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July 5, 2008 - 12:36pm
posted by Mollie Radzinski in baseball, muckdogs.


The Muckdogs (10-8) celebrated more than just Independence Day, posting a 9-2 win over the Hudson Valley Renegades (9-9) to complete the series sweep.  Ramon Delgado (1-0) pitched the first five innings to get the win, letting up four hits and striking out one.   Hudson Valley’s Chris Andujar (0-1) got the loss, going three innings with five earned runs, four walks and three strikeouts. 

Batavia once again jumped out to an early lead in the 1st.  Jose Garcia started off with a walk and Colt Sedbrook followed with a RBI triple.  Shane Peterson then singled before Jon Edwards hit a two-run homerun to jump out to a 4-0 lead.  The Muckdogs’ other big inning came in the 5th as they scored two runs, the first on a solo homerun by Chris Swauger.  Back-to-back doubles by Xavier Scruggs and Charley Cutler scored the second. 

Hudson Valley avoided being shutout in the 9th when John Mollicone reached on a two-out fielding error by Scruggs.  Kyeong Kang followed with a homerun to score the Renegades’ two runs. 

Peterson went 3-for-4 with three singles, two runs and two RBI.  Batavia now goes on the road to play a three-game series in Vermont.

July 3, 2008 - 10:10pm
posted by Mollie Radzinski in baseball, muckdogs.


The Batavia Muckdogs (9-8) tallied another win over the Hudson Valley Renegades (9-8), giving Nieto Arquidemes (2-1) his second win for the season. Arquidemes pitched five innings, striking out five and giving up just one run. Adam Reifer came in to get the last out in the 9th to earn his third save. On the losing end, Frank De Los Santos (2-2) suffered the loss, giving up nine hits and four earned runs.
Batavia scored first in the 3rd after Jose Garcia reached on a throwing error and Frederick Parejo singled to drive him in. They added one more in the 4th on singles by Jermaine Curtis and Blake Murphy. The Renegades answered right back in the 5th as Anthony Scelfo and Mark Thomas both doubled to score one.
The big inning for the Muckdogs came in the 5th as they scored three runs. Curtis singled and stole second and was driven in by a double off the bat of Jon Edwards. Back-to-back singles by Murphy and Christian Rosa drove in the last two.
Hudson Valley threatened again in the 9th after Kyeong Kang doubled and Scelfo singled to plate their last run. Curtis ended the night 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Batavia tries to celebrate the 4th of July and a sweep Friday night at 7:00.
July 3, 2008 - 10:02pm

Did you see it -- today at 3:00 PM?  The future rolled right through Batavia, right down Main Street.

You may have seen it and not recognized it for what it is.  Perhaps you thought it was an ordinary shed on a trailer being pulled by a red pick up truck.  In fact, it's part of a display from Homearama 2008 in Perinton that came through Batavia on its way home .

Look carefully and you'll see Dick Gammell reflected in the panes of glass in the door.  Dick is the owner of Canadice Construction Corp. in Springwater, and he's come up with a wind/solar generator that has limitless applications.  He developed the original unit to attach to a standard construction trailer to provide sufficient power to run hand tools and small pieces of equipment on site.  This somewhat portable, combination wind and solar generator replaces the gasoline and diesel varieties (up to 7,000 watts), resulting in the reduction of the use of at least 5 gallons of gas for every 8 hour work day -- per site.   One set of solar panels on half the roof (see photo) and one small wind turbine (stored in the shed for today's trip) does the trick.

In western New York, as in many geographic locations in the Northeast, we have an abundance of wind in the colder months and enough sunshine in the warmer months to power this kind of generator.  This unique "shed" provides all the portable power Dick needs to make his small construction company more cost effective, more independent, and more environmentally friendly.

But Dick didn't stop there!  He's applied his green thinking to golf greens.  This week-end, you can see his Green Cart at Dande Farms Country Club in Akron (see the ad in this week's Genesee Valley Pennysaver).  To test the most far-reaching application of his technology, he recently purchased a plug-in, electric vehicle and hopes to generate 10-14 kilowatts per day to power the car for 40-50 miles at once -- with no emissions!

Dick Gammell is an unassuming, straightforward businessman who saw a need and decided to do something about it.  He works every day at making his idea better.  The successful development of a highly  efficient wind/solar generator for use in generating up to 10-20 kilowatt hours per day of power for a family business may seem like a drop in the bucket, but imagine if we could engage MANY small businessmen in energy conservation and the use of alternative power sources!  It may be the only way to protect this nation's energy security.  I applaud Dick's efforts. 

You can read more at: http://www.canadiceconstruction.com/alternativeenergy.nxg    

July 3, 2008 - 12:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in events.

Philip and I  will be at the Muckdogs game Friday evening handing out water bottle kozies (assuming the shipment arrives today as expected). Game time is 7 p.m. at Dwyer Stadium and fireworks are scheduled to follow the game.

is predicting continued showers  through today, partly cloudy for Friday and Saturday and isloated thunder showers on Sunday.

We're all hoping for better weather than that.

Here are other events scheduled for Freedom Weekend in Genesee County

Batavia Boogie -- Skydiving

Until 5 p.m. today, and continuing from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Sunday at the Gensee County Airport.

Art Exhibt, “The Key” by Karen Reisdorf
Until 5 p.m. and continuing at P.I.E.C.E.S. Gallery, 109 Main St., Batavia. “Karen transforms a series of spontaneous mono-prints into representations of Greek Mythology. The exhibit examines our human search for understanding through process.”

Batavia Muckdogs
Tonight at 7 p.m., against the Lowell Spinners (Red Sox farm club). Dwyer Stadium.

Independence Day Celebration
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. -- Genesee Country Village & Museum, 1410 Flint Hill Road, Mumford
19th-century-style event with parades, pageants, music, performances and an immigration and naturalization ceremony. There is also an 1837-style picnic available for an additional charge.. Free with museum admission. Picnic $15, $7.50 ages 4-16. Reservations recommended. Picnic basket, $13 per person while supplies last.

Go Arts' Fourth of July Picnic in the Park
Centennial Park, North and State streets
Live entertainment, arts and crafts, food and children's activities; presented by Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council. Noon to 5 p.m. July 4., Batavia. Free admission.

Downtown Batavia Public Market
9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Center & School Street Parking Lot (across from O'Lacy's Irish Pub)
The market offers fresh produce & fruit, baked goods, coffees, flowers, handmade crafts, bbq chicken & pork, hots and hamburgers and a variety of food and other items.

The Ramble Music and Arts Fest 2008
Noon to 6 p.m., Jackson Square in Downtown Batavia.

BBQ, Raffle and Car Cruise
11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Rt. 63 in East Bethany.

If you know of any other events, in the area, please leave a comment.



July 2, 2008 - 4:05pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in crime, police.


  • 7:59am, Ellicott Avenue, accident
  • 8:52am, 20 Main St., accident
  • 1:43pm, Cedar Street, trespass
  • 2:55pm, Ellicot Street, accident
  • 4:01pm, 45 Ellicott St., accident
  • 4:20pm, W. Main Street, accident
  • 11:57pm, 105 Washington Ave., harassment

Note: We don't include noise complaints, domestic disputes and routine police business.

July 2, 2008 - 2:32pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in business, downtown, BID.

Batavia's downtown Summer Sidewalk Sales kick off Saturday, July 12th from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Be sure to stop by these shops for special deals:

  • Adam Miller Toys & Bikes
  • Continental School of Beauty
  • House of K
  • PIECES Gallery
  • The Mane Attraction Salon
  • Valle Jewelers

Summer Sidewalk Sales are sponsored by the Downtown Batavia Improvement District.

July 2, 2008 - 2:24pm

From the Daily News (Wednesday):

  • Graham Corporation's Chief Finanicial Officer J. Ronald Hansen will reture August 1. Hansen has been with the company since 1993. The Batavia-based manufacturer of "vacuum-and-heat exchangers" has seen tremendous financial growth over the past few years.
  • For commentary on the article about Youth Football and the school board, see our earlier post.
  • Construction of the shopping plaza off Veterans Memorial Drive in the town of Batavia resumed after a delay to get the plans for the plaza in accord with state environmental regulations. No mention in the article of the length of the delay.
  • The city's Neighborhood Improvement Committee will meet tonight at 6:30pm in the Council Board Room at City Hall.
  • Virginia Kropf's "Around the Towns" column in today's paper addresses her membership in the "crazy group of older women called 'Red Hatters.'" It's a delight. I look forward to Kropf's columns.
  • Well, I'm sure at least Sen. Chuck Schumer would be pleased with the front page of today's Daily News. In a huge photo that dominates the top half of the paper, the senator almost seems lifesize, a giant among the puny windmills in the distance behind him — yikes! Apparently, he was in Wetherfield looking for support for a windmill bill he's excited about.

For the complete stories, the Daily News is available on local newsstands, or you can subscribe on BataviaNews.com.

July 2, 2008 - 11:55am
posted by Patrick D. Burk in gas prices, Obama, McCain, youth football, Big Oil.

I must be getting older....or at least a bit more like Andy Rooney,  the curmudgeonly complainer of 60 Minutes.  Certain things really get to me now, and I make sure some people know that they do.  I get cranky....very, very cranky.

Case in point.  The other day an old friend of mine (who has always been a mid-centered Democrat) told me she wasn't going to vote for President this year.  This was due to the fact that her Mom disliked McCain because he was not really a war hero and her grandfather told her Obama was a Muslim.  That comment certainly bugged me.  Not only is none of it true, it is incinderary and ignorant.  McCain survived a Prisoner of War camp and he survived while his concern increased for his fellow prisoners and his injuries from a plane crash worsened.  Sounds like a true hero to me.  Obama was raised in Kansas and attended a Christian Church that his very American grandparents attended.   Last time I looked, Kansas was not a hotbed of Muslim activity but what was really negative about this comment was the insinuation that if an American citizen is Muslim he must therefore not be a good American.  Only two words for this type of comment.  It is a racist, hateful remark.  Both charges are untrue and I hope the electorate does not believe such bitter, deceitful crap.

That leads me to a local issue.  When, all of a sudden, did the City of Batavia School District become the bad guy in the Youth Football argument.  At our first Board Meeting of this school year, a resolution was planned and passed to see if we could aid in this situation.  This was done knowing that not all the participants are from the City School District and that ourfields are already crowded and hard to maintain without adding more money to the budget.  A phone call from Councilwoman Clattenburg was recieved AFTER the resolution was written and placed on the agenda.  In the spirit of cooperation, and with thanks to Mrs. Clattenburg, we moved forward to make this the first directive given to the Buildings and Grounds Committee for this coming year.

There the board sat yesterday unanamously passing a resolution which states that there will be an investigation and discussion to see if the North Street Extension Property may be developed or another plan that would include the District's property could be used to help alleviate this problem.  Regardless of what some may think, we do like to help and solve, not obstruct and confuse.  The Board of Education and its new superintendent, Margaret Puzio, acted out of a community minded incentive and a pro-youth incentive.  Lo and behold.... a speaker gets up and blasts the board for refusing to act on this issue and refusing to allow Youth Football to use Van Detta.  The statements were all unfounded.  Youth Football has NOT ASKED US to act on this at all.   NO ONE from youth football has contacted us or asked.  Councilwoman Clattenburg asked in accordance with our already planned resolution.  Even staff writer's of the Batavian write negatively about the school and situation without asking the simple question.  If the meeting speaker and the staff writer had asked, they would have found out the truth.  Now they know it.

Complaint number three is simply the result of gas prices and any political candidates "energy policy".  Please listen to what all the politicians and pundits are saying.  Remember it is an election year and in some polls the number one concern the electorate has is the price of gas....so much for insurance and education and security.  The plain truth is that people vote their pocketbook.  No matter what anyone says, that is the truth.  WIth this in mind I ask a simple questionm "Why did we Americans allow Dick Cheney to write a SECRET oil and energy policy and ply us with his fraudulent explanation?"  I have been talking about this failed Bush Energy Doctrine since it was first developed in SECRET.  It contains ways to defuse concern on Global Warming (Even the Whitehouse admits it exists now!  WOW! talk about a baptism!).  It talks about increasing profits to allow for more exploration, but very little exploration has been done.  It in itself promotes our reliance on oil, both foreign and domestic.  Of course that is more money in the pockets of the Bush/Cheney "Friends and Family Plan".

My answer to this was to purchase cars that got close to 40 miles per gallon or more.  Some in the public bought huge machines that get less than 12 miles per gallon.  Here is my idea.  Smaller, more fuel efficient cars should get a gas rebate which will be paid by the higher taxes the BIG HUGE MANLY vehicles will pay to fill up.  That way there will be incentive to purchase and drive the higher mileage vehicles.  Before anyone goes and checks the Constitution, there is no amendment stating that we have rights to be gas guzzlers.  Let the insatiable appetites of the low mileage drivers place this one right on thier backs.  It deserves to be there.

Thanks for listening.....maybe one day, I will replace Andy Rooney...... nah...Batavia is too interesting. 

July 2, 2008 - 9:17am
posted by Philip Anselmo in congress, Democrats, gas prices, Jack Davis, energy policy.

Democrat Jack Davis says we need to diversify our energy sources if we hope to see relief at the pumps. Davis was quick to get out his own "energy policy" Tuesday, following the announcement last week by Jon Powers that Davis is bound to his oil interests. Powers' camp released a lengthy statement of the candidate's energy policy last week.

Says Davis:

“Diversifying our energy sources, improving efficiency, and leading on energy conservation can do a lot to increase supply, reduce demand, and lower costs. None of the ideas I have mentioned are particularly dramatic or difficult, but when pursued together, they form a meaningful energy agenda that can get everyone working together.”

“What voters and taxpayers must address is the broken system in Washington. When high priced lobbyists use campaign cash to influence American energy policy, we lose. Their energy policies have given us $4.25 gallon gasoline.”

There was nothing more specific in the release posted on Davis' Web site, and The Batavian was unable to get out to Greece yesterday afternoon for the press conference. We've asked the campaign if they plan to release a more detailed energy policy. We're waiting to hear back.

July 2, 2008 - 9:02am
posted by Philip Anselmo in crime, sheriff.

Michael J. Robbins, 49, of 20 Thorpe St., Batavia, was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs or alcohol late last night following a traffic stop on Stegmann Road in the town, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Robbins was also ticketed with consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle and unlicensed operator.

July 2, 2008 - 8:56am
posted by Philip Anselmo in wbta, Six Flags Darien Lake.

Check out WBTA for this and other stories:

  • Darien Lake State Beach Park remains closed. Bacteria levels are still too high. Tests will be performed daily to check to see if the levels have gone down and if the beach can open before the holiday weekend.
  • Sen. Hillary Clinton will be in Ontario and Wayne counties today touring farms damaged by the hail storms last week.
July 1, 2008 - 3:54pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in crime, police.

Batvia City Police reported today that Michael J. Fitch, 21, of Wyoming, was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument early Monday morning. Fitch was found in a vehicle reported stolen by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, parked on Seneca Avenue, and he was allegedly in possession of cocaine and syringes. He was turned over to sheriff's deputies.

July 1, 2008 - 2:57pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in congress, politics, Buffalo News, the albany project.

The Buffalo News reports that Erie County Legislator Kathy Konst is under pressure to drop out of the race for the 26th Congressional District — where she would face three other primary challengers for the Democratic nod — and run instead against Sen. Dale Volker in the 59th District of the State Senate.

Konst, a county legislator from Lancaster, said that she has not definitely made up her mind, and that she may have “misspoke” earlier Monday indicating that she had decided to switch gears and launch a campaign against Volker.

“My volunteers are behind me for Congress,” she said, adding that many people were trying to “push me into the Volker seat."

She said earlier in the day that she was approached recently by business leaders who are concerned about the power shift away from upstate. She said since they and she are convinced the Democrats will claim the Senate majority in November, she believes that the time is right to seek the Volker seat.

“I never before thought it appropriate to run against Volker, because in order to get anything for upstate, we had to have seniority,” she said earlier Monday. “But once [Senate Majority Leader Joseph L.] Bruno dropped out, it looks like the Republicans will lose the Senate and whatever influence Dale had will be gone.”

Robert Harding of The Albany Project blog isn't sure about her chances of unseating Volker, though he seems optimistic.

I have a mixed opinion of Konst. She is a moderate Democratic legislator representing the 5th legislative district on the Erie County Legislature.

That said, a moderate Democrat can win this district. Volatile Volker is facing a primary challenge so his job won't be easy to begin with. Now, the Democrats have someone to run against him in November.

Can she win? Time will tell. I will reach out to Konst for an interview. We should get to know more about her to decide whether or not this is a race we can win. Beating Volker would be huge. Konst just might be the person to do that.

Batavian Dan Jones is already cheering Konst's (still officially unannounced) relocation from the contest for the 26th Congressional District to the Senate's 59th.

I am happy to hear that Kathy Konst has decided to withdraw from the NY-26th district race, although I am totally loyal to Jon [Powers], I know that Kathy is a very well respected and accomplished individual and I wish her the best in her race to unseat Dale Volker in the 59th State Senate District.

Jones is the president of the Genesee County Young Democrats.

July 1, 2008 - 2:35pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Batavia Boogie.

This wide blue expanse out beside the Genesee County Airport runways will soon be full of falling bodies — connected to parachutes, of course. Frontier Skydivers' annual tandem jump fest, Batavia Boogie, kicks off tomorrow and runs through the weekend. The empty fields here will come alive with RVs and eager parachutists. Hot air balloons will take to the sky. Anyone can attend. Spectators are welcome.

The Batavian will revisit the "dropzone" again tomorrow to chat with the festival's organizer, Paul Gath, and get an inside look at what to expect for the rest of the week. Expect to see some video on The Batavian — we're trying to even get some jump footage, too — this weekend.

Visit the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce or Frontier Skydivers for more information.

July 1, 2008 - 1:26pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in crime, police.


  • 11:26am, 30 Buell St., criminal mischief
  • 12:33pm, 34 Swan St., accident
  • 2:33pm, 8351 Lewiston Road, larceny
  • 3:11pm, 3 McKinley Ave., criminal contempt
  • 8:39pm, 700 Ellicott St., harassment

Note: We don't include noise complaints, domestic disputes and routine police business.

July 1, 2008 - 12:13pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Daily News, nursing home, agriculture, UMMC, Tom Rivers.

From the Daily News (Tuesday):

  • O glorious day! Today's Daily News features the third installment of Tom Rivers' adventures in agriculture series — cherry picking. Rivers begins the article with a confession of his rampant fear of heights, ladders in particular, which makes for a tense and funny start to what proves another gem in a great series. Go read it.
  • United Memorial Medical Center received a $2.2 million state grant that will help finance the renovation of the Jerome Center on Bank Street. Reporter Paul Mrozek writes: "The project will provide 37 condominium-style apartments for low-income senior citizens, ages 55 or older. Rent will be from $475 per month to $575 per month, depending on the person's income." The total cost of the project is about $8.2 million. No date has yet been set for the start of the project, but UMMC spokeswoman Colleen Flynn said that they hope to start soon.
  • The Genesee County Nursing Home was told it will get $800,000 in "retroactive Medicaid reimbursements," money that was supposed to be granted by the state as reimbursement for Medicaid patient care provided by the nursing home. Also, the state will start to pay more for Medicaid services and the county should see an added $600,000 "in unanticipated revenue," writes Paul Mrozek, which means more good news for an institution that hasn't heard much of it in recent months.
  • And the money just keeps flowing... The city of Batavia received a check for nearly $630,000 from the state thanks to Batavia Downs video gaming facility. An article in the Daily News Friday made mention of the state funds — some went to the county and some to the town, as well. After reading today's article, I still don't quite understand why the state gives money to community's for hosting video gaming centers, which I believe are no more than video slot machines. Reporters Tom Rivers and Joanne Beck explain how it came about: "The state last year approved legislation allowing host communities to receive payments for having video gaming centers within their municipal borders. They share 3.5 percent of the total net revenue generated by the video gaming centers." I assume that "they" here refers to the "host communities." But then the next sentence says that the "money comes from the state and not the tracks that operate the gambling centers." I'm confused. Whose money is this? Is it the state's or does it belong to the Downs? Why do municipalities get a share? Anyone know how this works?
  • A fire at a home in Corfu Monday morning resulted in the death of two cats and caused about $50,000 in damage. No one was home at the time, and the Corfu fire chief said the house is not habitable.
  • The owner of BrightLine, a television marketing company, was honored as the Batavia High School Graduate of Disctinction Sunday. Jacqueline Corbelli Modzelewski graduated from the school in 1982.
  • Brian Hillabush reports on the NFL-sponsored football camp at Batavia High School. More than 400 kids are enrolled in the camp, and they come from schools all over the area. It's an interesting article, worth reading.

For the complete stories, the Daily News is available on local newsstands, or you can subscribe on BataviaNews.com.

July 1, 2008 - 7:37am
posted by Philip Anselmo in wbta.

Check out WBTA for this and other stories:

  • Batavia's City School Board will hold its reorganization meeting today at 4:15pm at the district office on Washington Avenue.
June 30, 2008 - 11:14pm
posted by Mollie Radzinski in baseball, muckdogs.

After waiting an hour for a rain delay to start the game, the Batavia Muckdogs (7-6) blanked the Jamestown Jammers (7-4) behind a combined 14-strikeout pitching effort. 

Miguel Tapia (2-1) struck out seven Jammers in five innings and allowed only three hits to get the win.  Johnny Dorn (1-1) suffered the loss giving up six hits and four earned runs through three innings.


Batavia jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the 1st on a Frederick Parejo double and Shane Peterson RBI single.  But the Muckdogs big inning came in the 3rd when Jermaine Curtis led off with a single.  Two batters later, Blake Murphy sent his first pitch over the left field wall for a two-run homerun.  Xavier Scruggs followed Murphy’s lead, hitting one over the wall in right.  Batavia’s last run came in the 4th after Beau Riportella reached second on a throwing error and Parejo drove him in with a single.


The Muckdog’s Scott Gorgen came on in relief to pitch three innings, striking out five and walking two.  Hector Cardenas pitched the 9th, striking out two of the three batters he faced.


Murphy and Scruggs both went 2-for-4 with a homerun and single.  Riportella went 3-for-4 with a double.


 Photo Courtesy: Casey Freeman

June 30, 2008 - 4:30pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Richmond Memorial Library, books, Present Tense.

So it begins... The Batavian would like to proudly announce the start of its Summer Book Club. What does that mean? That means we gather together some recommendations from local literati, put them into a neat and tidy package, present them to you and hope that some sort of discussion ensues.

There are no requirements to join our book club — though we may raffle off a bookish prize or two for a lucky reader among those who join up and help spark some conversation. Here's how we'll do it for now:

If you're interested in reading any of the books we recommend, let us know.


Start a blog. We'll see it.

Just make sure you're registered for the site, click on the link to create content and select 'Blog entry.' Then just say what you've got say. For example: "Hey, that book So Brave, Young, and Handsome sounds great. I think I'll pick up a copy from Present Tense (on Washington Avenue here in Batavia) and get started reading it." That's all we should need from folks to get started.

In the meantime, check out these three recommendations from Erica Caldwell of Present Tense bookstore and Leslie DeLooze from the Richmond Memorial Library. We'll have three more reviews Wednesday plus more announcements about the book club.

So Brave, Young, and Handsome
By Leif Enger

Enger again explores the often transparent line between good and bad, focusing his story on characters who fall in the gray in-between. Failed novelist Monte Becket accompanies his friend, Glendon Hale, a former outlaw, to Mexico to find Hale's estranged wife. Their adventures along the way, and the surprising end of their journey, make for an exciting and thought-provoking read. —Erica Caldwell

Book excerpt: "Not to disappoint you, but my troubles are nothing—not for an author, at least. Common blots aside, I have none of the usual Big Artillery: I am not penniless, brilliant or an orphan; have never been to war, suffered starvation or lashed myself to a mast."

Between, Georgia
By Joshilyn Jackson

This hilarious story set down South tells the story of the Crabtrees and the Fretts, two feuding families. Nonny, who was born a Crabtree but raised by the Fretts, is in between in many ways. A book group favorite that inspired spirited discussion about everything from deaf-mute individuals to dieting. — Erica Caldwell

Book excerpt: "The war began thirty years, nine months, and seven days ago, when I was deaf and blind, floating silent and serene inside Hazel Crabtree. I was secreted in Hazel’s womb, which was cloaked in her pale and freckled skin, which was in turn hidden by the baggy sweatsuits she adopted so she would look fat instead of pregnant. Which was ridiculous, because who ever heard of a fat Crabtree? They were all tall and weedy, slouching around like wilting stems, red hair blooming out the top."

I Shall Not Want
by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Julia Spencer-Fleming’s sixth book in the Clare Fergusson/Russ VanAlstyne mystery series set in Millers Kill, NY won’t disappoint fans. Julia, who was the 2005 author for “A Tale for Three Counties” (the area-wide reading program), keeps the momentum going with this book. The first chapter is a cliff-hanger that sets the scene; the action then backs up to the months prior to these events.  As usual, she includes an interesting contemporary issue (this time, it’s illegal aliens and farm labor) as well as characters you come to know like friends. Great for summer reading, the author will be visiting Richmond Memorial Library on Friday, August 15. After the fifth book, readers wondered where the story could go. How well do you think the author succeeded in continuing the story of Millers Kill and the relationship between Clare and Russ? —Leslie DeLooze

June 30, 2008 - 2:43pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in crime, BID, Jackson Square, music, public market.

Every morning I get online and go mining for news, mostly Batavia news, because thats why I'm here: to inform Batavians. I plug in keywords in search fields. I read through the news briefs at WBTA's timely-kept Web site. I scan the digital newspapers in the area for anything (geographically) of interest to our readers here in Batavia and, more and more, around other parts of Genesee County as well. Nevertheless, some days, no matter how many information wells I plumb, no news comes up.

That being said, Monday's are almost always a guarantee for news. Something had to happen over the weekend. Someone must have done something worthy of that half-inch bold font headline. A party somewhere must have gone wrong, and now someone — or a few someones are cooling it in the clink.

Today, that wasn't the case. We heard from the county sheriff's deputies and the city police, but they were all about alcohol busts over the weekend. Whether that meant selling it to people who shouldn't have it or driving after drinking too much of it, that was all they reported about the weekend — to us, anyway.

So it got me thinking. What makes the news?

Well, without turning this into a debate about how we the media need to focus more on positive, happy, make-you-feel-good news — because there really is plenty of that; it just doesn't make the front pages all the time and more often than not isn't written well so isn't worth reading — the news I find in my morning searches will fall pretty cleanly into one of a few categories: bad news (car crashes, crime, high profile death), news released by Genesee Community College, finance or sports. But there wasn't much of any of it this morning.

So when Batavia's downtown business director Don Burkel walked into Main Street Coffee this morning and asked me what the scoop was, I told him: no scoop. I told him I searched and searched and couldn't come up with anything. What happened over the weekend, I asked him. Didn't stuff happen? Wasn't there news?

For sure, he said. Good news.

Batavia's Public Market opened for the season Saturday morning. Despite the weather threats of hail storms and the like, the market was a raving success. Folks came out to buy from vendors who were eager to sell their wares. And I can understand his elation. Public markets make me feel the same way, and it isn't even my job to get excited about downtown business. Public markets have seen a real resurgence in the past decade or so. For good reason. They're an intersection of culture and finance that harken back to the Greek agora, the public gathering place where everything happened. Whenever I get the chance to visit the market in Rochester, I get giddy. They've got good cheap eats. Fresh produce. You can typically hear at least three languages spoken. And somehow the otherwise avaricious act of purchasing for a small moment in time turns cultural. Unlike, say, big box retail shops, that mostly smell of plastic and make me feel more neurotic than usual and sometimes even hostile towards my people.

So there was that. But also...

Jackson Square hosted its second Friday night concert of the season. The Ghostriders played, the square filled, people danced. And the whole evening seemed a foreshadowing of the weekend to come — Ramble Music and Arts Fest.

Downtown was good cheer, straight up and down, this weekend. And Don told me all about it with a beaming smile. Because it really was a good weekend for Batavia. And that was the news. Summer arrived, and Batavians got out and took advantage. They stayed close to home, and close to home proved worthy of sticking around for.

All this to say, sometimes good news is exactly that and deserves its place in the cycle of crime, death, finance, sports. Not that all good news is real news. I bought a pair of sneakers recently, and they're comfortable, and that's good news for me. But I doubt anyone else would care, and they shouldn't.

There are so many ways a community gets out and acts like one, and when it does it so blatantly and in a way that blots out the bad that gets the front page most every other day, it's worthy of shining a light on.

So, if you've got a keyboard and an Internet connection, and you know that your town, village, city, neighborhood, hamlet got out and manufactured some good news that just doesn't seem to get the credit it deserves — blog about it. Write a post. Write it in a way that you think is interesting. Put yourself in the story. We're not journalism teachers. We won't call you out for that. Just tell the story. Because sometimes the news cycle lets us down, and we could all do with a good story told well of folks doing good things.


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