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Howard B. Owens's blog

June 10, 2020 - 7:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in art, batavia, news, Ellicott Street.

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Near the end of a hot day, Cassandra Wroblewski was bored so she decided to draw flowers on the sidewalk outside her apartment on Ellicott Street in Batavia.

Wroblewski said she is a crafter and an artist who is busy every day with her creations but decided she needed to go outside to be creative for a change.

June 10, 2020 - 11:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Chris Jacobs, Nate McMurray, news.

Press release:

“Last night, Western New Yorkers saw two vastly different candidates with two vastly different views of America and the choice is clear. Chris Jacobs will support our law enforcement, secure our borders, and fight for our small businesses to grow the economy. Nate McMurray's socialist proposals would raise taxes, make our cities and towns less safe, and threaten the constitutional rights of every New Yorker. Western New Yorkers who want to ensure President Trump has an ally in Congress and our region need to get out and vote for Chris Jacobs on June 23rd.”

-- Christian Chase, Communications Director -- Jacobs for Congress

NOTE: Libertarian Party Candidate Duane Whitmer was excluded from the debate.

June 10, 2020 - 10:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

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  • 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 9, 2020 - 4:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

  • As of 2 p.m.
    • Genesee County received one new positive case of COVID-19, for a total of 199 positive cases.
      • The new positive individual resides in Batavia.
      • The person is in their 60s.
      • The new positive case was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
      • Three 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 zero new positive cases of COVID-19, for a total of 244 positive cases.
      • Seventeen 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.
      • We are truly saddened to report we have lost three of our county residents to COVID-19. All three of the individuals were residents of Orchard Rehabilitation & Nursing Center. Our deepest condolences to each of these individual’s family and friends during this very difficult time.
June 9, 2020 - 9:19am

Statement:

Amidst the societal and scholastic change that our country has had to adapt to during the current Pandemic of 2020, the Genesee-Wyoming Music Educators Association (GWMEA) had to cancel their annual All-County Festivals that highlight the top 500 musicians from out combined counties.

 

The 12 schools that makeup GWMEA consist of Alexander, Attica, Batavia City, Byron-Bergen, Elba, Le Roy, Notre Dame, Pembroke, Pavilion, Oakfield-Alabama, St. Joseph, and Wyoming schools.

 

Students between the grades 5-12 would have been highlighted this year in March during performances at Pembroke and Le Roy High Schools.

 

In honor of all students who auditioned for the six ensembles who will never get to perform as a group, the GWMEA would like to thank all students who individually put in the time preparing for these great music festivals.

 

Lastly, we would like to honor all the seniors who will never have the honor of performing again at another GWMEA Festival. Some of our seniors would have been making their first appearance in an all-county ensemble, and some would have been appearing for their ninth year, committing hours and hours to their craft. Regardless of years committed, we would like to honor you one last time. Congratulations.

June 9, 2020 - 9:06am
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 8, 2020 - 7:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news.

Press release:

  • As of 2 p.m.
    • Genesee County received one new positive case of COVID-19, for a total of 198 positive cases.
      • The new positive individual resides in Batavia.
      • The person is in their 30s.
      • The new positive case was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
      • Three 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 one new positive case of COVID-19, for a total of 244 positive cases.
      • The new positive individual resides in Ridgeway.
      • The person is in their 50s.
      • The new positive case was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
      • Nine of the previous community positive cases have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation.
      • Seventee 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.
      • We are truly saddened to report we have lost four of our county residents to COVID-19. Two of the individuals were residents of Orchard Rehabilitation & Nursing Center. Two of the individuals were residents of The Villages of Orleans Health & Rehabilitation.  Our deepest condolences to each of these individual’s family and friends during this very difficult time.
June 8, 2020 - 2:20pm

Le Roy graduate Kathleen Dessert received a John Mikalski Scholarship from the Genesee Wyoming Music Educators Association in 2018. She is currently studying Music Education at SUNY Fredonia. She is a vocal major, a soprano who also plays piano, flute, guitar and ukulele.

While at Le Roy, her favorite music experience was performing as Ariel in "The Little Mermaid." So far while at Fredonia her favorite musical experience was performing Verdi's "Requiem" under the direction of David Rudge, Ph.D.

Dessert is looking forward to singing with the Fredonia Choirs at a celebration for Stacey Gibbs' 100th composition in Washington, D.C., in the spring of 2021.

Her favorite performance venue is when she performed with the 2017 NYSSMA Conference All State Treble Choir in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. One of her favorite pieces they performed that night was Holst's "Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda."

Her main role models have always been her teachers. The most influential being Patricia Corron, Ph.D, and Jacqueline McLean.

She would love to teach elementary general music while also keeping herself involved in choirs and musical theater.

She recently put together a Virtual Ensemble for the Fredonia chapter of the National Association for Music Education! It was a lot of fun, and she is hoping to do more in the future that will involve chapters from all around the state.

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June 8, 2020 - 2:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in William Sheron, news, March for Justice.

Press release:

Thank you to the March for Justice organizers, public officials, and community members for assisting in making yesterday’s demonstration a peaceful one. I would also like to sincerely thank and recognize all the local, state, and federal law enforcement officers, Correction Officers, and Emergency Services Dispatchers for their professionalism.

Once again, we saw the cooperation amongst our law enforcement agencies, government officials, and community leaders. Genesee County is an amazing community that I am proud to have lived in my entire life.

Working together, we can move forward to address the many concerns that were voiced yesterday.

~Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr.

June 8, 2020 - 1:58pm

rosschuagwmea.pngGenesee Wyoming Music Educators Association honors its 1016 John Mikalski scholarship winner, Ross Chua, a graduate of Batavia High School.

Chua has earned a bachelor's degree in Music Composition from Syracuse University and is working on his master's degree in Audio Sound. 

His primary instrument is voice. Secondary instruments are trumpet, piano and guitar.

When asked for his favorite high school/college music memory he responded: I have come to know such a vast array of humans throughout my time both in Batavia and Syracuse, and I am blessed to have spent time with so many wonderful friends and colleagues. One of my favorite musical experiences was my first tour with SU's university singers. Setnor School of Music has a wonderful choral program full of amazing and dedicated vocalists, and singers have always been a particularly enriching experience for me. In the fall of my sophomore year, the first semester I joined, we went to perform for the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was incredibly exciting to tour the city and take in the rich musical culture of the area, and this was made even better by being able to share the experience with some of my closest friends. Perhaps the most impactful part of the trip, though, was our final performance at the conference. We had prepared some intense repertoire, including Francis Poulenc's "Sept Chansons," ("Seven Songs") which was especially difficult. As mentioned, though, the work ethic of the choir was palpable, and the culmination of our work performing for the NCCO is something that still fills me with immense pride. It was a powerful reminder of how satisfying singing can be, especially when: a. You challenge yourself and work to meet that challenge; and b.You collaborate with people you respect and admire.

When asked what ensembles/ performance opportunities do you aspire to be a part of: I've participated in several choirs while in college and was music director of my tenor/bass a cappella group, orange appeal. I'd like to continue being involved with vocal groups because there's something magical about creating music using nothing but what God gave you.

Where is your favorite performance venue you have performed at?: Last fall, I brought my a cappella group orange appeal to Batavia to sing at Richmond Memorial Library. It was really fun to have my college life and my home life cross paths.

Who are your main musical influences and/or role models? Andrew Huang is a producer/YouTuber who has an insanely massive body of work, both in variety and sheer quantity of releases. He also has been a part of many collaborations, small scale and large scale, with other musicians and YouTubers. I aspire to have his commitment on his mission statement, which is simply "make music everywhere."

What is your ultimate music goal or music dream? My favorite aspect of music is the way it naturally vitalizes a community experience. I am constantly seeking opportunities to connect with people, and often those overlap with musical opportunities. I'd like to continue collaborating with other musicians as much as possible, and the career paths I think are most conducive to that are working at a recording studio and managing a performance venue. Both career paths seem like promising sources of social interaction!

Do you have any music side projects that you enjoy? I try to create regular content for my Instagram (@ross_chua) and my YouTube channel (Ross Chua music). Be sure to follow if you're interested in seeing my content!

June 8, 2020 - 1:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Beth Parlato, Chris Jacobs, news, NY-27.

Press release:

''It's been three weeks now since my opponent, Chris Jacobs, backed out of debating me. With the primary election right around the corner, I have one question to ask my opponent. Chris, what are you so afraid of? Debate me! This is your last chance to prove to the voters that you are not a bought and paid for career politician. I'll tell you what, you and Nick Langworthy set it up however you want. You make the rules, you pick the date, the location, the time -- I'll be there! Or, you can hide from the voters until Election Day. Your choice!

"We need transparency in leadership. As a resident of NY-27 for 53 years, I am sick of career politicians who serve themselves and not the people. We need leaders with convictions, integrity, and passion.The voters of NY-27 deserve this! I know he doesn’t want his liberal voting record exposed, but he owes it to the voters to explain the blatant lies coming out of his campaign."

June 8, 2020 - 1:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Stefan Mychajliw, news.

Press release:

Following the arrest of two Buffalo Police Officers now facing felony charges, Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw sent letters to the Buffalo Police Union President John Evans and Commissioner Byron Lockwood of the Buffalo Police Department pledging support for the two officers and all those that wear the badge.

In addition to letters of support for the Buffalo Police Department, Comptroller Mychajliw sent correspondence to more than 60 police agencies across NY-27, stating his support for law enforcement facing increased pressure and scrutiny in these trying times.

“The officers need to know we have their back,” said Comptroller Mychajliw. “Violent rioters and protestors attack police and have no respect for the rule of law. Their jobs have been made more difficult than ever. Police deserve the public’s praise, not political prosecution. Law enforcement is trying to maintain law and order and peace during this period of civil unrest.”

Comptroller Mychajliw wrote to the police agencies that there should be zero tolerance for lawbreakers who attack police, and he stands with them.

“The recent arrests of two Buffalo Police Officers during these unsettling times is a travesty,” added Comptroller Mychajliw. “Criminals should be places in cuffs, not cops. Members of law enforcement protect our community. They put their own lives at risk every day to keep us safe.”

Comptroller Mychajliw added that New York State’s bail reform legislation creates even more problems for law enforcement already facing many challenges.

“The rare times rioters and looters are arrested, they’re put right back out on the street to create more mayhem. Backward state laws protect criminals and give them more support than law-abiding taxpayers,” said Mychajliw.

Comptroller Mychajliw concluded his letter to police agencies and unions by offering his support in any way needed.

“These attacks on law enforcement have to end,” Mychajliw said.

June 8, 2020 - 1:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, news, Stefan Mychajliw.

Press release:

Republican candidate for New York’s 27th Congressional District Stefan I. Mychajliw Jr. released a new television commercial focused on the need for strong leadership to build a better America while lawlessness reigns here at home and across the country.

The new “Stefan for Congress” television commercial titled “Leadership” stresses the need to restore law and order on our streets, offers support for police, while at the same time promises to lead our nation to a better place.

“Taxpayers deserve better leadership now more than ever. People want strong and calming leaders who will work together to build a better America. I stand with law enforcement. We can have zero tolerance for lawbreakers attacking cops. Bad actors can’t justify assaults on law enforcement by wrapping themselves in a cloud of so-called social justice,” said Mychajliw.

Chaos and riots still plague communities across the NY-27 Congressional District. Businesses burned in Buffalo and Rochester, criminals were charged with running over three members of law enforcement, curfews are in place and protests take place daily.

“Rioters attacking police and looters destroying businesses need to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. This lawlessness crippling our communities must end. Once we rebuild, it’s time to restore America to a land of equal opportunity, respect for police and our neighbors. I’ll be the leader in Congress that families need in these trying times,” added Mychajliw.

“I’m Stefan Mychajliw. Like you, I’m worried about America. Rioters are attacking police and destroying businesses. We cannot sit back and let these bad actors go unpunished. It's why I’m running for Congress. Because we need strong leaders who will listen, find solutions and lead our country to a better place. In Congress I will do just that, and deliver a brighter future for my family and yours. I’m Stefan Mychajliw and I approve this message.”

June 8, 2020 - 12:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in David Krzemien, news.

Press release from David Krzemien:

Turning on the news or scrolling through social media, we see violence and calls for change but are those calls falling on deaf ears? Since the death of George Floyd, what has changed within our local, state, and national government? What action has been taken? The answer is none. We need to hold our elected politicians accountable and demand the change that is so needed in our country.

Our politicians are too lazy to get to the root of the problem and solve it. For example, the gun control laws in NYS are far too extreme, instead of sitting down with people who are both pro- and anti-gun-control and making a moderate decision the governor took the easy way out enacted laws that infringe on the rights given to citizens by the Second Amendment.

Instead, I am calling on our state and local representatives to listen to all sides and make decisions that eliminate the violence, that protect the citizens and help those serving in law enforcement. It is the role of our elected officials to be proactive to get communities talking and to work together to best serve the population. When politicians care more about pleasing their big corporate backers instead of listening to the concerns of the citizens, there is no room for change.

If elected to the Sheriff’s Office I vow, as mentioned at my campaign kickoff, to listen to those in our county. I vow to connect with community outreach groups to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the citizens. I vow to communicate openly with the public to ensure our law enforcement officers, as well as our citizens, remain safe. Change is needed and if elected to the Sheriff’s Office I vow to bring change and to unite the county because together we are stronger!

June 8, 2020 - 12:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in le roy village green, news, Le Roy.

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Rose (Lattuca) Sherman, a resident of Le Roy Village Green, turned 104 on Saturday and her birthday was celebrated by staff and with family sending her well-wishes through a window.

Lattuca grew up in Scottsville and lived most of her in Le Roy where she was popular as a babysitter and caretaker for many years. She worked for 20 years for the Genesee Country Museum. She was married to the late Jon C. Sherman Sr. Her four children: John (Pam) Sherman, Tom Sherman, Sandy (Tim) McCulley, Charles (Mindy) Sherman. He has 14 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, and 14 great-great grandchildren.

She has never had a driver's license.

Photos and information submitted by Janice Sherman.

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June 8, 2020 - 12:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, batavia.

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Al Lang turned 80 on Saturday and his friends and families organized a parade to celebrate his birthday.

Lang worked at Pepsi in Batavia for most of his life. When he retired from Pepsi, he started a landscaping business, Country Caretakers, and also ran for the town board of Batavia and became a town councilman. He has nine children, 40 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren, with two on the way. 

Photos and information submitted by Dave Alvord.

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June 8, 2020 - 12:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in March for Justice, batavia, news.

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Aerial photos submitted by Anthony Sweet.

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Photos below by Bonnie Marrocco.

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June 8, 2020 - 10:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in video, news, March for Justice, batavia.
Video Sponsor

While livestreaming yesterday's protest/march, I was also video recording with my DSLR camera. Here are key points from three hours of recording edited into 20 minutes so that you might, hopefully, be able to get a flavor of the day's event in a condensed version.

I hope and trust that the editing has maintained an accurate reflection of the event. A few people have complained that during the livestream, they couldn't hear interviews. The iPhone used for the livestream is an omnidirectional mic. It picks up everything. The shotgun mic on my DSLR is directional, so you will be better able to here the excerpts from those interviews in this video.

This is a significant event in Batavia's history. Please watch.

For more photos, visit Steve Ognibene's photo gallery

June 8, 2020 - 10:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.03, which is 5 cents higher than a week ago. One year ago, the price was $2.76. The New York State average is $2.20 – 2 cents higher than last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.90.

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

  • Batavia -- $2.25 (up 3 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.19 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.11 (up 1 cent since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.20 (no change since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.21 (up 3 cents since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.10 (up 1 cent since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.19 (up 1 cent since last week)

The national average price for a gallon of gasoline has topped $2, after spending months below that $2 mark due to inactivity among motorists, low demand and slowed production.

Prices have been slowly rising as states reopen and demand for gasoline increases for both work and recreation purposes. While demand is on the rise, levels are still lower than one year ago.

Expect prices to continue to increase as the summer travel season gets underway. This year, AAA expects road trips to be very popular.

From GasBuddy:

"It's no surprise that gasoline prices have increased for the sixth straight week as gasoline demand has hit its highest level since early March as Americans are returning to the roads," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

"With OPEC extending its large oil production cuts until at least July, oil prices continue to rally. In Sunday evening trade, a barrel of WTI crude oil briefly touched $40 per barrel, the highest level in months thanks to rebounding demand for oil and gasoline as well as the previous production cuts.

While I don't see oil's strength holding too long given that oil demand remains 20-25 percent below a year ago, I believe the anxiety pushing oil prices up is coming from the fact that the economy may be recovering quicker than most anticipated. For now, motorists will likely continue to see gas prices rising for the weeks ahead."

June 8, 2020 - 9:37am
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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