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September 18, 2008 - 11:50am
posted by Philip Anselmo in business, downtown, city life.

Maybe you were wondering what the video crew was up to at the corner of East Main and Bank streets this morning?

There were some suits, a cameraman and a pretty young woman standing on the corner in front of the cultural center with the banks in the background. Well, they were a crew from Shepard, Maxwell & Hale, a local insurance agency that took to Main Street to shoot their next commercial for cable television.

September 18, 2008 - 11:19am
posted by Patrick D. Burk in Drama.


I am real happy to announce and invite all in the community to another first for the Batavia Players.  We are having our One Act Play Festival this Friday and Saturday at John Kennedy School on Vine Street.  Start time is 7:30PM.  Tickets are $10 for General Admission and $8 for Seniors and Students.

Three One Act Plays and a Monolouge are being performed. 

They Are:

MRS SORKIN Starring Peggy Marone

THE WORKER Starring Malloryann Burk, Jesse Conklin & Jake Bortle

A TRIP TO MIAMI Starring Alice and Paul Judkins

THE DUMB WAITER Starring Kevin Partridge and Robert Rudman

These are some of our area's finest actors and it is well worth the ticket price.  All these plays were done "workshop" style with actors and directors working on everything from props to sets to design as well as lines etc. 




September 18, 2008 - 11:14am
posted by Philip Anselmo in politics, city.

A week ago today, I took a walk down Main Street to get a picture of the gargantuan American flag slung across a downtown facade in honor of the victims of 9/11. On that walk, I came across the phrase: "Obama said I could be his princess (aka hall monitor) ♡Britt" scrawled in bright-colored chalk across the sidewalk. A little further on were more such curious phrases in pink, purple and yellow chalk.

Had anyone else seen these odd scribblings? Does anyone know what they mean? Is it art or politics or neither? What are we to make of the juxtaposition of the phrase: "Vote Obama he's going to Barak-n-Roll" with: "Hey there Delilah what's it like in New York City....."? There is a will at work here. What is it's intent?

September 18, 2008 - 8:32am
posted by Philip Anselmo in wbta, business.

Buyers should be wary of online ticket seller: TicketsMyWay.com, according to the Better Business Bureau of Buffalo. WBTA's Wayne Fuller reports that the bureau has received hundreds of complaints about the site that sells tickets to sports, music and theater venues online. Complaints include: not ever receiving the tickets, getting them too late or getting invalid tickets.

In other news, Mike Ranzenhofer was campaiging yesterday in Genesee County with Sen. Mary Lou Rath, Assemblyman Stephen Hawley and county Legislature Chair Pat Hancock. Ranzenhofer is running to replace Rath in the 61st Senate District. He will take on Democrat Joe Mesi in the general election. Fuller has this to say about Ranzenhofer's platform:

He says he has a three-part plan for tax reform. One part is the doubling of the current STAR exemption over a four year period. The second part is to cap property tax increases to 4 four percent of the inflation rate which ever is lower. Ranzenhofer said the third plank is reform of the Wicks and Taylor laws, backed by organized labor, that he says increases the cost of a public works project by 20 to 30 percent.

September 18, 2008 - 6:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Holland Land Office Museum, bill kauffman.

Luther MartinBill Kauffman spoke Sept. 9 at the Holland Land Office Museum dinner and Patrick Weissend recorded it as part of HOLM's ongoing podcast series.

You can listen to it here.

Bill's new book is Forgotten Founder, Drunken Prophet: The Life of Luther Martin.

Luther was an anti-Federalists, a misnomer used to describe a group of people who opposed ratification of the Constitution because it would, they believed (and accurately predicted) that it would lead to a concentration of power in the national government at the expense of communities and states.  The opposition of the anti-Federalist did help lead to the drafting of the Bill of Rights.

In the podcast, Bill covers Luther Martin's biography and his opposition to the drafting and ratification of the Constitution.

September 18, 2008 - 12:36am
posted by Brian Hillabush in football, sports.

 Elba/Byron-Bergen (1-1) at Attica (1-1)

7 p.m. Friday

The Blue Devils lost a lead to Notre Dame last week and are probably going to be looking for a chance to make a statement.

Attica's Andy Ruddock has had two solid rushing weeks and will probably be the focal point of this contest.

If the Lancers are able to hold him in check, Brandon Rollins has demonstrated an ability to both run and throw the football. He had a couple of long scrambles against the Fighting Irish last week.

Elba/Byron-Bergen is a team on the rise, but will struggle in this road contest.

The rushing game is E/BB's best shot to win the game as Zach Green and Brandon Spurling have to get going early. Green rushed for 101 yards in the Lancers' 24-16 victory over Holley last week, with Spurling rushing for nearly 200 yards in a loss to Oakfield-Alabama in the opening week, then 60 more yards in Week 2.


Alexander (0-2) at Oakfield-Alabama (2-0)

7 p.m. Friday

The Hornets feel like they can beat every team in the league by 80 points - and why not.

The running game has been nearly perfect - minus a couple of turnovers last week - and is proving to be unstoppable. Tim Smith has put up absolutely sick numbers as a wingback and special teams player, and Brad Riner has quieted criticism that he wasn't big enough to be a fullback.

O-A was cruising past Elba/Byron-Bergen before taking the starters out in the second half, allowing the Lancers to start making a comeback with their first team players.

Barker had no such luck as O-A pounded them 49-0.

Alexander hasn't had much to be excited about on the field thus far, but with new coach Dave Radley, a new staff and many new starters, it's going to take time.

A bright spot has been the play of Ryan Piechocki, who has ran the ball well, including a 40-yard TD run in a loss against Pembroke last week.


Le Roy (2-0) at Wellsville (1-1 )

7:30 p.m. Friday

Travis Fenstermaker to Mike Humphrey for a touchdown - Le Roy fans are getting used to hearing that  as the two started getting hot last postseason and have continued into this year, hooking up on three TD passes so far.

Fenstermaker is very possibly the best small-school quarterback in all of Section 5.

He has the ability to take over a game with his feet, but also throws a pretty ball. It would be hard to argue against him being the best player in Livingston Conferece Division II after the first two weeks.

The Oatkan Knights have also had superior running by Andrew Alexander and when he's not in the game, Tyrone Wyckoff has shown that his ability is just as good. He would be a great featured back on almost any Section 5 team.

Wellsville typically is one of the weaker teams in Livingston, but started off the season with a 32-7 win over Bolivar-Richburg in the opening week. Then they got destroyed by Cal-Mum.

But a 1-1 start for the squad is pretty good, so Le Roy will be careful not to make any early mistakes that could start the ball rolling towards an upset.


Waterloo (0-2) at Batavia (0-2)

7 p.m. Friday

It really sucks to have your heartbroken. I'm sure that many people reading this can sympathize with that.

The players on the Batavia football team had their hearts ripped out by Palmyra-Macedon last week worse than anybody could imagine.

Pal-Mac came back to score with seven seconds left in regulation before scoring and hitting the extra point in overtime. Then Batavia scored, and missed the extra point. It really doesn't get much harder to take than that.

But when you are 0-2 - with both games at home - there is no excuses, especially when 0-2 Waterloo comes to town.

If the Blue Devils lose Friday night, you can basically forget about making the sectional tournament. 

Coach Dan Geiger and his players are well aware of this, so expect a huge effort.

Rob Williams didn't touch the ball much in the opening week, but after switching his number from No. 1 to No. 30 last week, he blew up like not many players I've ever seen.

He had 17 rushes for 154 yards and four touchdowns, recovered two fumbles, had an interception and had a key stop on a two-point conversion.

It is an abomination that he didn't earn either Offensive or Defensive Player of the Week for Class B.

Anthony D'Aurizo has been one of those backs that you can rely on to just pound the ball up the gut and get the tough yards and when defenses focus on him too much, watch out for Williams.

Quarterback Joe Canzoneri did get banged up a bit last week, but should be back for this week and I wouldn't be shocked to see him put up some passes.

Waterloo has been nowhere near as competitive as Batavia, so if this game isn't a blowout, it is not good for the Blue Devils.

If it is a loss, it is catastrophic.


Pembroke (2-0) at Holley (0-2)

1:30 p.m., Saturday

The Dragons have plenty of star power.

That program typically has a lot of players that can get the job done on both sides of the ball, but I'd imagine David Kleckler, Andrew Wright, Mike Dibble and Ken Babcock are a lot of fun.

I actually hope to make it out to this game to see these guys play.

I'm going to make the very early prediction that Wright and Babcock will be the best 1-2 combination during the basketball season, and I'm saying that those two are also big member of the football squad.

Wright's numbers were beyond stupid-crazy last week.

Who the heck gains 185 yards and scores four touchdowns on just eight carries? Wright that's who. He did it in a 56-13 win over Alexander last week.

Babcock hasn't put up any huge numbers yet, but he will. He is fighting O-A's Noah Seward as the top tight end in the league and he plays in an offense that isn't afraid to throw the ball.

Holley didn't have a varsity football team last year and it's going to take some time.

But they put up a valiant effort against a fast Elba/Byron-Bergen squad last week and only lost 24-16.

I haven't seen the Hawks, but I hear they run a lot of single wing, so it will be a lot of fun to see what they do with it, especially against a team that can contend for the Class C title.

Guy Hills is the name, if you are looking for a star on Holley's roster.


Notre Dame (1-1) at Barker (1-1)

1:30 p.m. Saturday

Barker has the reputation of playing everybody tough. They beat Holley in Week 1, but got spanked by Oakfield-Alabama in Week 2.

They are hosting a Fighting Irish squad that is pumped up after beating Attica last week and will give a great effort.

But Notre Dame should be the easy favorite.

Coach Rick Mancuso has done a great job of mixing the pass and the run as Nick Bochicchio was the star in a Week 1 loss against Pembroke, connecting on 27-of-34 pass attempts, while allowing running back Mike Pratt to go off for 115 yards and three touchdowns last week.

You can't predict what to expect from this squad week-to-week on the offensive side of the ball.

Barker is making a lot of strides under coach Bill Bruning, but is fighting numbers like a lot of smaller schools are.

You can basically throw the Week 2 loss against O-A right in the garbage, but you will get a better idea of what potential this team has when you look at the 25-14 Week 1 win over Holley.

Greg Brown had a special performance, scoring twice and rushing for 136 yards. Big man Ray Paul is also a factor in every game.


September 17, 2008 - 1:14pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Daily News, business, agriculture, chamber of commerce.

Bed, Bath & Beyond opened for business Tuesday at the Towne Center off Veterans Memorial Drive in the town of Batavia, according to the Daily News. Target already opened in July and a Lowe's home improvement store is currently getting ready to "co-anchor" the shopping complex along with the large-scale retailer. Michael's Crafts expects to open Sunday, and Petco hopes to hold its grand opening on September 26. An AT&T store is likely to occupy another of the buildings on site. Roger Muehlig reports that the developer was hoping to get a restaurant to settle into one of the 8,500-square-foot buildings at the site, "but no occupant has been announced."

A couple of stories in today's paper were already posted to this site. News of Dave Wellenzohn's departure from the helm of Muckdogs management was featured on The Batavian yesterday afternoon. Sophie's Run: a run from Ontario, Canada to New York City by Nicole Chuchmach and her team of runners in an effort to raise awareness for colorectal cancer was featured on The Batavian Monday.

Genesee County's Chamber of Commerece is gearing up for the 19th annual Decision Makers Forum and Tour, which will be held at Batavia Downs Tuesday. Tom Rivers reports:

The Chamber each year uses the forum to focus on a topic critical to agriculture. The forum in recent years has explored renewable energy, groundwater and other environmental issues, new technologies on the farm, wind energy and immigration policies.

This Tuesday, the Chamber will discuss careers in agriculture.

Anyone can attend the forum but they must register. Call (585) 343-7440 ext.27 or send an e-mail to the Chamber to register.

We encourage you to pick up a copy of the Daily News at your local newsstand. Or, better yet, subscribe at BataviaNews.com.

September 17, 2008 - 11:55am
posted by Philip Anselmo in video, youtube, railroad.

Railfanning is alive and well here in Batavia. Railfanning, I've since found out, is the verb (to railfan) that goes with the noun (a railfan) that describes the phenomenon of inching up to a set of railroad tracks and holding still as the train bullets past. Railfanning.org has this to say about railfans:

Along the rails of America, stretch from one coast to another, you will see people standing beside the tracks enjoying the splendor of trains. Whether it is a freight train, a passenger train or an excursion train, little parallels the adrenaline rush caused by a train barreling past at 60 mph.

Turns out, there's an especially avid railfan from Cleveland who documents his outings. He's 14 years old and he calls himself: ConrailForever, and it looks like he was in Batavia this past month getting footage of his railfanning escapades. Here's one of the videos we picked up off YouTube this morning:

Any railfans out there in Batavia?

September 17, 2008 - 11:37am
posted by Tami Underhill in domestic violence, community education.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. 

As a social worker through the Genesee-Orleans-Wyoming Catholic Charities, I sit on the Orleans County Domestic Violence task force.  Our task force would like to educate the community about recent changes to the domestic violence law, including expanded options for access to orders of protection. 

Our next meeting is October 1st, in Albion and we are looking for a reporter from The Batavian to develop a story about the expanded access laws.  If anyone is interested, please contact me to discuss this further.  Thank you.

September 17, 2008 - 10:58am
posted by Mollie Radzinski in batavia.

I just thought I should give a big thanks to everyone who has supported my work with the Muckdogs this season! I'm glad to hear/see that so many of you appreciated the stories and blogs and my work in Batavia while there. I am quite jealous I didn't get to be there as we took the title! My parents were at the game and were giving me the play-by-play. They said it was amazing...wish I was there!

I first have to thank Howard and Philip for getting me involved with TheBatavian and letting me borrow the computer to do video while I was in Batavia...that will be great for my resume! Shirley, Dave, Travis, Casey, Naomi, Dan, Will, fellow interns, etc: I am honored to have been part of such a great team!  Big thanks, too, to all the fans I've met and got to know this season. It was so nice to meet all of you and chat at games!

I'm very busy here at Kent State already. For our student-run TV station, TV2, I assistant produce, anchor the news on Thursdays at 6:30 and take part in our sports show SportsCorner. I also produce a news package every week for the station/class. For our online news site I write a sports blog and I work for Kent State Athletic Communications, which includes working all the football, basketball, baseball games, etc (this will be my 3rd year working with Kent State baseball...obviously you know where my heart lies sports-wise :-) )...I think that's everything....most of my news stories will be posted on my youtube site (http://www.youtube.com/user/AFMissMollie) and all our newscasts, shows and blogs are at KentNewsNet.com...so check it out and keep in touch! I'd love to hear from you all! You can also e-mail me at [email protected].

Thanks again to everyone! I hope to hear from you soon!

September 17, 2008 - 10:36am
posted by Philip Anselmo in Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County will be recognizing its volunteers on October 7 at 5:30pm at the Kennedy Building on the county Fairgrounds. The event is open to the public.

Mike Borholder will receive the honor of "Friend of Extension" at this year's event.

The “Friend of Extension” award is an honor bestowed upon an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to aid in the success of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County. Mike has been a supporter of Extension for over 15 years and has always gone above and beyond to ensure the success of Extension’s Youth programs.

Other highlights of the evening include a tribute to Extension’s many dedicated volunteers, elections to fill positions on the board of directors, celebration and recognition of 4-H youth, and educational displays. Hors d’oeuvres and desserts will be available.

Call the Extension at (585) 343-3040 ext.101 to reserve your seat.

September 17, 2008 - 8:49am
posted by Philip Anselmo in finance, national news.

All things local may keep our blood pumping each morning as we scan the doppler for clouds over our heads, but the national scene never ceases to prod our ponderings as we chew the cud of the day. With that in mind, we thought to start the morning—along with our roundup of other local media leads—with a look at which stories are quickening the collective pulse of the nation.

Here's what we found inciting the editorial finger to wag this morning (feel free to talk amongst yourselves):

Bloomberg reports that "we the people" will back the loan to bail out yet another private Wall Street institution:

The U.S. government took control of American International Group Inc. in an $85 billion bailout to prevent the bankruptcy of the nation's biggest insurer and the worst financial collapse in history.

The Federal Reserve will provide a two-year loan, take 79.9 percent of the New York-based company's stock and replace its management because "a disorderly failure of AIG could add to already significant levels of financial market fragility," according to a statement by the central bank late yesterday.

This quote in the Bloomberg article is especially revealing:

"Nobody really knows what it would have meant if they would have been allowed to fail, but there was an enormous amount of systemic risk," said David Havens, a credit analyst at UBS AG in Stamford, Connecticut. "It's an enormous relief."

Nobody really knows. In an NPR account of the bailout broadcast this morning, commentators were heard to say that if AIG had been allowed to fail, the "already delicate" economy would have been hurt even further, "confidence in the economy" would have been weakened even more and it would become even more difficult for borrowers to get loans from banks. Even more, even further—there's a good reason they call these moves bailouts. The ship is sinking, folks. All hands off deck. Worst financial collapse in history, according to Bloomberg—and they're not the only one to say it.

What do you think? Does a government bailout help staunch the blood flow from an already profusely wounded economy? What does this matter to the everyday John and Jane down the block? I asked my six-year-old niece yesterday if she thought the economy was doomed or if we might get done with this backslide and start climbing back up soon, and she was doom and gloom all the way. She's a smart kid. Should we believe her?

Any financial gurus out there who can give us a better idea of what's going on and what to expect?

Here's some more coverage:

September 17, 2008 - 8:11am
posted by Philip Anselmo in wbta, police, sheriff, emergency.

Genesee County sheriff's deputies reported a two-car crash yesterday in Alexander that sent two women to the hospital. Eighteen-year-old Jonnie L. Ficarella, of Attica, swerved into oncoming traffic to avoid colliding with a stopped car waiting to turn in her own lane. She struck the vehicle of 24-year-old Tori M. Bentley, of Varysburg. WBTA's Dan Fischer reports that Ficarella was taken to United Memorial Medical Center for treatment. Bentley had suffered more serious injuries and had to be taken to Erie County Medical Center. We phoned both hospitals this morning to find the condition of the women, which was not available through WBTA. Bentley is listed in fair condition as of 8:00am. Ficarella had already been released.

September 16, 2008 - 7:33pm
posted by chris freeman in baseball, Batavia Muckdogs, sports, dwyer stadium.

Hi i am Chris Freeman.  For the last four months I worked for the Batavia Muckdogs as an intern.  I was actually the PA announcer.  Eventhough, I was not being paid, I had such an awesome time at dwyer stadium.  I learned things like selling tickets, power washing and learning how to effectively speak into a microphone.  I felt like i was part of the Muckdog family although i was just an intern.

I would like to thank Travis Sick, Casey Freeman and Shirley Figueroa for always putting up with my work habits.  I learned alot from those guys.  Thank you for that.  I would also like to thank Big Dave for encouraging me to be an entertainer.  I will always remember this experience every time I go past Dwyer Stadium.  I had an amazing time there.  I dont care if the fans will ever remember me for when i announced in the year 2008, while wayne was on radio.  I just want the fans to remember one thing and that is " Thats another Turnbull K".

September 16, 2008 - 4:33pm
posted by Mary Emminger in sports, question.

I cannot seem to find any info on any of the BHS girls soccer events.  I think this is a great idea but I am interested in all of the local sports.  Did I miss it or is there no coverage?  Thanks

September 16, 2008 - 1:00pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Daily News, agriculture.

Ag industry revenue in Genesee County and statewide surged, according to the Daily News. Tom Rivers reports that farms in the state brought in $4.45 billion in 2007 as compared with $3.49 billion in 2006. Genesee County alone climbed up 27 percent, from $140.2 million to $178.5 million.

Typically, the total agricultural receipts vary 1 or 2 percent each year, said Steve Ropel, director of the National Agricultural Statistics Service in New York.

"This is one of the sharpest increases I've ever seen," he said Monday by phone from Albany. He (has) worked 36 years studying farm statistics.

Increased demand for dairy (overseas) and corn (for ethanol) fueled the 28 percent increase for the state. That means you can thank the increase in the price for a gallon of milk and, in a way, the increase in the price of a gallon of gas—indirectly for encouraging the use of biofuels—for driving the surge in ag revenue.

See the article in the Daily News for the full details and figures, including a chart listing the comparable revenue between 2006 and 2007 for nine upstate counties.

Surplus school revenues for the 2007-08 school year mean a reduction in the district's tax levy of $45,000, and that means a decrease of $1.12 per $1,000 in assessed value for taxpayers.

A public hearing is scheduled for 7:00pm tonight at the Batavia Town Hall, 3833 W. Main Street Road, for anyone interested in learning more about the environmental impacts of the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park being planned for E. Main Street Road.

We encourage you to pick up a copy of the Daily News at your local newsstand. Or, better yet, subscribe at BataviaNews.com.

September 16, 2008 - 12:17pm
posted by Patrick D. Burk in School Taxes.

At last night's Board of Education meeting, my fellow Board of Education Members were met with three areas of great news.  The first being that our SPECIALIZED SUMMER PROGRAMS will increase graduation rates and students remaining in school instead of dropping out.  All points lead to an upswing as the critical services are provided for a large number of children at risk.  One excellent point that was made is that children who stay in school for the summer do indeed maintain more knowledge and continue to progress.  Also students were being identified earlier to insure proper intervention.  Since drop out rates are now divised through a "new and uninproved" formula...it is imperative that we focus on early intervention.

Our New High School Principle, Chris Daley, meets with 10 High Risk Students each and every week and so do our High School Counselors.  It has been proven that the individual attention given to a student that is not achieving can actually turn that student around 360 degrees and provide for continued confidence as they progress through High School.

That brings us to our second piece of Good News.  I have never been one to profess great relevance in Business First's Ratings of schools.  This was largely due to a veiled process and a cumbersome explanation form.  Things do change however, and now there is a greater explanation of how ratings are compiled and how schools end up with the compiled number that they do.  OUT OF 97 School Districts in Western New York Batavia City Schools Ranked 38th.  Now I realize that is not TOP 10, but it is our highest ranking ever in the ratings history and shows that we are going in the right direction.  It also proves that we are ONE OF THE TOP CITY SCHOOL DISTRICTS in NEW YORK STATE. 

Business First also produced six categories and benchmarks on how the list was created.  In TWO AREAS Batavia is in the TOP 10 out of 97.  We tied for 7th as one of Western New Yorks Over Achieving School Districts.  This means that in spite of poor socio-economic indicators and financial considerations, our students do extremely well.  In fact one of our students place in the TOP 25 or Western New York and another placed in the 25 Alternates list.  Economic indicators such as the free and reduced lunch percentage of students are used to determine this benchmark.

In the are of Student Access, we ranked SECOND out of all 97 Schools in Western New York.  This is exciting, because it once again shows that we are going in the right direction by making our teachers and professionals more apt to work with students on a one-to-one basis.  The ability to better serve our students while increasing overall success is the NUMBER ONE GOAL of the City of Batavia School District.

The THIRD PIECE OF GOOD NEWS is that YOUR SCHOOL TAX RATES are going DOWN.   There is approximately a 4.4% decrease in the tax rate or on average a $1.10 per thousand reduction.  As late as last night, another $47000 was found in excess and it was returned to the taxpayers to lower the current school tax rate.  This is indeed good news from the standpoint of trying to control the escalating tax issues that this area has and continues to face.  More work in this area has to be done but it is a start.

Comment me with any questions and I will try to answer them.  Also, I am always here to answer your concerns either via this blog or privately.



September 16, 2008 - 11:55am
posted by Brian Hillabush in Batavia Muckdogs, sports.

The rumor flying around Dwyer Stadium during the playoffs about Batavia Muckdogs General Manager Dave Wellenzohn not returning for next year is true.

The Rochester Red Wings Managment, LLC and Wellenzohn just released a joint press release confirming that he will not be back in 2009.

"In order for the Rochester Red Wings to proceed towards branding our product in Batavia better, Dave and Rochester Community Baseball both recognize that we should have somebody with more Red Wings' experience running day-to-day operations," said Red Wings Chairman of the Board Naomi Silver.

Silver thanked Wellenzohn for the work he did over the winter to keep the organization together while the the New York-Pennsylvania League, the Rochester Red Wings and the City of Batavia worked to keep the team in Batavia.

Having a very short promotional season, Wellenzohn still managed to sell outfield signs to local businesses, bring in a staff to work games and had some unique promotions to help sell season tickets.

Both parties are leaving on good terms, according to the press release.

"I feel the experience I've gained during my time in Batavia will only help me down the road and I look forward to my next opportunity in professional baseball. The 2008 season was a great year in Batavia, with winning the New York-Penn League Championship, and I'm glad I had a chance to be apart of it," Wellenzohn said. 

"I have nothing but high marks for Rochester Community Baseball and have every confidence that they'll do a great job in Batavia, just like they have in Rochester."

Wellenzohn has already been in contact with several organizations about possible job opportunities. 

The 2008 NY-P League champions expect to announce their new front office staff sometime in the early fall.

September 16, 2008 - 9:34am
posted by Philip Anselmo in politics, election, Rochester, Democrat & Chronicle, newspapers.

Letters to the editor have long been a means of expression for the average guy or gal who doesn't have have a bullhorn loud enough to get everybody's attention otherwise. Of course, much of that has changed owing to the ostensibly even playing field of Internet publishing. Still, though, many folks opt for the more conventional route of the op-ed page of their local rag, and aside from a few snips here and there, the letter writer's voice comes through relatively unscathed, literally for better or for worse.

Leave it to the political machines then to undermine the sanctity of even this bastion of individual expression by issuing cookie-cutter templates that authors are encouraged to pretty much just sign and send in to the newspaper as his or her own letter to the editor.

Leave it  to the political machines to squelch any vestige of individuality still left us, for we can't have too much of that running rampant in an election year. Folks may actually wake up to the reality that just about none of these candidates—whose own individuality has often been subsumed by the machine—really represent them and theirs.

Here's what I read in an editorial from the Democrat & Chronicle this morning:

Some candidates and their agents on the Web are urging their supporters to use their "guides" in writing letters to the editor. The guides are really form letters in another form. The practice is dishonest and unfair. The dishonesty is obvious — the "guided" letters in no way disclose that the content is largely the product of someone other than the writer. It's unfair, too, because legitimate letter writers who produce original material may lose their space on the page to a bogus submission.

As with so much else on the Web, common sense is the best guide. If an anti-John McCain or Barack Obama site tells you something is a "fact," confirm it with one or two other sources. Don't forward material to your buddy list without fact-checking. If you write anything on the Web, be sure the work is your own and that fact and opinion are clearly delineated.

The campaigns should put a stop to phony letters. But the best way to end this practice is for those asked to engage in these fake-outs to say no. Better Web practice begins with millions of daily users doing the right thing.

There are a few things at work here worth some conversation.

1. How does anonymously produced generic information effect the relativity of truth and individuality? Does it further obscurity or transparency?

2. What are we to make of the ever-broadening underhandedness of the political machines that seem to outpace at every turn any sense of what it means to do the right thing? (This would be the main question posed by the editorial.)

3. What has become of individual expression if the line between the individual and the machine has become so blurred that the former acts as no more than the ratifier of the latter's mass-produced misinformation?

Finally, what may be the most important question to ask here is: How do we navigate in such a sea of misinformation? The editorial suggests that the responsibility lies with each individual—make sure your own work is your own work. But isn't this getting ahead of ourselves when the real issue is that the individual has been so comprimised by such political tactics that he or she sometimes can't even be located?

September 16, 2008 - 8:41am
posted by Philip Anselmo in wbta, gas prices.

WBTA picked up the story this morning that's getting play across the state: Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has warned consumers to watch out for price gouging at the gas pumps in the wake of Hurricane Ike. Gas station owners cannot arbitrarily raise the price of gas as a result of a natural disaster. Folks who suspect price gouging are encouraged to call 1-800-771-7755.

This from the Niagara Gazette:

The average cost of a gallon of unleaded gas in the Buffalo Niagara market was $3.90 Monday — the highest in the state — according to the AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. The state average was $3.83 while the national average was a penny more.


“By the time Hurricane Ike made landfall Friday, retailers (in New York) were already experiencing significant hikes in the wholesale price of gasoline,” said Ralph Bombardiere, executive director of the New York State Association of Service Stations and Repair Shops.


The attorney general’s office took similar action against price gouging after Hurricane Katrina. More than a dozen gas stations across the state were fined more than $63,000 for price gouging then.

In other morning news... National Grid reports that all but about 50 residents of Genesee County got that power back on as of this morning. Most of those folks are in Pavilion. No word on WBTA when those homes will be back on the grid.


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