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September 4, 2008 - 8:46am
posted by Philip Anselmo in Republican, national news, New York Times.

There's little in the way of Batavia news bleeping on my radar this morning—except for reports on the Muckdogs title hopes, already covered by Howard and Mollie this morning. My lack of news to report could be because I was stuck home for a little longer today owing to an overturned tractor-trailer that spilled crushed cars all over I-490 smack in the middle of my commute—anyone else feel that pain this morning.

So I thought we could try another exercise in national news comparisons. Last night was big for the Republican party. John McCain's choice for vice-president, Sarah Palin, took up the microphone and fired up the party—while riot police fired up the tear gas guns outside.

Below are four excerpts from four different op-ed columnists for the New York Times, each one writing about Sarah Palin. Do you think these columnists make good points? Bad points? No points? What are your thoughts on Palin? Does she represent a tough-nosed America that you know well or not at all?

Thomas Friedman:

With his choice of Sarah Palin — the Alaska governor who has advocated drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and does not believe mankind is playing any role in climate change — for vice president, John McCain has completed his makeover from the greenest Republican to run for president to just another representative of big oil.

Gail Collins:

Sarah Palin came out of hiding Wednesday night, and boy, she seemed ticked off.

“Here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to win their good opinion,” said the moose-gutting, polar bear-trashing, aerobics-class-networking vice presidential nominee.

The speech was very well done. The Palin family — who we’re supposed to ignore, but they did sort of seem to be pretty much front and center — were adorable. And she was way more effective than the keynote speaker, Rudy Giuliani, at the red-meat-tossing detail. If you’re going to be really mean for an extended period of time, it’s better if you don’t look as if you want to lunge for the throat of the cameramen.

Maureen Dowd (from Tuesday):

Unable to stop the onslaught of wild soap opera storylines erupting from the Palin family and the Alaska wilderness, McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt offered caterwauling reporters a new mantra: “Life happens.”

Indeed, it does. Only four days into her reign as John McCain’s “soul mate,” or “Trophy Vice,” as some bloggers are calling her, on the ticket known as “Maverick Squared,” Palin, the governor of Alaska, has already accrued two gates (Troopergate and Broken-watergate), a lawyer (for Troopergate), a future son-in-law named Levi (a high school ice hockey player, described by New York magazine as “sex on skates”), and a National Enquirer headline about the “Teen Prego Crisis” with 17-year-old daughter Bristol.

Timothy Egan:

As she showed Wednesday night with her acceptance speech, Governor Sarah Palin fits the mold of a certain kind of Alaskan – “take it from a gal who knows,” as she said. The state has a unique political ecosystem, as quirky, odd and compelling as the big land itself.


But Palin’s style may not play outside of Alaska.

The governor isn’t so much a tough-minded reformer — see her sidling up to indicted Senator Ted Stevens, the earmarks directed to her hometown or the pressure from her governor’s office against a bad-boy former brother-in-law and trooper — nor is she some Annie Oakley throwback.

She is, though, a very recognizable Alaskan.


September 4, 2008 - 8:27am

Sleds of Stafford Snowmobile Club

2nd Annual Vintage Snowmobile and Snow Show
Sunday September 14th, 2008

BW’s Restaurant
11070 Perry Road (in Pavilion)
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Rain or Shine

·    New Snowmobiles, ATVs, Helmets, Trailers, Accessories, Gear and Much More!!
·    Sleds of Stafford Membership Drive
·    Used snowmobile & snowmobile equipment corral ($5 per sled or table. Larger quantity of items subject to more )
·    50/50 drawing, Blow up Sled and other raffles and door prizes

Proceeds to help benefit Mercy Flight. $2 Adult admission, kids 12 and under free
Set up and pre-registration for vintage sleds:  8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Judging:  11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (ballots in by 1:30 p.m.)
$5.00 per sled - $15.00 total for 3 sleds or more

Classes: Antique 1967 & Older (Original & Restored), Race 1973 – 1985, Classic 1968 – 1973 (Original & Restored), Mini (Original & Restored), Classic 1974 – 1985 (Original & Restored), Cutter Combo, Trail Muscle Pre 1973 (Original & Restored), Best of Show, Trail Muscle 1974 & Up (Original & Restored, and President’s Choice

For More Info Contact: Dave 585-734-3361 or email [email protected]
Or visit our website at:  www.sledsofstafford.com/show

September 4, 2008 - 7:52am
posted by Mollie Radzinski in baseball, muckdogs.

In the 7-2 loss last night, the Muckdogs (44-27) now sit just a game and a half above the Jammers (43-29) in first place in the Pinckney Division.  Errors proved costly for Batavia in the contest, as they had five, and the pitching staff was less sharp than they have been of late.

Josh Hester (2-2) picked up the loss in his start.  He threw two and a third innings with nine hits, seven runs (four earned) and three strikeouts.  Jammer Elih Villanueva (2-1)got the win as he pitched the first six innings with six hits, one run, one walk and four strikeouts.

Jamestown wasted no time jumping to an early lead as they scored five runs in the 1st inning.  Two singles followed by a three-run homerun off the bat of Miguel Fermin started the assault.  Two RBI singles later in the inning made it a 5-0 game.

The Muckdogs first got on the board in the 3rd.  They scored one run when Edwin Gomez doubled and came home when Shane Peterson singled.  The Jammers answered right back with two more runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.  Ernie Banks reached on a fielding error before Joel Staples singled and Brandon Turner followed with a double.

Batavia tried to rally in the 8th, scoring once more on singles by Peterson and Frederick Parejo.  Parejo went 3-for-4 in the game with a RBI.  Jermaine Curtis went 2-for-5 with a double.  Peterson also was 2-for-5, with a RBI and a run scored.

The Muckdogs come HOME to Dwyer Stadium tonight at 7:05 to take on Jamestown again; a win can clinch a first place finish.

September 4, 2008 - 7:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Muckdogs.

The Muckdogs dropped a crucial Pinckney Division game Wednesday night in Jamestown, as the second-place Jammers closed within a game of division-leading Batavia.

After the 7-2 lose, the Muckdogs (44-27) have a chance to claim the division title at home tonight against Jamestown (43-29).  The two teams square off at 7:05 p.m. at Dwyer Stadium.

A game and a half separate the Western New York rivals.

A lot is on the line for both teams as Brooklyn (44-29) gained a half-game lead in the wild card race. The red hot Cyclones are 9-1 over their last nine games, and beat Hudson Valley last night 9-6.

The Jamestown newspaper reports this morning that because of rain outs that won't be made up, Batavia has a slight mathematical advantage in the division race.

It was a must win for the Jammers, but still might be too little too late. With the victory, Jamestown now trails Batavia by 1 games in the Pinckney Division. The teams play tonight in Batavia and if the Muckdogs win, they claim the title.

If Jamestown wins, it is still alive, but Batavia has a big edge. The Muckdogs had a game each with Mahoning Valley and Oneonta rained out and the NY-P League has announced that those games will not be made up. The Muckdogs have three games left while the Jammers have four, so if the teams end up tied, the Muckdogs would still win the title on percentage points.

In last night's game, Frederick Parejo had three hits, while Jermaine Curtis and Shane Peterson each collected two.

The Muckdogs made five errors and turned two double plays.

Josh Hester (2-2) took the loss, going 2 1/3 innings and giving up four earned runs on nine hits.

The Jammers struck early, as the first four batter reached base, including a three-run homer from catcher Miguel Fermin

It should go without saying, but you need to be at the game tonight.

September 3, 2008 - 4:46pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in video, Le Roy, local, hobby horse, genesees treasures.

We've had a few conversations recently about shopping locally, eating locally... living life in the microcosms of city, village, neighborhood, town, and rather than buying your corn at Tops, say, picking up some ears from a roadside veggie stand or hitting up the farmer's market. For more on that, check out Howard's post about the locavore.

That being said, I would like to introduce folks to the first in a new video series here at The Batavian. We're calling it: Genesee's Treasures. Unless you have a better name for it, and if you do, please send it along. Every couple of weeks or so, we will travel to some spot in Genesee County—be it a farm, a shop, a studio, a park—that we feel is a real treasure in Genesee County. In fact, I've already done a couple of these, only I just now thought of the title and dubbed it a series: check out our video on Enchanted Forest Alpacas, for example.

This, our first official episode of Genesee's Treasures, highlights the philosophy of live local, love local, buy local. It's about the Hobby Horse, a fun everything kind of store on Main Street in Le Roy. The Hobby Horse sells antiques, model rocket kits, handmade pot holders, greeting cards, candy sticks, alpaca wool socks, emu eggs, locally-made mustard... like I said: everything. It's a great place in a great village. Here's a little more for you:

Next episode: Herbly Wonderful.

September 3, 2008 - 2:33pm
posted by Patrick D. Burk in Democrats, Elections, Michele Iannello, Senate District.

You know sometimes first impressions are right.  Often that is not the case with politicians.  In an effort to ingratiate large numbers of party members to thier campaign they often are nice to all and go out of thier way to show interest in you and your ideas.  Basically, you get a bunch of smiling candidates that nod thier heads to comments you make and inflect that they are caring.  I have seen a ton of that this year with our Senate and Congressional Races.

In the 61st Senate Race, I did see someone different.  I also did a ton of homework to insure that if I supported this person,  I would not be disappointed in the outcome.  I am very careful whom I endorse for political office because I want to be sure that those I tell others to vote for really are deserving.  I also weigh heavy the service that they will support and provide for our children.  The City of Batavia residents and our Youth Bureau fought hard for our kids last year in maintaining our Youth Bureau standards.  One of the reasons, was that there was constant support from our current State Senator, Mary Lou Rath.  I liked Mary Lou.  She is a classy lady that liked her constituents and it showed.  She was a helper, she listened and she reacted.  She served us well.

This Primary Season, we have three candidates in the Democrat Party asking for our support to be placed on the ballot in November.  The object is to pick the one that will serve the Senate District the best as well as be a listener, a problem solver and a helper.  In listening and talking and reading, I have realized which one of the three would be the best for us and the youth of our 61st Senate District.  I care about the young people in Batavia and Genesee County.   I want to see who will stand with them and deliver education, services and opportunities.  I want to maintain the high level of service we have enjoyed with Mary Lou Rath.

Michele Iannello is that person.  She has the experience, the will and the grit to make our district important in Albany.  I also think she will represent our children and fight for our Western New York area.  She has sound ideas about limiting the rural tax burden and knows that most of what local governments have to deal with are mandates from the state.  She rightly realizes that the change we need for economic stimulus upstate really needs to come from Albany.  Time after time, she tells it like it is without the sugar-coating or nodding head.  Michele Iannello has proven that she will represent all of us, including the Batavia and Genesee County area.  We will be an intrical part of her constiuency. 

Needless to say, my first impression was right.  I know Michele Iannello will talk, listen and support all of us, but first Democrats need to support her.   Please vote in next Tuesday's Democratic Primary and for the sake of our young people and our future.  Please pull the lever for Michele Iannello.   


September 3, 2008 - 1:33pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in congress, Democrats.

Democratic congressional contenders Jon Powers and Alice Kryzan faced off in a debate yesterday, and Mark Gillespie put together a fine, if lengthy, article on the showdown for the Daily News. Powers and Kryzan met in Geneseo to present their platforms. Fellow Democrat Jack Davis, Republican Chris Lee and Independent Anthony Fumerelle, all of whom were invited to attend, skipped out on the debate. All five candidates are vying for the soon-to-be open seat to represent the 26th Congressional District.

Davis announced last week that he would not join any debates with candidates who did not pledge to turn down special interest money and a five-point pledge to preserve Social Security—a decision roundly criticized in the media from Niagara Falls to Rochester.

Kryzan, "a retired environmental lawyer," took the opportunity to go on the offensive. She criticized Powers for accepting special interest money, claiming that she was the only Democratic candidate that had not taken any money from special interest groups. (It seems each candidate is making the claim not to be taking special interest money while accusing the other two of doing just that.)

Powers countered that the groups that have been supporting him are unions that have members in this district.

Kryzan repeated her charges, including an accusation that Powers has accepted money from a defense contractor—at which point an audience member shouted "Lay off it, already!"

(I wonder if that was our very own Russ Stresing.)

Powers did not shy from getting in a jab at the absent Davis—who refused to shake hands with Powers at a parade in Clarence Monday. "He isn't here tonight to address the challenges facing America's middle class workers," he said of Davis in his closing remarks.

Both candidates repeatedly cited their strengths—Powers as a former army captain, Kryzan's experience in law—but when it came down to the questions, they gave most of the same answers. Both support incentives for small businesses to help them better compete with national retail firms—who would say no to that. Both support renewable energy. Both vow to bring the federal funds home. Both oppose a constitutional ban on gay marriage and drilling for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.

Where they differed most is in the relationship of a U.S. representative to his or her constituents.

Powers spoke of fostering national service programs such as Americorps, the Peace Corps, and similar programs for teachers and nurses to service inner city and poor rural areas. He specifically cited a nursing shortage in Dansville.

Kryzan said she would focus more on developing projects that would more directly benefit the 26th District.

All in all, fine coverage from Gillespie.

September 3, 2008 - 12:37pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Daily News.

Batavia's new fire chief, Thomas Dillon, will come to the department with 29 years of experience with the city of Rochester department, according to the Daily News. That's about all the new information on the chief that we did not pick up already this morning from the story that ran on WBTA yesterday. With Dillon's appointment, the city is down to only one full-time vacancy, according to city officials, and that's the code enforcement officer, though interviews are already being conducted by City Manager Jason Molino.

Not much else to mention today. Albion got a new fire truck—a sleek-looking red and black pumper. A Warsaw restaurant got a makeover—stop by Laurie's and check out the wainscoting. And the Le Roy Nursery School set an open house—it's at 7:00pm Thursday at First Presbyterian Church.

Check out our separate post on Mark Gillespie's piece on the Democratic debate in Geneseo.

We ecnourage you to pick up a copy of the Daily News. Or subscribe at BataviaNews.com.

September 3, 2008 - 11:18am
posted by Philip Anselmo in Richmond Memorial Library.

News from the Richmond Memorial Library:

Summer is officially over but that doesn't mean the fun has to end. 
There are lots of activities at the Richmond Memorial Library that you 
will want to investigate. Looking ahead, Anne of Green Gables is 100 
years old and the library will be celebrating this monumental event on 
October 1st. This intergenerational program will include a spelling 
bee, a baking contest, and a book discussion. Watch for updates on our 
webpage and prepare by sharing this timeless classic with your children 
or grandchildren.

What's coming up?

Registration began yesterday for the fall series of children's story times sessions. They start the week of September 16. Registration is required. Call (585) 343-9550 ext. 4 or stop by the Children's Room to register or find out more.

  • Baby Bounce (Prewalkers) Tuesdays at 9:30am
Toddler Time (Walkers to age 3 years) Tuesdays at 10:30am 

  • Moms and Moppets (Active toddlers) Wednesdays at 10am 

  • Preschool Party (ages 3-5 years) Thursdays at 10 am 

  • Pajama Primetime (family fun for all ages) Thursdays at 6:30pm

Teen time after school is open in the Gallery Room for grades 6-8.

Adults, too, have plenty to look forward to this fall at the library.

Books Sandwiched In Sept. 24 at 12:10pm reviewer Bill Kauffman for his book 
Forgotten Founder, Drunken Profit
  • The Muses Sept. 24 at 7pm -
  • Celtic Music 
Reel Discussions Sept. 25 at 6:30pm 

  • Genealogy Online Sept. 30 at 6pm - please register
Friends of the Library Used Book Sale Sept. 4 from 9am -7pm 

  • Knit One, Read Too  - Sept. 8, 15 and 29 from 6:30pm - 8:30pm.

Thanks to Children's Librarian Sandra Gillard for sending along the newsletter.

September 3, 2008 - 8:20am
posted by Philip Anselmo in crime, police, sheriff.

Roy D. Hooten, 47, of Oakfield, was charged with two felony counts of third-degree burglary yesterday for an incident that occured sometime in mid-August, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Hooten was arrested last week following an investigation that spanned nine months. He was accused of stealing copper wire and scrap metal from three sub-stations in Oakfield. The charges filed yesterday relate to the alleged theft of several metal items including a large aluminum tool box from the old Path Truck Lines Terminal on Judge Road in Oakfield. Hooten's bail was increased from $1,500 to $20,000 on the new charges.

Daniel C. DiLaura, 33, of 11 S. Lyon St., Batavia, was charged with second-degree criminal contempt Tuesday afternoon, Gensee County sheriff's deputies said. DiLaura allegedly violated the terms of his parol.

Edward J. Howell, 66, of Le Roy, was charged with two felony counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and two felony counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, deputies said. Howell allegedly sold pills to an agent of the Genesee County Local Drug Task Force. He was sent to Genesee County Jail.

All above reports were issued in published releases by the department noted.

September 3, 2008 - 8:03am
posted by Mollie Radzinski in baseball, muckdogs.

Batavia (44-26) had eight doubles in their 10-2 win over State College (16-54).  With the win and another Jamestown loss, the Muckdogs now have a two and a half game lead as they sit in first place.

Thomas Eager (6-3) got the win in the start, going five innings with three hits, one run, three walks and one strikeout.  Tyler Cox (0-1) picked up his first decision in the loss, going two innings with five hits, three runs, one walk and three strikeouts.

The game was scoreless until the 3rd when Batavia scored one when Jose Garcia hit a double and Jermaine Curtis reached on a throwing error, enabling Garcia to come home.  The Spikes came back to tie it in the bottom of the inning, scoring after the bases were loaded after a walk, single and hit batsman.  Jeremy Farrell then hit a sacrifice fly for the one run.

But the game didn't stay tied long, as the Muckdogs plated another run on a Charlie Cutler walk and Xavier Scruggs double in the 4th, and they never looked back.  Two more tallies were added in the 5th.  Back-to-back doubles by Garcia and Curtis scored the first.  The other run came as Cutler singled to score Curtis.

Another two was added in the 6th.  To start things, Chris Swauger doubled and Edwin Gomez singled.  Garcia then hit into a force out which brought Swauger home.  A double by Curtis later in the inning scored Garcia.

Batavia's big inning came in the 8th as they scored four runs in the inning.  Gomez singled, Garcia doubled, Curtis doubled, Colt Sedbrook singled and Shane Peterson singled to plate the four runs on five hits.

State College showed some life in the bottom of the 9th as they plated one on a fielding error and a single, but the Muckdog damage was too great.

Garcia ended the night 3-for-6 with three doubles, four runs, two RBI and a stolen base.  Curtis also had three doubles as he went 3-for-5 with two runs and three RBI.  Let's hope Batavia can carry this offensive surge into Jamestown tonight as they strive for that first place finish.


Here's where our Muckdogs stand in the NYPL:

  • Thomas Eager: 2nd in pitching (6-3, 1.76 ERA)
  • Arquimedes Nieto: 3rd in pitching (6-1, 1.76 ERA)
  • Adam Reifer: T1st in saves (21); 1st in games (30)
  • Colt Sedbrook: 7th in batting (.309); 3rd in hits (80); 3rd in on-base percentage (.396)
  • Jose Garcia: 2nd in stolen bases (25); T4th in runs scored (44)
  • Shane Peterson: 2nd in on-base percentage (.403)
  • As a team: 2nd in batting (.268); 3rd in pitching (3.23)
September 3, 2008 - 7:45am
posted by Philip Anselmo in wbta, City Fire.

WBTA's Dan Fischer broke the story: the city of Batavia has a new fire chief. Thomas Dillon was appointed to the position Tuesday morning. Dillon has been retired from the city of Rochester Fire Department for eight years. He was a deputy fire chief there.

City Manager Jason Molino told Fischer that Dillon was picked among a candidate pool of 15, and he will start work on September 17 at a salary of $75,192. Molino also spoke of Dillon's experience at a larger department.

September 3, 2008 - 7:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Muckdogs.

From the Post-Journal:

WILLIAMSPORT-The Jamestown Jammers are doing everything in their power to not make the playoffs this season, dropping their second-straight contest against Williamsport, 2-1, in the New York Penn League.

What also hurts is that every other team in the playoff hunt has been winning lately.

Batavia won Tuesday, pushing the Jammers 2 games out in the Pinckney Division and game out in the wild card with only four games left in the regular season for Jamestown.

The Brooklyn Cyclones, after winning nine in a row, finally took a loss as well to keep their slim game lead over the Jammers for the wild card spot.

Tuesday's loss was a tough one, as the Jammers pitching staff didn't allow an earned run all night while the offense left seven on base and grounded into two double plays.

Meanwhile, the Centre Daily Times reports on the Spikes/Muckdogs game and its playoff implications:

UNIVERSITY PARK — With a two-game series against Jamestown looming, fiery Batavia manager Mark DeJohn handed his team explicit instructions:

Take advantage of a battered opponent.

The Muckdogs again met their animated manager’s demands.

The differences between a team approaching the postseason and one collecting return tickets home were on display Tuesday as the Muckdogs hammered the Spikes 10-2 to easily sweep a two-game series at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

Take away a two-error ninth inning, and the Muckdogs resembled a playoff team the past two nights.

Batavia scored 23 runs and recorded 30 hits to move 21/ 2 games ahead of Jamestown, which lost to Williamsport 2-1, in the Pinckney Division standings. The Muckdogs (44-26) can clinch their first division title since 1998 by defeating the Jammers (42-29) tonight at Jamestown’s Diethrick Park or Thursday in Batavia.

September 2, 2008 - 10:30pm
posted by Russ Salway in baseball, muckdogs, dwyer stadium, Red wings, fans, playoffs.

We have come a long ways from city council meetings and searching for ways to save our team! The community needs to come together now for a strong finish with attendance and what better way to come together with a very possible playoff run? I challenge everyone on this site to bring family, friends or co-workers to the remaining games at Dwyer stadium. We have three home games left on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Then the playoffs! Yes the playoffs! Lets fill the stands, make some noise and have some fun at 299 Dwyer!  Let's send a message to Rochester thanking them for saving "OUR TEAM" and let them know we will be here for years to come supporting our team!  Business owners, buy two tickets to the rest of the games and give them away to your employees. Season ticket holders, bring a friend to the remaining games.  Every little bit helps, we have proven that since last December. I will see you there! Thanks Dave, Naomi, Travis, Mollie, Rock, Barb and all of the other great people associated with the Muckdogs!  You have done a great job all season with all the obstacles you have hurdled! From the season opener with the rain delay to the end of the season, you have been great! GO DOGS!

September 2, 2008 - 10:09pm
posted by Mollie Radzinski in baseball, muckdogs.

The Muckdogs won tonight 10-2 as Jamestown fell 2-1 to Williamsport...increasing Batavia's first place lead to 2.5 games!!  We had an astounding 8 doubles on the night in our second straight big win.

Full game re-cap and new league standings & leaders to come in the morning!

September 2, 2008 - 5:44pm
posted by dave wellenzohn in Batavia Muckdogs.

Something exciting will be happening at 299 Bank St. starting Thursday. No, it's not a City Council meeting. It's not a knock down the mall rally. It's a BASEBALL GAME!! A real life,professional,championship on the line,baseball game. The Muckdogs, the BATAVIA Muckdogs, are playing the jamestown jammers for the division title. Who would have predicted last January that they would be playing such great baseball at Dwyer on September 4th? So, Bill,Charlie,Jason and all you combatants on Main St? I expect to see all of you at the ballpark at 7 on Thursday and you can all cheer together for a Batavia victory.

September 2, 2008 - 1:11pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Daily News.

Every Monday the Daily News runs a fun feature called Q&A that introduces us to an interesting guy or gal in the community. Today's Q&A is about Nicole Brady, a gal from Bergen who collects animal skulls. Fun stuff. But the reason I mention this profile in particular is because of Brady's response to the question: "If could do over again..." She says: "Buy a winning lottery ticket." Excellent.

OK. Other than that, there isn't much in the paper today. Joanne Beck looks at Batavia High School's Link Crew, "a new transition program" whose "goal is to help incoming freshman feel more at ease in high school." Matt Surtel has a fun piece on the Oakfield Labor Daze festival this past weekend.

Pick up a copy of the Daily News at local newsstands. Or subscribe at BataviaNews.com.

September 2, 2008 - 11:53am
posted by Philip Anselmo in Elections, Republican, protest, national news, current events.

A news search on Google brings up 170 articles from across the nation—plus one from our friends in the United Kingdom—about yesterday's protests at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. Needless to say, no two news outlets handle the event in the same way. Many look for some figure to represent the action: the ever-juridical CNN, for example, focuses on the arrests: "Hundreds to be charged in court," reads the headline.

Most news outlets, however, can't resist the opportunity for a good old fashion us-versus-them report, and a few of them will even be so bold as to tilt their coverage in favor of one side or the other, empathizing with the police or the protestors. A Fox News affiliate in St. Paul, for example, seems to take the side of the police against the "unruly and violent" mob. There is no mistaking the tenor of the language in this report which classifies the demonstrators as "anarchists" who are "causing chaos" in the streets. For a different take, you can check out a Minnesota daily newspaper that takes up the showdown from both sides but nevertheless seems to make allegiance with the protestors. This is made clear less in the language than through the telling photograph of a lone demonstrator getting "hosed down" with pepper spray. She stands alone in the center of the image, cringing and hunched over as an intimidating line of masked police in full riot gear march at her, sticks held bent sinister across their chests. Nothing of their faces is visible behind the reflective plastic and the gas mask tube over the mouth.

However interesting it is to do this compare and contrast with national news stories, and whichever point-of-view you choose to take on the events in St. Paul, there is one very definite image that emerges from out of all the coverage, and it is best represented in these two paragraphs from the New York Times:

As the protests grew, scores of National Guard troops in riot gear and gas masks fanned out around the Xcel Energy Center, where the convention is being held, and set up a blockade about three blocks away. Police helicopters buzzed over St. Paul throughout the day. Humvees painted in fatigue green ferried water to police officers working in the 88-degree heat, and city dump trucks were used to block traffic on some streets.

At one point, a group of about 200 protesters — many wearing black bandannas across their faces and some wearing black balaclavas — roamed through downtown, shouting and chanting and throwing street signs and concrete planters in the road. At another point, a police officer grabbed one of the youths. Others wrested him away, then appeared to knock the officer to the ground. On one knee, the officer released an arc of pepper spray.

What an image! Step aside Alexis de Tocqueville, this is democracy in America.

September 2, 2008 - 10:33am

The building that became known to the world as the first-ever business incubator earns a spot in the Holland Land Office Museum's countdown of The Twenty-Five Things That Made Genesee County Famous.

Museum Director Pat Weissend relates the history of this famous plant:

In 1886, the Johnson Harvester Company of Brockport, NY moved to Batavia following a fire in the Brockport plant. Company officials chose Batavia because the railroad lines that came through the village would make the shipment of product easier. Also, local citizens purchased 14 acres of land along Cemetery Street and donated it to the company to build its plant. Cemetery Street was renamed Harvester Avenue.

In 1910, a controlling interest in the Johnson Harvester Company was acquired by the Massey-Harris Company of Canada. One of the more well known products of the Massey-Harris Company was the Clipper Combine.

In 1953, the company merged with Harry Ferguson Limited of England and became Massey-Harris-Ferguson. Five years later, the name was shortened to Massey-Ferguson.

After the plant closed a few years after the merger with Ferguson Limited, the city began the search for a new tenant. When no one could be persuaded to take over the enormous space—industrial plants all over the nation were beginning to close their doors at the time—Charles Mancuso was charged with the task of filling the space. So was born the business incubator.

Mancuso came up with the idea to rent portions of the building to small manufacturing firms until they were large enough to strike out on their own. This type of arrangement allowed startup businesses to save money and resources until they grew enough to go out on their own.

One of the first tenants to the Industrial Center was a chicken company. Mr. Mancuso was traveling around the US looking for other potential tenants and spreading the word about Genesee County. He used the chicken company as an example, and started calling it an incubator. Mancuso invented the world's first business incubator. Today, there are an estimated 5,000 business incubators in the world. In Anshan City, China there is a statue of Joseph Mancuso, the father of the business incubator.

Visit the museum's Web site for more about the business incubator and to keep up with the countdown of The Twenty-Five Things That Made Genesee County Famous.


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