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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.

September 15, 2008 - 9:54pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in sports.

 While every program in high school sports must deal with graduation every year, it seems like the Byron-Bergen girls volleyball team gets hit extremely hard every year.

At first it was Alyssa D'Errico, who went on to play at Penn State, where she has won a Division I championship. D'Errico led B-B to three consecutive New York State Public High School Athletic Association titles.

Last year it was Alannah Heale and Stacey Hahn graduating and going on to play in college.

But again, girls step up and now the Bees are 6-0 after cruising past Aquinas 25-14, 25-19, 25-23.

"All 12 girls on the team have really stepped up this year," said coach Kristen Partridge. "We had some very good players graduate, but somebody had to step up."

The biggest star B-B has this year is senior outside hitter Mary Cocking, who is a three-time Genesee Region League all-star and was an obvious choice as a team leader.

She led the way Monday with nine kills, six digs and three aces.

"The girls look to her as the leader on the court," Partridge said. "When she's up, they are up. When she's at her best, they are at their best. She is very experienced and a definite team leader."

With libero Krysta Lougheed missing time early in the season with a knee injury, Ali Phillips has filled in well for her.

She was a key contributer as well as Sarah Hartman, who handed out 16 assists with four aces. Kayla Konieczny had 14 kills in the impressive victory over Aquinas (2-3).

"(Aquinas) is stronger than they have been in the past," Partridge said. "They posted a good challenge and the girls played a good, well-rounded game."

September 15, 2008 - 5:47pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in Batavia Muckdogs, sports.

After the Batavia Muckdogs won the New York-Pennsylvania League championship Sunday night with a victory over Jamestown at Dwyer Stadium, the players all charged to the mound to celebrate the victory.

But that will be the only celebration that the team will be doing until the start of next year.

In a telephone conversation Monday afternoon, Rochester Red Wings Chairman of the Board Naomi Silver said that there are no plans for any parade or party to celebrate the title at this time.

"We will probably do a parade when the season is about to start next year," Silver said. "All the player personnel left this morning. There really isn't much we can do at this point."

September 15, 2008 - 4:43pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Sophie's Run, cancer.

A trio of runners in periwinkle pullovers brightened up an otherwise drab afternoon in Batavia today. Nicole Chuchmach, Jill Harper and Natalie Atkinson gathered outside the RV run by their "support team" outside Wal-Mart today to get out the word about Sophie's Run.

Sophie's Run is meant to raise awareness of colorectal cancer, and to do that, the three ladies left their home of Milton, Ontario in Canada on September 1. They will run nearly 500 miles to New York City, where they should arrive on October 24, spreading the word about colorectal cancer all the way.

The runners have been through the heat and the cold, the wind and the rain. They did their best to prepare, but they couldn't predict every obstacle, such as, say, massive bulldogs chasing them down rural lanes.

"You train," said Jill Harper, "but you can't train the emotions."

Officially, the three ladies are in Caledonia, where they'll start tomorrow on the next leg of their run down through Avon and Lima to Canandaigua on their way to the finish line in New York City. For the past few days, they've been staying in Batavia at the Holiday Inn—whom they have nothing but profuse graitude for hosting them. They've even recruited a local gal to run the next 14 miles with them.

For more information on Sophie's Run, check out the Web site and keep up with the blogs.

September 15, 2008 - 3:54pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in town board.

Batavia's Town Board will meet Wednesday at 7:00pm at Town Hall, 3833 W. Main Street Road, preceded by a 6:00pm caucus during which board members will meet for an informal discussion of upcoming issues and resolutions. On the agenda is a vote to install a streetlight at the intersection of Clinton Street Road (Route 33) and Terry Hills Drive, plus some routine business. You can download the full agenda here: Town Board Agenda (Sept. 17).

UPDATE (Philip): Please note that "streetlight" does not mean traffic light in this post. It means, rather, street lamp. The town will not be voting to install a traffic light at an intersection with a dead end road with only six homes—as I must admit that I at first interpreted. They will be voting to install a means of illumination on what town Supervisor Greg Post told me was the only dark spot on Route 33 from Route 5 to the Batavia town line.

September 15, 2008 - 12:29pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Daily News, GO ART!.

An old brick building on Main Street will get a much needed facelift and interior restoration, according to the Daily News. Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council's Cultural Center in Batavia has long been in need of renovation, and now the group has all the funds they need to finish the project.

Dick and Kathy Seymour were honored at a dinner over the weekend as having made the donation that tipped the scales. The Cultural Center will be renamed in their honor, becoming Seymour Place once the work is finished.

The Cultural Center is undergoing exterior work right now.

The Daily News today includes coverage of the Muckdogs championship victory Sunday night and the wind storm that swept through the region in the early morning hours. Both stories were included on The Batavian this morning.

The Genesee ARC Friends & Family 5K will be relocated  to Elba this Saturday and again in 2009 due to the road construction along Wlanut Street in Batavia. Participants can check in at 8:30am Saturday and get ready to race at 10:00am.

From the article (no author listed):

This event raises money for disability services and helps fund the Genesee ARC Mary Anne Graney Memorial Scholarship. Graney was a dedicated parent, a long-time supporter of Genesee ARC, and a strong advocate for persons with developmental disabilities.

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

September 15, 2008 - 11:14am
posted by Philip Anselmo in politics, election, Chris Lee.

Three weeks ago, we sent out three questions to the candidates running for congress and state senate in our local districts (the 26th and 61st, respectively). Our questions were simple, straightforward, and we hoped they would be enough to paint a bit more of a detailed picture of the candidates striving to represent the people of Genesee County.

Those questions went out to every candidate running in the Democratic primaries for those races, plus the Republican candidates. We forgot to send them out to the Independents, but we rectified that this morning and sent the questions out to Michael Ranzenhofer, candidate for the 61st Senate District.

One problem. No one wrote back.

We didn't get a response from a single campaign, until this weekend. It came from Republican Chris Lee who is trying to win the seat for the 26th Congressional District.

He got us these answers:

What is your favorite thing to do in Genesee County?

Taking my son Johnathan to the Genesee Country Village & Museum.

When you meet a person who has never been to Western New York, what is the first thing you tell him or her about the region?

I normally brag about what a wonderful place Western New York is to raise a family and how friendly the people and our warm winters.

What is your favorite book about Western New York?

Window on Congress: A Congressional Biography of Barber Conable. Conable was a Republican Congressman from Western New York and President of the World Bank. This book illustrates how Conable was able to bring people together to accomplish some great things for Western New York. The book served as an insight on how to be a leader in Congress who constituents trust and admire.

September 15, 2008 - 9:49am
posted by Philip Anselmo in crime, police, sheriff.

William P. Viscionte, 47, of Rochester, and John C. Gould, 42, of Mt. Morris, were charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property Friday, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. The two men were apprehended following reports that they had stolen merchandise from Target in Batavia. They were stopped on the Thruway just west of Batavia. Deputies allegedly found "numerous other pieces of stolen merchandise" in the vehicle. Investigation continues. Both men were sent to Genesee County Jail with no bail.

Tanya M. Wicker, 32, of Hemlock, was charged with possession of untaxed cigarettes and attempt to evade tobacco tax Friday, sheriff's deputies said. Wicker was allegedly in possession of 10 cartons of cigarettes purchased at the Tonawanda Indian Reservation.

David M. Ross, 39, of 17 Highland Ave. (Apt: Lower), Batavia, was charged with unnecessary noise, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest Saturday evening at his home, city police said. Police had responded to a noise complaint. When Ross was issued an appearance ticket he allegedly threatened the officers.

Robert E. King, 49, of Geneseo, was charged with theft of services and third-degree unauthorized use of a vehicle over the weekend, sheriff's deputies said. King is accused of using Batavia BOCES vehicles, equipment and personnel to transport scrap from the campus to be returned for cash on several incidents from May through August of this year. He allegedly kept that money for himself.

All of the above reports were issued in published releases by the respective departments.

September 15, 2008 - 9:07am
posted by Philip Anselmo in wbta, weather.

WBTA's Dan Fischer reports that remnants of what was once Hurricane Ike lashed out winds of up to 60 miles per hour that cut through the area, knocking down trees and electrical lines and leaving nearly 600 people in Genesee County without power this morning. Elba Central School has closed this morning as a result of the storm. Most folks were expected to be back on the grid by 8:30am.

Another 1,800 folks were without power in Orleans County, plus another 500 in Wyoming County.

Most of the debris was cleared off the streets early this morning in Batavia.

Rochester's Democrat & Chronicle reports power outages for more than 45,000 people in and around the city, and many traffic lights were still out during the morning commute.

Heading west, the Buffalo News tallied 14,000 folks who were still in the dark in the region as of 8:30am. That wasn't even the "bad news."

The bad news, for those still without power this morning, was that National Grid, on its Web site, cautioned that full power might not be restored until late Tuesday night.

September 14, 2008 - 9:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Muckdogs, sports.

In front of nearly 1,400 screaming fans, Adam Reifer struck out Justin Bass to secure the Batavia Muckdog's first league title since 1963 with a 9-3 victory over the Jamestown Jammers.

With the third strike of the third out in the top of the ninth, fans and players alike went wild as young men in red jerseys swarmed the field and piled on top of each other in front of home plate.  In the stands, fans screamed, hugged and high-fived.

Within minutes, league president Ben Hayes presented the championship trophy to manager Mark DeJohn.

The Muckdogs won game one of the three-game series in Jamestown on Friday night. Saturday's game was rained out.

The game was close up until the bottom of the eighth inning when the Muckdogs blew the game open by scoring five runs.

Jamestown had scored two runs in the top of the inning to make it 4-3.

Frederick Parejo went 4-4 and Shane Peterson picked up three hits.

The starter and winner was Hector Cardenas who went six innings and gave up only 1 run.

If it all turned out, we'll post some video from tonight later.

UPDATE:  I shot video with two cameras.  One was a little Flip so I could post something quickly.  That hasn't quite worked out. For some reason, YouTube keeps throwing an error when I try to upload it.  Google Video took it just fine, and you can view it here.  We'll see how it goes with the other video, which includes some interviews.

UPDATE II: Still having trouble with getting a video to upload to YouTube.  The quality of this on Google just isn't very good, but here's the longer video with interviews and such.

UPDATE III: Wow, I kept getting these upload errors, but all this time -- the first video did upload and process just fine.  Here's video #1 -- shot with the Flip just to get a quick video of the final out.  The second video finally did upload and is processing now.  I'll embed either when it's ready or later in the morning (late tonight now, so I might sleep in a bit).

UPDATE IV:  Ok, here it is ... the longer video with interviews (Ben Hayes, Dan Mason, Brian Paris and Bill Kauffman):

UPADATE V: Nice summary of the Muckdog's post season on Scout.com. Also, long story on MLB.com, with some nice quotes from Shane Peterson.

September 13, 2008 - 9:20pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in sports.

 With Andrew Wright and Mike Dibble in the backfield, the Pembroke football team will keep defenders on their toes all season long.

Alexander had no answer for the two runners as the Dragons picked up an easy 56-13 win.

"We were fortunate to have Dibble and (Joe) Striegel last year," Pembroke coach Chip Foster said. "Now we add Andrew to the mix this year and we are liking that 1-2 punch. We will move Andrew around a little bit, but when you put them two in the backfield together, other teams don't really know what to do."

Wright's numbers were insane.

He only ran the ball eight times, but scored four touchdowns and finished with a whopping 165 yards.

Dibble had 10 touches, gaining 90 yards while getting in the end zone twice.

J.P. Phillips had 26 yards and a TD and David Kleckler went 2-of-3 passing for 110 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

The game was a rout early as Josh Hanel had an interception and returned it 42 yards to the Alexander 5-yard line to start the game. Wright had the touchdown run.

Ben Marion, Matt Phelps and Sam Martino also had interceptions and Pembroke led 56-0 at the half.

Ryan Piechocki had a 37-yard touchdown run for the Trojans, who fall to 0-2.

Pembroke is now 2-0 and rolling.

"After the kids work in the preseason and play two games, it is great to be 2-0," Foster said. "Everybody wants to be back in the playoffs and Class C is so competitive that we want to have a home game. That is the kid's goal and they are working hard towards it."

September 13, 2008 - 7:30pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in Batavia Muckdogs, sports.

Tonight's New York-Pennsylvania League championship series game is rained out and will be made up at 6:05 p.m. Sunday at Dwyer Stadium.

The Muckdogs lead the series 1-0 and if a third game is necessary, it will be played on Monday at 7:05 p.m.

September 13, 2008 - 5:38pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in sports, Notre Dame.

With the rain coming down in buckets Saturday afternoon, it was difficult for either the Notre Dame or Attica football teams to hold onto the football.

But on one key occasion, the Fighting Irish won the game because of the job of the long snapper, holder and kicker.

Matt Thompson's extra point in the final minutes wound up being the play of the game as Notre Dame edged visiting Attica 27-26.

Holder Kevin Francis had issues holding the placement on Thompson's two previous kicks - a shanked 42-yard field goal attempt and an extra point attempt which turned into a botched play.

But after Francis scored a game-tying touchdown with 2 1/2 minutes left, Rick Lair had a perfect snap to Francis, who placed the ball for Thompson, who cashed the game winning kick.

"I just knew I had to dry my hands, relax and get it down so Thompson could kick it," Francis said. 

Thompson has hit plenty of big kicks for Notre Dame in his high school career, but this ranks at or near the top for the junior.

"I had faith in Rick Lair and Kevin Francis," Thompson said. "I just went through my routine, followed through and made it. It was any other PAT. I knew what I was doing."

The kick was the biggest play, but there were several in the comeback effort by ND, one that could have possibly escalated the Fighting Irish into league title contenders. 

"In this league, any win is coveted," ND coach Rick Mancuso said. "The competition is very steep. We are very fortunte to have come out in the second half and put forth the effort we needed to do for the win. I'm very proud of these guys."

The larger Attica squad got a 12-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Rollings to Brock Minnick early in the first quarter. After the extra point attempt was missed, Notre Dame answered back with a Mike Pratt 1-yard TD run.

Thompson added the extra point for the 7-6 lead.

Attica then started taking control of the contest.

Shawn Dupuis returned a punt 65 yards for a score, Luke Pariso intercepted a pass and Dave Jennings scored to give the Blue Devils a 20-7 halftime lead.

Pratt - who finished with 115 yards and three TDs on 22 carries - dove in from a yard out to start the second half after Francis returned the opening kickoff 60 yards.

Notre Dame got an intereception by Greg Barr and was off and running again. After Pratt ripped off a 31-yarder, Kevin Schildwaster dove in the end zone after finishing off an 11-yard scamper.


The rain had turned from a slight drizzle into a full-out downpour at this point.

This was when the extra point snap was bobbled and Thompson had to throw the ball way before the old "linebacker kills kicker" thing happened.

Attica and Notre Dame had some struggles until the rain started slowing down a little bit early in the fourth quarter.

Rollings had a 70-yard run on a quarterback keeper for Attica. Notre Dame was penalized half the distance to the goal line because of a facemask call.

On a first-and-goal at the 5, Andy Ruddock eased his way into the end zone. The conversion run failed and Attica led 26-20 with about 10 minutes left.

The two squads exchanged punts and the Fighting Irish started a drive with just over six minutes left on the clock at their own 42, knowing it was now or never.

Without a touchdown, they were going to fall to 0-2 and basically be eliminated from contention in the race for the Genesee Region League title.

There weren't any big yardage plays, but there were two big penalty plays on the drive.

Attica was called for pass interference after an incomplete pass on a fourth-and-3, then jumped offsides on the next play.

Junior quarterback Nick Bochicchio couldn't get a grip on the ball on a first-and-goal from the 9, but shoveled it to Francis, who took scored a touchdown that tied the game at 26 with 2 1/2 minutes left.

"It was raining the entire second half and we weren't throwing," said Francis, who caught six passes for 32 yards. "We tried to catch them off their feet. Bo didn't really throw it, it was like a baseball toss. I saw an opening and got in."

Thompson, who is a true kicker and attended several camps over the offseason, then drained the kick.

Attica did have a chance as Rollings tossed a 32-yard pass to Dupuis and then had a 10-yard run.

But an offensive interference call set up a fourth-and-very long, which was incomplete ending the game.

Bochicchio followed up his 27-of-34 for 182 yards performance in a loss to Pembroke with an 8-of-11, 66-yard day against Attica (1-1).

The Fighting Irish are now 1-1.

September 13, 2008 - 1:10am

After Alice Kryzan's primary victory on Tuesday, I went over to see what Mike Wrona had to say. After all, Wrona is a vocal Kryzan supporter and has criticized me for my support of Jon Powers in the past. What I discovered is that, even with his candidate winning, Mike Wrona still wants to divide us instead of unite us.

Wrona wrote a post that called Kryzan a "big winner" on Tuesday. He also decided to take jabs at myself and my friend Alan Bedenko, a fellow blogger and Jon Powers supporter. He also seemed to question whether or not we are progressive. I don't know how that does anyone any favors in this situation, but it's not exactly what you should be doing after your candidate wins a primary. Wrona also said that we fell for the "Iraq War veteran label." There is no "label" when you are a veteran. If you are a veteran, you ARE a veteran. It's not a label. It's an honor. Wrona also asserted in that post that the local party leadership in all seven counties picked Powers because of money and "form over substance." Actually, Wrona is wrong. The four rural counties backed Powers first and it was because he is genuine, listens to voters, is very approachable and personable and wanted to go to Washington to be our representative. He traveled every corner of this district early on and that didn't change throughout this campaign. So Wrona clearly does not understand why the party leadership backed Powers.

Wrona wrote another post about Kryzan getting the DCCC's backing. He started off the post by saying "better late than never." Better late than never? Why would the DCCC back a candidate who showed virtually no fundraising ability after being in the race since September 2007 (technically) and a candidate that was very quiet in this race until about a few weeks before the primary? I remember seeing Kryzan at an event in June. It was the Wyoming County Flag Day Party. I guess she had a few supporters there and that's where she stayed. I never saw her walk around the room to introduce herself. Whether it was a pro-Powers crowd or not, people still would have greeted her and treated her with respect.

In that same post, Wrona makes a blatantly false claim. He claims that Charlie Mallow, the current chair of the Genesee County Democrats, said he would be supporting Chris Lee in November. This is not true. What Charlie said is in this post on The Batavian. If you notice, there is an update in that post which reads, "Some will seek other options but, the vast majority will sooner or later support her before Election Day. We are Democrats; we have an ideology that puts us more in line with Kryzan than Lee."

September 12, 2008 - 11:09pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in sports.

The Batavia football team played like a team that should have won the game, but left the VanDetta Stadium field Friday night waterlogged with a heartbreaking 1-point loss.

Visiting Palmyra-Macedon scored and converted an extra point in overtime and the Blue Devils also scored, but a fumbled placement of the ball on the extra point wound up costing them the game.

For a program that is trying to turn the corner and start winning games, Friday night has to be one of those losses that the players put out of their minds. That's the best thing you can do after a loss this difficult to take.

"I don't know what other teams do, but we'll get back out on the field at 9 a.m. (Saturday) and get back to work, get ready for Waterloo (next week)," Batavia coach Dan Geiger said.

"I will tell (my teammates) to keep their heads up," Williams said. "Geneva went 0-2 last year and wound up being state semifinals. We have to keep our heads up and be ready for Waterloo."

Williams had just seven carries in the opening week loss to Le Roy, but was easily the best player on the field for both squads Friday night.

The senior had 17 rushes for 154 yards and four touchdowns, while intercepting a pass, stopping Pal-Mac on a key two-point conversion and recovering two fumbles.

It would be shocking if this game did not earn Williams Offensive or Defensive Player of the Week for Class B.

"This is definitely the best game I've played," Williams said. "I had a game last year where I came back from an ankle injury and scored three touchdowns. It wasn't just me tonight. D'Aurizio did his part in driving up the field. Coach told me to just use my speed and get to the outside."

Pal-Mac scored right away as Dave VanLaeken ran one in from five yards out.

Williams made his first significant mark on the game just one minute later when he ripped off a 62-yard touchdown run, bouncing to the outside and blowing past every defender.

"Coach told me to do what made me special and use my speed," Williams said. 

VanLaeken helped his squad take a 14-7 lead with a 9-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter.

The Blue Devils pounded out a 77-yard drive on their next possession as Geiger mixed the carries up with Williams and D'Aurizio each making big runs.

D'Aurizo finished with 17 carries for 94 yards.

Williams scored on a 5-yard scamper, with D'Aurzio punching in the two point conversion just before the half, making the score 15-14.

The score remained the same after the third quarter because Batavia stopped a big drive by Pal-Mac by causing a fumble.

But after penalties pushed the Blue Devils into a third-and-25 situation, Pal-Mac quickly scored when VanLaeken dove in from a yard out.

With the score being 20-15, P-M went for two.

Quarterback Pete Valade found Ben Zink with a pass at the 1-yard line and Williams made a two point saving tackle at the goal line.

It felt as if a Batavia victory was meant to be as Williams returned the following kickoff 78 yards for a score. The Blue Devils were stopped inches short on the two point conversion attempt and had a 21-20 lead.

D'Aurizio caused a fumble on Pal-Mac's next drive and Williams scooped it up and ran 36 yards, setting up a Joe Canzoneri 1-yard quarterback keeper for a TD. The extra point attempt was wide right and Batavia had a seven point lead.

Pal-Mac answered back with just seconds left on the clock.

It took less than three minutes to march down the field and VanLaeken scored again, this time from three yards out and just seven seconds left on the clock.

A too many men on the field penalty pushed the extra point attempt back five yards, but Nick Bauer hit the kick to tie the score at 27.

Batavia had one play to try and score but after Williams nearly broke away, he was stopped for a 20 yard run.

Keegan Kinslow had a 6-yard TD run in the opening possession of overtime, with Mauer hitting the kick to give Pal-Mac a 34-27 lead.

Williams then had a 17-yard scoring jaunt for Batavia in its possession, but with the rains getting heavy, the placement was fumbled and a pass attempt fell to the ground incomplete.

D'Aurizio led the defense with 12 tackles and Troy Ireland added 10. Joe Stachowski had six tackles.


(Note: no photos from the game because my camera got drenched and I lost everything)


September 12, 2008 - 10:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Muckdogs, sports.

Jermaine Curtis homered in the ninth inning Friday night to give the Batavai Muckdogs a 4-3 victory of the Jamestown Jammers in Jamestown.

The come-from-behind victor gives the 'Dogs a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three New York-Penn League championship series.

Trailing 3-2 entering the ninth inning. the Muckdogs got to Jammers closer Jared Yecker (nine saves during the regular season) for three hits and two earned runs, including Curtis' blast.

Start Scott Gorgen twirled six spectacular innings of shutout ball and left the game with the lead, but relief pitcher Ramon Delgado surrendered all three of the Jammers runs.  Because Delgado was still on the mound to open the bottom of the ninth, he gets credit for the win tonight.

Poetry reading pitcher Jason Buursma picked up his second post season save by retiring the final Jamestown hitter.

The long-time Western New York rivals meet again Saturday night at Dwyer Stadium for game two of the series.  Game time is 7:05 p.m.


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