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October 10, 2008 - 11:10pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in football, Le Roy, Sports, Oakfield, pembroke, Alabama.

 When Tim Smith and Brad Riner embraced just moments after the Oakfield-Alabama football team had shocked visiting Pembroke in the final seconds to wrap up the Genesee Region League title, saying it was an emotional moment would be an understatement. 

The two tearful O-A stars literally left it all on the field and scored the final points in an amazing 25-24 victory in front of an estimated 2,500 fans.

Smith's story is well known.

He literally walked off the field in the middle of a game last season and quit on his team. But his teammates welcomed him back - and it was Smith that plunged into the end zone with 29 seconds left on the clock to put the Hornets down by one point.

The coaching staff initially wanted to kick the extra point and go into overtime, especially with Smith getting banged up on the touchdown run. But the O-A players made the call to go for two, and coach John Dowd let his players decide if they were going to win the Genesee Region League championship outright on a two-point conversion.

After burning a timeout because of some confusion, the Hornets lined up and gave the ball to Riner, who took a sweep to the left side of the line and dove into the end zone to give O-A the lead.

Riner wrapped up the league title (it is the first time the Hornets have won the title outright since Dowd has been coach) with an interception two plays later.

This was a typical Oakfield-Alabama/Pembroke game, a classic battle between the top two programs in the GR.

There was no smack talk on the field, no cheap shots ... nothing but a hard fought battle between two great teams.

Pembroke looked as if it was going to dominate early on as David Kleckler returned the opening kickoff 70 yards to set up an Andrew Wright 1-yard touchdown run less than a minute into the contest.

Neither team moved the ball after that in the first quarter and it was 7-0 after 12 minutes.

Wright put an end to the battle of the punters with a 41-yard run midway through the second quarter. Matthew Phelps nailed an impressive 39-yard field goal to put the Dragons up 10-0.

O-A started near midfield and quarterback A.J. Kehlenbeck rumbled for 17 yards to set up a Riner 6-yard TD run with about a minute left in the half, making the score 10-7 at the break.

After the second half started with defensive stops, Riner broke off a 16-yarder and Smith eventually scored from 3-yards out to give the Hornets a 14-10 advantage.

The Dragons seemed to have lost it at this point.

Three consecutive conservative rushing calls set up a fourth-and-8 at the Pembroke 30-yard line.

But Kleckler scrambled around for a little bit and launched a pass into the end zone, which was hauled in by Jacob Reeves. It is just the second reception he's had all season long.

Pembroke carried the 17-14 lead into the fourth.

Oakfield-Alabama's power rushing attack led to a 7-plus minute drive that allowed the score to be tied up when Jon Fisher kicked a 24-yard field goal.

On the ensuing drive, Kleckler scrambled for 32 yards and Mike Dibble rumbled for 14 yards, but two penalties in three plays put Pembroke in a tough situation.

The Dragons had a third-and-17 at the Oakfield 23-yard line.

Kleckler dropped back to pass and felt the pressure from O-A's defensive lineman, but he scrambled around for a couple of seconds and found tight end Ken Babcock at about the 5-yard line. Babcock took a few steps into the end zone and the Dragons led 24-17 with 2:42 left in the game.

Smith had a long kick return to midfield and O-A's longest run on the final drive was a 12-yard scamper by Riner.

The win means Oakfield-Alabama is now 6-0 and is league champions. Pembroke falls to 5-1.

With Le Roy's victory over Caledonia-Mumford tonight, O-A is still the No. 2 seed in Class C and Pembroke is at No. 3. 

The Dragons play Attica next week.


October 10, 2008 - 8:02pm
posted by Tom Gilliatt in pictures.

Here is a picture of my son and my Tesla Coil mind you it's very safe as long as you respect it's power and more of this can be found on my YouTube channle here

A picture one of many I took of that October storm we had awhile back

I took a time lapsed photo of the planet Jupiter well trying to anyways and when I took this photo is was pitch black out


The fire that happened on liberty street awhile back


October 10, 2008 - 7:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alice Kryzan.

Alice Kryzan can't do a thing about the attack ads the DCCC is running against Chris Lee, her her spokesperson Anne Wadsworth told me this evening.

Kryzan, she said, is not happy with the ads. They don't represent her, but campaign law prevents her from speaking with the arm of the DCCC financing and producing the ads.

Wadsworth said the DCCC probably did polling that suggested the line of attack that would work in the 26th District. She called them hard hitting and agreed the ads are negative.

Yesterday, I did a blog post about the candidate debate broadcast on WXXI and I didn't buy Kryzan's assertion that she hasn't run negative ads against Lee. I do agree that I am not aware of any attack ads funded by Kryazan.

I told Wadsworth that when I worked for a Democratic assemblyman in California, the state Democratic party didn't do anything with out the advice and conscent of the nominee, even while the candidate often disclaimed responsibility for some of the attacks launched in his name.  Wadsworth noted that campaign laws, particularly federal campaign laws, have changed a good deal in the past few years.  Kryzan is prohibited from even the slightest communication with the DCCC committee responsible for the ads.

OK, so let's assume the DCCC is savvy enough to find this blog post about its candidate. Here's my message: Grow up! Stop foisting on voters the negative attack ads and get in step with a candidate who clearly wants to promote a campaign based on issues and ideas.  Kryzan is the nominee primarily because she refused to associate herself with spiteful messages. Don't be idiots.

When I was involved in California politics, both as a reporter and a legislative aide, one of my great pleasures was to get to meet and know Lucy Killea. She is a political legend in California.  Alice in some ways reminds me of Lucy, and one of the hallmarks of Killea's entire political career was that she never once attacked an opponent.  She always ran on issues and ideas. To me, there are few things more admirable than a candidate who disclaims attack ads and runs on issues and ideas.

Now, don't get the idea I'm endorsing Kryzan.  I'm just saying, this is an admirable characteristic, one Chris Lee would do well to emulate for the remainder of the campaign, if not the rest of his political career (should he be fortunate enough to have one).

During our conversation, Wadsworth mentioned that Kryzan will be in Batavia tomorrow, walking precincts and she will make a campaign appearance for lunch at Larry's Steakhouse, the new restaurant on Main Street.  (FWIW: I had lunch there today and liked it).

Anne also mentioned something about Kryzan's site I hadn't paid much attention to before -- her photo journal from her campaign.  She invited use to use photos from the journal any time we like, which is where the photo for this post is taken from.  This is a nice use of the web by a campaign. Now, if we can just get Alice to blog.


October 10, 2008 - 6:45pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Neighborhoods, Alabama.

So we've talked about the good eats at the Alabama Hotel, the fine meats at Alabama Holley Farms, the camels and the general sentiment in town that there ain't much to see, which I'm going to go ahead and ascribe to the maxim: you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone. Alabama is gorgeous. Maybe that's why folks say they've got not much to see. They don't want the rest of us cretins to go stomping through the splendor of it all.

At the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, they've got nearly 11,000 acres of pristine lands. Dorothy Gerhart told me they see about 264 species of birds pass through each year, most of which stay for at least a little while. Then there are the bald eagles that build their nests—some the size of a Buick—on site and only leave the refuge when everything freezes and are usually back by the end of January. Dorothy is the visitor services manager at the refuge.

Folks come to the refuge just to walk the trails, some come during hunting season for the waterfowl and game, some come in the middle of the winter for the ice fishing on the marshes. It truly is a bit of old country upstate.

Dorothy and I got to talking about all of the caterpillars in the road. I must have seen about a dozen of them down the half mile stretch to get to the visitor's center off Route 77. (Throughout the day, in fact, I'm sure I saw at least 30 of the suckers inching their way across the gravel.)

Dorothy told me that all of these woolybears, as they're called, are a sign that we may be setting in for an especially severe winter. I read much the same in the Farmer's Almanac. All of the extra berries on the trees, too, are such a sign, said Dorothy, that shows nature's own effort to take care of her own in the coming of a cold winter.

As for the other sights and sounds of Alabama, here's another video and some photos that should cover the rest of my trip. Enjoy.

Here's an especially regal-looking home on Lewiston Road:

Here are some sights from around town:

October 10, 2008 - 4:15pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Neighborhoods, Alabama.

South Alabama is parked on a fine stretch of Route 63 bordered on either side by green flat land, trees, homes and ditches that stretch out in every other direction. There's a quaint old town hall not much more than a stone's throw from Route 77, which, north, takes you to the marsh and woodlands of the wildlife refuge—more on that later—and, south, into the rolling hills of Indian Falls—and I know that because I got lost down there for a little while after I missed a turn. No matter. It was a nice drive.

Anyhow, back to Alabama. My first stop was the town hall, which I later found out used to be an old schoolhouse. It was closed. Another fellow who had stopped by and found that out told me so. He also said, when I asked what there was to see in Alabama, that I should check out the meat market where folks come from all around to pick up a hock or a flank and the Alabama Hotel, which is no longer a hotel, only a restaurant that serves a good fish fry on Friday evenings, he's been told, and both places are on the same corner, acorss the street from each other, where Route 63 and Route 77 meet up for the second time at the flashing red light. Other than that, he said, there's not much else to see.

Most other folks that I saw said much the same.

Driving down Lewiston Road, after a stop at the wildlife refuge—more on that later—and after I stuffed myself full of a half-pound of seasoned ground beef and fresh-cut fries at the Alabama Hotel—oh so good—I nearly drove off the road and into a tree after I thought I saw... was pretty darned sure I saw: a camel. A dromedary, if I wasn't mistaken, just hanging out in a little dirt hole in the ground (literally) chewing cud.

You'll have to excuse me. Camels are a rare sight for me. I was giddy like a kid at the zoo for the first time when I saw it. Have you seen this camel before? Does anyone know his (or her) story? No one seemed to be around to tell me about it.

So, after the camel experience, I kept on down Lewiston Road until I spotted a sign for maple syrup. Now, for those who don't know, there's a rare delicacy known to a certain circle of bootlegger syrup makers and their fans as 'Grade B' maple syrup. This is the dark stuff, often black as molasses, that tastes like liquid maple sugar candy and makes your eyelids twitch. Unfortunately, it is kind of illegal, so you won't find it very often, unless you know where to look or happen upon a clever purveyor of the stuff who knows the tricks of the trade, so to speak.

This fellow didn't have that stuff, which is probably safer for him and me anyway, but he had crates full of quart jars of the fancy maple syrup for only $12 a jar. Just look for the sign on Lewiston Road if you're interested. Don't be intimidated by the sign on the door that reads: "Open Door and Yell." It means what it says, and it got me inside. Too bad that syruper Ken Howard wasn't up for a video interview today. At least he was kind enough to invite me to a tap run in the spring.

Tune in later this afternoon for part two of my adventures in Alabama.

October 10, 2008 - 3:23pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, Daily News, agriculture, County Legislature, farm bureau.

Byron diary farmer Robin Keller, 39, has been elected the new president of the Genesee County Farm Bureau, according to the Daily News. Tom Rivers reports that Keller replaces Dale Stein, a Le Roy dairy farmer, who did not seek re-election after his four years in the position. Keller and her husband moved to the area a little less than a decade ago, looking to expand their dairy business.

"Genesee County was the ideal location for growing a farm business," she told Rivers.

Genesee County Legislature Chair Mary Pat Hancock told the Daily News that

the New York State Association of Counties is not going to sit back and allow the state to impose budget cuts without NYSAC having some say in how those adjustments are made and implemented.

County Manager Jay Gsell said that the current fiscal crisis on Wall Street could be an "opportunity for reform in Albany" by getting the state to cut back its "expenditures, jobs, services" and "unfunded state mandates"—what Paul Mrozek describes as "the albatross on the back of county governments."

Mothertime Marketplace will roll into St. Joseph's School this Saturday and Sunday. The consignment sale event that often includes everything from bedroom sets to books, will run from 10:00am to 5:00pm Saturday and from 10:00am to 3:00pm Sunday. Admission is $2 per day or $3 for both days. Some coupons are available at selected locations around the city. Visit Mothertime Marketplace online for more information. St. Joseph's School is located at the corner of Summit and East Main streets downtown.

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

October 10, 2008 - 9:05am
posted by Philip Anselmo in Neighborhoods, Alabama, migration.

Well folks, the way I see it, if the birds get to migrate, so should The Batavian. Don't get me wrong, I love our office in the Masonic Temple with its frosted glass windows and door, the antique radiator adorned in arabesque—that feel of the old shamus, Philip Marlowe, who keeps a cork-topped fifth of rye in the desk drawer and just sits and waits for the next dame to peek demurely through the crack of the door. Yeah, our office is nice.

Nevertheless, it's time for a change of scenery. Genesee County is a big beautiful place. Let's get out and see what she's got to show us. Since each town and village name speaks its own hidden secrets to me, its own individual promise of undiscovered treasure, there's only one way to do this: start at the top... of the alphabet, that is.

So on this, our first day of migration, I shall travel to Alabama. Don't know what I'll find there. Don't know what to expect. All I need is a place to sit, a place to eat and some folks to talk to about life and about whatever else folks talk about in Alabama.

Do you have any ideas where I should go? What are the must see sites of Alabama? Who's got the best BLT in town? Well... that's enough talk. Time to hit the road. Alabama, here I come.

October 10, 2008 - 8:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

"Social Networking" is a wonky term for the ability of people on a web site to connect with each other by, among other things, tagging each other as "friends."

We now have this "friends" feature on The Batavian.

Now you can go to a person's profile page and see all of their blog posts and comments, sign their individual guestbook and, if you want, invite that person to be your friend.

You can then go to your own profile page and look at your friend's activity.

This is a brand new feature on the site, so your feed back is welcome.

Over the next few days, I'll invite all registered users to be my friend -- this will make me, I suppose, a bit like Tom on MySpace, but we want to be sure everybody gets introduced to this new feature.

October 10, 2008 - 8:10am
posted by Philip Anselmo in wbta.

One of our readers picked up on a story posted on the WBTA Web site yesterday about the Batavia City Schools receiving an award from Promethean Inc., the company that provided the school with its high-tech blackboards.

WBTA's Dan Fischer spoke with School Superintendent Margaret Puzio about the award. Interestingly, the city schools will now become a "beta testing center" for Promethean Inc.

October 10, 2008 - 7:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jon Powers.

Well, well, Jon Powers has finally made a statement about the status of his campaign -- it's officially over, finally -- and his move out of Western New York.

Alan Bedenko received an e-mail from Powers, which he quotes in full.

The letter is notable for it's lack of a clear endorsement of Alice Kryzan, and how quickly Powers has been willing to abandon WNY.  He doesn't say in the least that he moved out of state in order to help Kryzan's campaign.  He took a job that gave him an opportunity to be nationally focused, rather than focused on WNY.

He does thank his supporters:

We want to thank each of you for your hard work and dedication. Please continue to serve in your community and find a way to get involved in this year’s elections.

This campaign was never about an individual, it was about this community. If you believe that together we have the power to change Washington, then please continue to work toward the dramatic change our country needs.

October 9, 2008 - 10:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alice Kryzan, Chris Lee.

So I sat in front of the TV tonight watching WXXI trying like hell to figure out why either Chris Lee or Alice Kryzan is qualified to represent the 26th District in Congress.

And I sat here trying like hell to figure what what the real differences are between the two candidates.

And frankly, I'm stumped.

Both were tentative in their presentations and offered up little more than platitudes and facile analysis of the issues facing the country and the district (to be fair, the format sucked -- no more than a minute for any sustained statement from either candidate, and often less).

On the bailout: Both essentially support it.  Lee talks about updated regulations, Kryzan talks about new regulations, but neither questions whether the entire pretext for the bailout isn't just trumped up by the power elite in Washington.

(Though, I gotta say, Kryzan could have given a little stronger shoutout to The Batavian.  During the discussion, she noted that Lee had been silent on the bailout issue until this past Saturday. Well, the first place that had any solid information on Lee's position on the bailout was The Batavian -- come on, Alice, give us some credit! -- It wasn't the Daily News, nor the Buffalo News, nor the D&C that sought Lee out and tried to get him on the record on the topic -- it was The Batavian ... though, perhaps I brag too much).

On the war in Iraq, both agree the troops should come home, but neither addressed  troops in Iraq in context of the current financial conditions in the United States: How the frig can we justify even one more day of this expense?

Both candidates think we should get more militaristic in Afghanistan.

On taxes, both claim they will cut taxes, but neither address how the can do that in current economic conditions, and neither question the current state of the large and growing central government.

On education, both candidates say there needs to be reforms to "no child left behind," but neither question why education is a national government issue at all.

On the environment, both talk about being green and bringing green jobs to Western New York. Neither offer any concrete examples of how they might create green jobs in Genesee County.

if I have bones to pick with either candidate, it would be with Alice Kryzan.

First, Kryzan called herself a fiscal conservative, but the only example she could offer to support that claim is that she knows how to balance her family finances. Big whoopee do! Can't we all do that? That doesn't address the issue of federal taxation and spending when the government has the power to A) raise taxes or change tax codes as it likes; B) because of the fed, print money at will; C) borrow money from over seas lenders at will. 

I really want to know how Kryzan can qualify as a fiscal conservative? What taxes will she cut, specifically? What government spending will she cut, specifically? How will she reign in the Federal Reserve? How will she end deficit spending?  What federal programs will she end in these tight economic times?

Second, Kryzan accused Lee of lying when Lee said she has run negative ads against him. Kryzan is, she said, running a campaign on issues and she hasn't run a negative campaign. I have two words for Alice: Bull and shit. It may not be her campaign directly funding the attack ads on Lee (and I tend to believe Chris at this point that the ads are unfair and inaccurate, and I will believe that until somebody can prove Chris wrong), but I have enough experience in politics to know that if Alice really objected to those ads, they would not be running. (see this post updating this point).

I doubt many people watched this debate tonight, but if any undecided voters did, I can't imagine this debate helped them come to any sort of conclusion about who to vote for, and for the rest, all of the people who already decided that they will support  either the Republican or the Democrat, you probably believe your candidate won and the other candidate is an idiot.  That's the nature of these things, but really -- there isn't a hairs worth of difference between either Republicans or Democrats in any race.

Now, more than ever, this country could use some independent-minded voices calling for real change. We're just not getting it.

October 9, 2008 - 8:16pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in football, Le Roy, Sports, Oakfield, pembroke.

 All of the football previews are now done and in sports, with the exception of the Pembroke/Oakfield-Alabama game. I put that one on the front page as well because I did an insane amount of work on that thing.

I'd like to get you members of The Batavian involved with these previews. Please pick the games you are interested in and make predictions as to what you think will happen and what the final score will be. Maybe we can get some good conversations going.

Here is the list of games:

Holley at Attica

Pembroke at Oakfield-Alabama

Cal-Mum at Le Roy

Batavia at East Rochester/Gananda

Barker at Alexander

Elba/Byron-Bergen at Notre Dame


Also, if you are looking for preview information on Livingston Conference, Albion or Medina games you should pick up a copy of The Daily News tomorrow. They are doing a good job of reporting on these games.

I'm guessing the only statistics and story-lines you are going to see on Batavia, Le Roy or GR games are all on The Batavian today

October 9, 2008 - 4:29pm
posted by Brian Hillabush in football, Le Roy, Sports, Oakfield, pembroke, Alabama.

Pembroke (5-0) at Oakfield-Alabama (5-0)

7 p.m. Friday

Genesee Region League football fans have had this game marked on their calendars since the schedules came out.

Pembroke and Oakfield-Alabama have had the top two teams in the league all season long and this game will decide the champion.

O-A would clinch the title outright with a victory and avoiding a total meltdown against Holley next week. Pembroke would clinch at least a tie and would claim the title outright with a win and a victory over Attica in the final week of the season.

This game has become the biggest rivalry in the GR in recent years as both teams are powerhouse programs that compete for a sectional title every year.

It shouldn't be any different this year as Oakfield-Alabama is currently the second seed in Class C while Pembroke follows at No. 3.

Le Roy is the top seed and will be playing tough games with Caledonia-Mumford and Hornell in the final two weeks, so the winner of this game could end up getting the prestigious top seed in sectionals.

The Hornets are ranked No. 10 in the state while Pembroke gets an honorable mention.

Pembroke's Chip Foster and O-A's John Dowd became head coaches at the same time and the Dragons have won four out of five meetings between the two powerhouses.

The games are typically defensive battles:

2003 - Pembroke 17, Oakfield-Alabama 13

2004 - Pembroke 14, Oakfield-Alabama 9

2005 - Oakfield-Alabama 34, Pembroke 16

2006 - Pembroke 14, Oakfield-Alabama 6

2007 - Pembroke 13, Oakfield-Alabama 10

The Hornets have a big size advantage on the offensive and defensive line, but Pembroke might have the edge in the amount of skilled players that will touch the football.

Andrew Wright tops that list.

He has rushed the ball 39 times for 539 yards and seven touchdowns while catching 12 passes for 334 yards and three scores.

But Wright is by no means the only offensive weapon.

Mike Dibble has gained 390 yards and scored eight touchdowns, Josh Phillips has 268 yards and six TDs and quarterback David Kleckler has rushed for 230 yards and two touchdowns on just 17 rushes.

Kleckler has completed 21-of-38 attempts for 532 yards with seven touchdowns and four interceptions. His main targets are Wright and tight end Ken Babcock (9 receptions, 198 yards, 3 TDs).

Tim Smith has been the biggest producer offensively thus far for the Hornets, gaining 651 yards with nine touchdowns on 73 carries. But O-A will spread the ball around.

Brad Riner has 413 yards and six touchdowns, Joe Natalizia has 221 yards and two scores and Jason Stanley has pitched in 212 yards with one touchdown.

Josh Athoe returned from a leg injury suffered during baseball season and got the start last week, rushing 16 times for 83 yards with two touchdowns.

A.J. Kehlenbeck has added a pretty good passing attack for the Hornets. He has completed 13-of-24 pass attempts - to seven different receivers - for 145 yards and four TDs. Noah Seward leads the team in receptions with three for 36 yards. He also has four sacks.



October 9, 2008 - 4:24pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in video, County Legislature.

A few of the students participating in the 4-H Student Legislator program were on hand last night to attend a meeting of the Genesee County Legislature for the first time. The students literally sit right up in front of the legislators and follow along as official county business is conducted. Over the next several months, I will do the same, following along with the students as they learn how to draft resolutions, pass them into law and argue the issues. At the end of the year, the participants will hold a mock session of the legislature, and if history is any judge, they may even get a resolution or two of their own stamped with the official seal of the county.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. They still have a long way to go, and I'll be going it along with them, for at least a few of the sessions, anyway. In fact, I was there last night and caught the first impressions of a couple students after the session.

Here's what they had to say:

Many thanks to Chip Malone for inviting me along for the ride. Chip is the program's coordinator.

October 9, 2008 - 2:19pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia.

Mark Potwora brought a news item to our attention that was posted up on the WBTA Web site late this morning. It tells of an award ceremony that was held today at Robert Norris School to honor the Batavia City School District with the Torchlight award from Promethean Inc. In other words, the company that supplied the schools with their high-tech blackboards is honoring the school for using them. Or at least, that's how it sounds. Dan Fischer writes: "We expect to find out later today just what the designation means for city schools."

Potwora has an idea what it might mean. He has this to say: "I would give a school an award also if they bought my product..Is this a nother way to over hype something."

October 9, 2008 - 1:49pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, Daily News, Le Roy, salt.

Reporter Scott DeSmit has a pair of interesting articles on the front page of today's Daily News. In one, DeSmit writes about how many municipalities saved themselves some considerable money by locking in their price for this year's road salt at last year's figures. That move will keep them immune, at least for now, from the 30-percent increase in the price per ton.

In the town of Batavia, that move saved them nearly $12,000. They've got 1,300 tons of the stuff packed in their barn.

It's a great article. Worth a full read.

In his front page piece for today, DeSmit writes about an odd state of affairs in Le Roy, where it turns out that ten parks in the village—some more than 100 years old—have never been "properly designated" as parks. "When is a park not a park?" DeSmit quips. "When it's in the village of Le Roy."

Now, the village will have to pass a law to say that yes, in fact, the parks are parks.

This farce is worth more than a laugh. In fact, it's a great example of the ubiquity of legislation in our lives. Without this law, those parks remain a sort of no-man's land where "regulations and restrictions on park use" cannot be "properly" enforced, and the town can't yet do anything to make sure people obey the rules, "rules such as being in the park after hours." Although, as DeSmit admits, this glitch has never prevented those rules from being enforced in actuality. Only now, once the law is passed, it will be official. Funny stuff.

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

October 9, 2008 - 1:33pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, Victorian Manor.

We received a tip from one of our readers this morning that Victorian Manor was not merely delayed in the reconstruction of its facility on Main Street in Batavia, but that it would be closing down. We called to inquire about this and spoke with a woman who identified herself as Mrs. Noonan who said, regarding the rumor that Victorian Manor will close: "That's very incorrect."

Mrs. Noonan also told us that "the company is preparing a statement very soon," though on what, she wouldn't say. She told us to call her back next week, but she didn't say why.

We thought it important to note that the rumor proved false, but we were a little confused about what would be happening next week. We will get out any information as it becomes available to us.

October 9, 2008 - 12:01pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, crime, police, murder.

We received this letter this morning from Ed Minardo, director of Genesee Justice. It's from the mother of Desean Gooch, and it's addressed to the Genesee County Community. Here it is, in full:

Thanks to the Genesee County Community

On 10-9-08, it will be the second anniversary of the date that my son Desean Gooch was killed in Batavia.  I want to take this opportunity first to remember the short but joyful life of Desean, and also to send a thank you to those agencies and individuals that were of great comfort and assistance to us in our family’s time of need.  This was especially important to us as we had to endure Desean’s death, police investigation, prosecution and disposition from out of state.  The staff of Genesee Justice was a constant source of information, support and caring that kept us connected to agencies and events that were taking place.  The outstanding efforts by the Officers and Detectives of the Batavia City Police Department in identifying the individuals and evidence involved in Desean’s shooting death were remarkable.  In addition to their professional demeanor, they were there for our family as compassionate human beings to recognize the depth of our loss.  The Genesee County District Attorney’s Office did a wonderful job of presenting the facts in the trial and including us in the plea offerings of the various defendants.  We would also like to extend our appreciation to County Court Judge Noonan and the jury for their role in the trial which ultimately resulted in the conviction and incarceration of the individual directly responsible for Desean’s death.   The tragedy of Desean’s death was made a bit easier to bear with the help of all the caring, professional people in Genesee County.  We wanted you to know that you are appreciated and remembered!

The Mother and Family of Desean Gooch

October 9, 2008 - 10:51am
posted by Philip Anselmo in budget, County Legislature, jobs, Mercy Flight, career center.

Last night, I had the privilege of attending a meeting of the Genesee County Legislature. It was not only my first visit, but the first session attended by the 4-H local government interns—check back with us this afternoon to hear more about that and hear their first impressions.

Before the meeting kicked off, I had a few minutes to chat with Legislator Charles Zambito. We talked about the upcoming county budget determinations and the worries over what will happen at the state level, since state funds make up such a huge portion of county funds. Zambito told me that this was not only a worry in Genesee County, but in counties all over the state. A minor budget cut at the state level becomes amplified for the counties, and some services and programs could face extinction if the cuts get severe. Nevertheless, he said, they will do their best to preserve.

Chairwoman Mary Pat Hancock spoke briefly about the recent meeting in Niagara Falls of the New York State Association of Counties. She was pleasantly surprised to see that so many folks could make it up to our neck of the woods. Many of those from downstate, it turned out, had never even been to the falls, let alone past the Hudson.

Hancock also spoke about the Genesee County Career Center, which lists jobs at all skill levels around the county. She mentioned a few last night for jobs such as machinist, office manager and nurse's aide. Right now, the Career Center posts its jobs on the America's Job Exchange site for New York, where you can search and apply for jobs all over the state.

This morning, I spoke with Jeanne Ianita at the Career Center, and we're going to see if The Batavian can host those job listings, as well. We'll let you know if that comes to pass.

As for the business portion of the meeting, all of the resolutions on the agenda were passed, including the approval of $15,000 for Mercy Flight for this past year's service. Mercy Flight has requested $20,000 for 2009.

October 9, 2008 - 9:22am
posted by Philip Anselmo in crime, police, Sheriff's Office.

Jeanine D. Fuller, 22, of 8 S. Main St., Batavia, was charged with a felony count of criminal possession of stolen property Wednesday, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Fuller is accused of stealing a credit card and using it to to buy merchandise that was not authorized by the card holder. She was also charged with petit larceny and unlawful possession of personal identification information.

Jessica L. Pittler, 18, of Lockport, was charged with a felony count of second-degree forgery and a felony count of second-degree identity theft Wednesday, state police said. Pittler is accused of stealing a credit card from an acquaintance and making purchases that totalled nearly $630. She was sent to Niagara County Jail in lieu of $1,000 bail.

Genesee County was the site of several crashes over the past few days.

  • Katelyn D. George, 17, of Byron, was driving along Bank Street Road in Elba Wednesday evening when she veered into the other lane and off the road, crashing into a pair of trees, deputies said.
  • Zachary M. Rebert, 17, of Oakfield, was driving along Maple Avenue Tuesday afternoon when he failed to stop for a red light at the intersection of Route 63, deputies said. Rebert's vehicle crashed into the driver's side of a car driven by P. M. Leszczynski, 52, of Medina.
  • Cassandra L. Ribbeck, 18, of 149 Oak St., Batavia, was driving along Beaver Road in Alexander Wednesday evening when she lost control of her truck, possibly driving too fast on wet roads, deputies said. Her truck hydroplaned and drove off the road, striking a fence post, continuing on through a field and striking an earth embankment where the truck was flipped up on its side.
  • Breann Blackchief, 21, of Basom, and Tashina C. Abrams, 21, of Akron, were riding a pair of ATVs on Meadville Road in Alabama Tuesday evening when they crashed, deputies said. Blackchief had not noticed that Abrams had stopped and crashed into the back of her. Blackchief was ejected from the ATV, landing in the middle of the road.

There was no mention in the releases of any injuries. We put in a call to the sheriff's department to find out if there were inuries. We will report that information when it becomes available.


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