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September 1, 2008 - 9:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in wbta.

Happy Labor Day, everybody. How come you're inside staring at a computer screen on a beautiful day like this?

Philip Anselmo has the day off. I hope you do, too.

There's  news on the WBTA news page.

A car struck a tree off the Thruway this morning. One person is unconscious. Mercy flights dispatched. Listen to WBTA for updates.

Police dispatchers made the switch to the County's dispatch center at midnight.

And those, so far, are the biggest news items of the day.

Be safe and have fun.

September 1, 2008 - 9:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Muckdogs.

The Batavia Muckdogs (42-26) enter the closing week of the season with a half game lead on the Jamestown Jammers (42-27) for the PInckney Division crown.

Winning the division could prove more significant than it seemed a week ago, when the Brooklyn Cyclones (42-28) sat three games back behind Batavia (then in second place in the division).  Since then, Brooklyn has reeled off eight straight wins and now sits a mere game behind Jamestown. If Brooklyn stays hot, the Pinckney's second place team -- either Batavia or Jamestown -- may not make the playoffs.

The next two days of games, however, are decidedly in Batavia's favor as they head to State College (16-52), where the Spikes have flirted with achieving the worst record in New York-Penn League history (the 1981 Batavia team holds the record at  16-59). Meanwhile, the Jammers travel to Williamsport (35-33, but 17-19 at home).

Tonight's game is at 5 p.m., while Jamestown and Williamsport clash at 1 p.m. and Brooklyn plays Aberdeen (34-36) at 7 p.m.

The Muckdogs are in Jamestown on Wednesday and then close out the season with three games at home -- Jamestown on Thursday at 7:05 p.m., and State College on both Friday and Saturday at 7:05 p.m.

According to the printed schedule, Friday's game is not slated to be a fireworks night.  Maybe Red Wings management will have a change of heart (hint, hint) so the team and fans can celebrate a great season -- especially if that turns out to be the night the Muckdogs clinch the division.

August 31, 2008 - 9:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jon Powers, Jack Davis, Alice Kryzan.

Here's the audio from today's 26th Congressional Debate between Alice Kryzan and Jon Powers.

I haven't had time yet to listen to it. If anybody wants to write up a report of it, that would be great.

As for Jack Davis not participating -- his reported demands that his opponents sign various pledges before he'll debate them is down right anti-democratic (and I mean that with a small "d").

If you run for office, you don't get to dictate what issues your opponent will support, what ethics (or not) they will follow, what sort of campaign they will run. To expect otherwise is just basically anti-American.  Either Jack Davis wants to be a lawfully elected representative, or he wants to be a dictator. To dodge debates under the pretense of lecturing other candidates is unconscionable.

We need representatives who will speak up for what they believe without fear or favor. We need representatives who will be transparent about what they believe and why they believe it. We need representatives who will discuss with anybody -- other candidates, media or constituent -- what they believe an why. We should fear those candidates who purposely make themselves inaccessible.

Again, i'm not taking sides here. I'm just saying why Jack Davis was wrong to dodge the debate.

August 31, 2008 - 4:13pm
posted by Mollie Radzinski in baseball, muckdogs.

In the battle for first, the Muckdogs (42-26) overtook the lead as they beat rival Jamestown (42-27) by a score of 5-3.  Ramon Delgado (6-1) looked sharp once again in the start, getting the win in his five innings with three hits, one run and seven strikeouts.  Brad Hand (0-2) came out on the losing end for the Jammers, going four and two-thirds innings with six hits, three runs, three walks and five strikeouts.

Batavia started off the offense by scoring three runs in the 2nd inning.  Shane Peterson walked, Christian Rosa singled and Frederick Parejo was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Chris Swauger then came up with a two RBI single.  In the next at-bat, Edwin Gomez singled to score Parejo.  The Jammers got on the board in the top of the 3rd as Brandon Turner singled and Justin Bass had a RBI triple.

The score remained 3-1 until the Muckdogs added two insurance runs in the 8th.  Charlie Cutler, Parejo and Swauger started off the inning with consecutive base hits to score one.  Jermaine Curtis had a sacrifice fly to score Batavia's fifth and last run of the game.  Jamestown looked to make things interesting in the 9th as they scored two runs on a single and triple, but to no avail.

Curtis ended 2-for-2 with an RBI.  Parejo and Swauger both went 2-for-3; Parejo had two runs scored and Swauger had three RBI.  The Muckdogs now sit half a game up of the Jammers.  Batavia now heads to State College for two games, before traveling to Jamestown again on Wednesday.

August 31, 2008 - 12:34pm
posted by Mollie Radzinski in baseball, muckdogs.

Going into today's game vs. Jamestown, Batavia is a 1/2 game out of first in the Pinckney Division with a record of 41-26.  A win today would swap places with the Jammers again to put us back in first.  Here's where some of our top players are in the league:

  • With his first loss of the season last night, Arquimedes Nieto dropped to 3rd in pitching with a 6-1 record and 1.76 ERA.
  • Adam Reifer is tied for the lead in saves with 21 and is first in games with 29.
  • Colt Sedbrook is 6th in batting with a .313 BA, tied for 3rd in hits with 76 and 2nd in on-base percentage at .404.
  • Jose Garcia's 24 stolen bases on the season put him in 2nd place in the league.
  • Shane Peterson has a .403 on-base percentage, the 3rd best.
  • The Muckdogs as a team are 5th in pitching with a 3.35 ERA and 4th in hitting with a .263 combined BA.
August 31, 2008 - 8:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, WNY, housing.

The story is about young people returning to Buffalo, but it probably could apply to any Western New York town, including Batavia.

The Buffalo area has lost a huge share of its younger population to other places, as U. S. Census numbers routinely show. But Burns is part of a segment of the population heading the other way, looking to return as their priorities change. Often they are people in their late 20s or early 30s who want to be near family, familiar places they grew up around, and crave a lifestyle with a pace different from larger metro areas.


A recent story in New York magazine is calling attention to the area’s low cost for living space and how it has helped persuade some Buffalo expatriates living in New York City to come back. As of late last week, the article was ranked the most read, commented on and e-mailed story on the magazine’s Web site.

Part of the article dealt with the price chasm between New York City and Buffalo for homes and apartments, as well as the difference in the amount of living space that comes with those costs. One couple gave up a tiny Brooklyn apartment for $1,300 a month for a spacious place in Buffalo for $795 per month.

Realtors interviewed said the region’s home prices could be a draw for young people who have tried living somewhere else but now want a place where they can afford to settle down.

“The crucial thing is the lifestyle,” said Phil Aquila, general manager of M. J. Peterson Co. “You can have a lifestyle here because you can afford to live here.”

Are there prodigal sons and daughters returning to Genesee County?

While jobs are not in abundance, there are jobs here, and it's never been easier to work from home or start you're own business.  When compared to most major metro areas, you can't beat housing prices and it's a heck of a lot less crowded, smoggy and crime-ridden.

August 31, 2008 - 8:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alice Kryzan.

Joyce Miles of the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal offers a profile of sorts of Alice Kryzan, Democratic candidate for the 26th Congressional District, and suggest that Kryzan has deeper roots in her party than either of her opponents.

In person, Kryzan’s manner is soft-spoken and elegant, yet down-to-earth and steeped with a sense of mission. She’s proud of her Democratic roots — her dad was a mayor of their hometown, Youngstown, Ohio, and was among the first Ohio Democrats to throw in with John F. Kennedy for President in 1960 — and she doesn’t hesitate to point out that her competitors are both former Republicans.

Is being more Democrat-than-thou a virtue in a Republican-leaning district?

As for coverage of her policy statements, it's all about the environment.

She wrote a fairly extensive policy statement linking environmental protection, U.S. energy independence and western New York economic growth opportunities. Among other things, the statement calls for a federal goal of 20 percent renewable-source power generation by 2020; a moratorium on construction of coal-fired power plants; enhanced federal tax credits for renewable energy producers and no new drilling for oil; ramped-up fuel economy standards for vehicles and expanded public transportation; sprawl control and encouragement of “walkable” communities. For western New York, she picks ecotourism and development of “green” industries like biofuels as growth engines.

Kryzan acknowledges the plan is ambitious but she’d argue it’s no more so than President Kennedy’s call to send men to the moon. She figures that got done and so can this.

“All we have to say is say, ‘we’re going to be energy independent in 10 years. We’re going to marshal all of our resources to do it,’” she said. “All we need are leaders who have the courage to do it and people to follow them.”

UPDATE: In other campaign news, the Buffalo News carries an article about Powers neglecting to mention War Kids Relief in his latest campaign literature.

In the campaign’s early days, his charity was mentioned often. But Democratic challengers Jack Davis and Alice Kryzan may have found the Achilles heel.

They’re kicking it at will, and probably will continue to do so until the three-way party primary vote on Sept. 9.

“It was the prominent aspect of his biography when he first started running for Congress,” said Kryzan campaign manager Anne Wadsorth. “And now that some questions have been raised concerning the charity and Jon Powers’ role in it, he has eliminated any reference to it as he talks about his experience.”

Any mention of War Kids Relief on the Jon Powers web site is also hard to find. At least, I couldn't find it without using Google to do a site search.  Ooops, I'm blind.  There's a button on the upper right of the home page. 

August 31, 2008 - 12:55am
posted by Mollie Radzinski in baseball, muckdogs.

On their 5 game road trip, the Muckdogs won two, lost two and were rained out once as they continue the fight for first place in the Pinckney Division with Jamestown, with whom they dropped a game to tonight.  Here's a quick look at these past 4 games:

  • Tuesday, August 26:  Mahoning Valley 8, Batavia 7-  The Muckdogs had a 4-run rally in the 9th to battle back after 4 errors to tie the game 7-7, but they couldn't hold on for the victory.  Jason Buursma (1-3) suffered the loss in his 2/3 of an inning, letting in 1 run with 3 walks.  Edwin Gomez was the biggest power at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double, a homerun, 3 runs scored and a RBI.
  • Wednesday, August 27:  RAINOUT- Inclement weather cancelled the second game of the road trip.  There is no make-up for this game.
  • Thursday, August 28:  Batavia 11, Williamsport 7-  The day off must have helped the Muckdogs, as they got back on the winning track.  Thomas Eager (5-3) got the win, throwing 4 innings with 3 hits, 1 run, 1 walk and 3 strikeouts.  Adam Reifer picked up his 20th save in his 1/3 inning of work.  Charlie Cutler went 4-for-5 with a homerun, 2 runs scored and 3 RBI.  Shane Peterson went 3-for-6 with a double.
  • Friday, August 29: Batavia 4, Williamsport 2-  This time, the opposition suffered from errors, as Williamsport had 3 in the game to help Batavia get another win.  Hector Cardenas (5-0) kept his perfect record through 5 innings with 2 hits, 2 walks and 6 strikeouts.  Reifer (21) pitched 1 1/3 with a strikeout to get the save.  Batavia's 5 hits were scattered throughout the lineup;  Peterson had the sole extra-base hit, a double, on the night.
  • Saturday, August 30: Jamestown 10, Batavia 2-  5 errors in the first game of the pivitol series of the year proved costly for the Muckdogs.  Arquimedes Nieto (6-1) lost his perfect record, as he got the loss in his 4 innings with 8 hits, 6 runs (4 earned), 1 walk and 2 strikeouts.  Jose Garcia and Cutler had the only multi-hit nights; Garcia went 2-for-4 with 2 stolen bases and Cutler finished 2-for-3 with a run scored.

The Muckdogs had  a 1/2 game lead going into Jamestown, but now swapped places with the Jammers after the loss.  The official standings and stats have not been posted yet, but I will bring them to you in the morning (or shall I say later this morning since it's already 1:00)...

The series continues Sunday at Dwyer at 1:05.

August 30, 2008 - 10:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Muckdogs.

Jamestown got to Muckdogs ace Arquimedes Nieto (6-1) for six runs (four earned) in the fist four innings tonight and never looked back, beating Batavia 10-2 to regain a half game lead in the Pinckney Division.

Jose Garcia and Charles Cutler each collected two hits. Garcia also had two stolen bases.

Jamestown and Batavia clash again Sunday at 1:05 p.m. at Dwyer Stadium.

Box Score.

August 30, 2008 - 1:26am
posted by Session Placeholder in Habitat for Humanity.

What is Habitat for Humanity of Genesee County NY?

  We are a not-for-profit ecumenical Christian housing ministry that partners with people in the Genesee County area to build simple, decent and affordable houses. Habitat exists to eliminate provety housing and make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action.

   We are an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses around the world in over 92 countries, including all 50 states of the U.S.

Genesee County  Habitat has just started their 7th house at 6 Columbia Ave., Batavia. The family has been selected and renovations have begun. Volunteers work on Wednesdays and Saturdays between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. No experience needed, must be at least 16 yrs. old to help.

For more information, please contact the office at (585) 345-1656 or visit our websites at [email protected] or www.genseehabitat.com.


August 29, 2008 - 10:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Muckdogs.

A mere half game will separate Pinckney Division leaders Batavia and Jamestown as the Muckdogs enter into a two-game series with their Western New York rivals.

The Muckdogs will be on top after a 4-2 defeat of Williamsport Friday night behind the pitching of Hector Cardenas (5-0) and Adam Reifer, who notched his 21st save.

Jamestown, meanwhile, lost to Auburn 5-4.

Saturday's game will be in Jamestown and begins at 7:05 p.m.  On Sunday, the teams return to Batavia for a 1:05 p.m. game.

August 29, 2008 - 5:05pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in video, photography.

On September 3, artists Becky LeFevre and Karen Reisdorf will debut their exhibit, A Soldier's Anthology: Family Images from WWII and Vietnam, at GO ART! on Main Street in Batavia. In anticipation of the exhibit, I spent an afternoon with Karen and Becky in their studio on Bank Street as they put the finishing touches on their works.

We will be talking more with the artists next week, so check back for more.

August 29, 2008 - 2:13pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Daily News, column, comics.

One of the best things to keep in mind when writing a newspaper column—or if you're getting started on a serial blog here on The Batavian, wink wink—is that you will write better the better you know your subject.

On that note, Daily News reporter Matt Surtel proves me right and then some in his column on today's op-ed page. His style is fun and quirky, true to its theme, but above all else, it's informed and well-written, and that's what makes it so enjoyable.

Surtel writes about his longtime obsession with the comic strip For Better or For Worse, introducing me to the devoted and surprisingly zealous fan base of the strip that will end its original run Sunday and start over from scratch. Start over from scratch? Well, you see, this comic strip followed a family in real-time for 30 years, and now it will start over, reducing the kids to toddlers and going at it all over again.

Surtel does not shy from passing judgement on some of the strip's characters, calling out one of them as a "gigantic, stupid dweeb," or lamenting the "stupid mustache" of another whom he describes as a "boring milquetoast loser."


All in all, this is a great column from a reporter I wouldn't mind hearing more from aside from the usual beat reporting. I've never read For Better or For Worse, but by the end of the column, I shared Surtel's disdain for that "milquetoast loser" who finagled an otherwise ambitious and interesting gal into a mediocre suburban pantomime of life, love and marriage. Damn that Anthony!

August 29, 2008 - 1:55pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in community, Daily News.

Whether the news is good, sad or bad, today's Daily News is mostly about people.

First, there's Annie Jones, a longtime nurse at United Memorial Medical Center who retired recently after 42 years at the hospital. Jones told the reporter that "even though I'm getting tired, I really love what I do."

Also in the news is Amy Johnson, who "has been named director of advancement at Notre Dame High School." Johnson formerly worked at Canisius College as the director of the annual fund and as director of marketing for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

Paul Cregg, co-owner of the Center Street Smokehouse, was in the news again today. County Judge Robert C. Noonan will rule on whether Cregg is guilty of three felony charges by September 8 in a non-jury trial decision. Cregg is charged with failure to file corporate tax returns, offering a false instrument for filing and filing false returns on corporate taxes.

I hope that the Daily News considers itself fortunate to have Virginia Kropf on its staff. Every time she has a story in the paper, it's interesting. She may not be a great stylist. She may not turn the swankiest phrase. But Virginia Kropf has an eye and an ear for what makes small towns tick, and she brings to life with a cool-handed delivery the idiosyncracies that you can find around every corner.

Today, Kropf visits Eugene Beach of Oakfield who barters flowers for fruit. The story is a fun one and worth checking out.

So get out and pick up a copy of the Daily News. Or, subscribe at BataviaNews.com.

August 29, 2008 - 12:48pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Daily News.

Thank goodness for the explicit good nature of news article headlines. Otherwise, there would be no way of knowing what Joanne Beck's front-page article in today's Daily News is about until you read down to halfway through the third paragraph. Her article starts out more like a guessing game than an informative piece of journalism.

It juts out above the roof just enough to display one set of arched windows.

Wait a second. What is this it? How can you start a story with a part of speech (pronoun) whose sole purpose is to stand in for a previously established noun, when that previously established noun has not been previously established? Maybe we'll find out in the next paragraph...

Other than that, most passersby wouldn't even know it's there or think to cherish its historical significance.

So we're still not told what it is. More than that, we're introduced to "passersby" though we don't know what they are passing by. All we know is that it juts, it's got windows, it can be passed by and it has historical significance. Can you guess what it is? (Of course, the answer is that you shouldn't have to. This is a news article. Not a game show clue.)

But Genesee County Landmark Society is quite aware of it: the cupola affixed to the top of old City Hall.

Phew. There it is. It's the cupola on top of the old City Hall. But why the wait? Why do we have to wait three paragraphs to learn that Beck is writing about the cupola? This isn't a mystery. In fact, the story is pretty simple and truly best served being told in a simple manner. But... wait a second... what is the story? We don't even find that out until the sixth paragraph in the article, and it's not even stated explicitly. Instead, we read:

The group [Genesee County Landmark Society] has donated $1,490 toward the cupola's restoration. Add that to another $500 from the Historic Preservation Commission's city-funded budget and $600 worth of labor from Stafford Painters. It totals $2,590 for a restored structure that was pressure washed on Monday, scraped and primed Tuesday and given two coats of "Super White" paint Wednesday.

Why not start with that? Or something like it. Why not just begin the article: "Work started Monday on the restoration of the cupola atop Batavia's old City Hall." Wham, bam, thank you ma'am. Now get on with the fun background stuff. Save yourself some ink, maybe some more room for photographs, etcetera. Maybe you can even expand your informative "So what is a cupola?" section.

August 29, 2008 - 12:44pm
posted by Mollie Radzinski in baseball, muckdogs.

Many people like Minor League Baseball because they can see players as they get their start in professional baseball and then continue to follow their progress as they try to make it up to the big leagues.  We have had several players moved up to be River Bandits in Quad Cities, Iowa.  Here is a look at how they have done so far:

  • Lance Lynn, Pitcher:  Lynn had 2 starts as a River Bandit before being placed on the DL for his elbow.  In his two starts, he has a 2.25 ERA and a 0-1 record.  He threw a total of 8 innings with 8 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks and 7 strikeouts.
  • Blake Murphy, Catcher:  One of Batavia's biggest power hitters, Murphy isn't doing as well at the next level.  He is batting just .196, with 11 hits in 56 at-bats.  He has 1 double, 1 homerun, 9 walks and 20 strikeouts through 19 games.
  • Domnit Boliver, Third Base:  Bolivar was the primary shortstop while in Batavia, but has spent most of his time at third for the River Bandits.  He has an average of .254 with 16 doubles, 5 triples, 7 homeruns and 36 RBI.  He also has stolen 4 bases. (*note that these numbers are from his entire time in Quad Cities.  He started there in April, moved down to Batavia in early July, and moved back up in early August.  These stats include his time before and after playing in Batavia (87 games)).
  • Jameson Maj, Pitcher:  In 4 games, Maj has a 0-2 record, 5.40 ERA and 1 save.  In 16 2/3 innings he has allowed 17 hits, 10 runs and 2 walks while striking out 15.  He has served equal time as a starter and a reliever, throwing 2 games as each.
  • Jon Edwards, Outfield:  Edwards has a .250 average in 64 at-bats through 18 games, serving most of his time in right field.  He has 16 hits, including 3 doubles, 2 homeruns and 10 RBI.  He has performed best against lefties, batting a big .462 against them.
August 29, 2008 - 9:37am
posted by Philip Anselmo in family, Richmond Memorial Library, kids.

Whether your child is still crawling, still drooling, scampering, talking, coloring or crooning, Richmond Memorial Library has an autumn reading program that will suit them. Story time sessions are designed for "pre-walkers" through five-year-olds and up.

"The best way to prepare your child for school is to introduce books at an early age," says Children's Librarian Sandra Gillard.

Take your pick from:

  • Baby Bounce: Tuesdays at 9:30am (pre-walkers)
  • Toddler Time: Tuesdays at 10:30am (walkers: up to 36 months)
  • Moms & Moppets: Wednesdays at 10:00am (1-3 years)
  • Preschool Party: Thursdays at 10:00am (3-5 years)
  • Pajama Primetime: Thursdays at 6:30pm (all ages)

Registration for all story time sessions begins on September 2. Sessions begin the week of September 15. All activities are free and open to the public. Folks are encouraged to register early as space is limited.

Call the library at (585) 343-9550 ext. 4 for more information. Or stop by the Children's Room during library hours (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 9:00am to 9:00pm; Friday and Saturday: 9:00am to 5:00pm.

August 29, 2008 - 9:13am
posted by Philip Anselmo in wbta, Le Roy.

Le Roy will host a rabies clinic for cats and dogs today from 3:00 to 5:00pm at the village Highway Department on North Street, according to WBTA's Dan Fischer. The clinic was scheduled following the discovery of a rabid cat in the village earlier this week.

August 29, 2008 - 9:07am
posted by Philip Anselmo in crime, police, sheriff.

Kenneth G. Shoemaker, 33, of Buffalo, was charged with a felony count of third-degree grand larceny yesterday, city police said. Shoemaker is accused of issuing checks totalling over $3,000 to a city business in August. Those checks were later returned by the bank unpaid. An investigation revealed that the account "never had sufficient funds to cover the checks." Shoemaker was arrested and sent to Genesee County Jail with no bail.

William A. Brolley, 52, of Darien, was charged with driving while intoxicated early this morning, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Brolley was involved in a one-car crash on Route 77 in Darien. He was also ticketed with driving left of pavement markings in a no passing zone.

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

August 29, 2008 - 7:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Muckdogs.

In the tight race for the Pinckney Division crown, the Muckdogs pulled back within half a game of Jamestown Thursday with an 11-7 win over Williamsport.

Meanwhile, Jamestown was clobbered by Auburn, 15-2.

The hometown heroes were powered by catcher Charles C. Cutler, who went 4-5, including a home run, two runs scored and three RBI. He raised season average to .283.

Shane Paterson also picked up three hits. Jose Garcia had two stolen bases.

Starter George Brown went four innings and gave up four runs. He did not factor in the decision. The winning pitcher was Thomas Eager, who went four innings yielding a single run. His record moves to 5-3.

Closer Adam Reifer was called on to get the final out and he picked up his 20th save of the season.

The Muckdogs remain three games ahead of Brooklyn in the wild card race.

Complete box score. Standings.

The Muckdogs face off with Williamsport again tonight at 7:05 p.m. and are home Sunday to play Jamestown at 1:05 p.m.



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