nothing is going to impact them and that if they got it, they would be fine," Christy said. "So I think the angle for them is, well, what about your family? What about your grandparents? You probably would be fine if you got it, but this way will prevent you from impacting anyone you love."

For young people, who have been consistently less susceptible to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, the Pfizer vaccine is believed to be 100-percent effective, Christy said, and the side effects are minimal (slightly sore harm, possible low-grade fever).  

"As I said before," Christy said, "tell them 'let's bring this pandemic to an end, let's keep me from getting an infection, and let's keep my family and friends safe.' "

Photo: Dr. Cynthia Christy during video conference with regional media.

April 6, 2021 - 11:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Andrew Cuomo, Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news, covid-19, coronavirus.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) led a letter with congressmembers Claudia Tenney (NY-22), Andrew Garbarino (NY-02), Lee Zeldin (NY-01), and Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) in calling on Governor Cuomo to release billions in rental assistance funding allocated to New York State by Congress in December.

“Tenants and landlords across New York State have suffered enormous economic hardship during the pandemic," reps. Jacobs, Tenney, Garbarino, Zeldin and Malliotakis wrote. “Congress recognizes this reality, and it is why we allocated funds to assist New Yorkers in need.

"We are concerned that more than half of the money provided under the CARES Act remains unspent, while none of the $1.3 billion provided in December has been spent. Numerous other states have already distributed this funding. It is imperative these funds reach their intended recipients promptly.”

Specifically, the representatives are asking the Governor to provide a timetable for the creation of the application portal the state government said it would be using for distribution. The representatives are also asking that the Governor disclose if he intends to add additional eligibility requirements to receive the funding above what is required by the federal government.

New York received $1.3 billion in federal funding for residential rental assistance in the Consolidated Appropriations Act passed by Congress in December and will be receiving another $1.4 billion under the American Rescue Plan. In addition, $100 million was provided under the CARES Act.

Full text of the letter is below:

Dear Governor Cuomo,

We write to request information on New York State’s implementation of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. As you know, New York received $1.3 billion in federal funding for residential rental assistance in the Consolidated Appropriations Act passed by Congress in December and will be receiving another $1.4 billion under the American Rescue Plan. In addition, $100 million was provided under the CARES Act. We are concerned that more than half of the money provided under the CARES Act remains unspent, while none of the $1.3 billion provided in December has been spent.

We respectfully request your reply within 14 days of receipt of this letter with answers to the following questions:

  • Your administration indicated it will be setting up a universal application portal for all applicants across the state. Is that portal ready? If not, when will it be?
  • Will the state be adding additional eligibility criteria to receive funds above what is set by federal law?

As you know, tenants and landlords across New York State have suffered enormous economic hardship during the pandemic. Congress recognizes this reality, and it is why we allocated funds to assist New Yorkers in need. Numerous other states have already distributed this funding. It is imperative these funds reach their intended recipients promptly.

April 6, 2021 - 10:35am
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]
April 5, 2021 - 11:41am
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]
April 4, 2021 - 2:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Church, batavia, Easter.

Via City Church

April 3, 2021 - 6:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Easter, news, batavia, Batavia First Presbyterian Church.

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The First Presbyterian Church of Batavia held its first-ever Easter Egg Hunt today.

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April 3, 2021 - 6:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Darien, north darien, North Darien Bible Church, news, Easter.

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North Darien Bible Church hosted its first-ever Easter Egg hunt today for ages 10 and under with plenty of candy and prizes for more than 100 kids who turned out. 

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April 3, 2021 - 6:04pm
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]
April 3, 2021 - 2:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Easter, news, Le Roy, batavia.

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Friends of the family burned out of its home on Maple Street in Batavia on Tuesday held a fundraiser for them today -- photos with the Easter Bunny in the Gazabo next to the Oatka Creek in Le Roy. 

The event was organized by Jenna Read and Ally Scofield.

With Easter Bunny are Lilly, 7 months, and Addison, 11 months.

The GoFundMe campaign for the family, organized by Scofield, has raised more than $7,000 (with a new goal of $9,000).

April 3, 2021 - 9:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia, crime.

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Press release:

Batavia Police are looking to identify the driver in an accident that occurred at the intersection of Liberty Street at Ellicott Street on Friday Night (April 2) at approximately 11:08 p.m.

The vehicle is described as a white Chevy or GMC model 1500 with a light bar on the front grill and a black toolbox in the truck bed.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Officer Freeman at (585) 345-6350.

UPDATED April 5: "Batavia Police would like to thank the community for their assistance locating the driver and subsequent victim of a hit and run accident that occurred this weekend. The victim's vehicle was confirmed to be a GMC Sierra."

April 2, 2021 - 11:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in poetry, Batavia Players.
Video Sponsor

April is National Poetry Month, and as we did last year, we've asked Batavia Players to read some poems for us. We start with 'In the Woods' by Oscar Wilde read by Stephen VanValkenburg. 

You, members of our community, are also invited to submit videos of yourself reading a poem. Please record your video with your camera set to produce a horizontal frame, keep it steady, well-lit with good quality audio. You can send us your video via wetransfer.com, emailed to: [email protected].

April 2, 2021 - 10:50am
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]
April 1, 2021 - 3:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Ellicott Street, covid-19, coronavirus.

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For a few small businesses, COVID-19 has meant the end of the line. The owners just weren't able to outlast coronavirus pandemic restrictions and people staying home. For Christine and Cassandra Wroblewski, a mother and daughter team (Cassandra pictured), the lack of income options after losing their jobs meant it was time to start a business.

Together, they've opened the Junk Drawer at 238 Ellicott St. Batavia.

"I bought my first pallet (of merchandise) and flipped it and made double my money (selling on eBay)," Christine said. "Then I bought another one. Then my house began to look like a hoarder's.  (Cassandra) wasn't working so I was like, 'You want to open a store?' and this place was available. This was all because of COVID."

Cassandra agrees, starting their own business together seemed like the obvious thing to do.

"Everything was just cluttering her house up and she's like, 'Hey, open up the store!' Cassandra said. "I'm like, 'OK, it's better than being at home.' "

The store specializes in selling remainders -- items that were overstock for some other store and are available wholesale at very low prices.  

A customer in the store yesterday afternoon who was loading up her basket on shampoos, soaps and lotions, said the Junk Drawer has become her place to go because the prices are so much lower than other discount stores in the city. 

Cassandra is an artist and a crafter, so items she and her mother-in-law crochet along with her paintings are also for sale in the store.

"We have beauty products; we have toys; we have anything you can imagine and our inventory is always changing," Cassandra said.

April 1, 2021 - 2:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen, news, weather.

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C.M. Barons shared this photo of snow falling on this spring garden in Bergen this afternoon.

April 1, 2021 - 12:44pm

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National restaurant chain Chipotle, founded in Denver in 1993, has its eye on Towne Center at Batavia for a new location according to a special use permit application filed on its behalf by COR Development Company, owners of the plaza.

The building is the former location Metro Mattress in the same structure as Game Stop and Five Guys.

If approved, the location would be modified to include a drive-thru and outdoor seating.

Chipotle, with more than 2,000 locations nationwide, specializes in Mexican-style cuisine and especially known for its build-your-own burrito bar. 

The application for a special use permit and site plan review will be heard this month by the County Planning Board before being sent to the Town of Batavia Planning Board.

Neither COR nor Chipotle, at least so far, have filed an application with Genesee County Economic Development Center for any tax abatements.

April 1, 2021 - 11:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Easter Bunny, Easter, batavia, news.

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Melissa Sacheli spotted the Easter Bunny hopping through Batavia yesterday at the corner of Bank Street and North Street.

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