Local Matters

Community Sponsors

June 20, 2019 - 1:46pm

Press release:

Join the Genesee County Parks along with the Oakfield-Alabama Lions Club and try out fishing at DeWitt Recreation Area from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 29th.

Kids up to age 16 can join the fun and get the chance to win a prize with the Kendra Haacke Memorial Fishing Derby, sponsored by the Oakfield-Alabama Lions Club. Prize includes fishing gear donated by Cabela’s of Cheektowaga.

No fishing license required, this is part of the NYSDEC’s Free Fishing Weekend. Perfect for beginners!

Program meets at Pavilion 3. Friendly guides will be on hand to assist you.

Fishing gear provided or bring your own. Bait provided through a generous donation by Walmart of Batavia.

Call 585-344-1122 register or walk-ins also welcome.

For more information visit the parks' website here, or contact Shannon Lyaski at [email protected] or (585) 344-1122.

June 20, 2019 - 1:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, Stafford.

A two-car accident is reported at 5449 Clinton Street Road, Stafford. It is blocking traffic. One vehicle's OnStar alert system reports no injuries in that vehicle.

Law enforcement is on scene. Stafford Fire Department is responding along with Mercy medics.

The location is between Horseshoe Lake Road and Prole Road Extension.

UPDATE 1:35 p.m.: Fire police are asked to shut down eastbound traffic at Route 33 (Clinton Street Road) and Batavia-Stafford Town Line Road.

June 20, 2019 - 1:06pm

bennett.jpgRebuffed by the City of Batavia, the leader of Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse is “moving in a different direction” to find a location for an activities gathering place for recovering addicts.

GCASA Executive Director John Bennett said today that he is looking at sites in the Town of Batavia, specifically mentioning the former Bohn’s Restaurant on Clinton Street Road, to house what he calls a “recovery recreation center.”

“It would be a place where those dealing with drug and alcohol addiction would receive support through social, recreational, fitness and sober living activities by connecting with peers, friends and family who both accept them and understand their situation,” Bennett said. “It all fits in with our pledge to try and save lives.”

GCASA’s attempt to place the recovery center in the former North Pole Restaurant (prior to that, the St. Nicholas Social Club) at 241-243 South Swan St. was met with strong opposition last month, both from City Council members and people living in that neighborhood.

Subsequently, City officials sent a letter to Bennett stating that since the area is zoned R-2 Residential, it would not be a good fit for the recovery center.

Bennett said GCASA has decided against any further action involving the City, other than asking City Manager Martin Moore if he could find another use for the building or help the agency find a buyer.

“We had to buy the building – there is no 'out clause' – so we’re hoping that it could be used for something else, maybe for teens,” said Bennett, noting that the Swan Street property does have variances for philanthropic and restaurant uses.

Contacted by phone today, Moore said that he will be talking to members of his staff, primarily those involved with economic development, about the use and/or sale of the building, but had “nothing definitive” to report at this time.

With South Swan Street out of the picture, Bennett has turned to the Town of Batavia. He said he met with the Town Board on Wednesday, and came away encouraged -- looking forward to getting something done sooner rather than later.

“The Town Board was amazing; very insightful and kind, and displayed an understanding of addiction,” Bennett said.

He said that he has looked at a couple commercial sites and the industrial park (in the Town). The former Bohn’s Restaurant is zoned Commercial, a plus for this type of project.

A sign on the wall has the selling price at $250,000, but GCASA has not put in an offer yet, Bennett said, adding that the agency’s goal is to purchase a building.

Bennett provided this reporter with a flier listing examples of events and activities at the proposed recovery center.

They include community cleanup and community garden projects; fitness activities (yoga, hikes, runs, biking, basketball, martial arts); art classes; peer support; cooking and nutrition classes; mutual aid and self-help meetings; games and live music, and special events during holidays.

“We have set up a CRPA (Certified Recovery Peer Advocate) program through the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, and currently have 18 of them trained (to assist recovering addicts),” he said. “We also have relationships with hospitals in both counties and with the jails through the PAARI program (Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative).”

Statistics offered by Bennett show that Genesee County has one of the highest opioid overdose rates in the state and is high on the list of deaths due to drug/alcohol abuse with 34 deaths per 100,000 people in 2017.

OASAS extended a grant to GCASA for the recovery center, and is working with the local agency to push back the deadline, which originally was set at July 1, Bennett said.

While disappointed in the City’s stance regarding the South Swan Street location, Bennett said he's more upset by comments made by some residents about those afflicted with serious alcohol and drug problems.

“The unfortunate thing is how they painted a picture of people in recovery … things like they will lower our property values and we won’t be able to let our children out,” he said. “These are people like you and I. Some of my closest friends are in long-term recovery and they’re great people.

“Since then, I have received a lot of phone calls from people in recovery on the Southside – and they want their neighbors, who aren’t aware of their situations, to know they are good people.”

Photo: John Bennett, GCASA executive director

June 20, 2019 - 12:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, scanner, batavia, animal rescue, snapping turtle.

A friend of turtles removed a large snapping turtle from the roadway on River Street. An officer confirmed this for dispatch and the animal control officer was informed.

Don't know the location on River that the turtle was found.

June 20, 2019 - 9:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in the batavian sessions, music, arts, entertainment.
Video Sponsor

The Batavian Sessions: "A" Blues Band, Foolish Child

June 20, 2019 - 7:42am
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, elba, news.

A one-vehicle rollover accident is reported in Elba at 6447 Oak Orchard Road. Unknown injuries. The vehicle came to rest on its side.

Elba Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding. A deputy just arrived on scene.

UPDATE 7:43 a.m.: There are two occupants, neither is injured.

UPDATE 7:54 a.m.: The vehicle is large and there are some fluids leaking. Fire police are shutting Oak Orchard Road down at North Byron/Lockport Road and at Watson Road.

UPDATE 9:12 a.m.: The road is reopened. All units back in service.

June 19, 2019 - 3:38pm

A Statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) on passage of the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act:

“As the former owner and operator of our family farm for decades, I know these new mandates will devastate New York’s family farms and disrupt the industry beyond repair – an industry that generates $4.8 billion in annual revenue. 

“Agriculture is a unique industry where production and success are contingent upon steady and reliable labor, and implementing more handcuffs on our farm owners and restricting the availability of that labor while increasing its costs will be devastating. 

“Furthermore, mandating time-and-a-half overtime pay for any hours over 60 in a week is just not practical. Our farmers are constantly fighting flooding, drought and unpredictable weather patterns that often require unpredictable work hours, which is ultimately necessary to achieve success in the business. 

“What’s more troubling is the establishment of a new board, headed by big-labor special interests, to further examine farm labor. The board wrongly excludes the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets and will undoubtedly heap mandate upon mandate and cost upon cost upon our family farms. We need to leave this industry alone and allow the farmers themselves, many of whom have been perfecting their craft for generations, to run their businesses as they see fit without government intrusion. 

“New York City lawmakers have been behind this legislation from the beginning. Shocking, considering there are virtually no family farms in New York City. It’s an authoritarian overreach to dictate one of Upstate’s cornerstone industries from the towers and skyscrapers of the big city – another reason we need to consider my ‘Two New Yorks’ legislation. 

“I voted no on these big government farm mandates and will always stand with the tried and true producers of Western New York before Downstate lawmakers.”

June 19, 2019 - 2:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Stingers, softball, batavia, video.
Video Sponsor

In a 12U girls fastpitch softball game played at Kibbe Park on Tuesday, a team comprised of players from Batavia, Le Roy, and Elba, beat a team comprised of players from Alexander, Lyndonville, Perry 10-9.

Katie Landers had three hits, three RBIs, and scored two runs for the Batavia team.

Loretta Sorochty allowed two runs and four hits over three innings. She had seven Ks.

Karissa Kendall gave up one run and one hit over two innings.

Emily Pietrzykowski, of Alexander, had two hits.

June 19, 2019 - 2:24pm

From left, Bill Hayes, Jon Bigsby, Rich Monroe and in back, Nathan Blowers, Turnbull Operations manager, all gather as Jon accepts Hayes’ offer to enter into Turnbull’s apprentice program.

Submitted photo and press release:

In the school world, June is a time for graduations, celebrations and awards ceremonies. This holds true for Jon Bigsby as June holds special meaning for him; he was offered full-time employment with Turnbull Heating and Air Conditioning.

Jon is a recent graduate of the Building Trades Program at the Batavia Career and Technical (CTE) Education Center. He is set to graduate from Alexander High School on June 27.

His decision to seek employment after high school graduation was easy.

“I like working with my hands and I feel that this is a good choice for me to enter the workforce. I’m honored to be working with Turnbull,” Jon said.

Bill Hayes is the owner of Turnbull Heating and Air Conditioning. In the past, Hayes has hired almost 10 students from the Batavia CTE Center’s Building Trades Program.

“I know that these students have the foundational skills necessary to enter into our training program," Haynes said. "I need skilled workers. The instructors in the Building Trades Program teach the students the importance of quality workmanship and that’s important to me."

Last summer, Jon worked for Turnbull and his work ethic was noticed.

“He listens, is disciplined, he works hard,” Hayes said.

After graduation, Jon will be enrolled in the Turnbull Heating and Air Conditioning 12-month certified apprentice program.

“He’ll learn how to thread pipe to actually doing installations and service calls. He’ll be working in the shop and in the field,” Hayes said.

Rich Monroe is one of the Building Trades Instructors at the Batavia CTE Center. He echoed Hayes thoughts about Jon.

“Jon meets the standards that Turnbull expects," Monroe said. "He is a hands-on learner and he will be embraced here at Turnbull. Jon fits the mold and I know the people here at Turnbull will give him every opportunity to be the best mechanic."

About Turnbull Heating and Air Conditioning

It is a Batavia-based HVAC contractor that offers residential and commercial heating, air-conditioning and commercial refrigeration service, installations, and scheduled maintenance programs.

About the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center

It is a program of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (The Partnership). The Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York State.

June 19, 2019 - 1:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in pembroke, baseball, sports, Pembroke Dragon 10U.

Submitted photos and press release:

The Pembroke Dragons 10U Baseball Team took to the tournament held in Nunda June 13-18 with one goal set in their mind and that goal was to win.

In order to achieve the goal they set for the GLOW All Stars tournament, it would take blood, sweat, tears and applying the hard work that they started in the gym many months ago.

To lead off the tournament Pembroke relied on the pitching of Brayden Lang, who struck out 23 batters in the first two rounds of play while going 9 for 10 at the plate with six singles, two doubles and a triple.

Along with the smart at bats and huge catches in the field by Gavin Liss, Ryan Zika, Austin Post and Trevor Rheinheimer the Dragons made their way to the semifinal game.

The game of the semifinals set for a tough task ahead facing a talented Nunda team and defeating them in extra innings.

The semifinals round was led by explosive hitting and base running by Owen Schultz. Owen sparked the Dragons when they needed it most with a massive double, clearing the bases and setting up the Dragons for the comeback that they needed.

In the bottom of the seventh inning Owen got on base and used his speed and heart to steal home, sealing the win for the Dragons to advance to the Championship round against a loaded Perry team led by the great coaching of Steve Deaton.

During the championship game the Dragons started Zachary Hartz on the mound who kept the scoring and the hitting to an astounding low against a team that had put up 62 runs thus far throughout the tournament.

Madden Perry made a huge double play at first by catching a ball and touching the bag before the runner had time to tag up to inch the Dragons even closer to achieving their goal.

To close the game on the mound Pembroke then turned to Aydaen Windnagle, who struck out batters and played with great composure and confidence right to the end.

With Pembroke holding onto a 7-to-4 lead in the sixth inning of the game with bases loaded you could almost hear the hearts pounding.

The winning play that ended the game sent the Dragons into celebration mode was made by none other than Mason Wetherbee.

A player from Perry took a deep shot to left field and the feeling of time almost stopped as Mason took off toward the ball and made an amazing glove catch before going to the ground.

As Mason came up with the game winning catch the celebration began and the emotional Dragons ran about the field in all their glory. Overall the Dragons played with heart, determination and most importantly as a team lifting each other up a when needed and grinding to the very end brining home the first ever Glow Championship to Pembroke.

The coaching staff of Manager Dan Lang and assistant coaches Lee Hartz, Dan Zika, Arron Post, Luke Windnagle, Ian Wetherbee and Norm Liss would like to congratulate the boys on this hard-fought journey and rising to the challenges they faced to become the Champions that they are.

As we say, you need to over-believe to overachieve and that’s exactly what happened to get the win.

June 19, 2019 - 1:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Oakfield, walk through history tour.

Press release:

Oakfield Historical Society's second "Walk Through History" tour is 1 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 4. It will cover Triangle Park artifacts, businesses starting in the 1930s on South Pearl Street, Garibaldi Avenue, Stevens Street and Webber Avenue.

The walk will take approximately three hours. Rain date is Aug. 11.

On the day of the tour, meet in the parking lot of the Oakfield United Methodist Church at 2 S. Main Street (Route 63).

Learn about mob connections, the dairy at Haxton's, the POW camps and more.

Reserve your spot by June 30 by calling 585-948-5926. The tour costs $10 a person and will include a booklet that is your ticket for the tour.

The society needs to know how many booklets to print in time for the tour, so please RSVP.

Checks may be mailed to Oakfield Historical Society: P.O. Box 74, Oakfield, NY 14125, or drop your money off at the museum on Sunday June 23rd or 30th between the hours of 1-3 p.m., or call Dar Warner at 585-948-5926 or email at [email protected].

June 19, 2019 - 12:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, bergen.

A gray Jeep Liberty is fully engulfed in flames 7133 Town Line Road in Bergen. A mother and her two children are safely outside. A medic is called for a person having a seizure.

The location is between Tripp and West Bergen roads.

Bergen Fire Department is responding. Law enforcement is on scene.

The vehicle fire is partially blocking the roadway.

UPDATE 1:59 p.m.: The patient was transported to a hospital.

June 19, 2019 - 12:49pm
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, batavia city school district, news, education.

As the school year comes to a close for Batavia students, administrators await new beginnings. Batavia City School District named Scott Bischoping its interim superintendent as Superintendent Christopher Dailey transitions to Greece Chili next month.

Dailey was appointed as the superintendent of Gates Chili Central School District in April. BSCD announced that from July 1, 2019, to Jan. 1, 2020, Bischoping, the deputy superintendent of Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES, will step into Dailey’s role.

Bischoping began his career in education more than three decades ago as a teacher at Livonia Central School District. He most recently served in an advisory role to the superintendent of BOCES in Newark. The Board of Education expressed its confidence in the leadership and experience Bischoping will bring to this position.

In the interim, Board of Education members and consultants will conduct a six-month search to determine the best candidate for the permanent appointment.

Dailey was awarded the BCSD Foundation Apple Award at the board meeting Tuesday in recognition of his support for students and families since he began as superintendent in 2013. Parents thanked Dailey for his involvement in the lives of their students and wished him luck at his new school district.

During his last board meeting at Batavia, Dailey spoke about his gratitude to the Board of Education, the community and faculty and staff for the opportunity to make BCSD a top place to work.

“We’ve accomplished so much together,” Dailey said. “When our 2020 Vision Capital project is finished in the fall, we’ll have state-of-the-art facilities that our community can be proud of. We’ll carry on our vision of continuing to lead, not follow, in our region.

“On a personal note, I have thoroughly enjoyed my 11 years at Batavia, starting as a high school principal, then deputy superintendent and eventually superintendent for the last six and a half years. I’d like to think that I have exemplified our ideal of ‘Take Care of BCSD.’ ”

Dailey congratulates Bischoping and trusts that the search committee will find a new superintendent who will continue the work being done in the district.

Board President Patrick Burke, who described Dailey as a “cheerleader” for staff, responded, “You have never, ever disappointed me in any way, shape or form … You’ve done an exemplary job for our students, all students, no matter what.

“You’ll be going to a bigger school district with other challenges and other students … You’ll have to make sure [staff members] take care of Gates Chili Central School District as well as you’ve taken care of the Batavia City School District. You’ll be really missed here.”

June 19, 2019 - 11:01am

The Town of Batavia Planning Board on Tuesday night approved, with contingencies, special use permits and site plan reviews for a pair of 20-acre ground-mounted commercial solar systems on West Main Street Road.

The board voted in favor of the application by Borrego Solar Systems Inc. of Lowell, Mass., to build the solar farms on land owned by Fred Bowman and his sister, Mary Anne Forgie, at 3232 and 3104 W. Main Street Road.

The vote on the property at 3232 W. Main Street Road was unanimous for both the special use permit and site plan review, with the exception of an abstention by Donald Partridge.

Regarding the 3104 W. Main Street Road parcel, the vote was 5-1 on the special use permit with Jeremy Liles voting no and Partridge abstaining, and 6-0 on the site plan review with Partridge abstaining.

Partridge said he is looking to put a solar farm on his land and abstained because he thought it would be inappropriate for him to be voting on someone else’s project.

The other committee members who voted were Steve Tanner, Paul McCullough, Paul Marchese, Jonathan Long and Chairperson Kathy Jasinski.

“It’s time to take action; we’ve being doing this (particular project) for months and months,” Jasinski said.

During that time, the board was confronted with opposition to the application pertaining to 3104 W. Main Street Road, primarily from Michael and Joel Hamm of West Main Street Commons LLC, who own an L-shaped 33-acre parcel of property with its northern frontage at 3080 W. Main Street Road.

Their business, First Choice Travel, -- a two-story, 14,000-square-foot office building with ample parking -- is located on the property.

The Hamms, in a letter dated May 3, 2019 from their attorney, Alario & Fischer P.C., brought up several reasons why the solar farm should not be situated on land immediately south and east of their property, including:

-- A potential decrease in property values in a residential/light commercial area;
-- Environmental impact on existing land;
-- Placement of an access road between two residential properties;
-- Visual factors, such as glare, utility poles and wires.

The letter called for a complete visual analysis by the applicant (Borrego) and questioned the validity of the state environmental quality review (SEQR).

After attending the Town Planning Board meeting on May 7, the Hamms sent another letter via their attorney, acknowledging the board’s decision to require Borrego to provide a “visual impact analysis and visual simulations from various vantage points around the proposed property.”

However, they continued to challenge Borrego’s choice of the firm to conduct the analysis, questioning its expertise, and did not accept Borrego’s view that any adverse impact on the area would be “inconclusive” and the planners’ announcement that the SEQR has been completed. They asked that the board take more time to get the data needed to make a “thoughtful, informed decision.”

Neither Joel nor Michael Hamm was at Tuesday night’s meeting. Phone calls to both this morning were not returned by the posting of this story.

Last night’s approvals by the planning board for both the special use permits and site plan reviews do come with certain conditions.

For the special use permits, approval is subject to Genesee County providing fire training in connection with solar farms (coordinated through the East Pembroke Fire Department), making sure plantings and trees are placed to screen the solar farm from neighboring properties, and that conduits are buried properly.

Regarding the site plan reviews, approval is contingent upon obtaining a decommissioning bond and ensuring that engineers have final design approval.

Jasinski said that the board agreed to require enough plantings around the site, decreased the number of poles from five to three, and required that most of the wires (except those on the poles) are buried.

Steve Long, civil engineer for Borrego Solar, said his company “addressed the concerns of the board,” specifically providing the “visual analysis that the board asked for.”

Borrego has entered into a lease agreement with Bowman and Forgie, who said they feel they can “get more out of the land this way.”

Long said construction on the solar system could take place by the end of the year.

Batavia environmentalist Chris Krtanik was another interested observer at last night’s proceedings. He said he is “opposed generally” to these types of projects because they usually don’t benefit the average homeowner.

“I’d like to see tax subsidies for individual homeowners, not for (private enterprise),” he said. “That would be a more efficient way to taking dependency off the main (electric) grid.”

In other developments, planners did not address a site plan review for temporary vendor areas on the Batavia Starter property at 3282 W. Main Street Road since owner Phil Hinrich was not present, and delayed taking action on lead agency status for a proposed solar farm installation on Ellicott Street Road until after consultation with the town attorney.

June 18, 2019 - 5:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in David Bellavia, Medal of Honor, veterans.

A press release from Senator Rob Ortt (R,C,I,Ref-North Tonawanda):

Today, Western New York lawmakers honored the military service of Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia in the New York State Capitol. Bellavia, who will be awarded the Medal of Honor next week by President Trump, was recognized for his accomplishments while serving in the Army.

Senators Rob Ortt, Patrick Gallivan, Mike Ranzenhofer, Chris Jacobs, and Assemblyman Steve Hawley adopted a resolution that was read on the chamber floors, recognizing Batavia resident David Bellavia and his military service.

Bellavia will become the first living Iraq War veteran to receive the nation's highest military decoration.

While serving as a squad leader in Operation Phantom Fury, a 2004 American offensive on the western Iraqi City of Fallujah, Staff Sgt. Bellavia saved his entire squad when he cleared a housing block of enemy combatants who had pinned down his unit. Once Staff Sgt. Bellavia secured the safety of his squad, he re-engaged with the enemy combatants, reentered the house where enemy fire was located, proceeded to kill four enemy insurgents, and wounded a fifth.

Sen. Rob Ortt (R,C,I,Ref-North Tonawanda) said, “There’s no one more deserving of our nation’s highest military honor than David Bellavia – a true American hero. Because of the utmost bravery and heroism David displayed while leading his unit in Iraq, he saved the lives of those he was tasked with protecting. As Western New Yorkers, we couldn’t be more proud to have him as one of our own. And as Americans, we couldn’t be more grateful for his service.”

Sen. Patrick Gallivan (R,C,I-Elma) said, “Staff Sgt. Bellavia represents the very best of the brave men and women who serve and protect our country. His courageous and heroic actions in the midst of a fierce firefight not only saved the lives of his comrades but make him worthy of our nation’s highest military honor. We thank him for his service and for his steadfast commitment to our veterans and those who serve in the military today.”

Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer (R,C,I-Amherst) said, “It is truly an honor to recognize David Bellavia for receiving the nation’s highest military decoration – the Medal of Honor. David’s courage and selfless actions are an example of true heroism. We are truly grateful for his service.” 

Sen. Chris Jacobs (SD-60) said, “David Bellavia’s exploits in the streets of Fallujah are truly awe-inspiring and remind all of us why the American soldier is the strongest in military history and revered by the people he serves. He is an incredibly deserving recipient of the Medal of Honor and I share in the pride his hometown community of Western New York feels.”

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) said, “Staff Sgt. David Bellavia is a true example of the American courage, bravery and heroics that have forged our great nation and he is beyond deserving of this tremendous honor. His willingness to put the lives and protection of others above himself during the Iraq War’s most intense battle is a priceless act of selflessness to which we should all emulate and, for that, he is an American hero. I am honored to recognize Staff Sgt. Bellavia for his service to our nation and thank him for his sacrifices in protecting our country and its citizens.”

Bellavia will be awarded the Medal of Honor on June 25 at the White House.

June 18, 2019 - 5:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, crime, batavia.

suspect_photos01burglaryjune182019.jpg

Batavia PD is conducting a burglary investigation and is asking members of the public to help identify the people in these photos.

Residents with information can contact Det. Matthew Wojtaszczyk at (585) 345-6357, or call the confidential tip line at (585) 345-6370.

suspect_photos_02burglaryjune182019.jpg

June 18, 2019 - 4:29pm

Press release:

Are you looking for a fun program to get your children involved in this summer? Well, the 2019 Batavia Summer Recreation Program, operated by the Batavia Youth Bureau, is scheduled for July 1-Aug. 9 (no program on July 4).

This year a structured program will be run in four city parks and they are as follows: Farrell, Lambert, Lions and Williams. There will be NO John Kennedy site this year due to construction at the school.

This FREE program has something for everyone…sports, arts and crafts, educational activities, physical activity, creativity, socialization, fun, health and wellness, and much more. A FREE and nutritious lunch will also be available to those children who are registered.

Each park will be run by two to five recreation leaders who will have participated in a two-day training in the areas of: Basic First Aid; Child Abuse Indicators and Reporting Procedures; Working with Diverse Populations/Bullying; Crafts and Games; Youth Development; and the Importance of Recreation.

The recreation leaders will also have participated in basic CPR Training.

During the training, Youth Bureau staff continually stress the importance of safety. Keeping the young participants safe is of the utmost importance and is our number one concern. Each park will also be equipped with a cellular phone for emergency situations.

The Parks Program is offered to youngsters ages 6-14. It is a drop-in program that runs Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. This program is for school-aged children and is not an appropriate daycare situation.

The recreation leaders at each park will be responsible for structuring their individual park and creating a schedule each week that will be sent home with each child.

The program will be primarily recreational in nature, but will also have an educational component. In addition to the activities offered directly at the park, we have scheduled swimming at the YMCA, Safe Summer Children’s Carnival, Muckdogs Camp, Trips to the Nature Center at the Genesee County Park, Community Service Day, Hula Hoop presentations and more!

The Youth Bureau will be offering an Open House from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26th at Farrell Park, 100 James St., to preregister children for the program.

This is also an opportunity for parents to ask questions and become more familiar with each aspect of the program.

You can register your child for a park on any day that the program runs. You will be asked to complete a registration card for your child or children for emergency purposes and to sign a walking field trip permission slip. A separate registration card will need to be completed to participate in the lunch program.

Each child must be registered to attend a program at a park.

For more information about the 2019 Summer Recreation Program, call the Batavia Youth Bureau at 345-6420.

June 18, 2019 - 3:50pm

County officials can expect a state rebate for their energy-saving efforts that began last spring.

How much of a rebate remains to be seen, Deputy Highway Superintendent Paul Osborn told the Public Service Committee on Monday.

In the update, Osborn said his department is waiting to receive summary reports from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to show where savings have been made and where more savings can occur later on.

“NYSERDA still has to review all of it to make sure that the realization of the energy savings that they say that they were going to do initially is realized again as well,” Osborn said. “And then, if there is more realization in the savings, then they give us a rebate for that.

“We are not anticipating a significant rebate, but we are anticipating some rebate from them. So, we can take that rebate and put it into some of those facilities that they reviewed that may need some work.”

Some cost savings will be realized with the completion of smaller projects like switching lighting in county buildings to more energy-efficient systems. More extensive projects include electrical panels, boilers, HVAC systems and breakers or air handlers.

So far, heating at County Building #1, ventilation and insulation work at the animal shelter and HVAC improvements to the highway garage have been underway.

Osborn said that once the NYSERDA report is released in late July, it will paint a clearer picture of where the funding can be allocated.

“Our biggest thing is we want to see the report — see where our idealized savings can be furthered,” Osborn said.

County Manager Jay Gsell added, “The Highway Department has one of our older buildings. [It] is also one that had probably the least internal changes made to it as with anything with HVAC and lighting and other things. So, this is one of those times, finally, let’s really make some significant improvements.”

The energy-savings projects are being conducted by Johnson Controls, which entered into a $4 million contract with the county last spring after the company conducted an energy consumption audit of county facilities in 2017.

The projected energy savings are expected to be nearly $4.3 million, for a potential net savings to the county of about $300,000.

There was debate about whether to hire Johnson Controls, but a key selling point was the claim that energy-saving projects will pay for themselves in 20 years.

Initially, legislators Gary Maha and Andrew Young approached the agreement with skepticism, while legislators Shelly Stein, Marianne Clattenburg and John Hilchey expressed their approval.

The Johnson Controls contract allows the county to undertake projects that are already part of the county's capital investment plans and save money on existing utilities. The money saved from lower energy costs will flow back into the capital project budget to cover additional upgrades.

Legislators seemed satisfied with the information contained in the energy-saving projects update and raised no objections.

Stein requested that Osborn return to the Public Service Committee in September to present the next update on Johnson Controls.

June 18, 2019 - 2:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in tops market, Stars for Our Troops, veterans, news, batavia.

Press release:

Tops Friendly Markets Stars for Our Troops initiative is still underway until June 22.

The program welcomes the community to donate their worn and tattered American Flags at 33 select Tops Markets locations as well as their corporate office for proper retirement.

In Genesee County, the participating Tops location is the Batavia store on West Main Street.

In collaboration with partner veterans organizations, including Honor Flight and local VFWs, embroidered stars will be preserved and presented to local veterans who have defended our flag.

“The respect and gratitude we have for the people who serve and have served in the military is immeasurable, and for that we are forever grateful,” said Kathy Sautter, public and media relations manager for Tops.

"With the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, Tops wanted to offer the community this service to not only properly retire their flags, but also know they are in some small way extending their thanks and respect to a veteran through Stars for Our Troops."

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