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April 29, 2018 - 5:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Alabama, news, nature, outdoors.

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The Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama is hosted its 34th annual Spring into Nature celebration Saturday with displays, vendors, crafts and activities.

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April 29, 2018 - 5:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Town of Batavia Fire, fire services, news, batavia.

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Lindsey Zanghi, 12, from Pembroke, had a lot of fun Saturday at the Town of Batavia Fire Department's Open House. So did Brooke Nichols, 12, of Oakfield, below, who got to honk the emergency horn on one of the fire trucks.

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April 29, 2018 - 4:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

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More than 40 volunteers from the area's Presbyterian churches came together yesterday for "Mission Day." Starting out at the First Presbyterian of Batavia, they fanned out to the Crossroads House, the Child Advocacy Center, and the YWCA. Volunteers came from the Presbyterian churches in Byron, Corfu, Le Roy, Attica, Bergen, Batavia, and East Bethany.

Photos submitted by Rev. Roula Alkhouri.

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April 29, 2018 - 3:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in drug take back day, batavia, news.

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Deputy Ryan Young drops off boxes of drugs disposed of at the Sheriff's Office over the past year at Batavia PD for delivery to the DEA for destruction.

Det. Rich Schauf, pictured below, said that the amount of unused prescriptions being dropped off Saturday was on pace with previous years, even though there are now permanent drop-off boxes at Le Roy PD, the State Police barracks on West Saile Drive, and the Sheriff's Office on Park Road.

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April 29, 2018 - 3:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in YWCA, first presbyterian church, batavia, news, notify.

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Saturday morning was cool, damp and overcast but the mood at the YWCA on North Street, Batavia, was anything but downcast as more than 20 volunteers tackled a massive spring cleanup of the building and grounds in the belief that community organization has a new, brighter future.

Just a few weeks ago, the outlook for the YW was dire. Executive Director Millie Tomidy-Pepper announced the YW was out of money, in debt, and couldn't continue to operate without assistance.

"The community is showing an outpouring of support," Tomidy-Pepper said. "They want us to be here. This organization has helped so many people and I honestly didn’t know how much until I got here. Everybody has a story of how this organization helped them or they had a piece involved in it at some point."

The clean-up effort Saturday was massive, clearing away old broken toys, gardening supplies, and decorations, broken office furniture, and junk piled in the boiler room.

It felt like a fresh start.

The volunteers were among the 40 who showed up at the First Presbyterian of Batavia -- coming from churches in Byron, Corfu, Le Roy, Attica, Bergen, Batavia, and East Bethany -- that morning for three "Mission Day" projects, at Crossroads House, the Child Advocacy Center, and the YWCA.

"There are so many people here today helping," Tomidy-Pepper said. "There are people here rolling up their sleeves because this means so much to the community. My biggest thing is, we're open. We're open for business. We never stopped being open for business."

But some things have changed. The Crisis and Care Hotline is now run out of Niagara County and a group called Healthy Kids has taken over the before-school and after-school child-care programs.

"We realized that as we regroup and as we take a step back to analyze, that we can get stronger and go forward, we needed to kind of downsize a little bit," Tomidy-Pepper said. "We didn't want to do it haphazardly. We wanted to do it in a well-thought-out plan in order to transition to quality services so people will never know anything is different than it's being done by somebody else now."

Parents in the daycare programs won't notice a difference, she said. Healthy Kids is retaining all the staff at the same pay, all the same locations, the same hours, at no price difference for parents.

"They (Healthy Kids) are the rock stars here," Tomidy-Pepper said. "They really are. They did everything we asked."

Tomidy-Pepper is also getting help from the national YWCA. 

Eileen Mershart, a retired YWCA executive director, is in Batavia for more than a week to help Tomidy-Pepper and the board, with an assessment of their situation and strategic planning.

"After about a two-hour board meeting last night, I told them, they are a pretty feisty group," Mershart said. "They are committed to turning this organization around.  With that board support and the community support that I see today, and the interest from a variety of people, as the outpouring of people for friends and fundraisers, I see a path forward here.

"It may not look like it did before, but we will stay true to the domestic violence program and stay true to the mission to take this time to look at the community and community-wide needs."

Going forward, Tomidy-Pepper said there are other programs she things the YW can take on. At the top of the mission statement for the YWCA is eliminating racism. Tomidy-Pepper said she doesn't have specific ideas for programs at this time but that is important to her, she said. 

The YW also has a mission of empowering women, especially women going through difficult times, so she would like to bring back a program called "Power Up."

Along those lines, Tomidy-Pepper decorated her office with two pictures of purses from the 1970s that she found in storage at the YW and a quote from Susan B. Anthony, "Every woman should have a purse of her own."

Among the people in the community coming forward to support the YW is Guy Clark Jr., owner of Cedar Street Sales and Rentals. He's holding a Cinco de Mayo celebration May 5 and $1 from every taco sold will go to the YWCA.

That's the first of a new series of fundraisers. The second one is hosted by Rick Mancuso, owner of T.F. Brown's. The date in May hasn't been selected yet and there are still details to finalize but it will be at the restaurant.

Tomidy-Pepper also praised Bob Swinarksi and students from Genesee Community College who have come in and taken care of all the YW's IT needs, including the computer system, the website, and social media.

"I remember in the interview process (for the executive director's job), I talked about how the foundation of any organization needs to be on a solid foundation before you build a house on top of it," Tomidy-Pepper said. "We’re rebuilding the foundation."

Even with the difficult transition, Tomidy-Pepper said, "I'm staying."

She added, "There on of people who came before me. The women 108 years ago (who founded the Batavia YWCA) had more challenges than I do right now. They’re the people who worked for the right to vote. They’re the ones who went into jails. They’re the ones that risked their lives.

"I’m not risking my life here, but it’s a mission and I believe in the mission and I believe it’s going to work out."

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Millie Tomidy-Pepper, left, and Eileen Mershart, under the picture of purses and the quote from Susan B. Anthony.

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April 29, 2018 - 3:00pm


KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! You have a right to safe workplace. Federal laws state that your employer must provide a work area with no known health or safety hazards. You also have the right to: 

  • Be protected from toxic chemicals;
  • Request an OSHA inspection, and talk with the inspector;
  • Be trained in a language you understand;
  • Work on machines that meet safety regulations;
  • See copies of the workplace injury and illness log;
  • Get copies of test results done to find hazards in the workplace;
  • Be provided required safety gear, including but not limited to: hardhat, gloves and harness;
  • Report an injury or illness, and get copies of your medical records if you or someone you know has been injured or fallen ill due to unsafe work conditions. 

Call Dolce Panepinto at 716-852-1888 immediately. We understand how life altering a work injury can be, and we are here to help.

April 29, 2018 - 2:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, sports, baseball.

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Yesterday morning, players and coaches in the Oakfield-Alabama Little League didn't let a bit of rain dampen their enthusiasm for opening day of the baseball season as they marched down Main Street through the Village on their way to the baseball fields off Drake Street.

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April 28, 2018 - 10:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, schools, arts, education, news.

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Morgan Fuller, a senior at Byron-Bergen High School, was among the dozens of students at the school last night who showcased their artistic and musical talent in the school's annual "Buzzin Bistro," a celebration of the arts.

Besides the art show, vocal and music students performed in the cafeteria to a packed house, including songs such as the B-52s' "Love Shack" and the Guys and Dolls/Frank Sinatra hit "Luck Be A Lady."

As for Fuller, as much as she loves art, especially drawing either with graphite or charcoal on black paper, she is thinking of pursuing a career in photojournalism.

"I still like drawing but I don't know if I'll do it that much professionally because, you know, moneywise, and stuff like that, but I'll always do it as a hobby," she said.

She doesn't go much for abstract art. She likes realism but she likes pictures that tell a story and can get a reaction from people rather than just a depiction of a realistic subject.

"I like pictures that are very awkward," She said. "The fish one is my favorite because it’s so awkward and it makes people feel uncomfortable. I also like the mysterious look of black and white and graphite."

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April 28, 2018 - 6:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in downtown, BID, batavia, news, notify, business.

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Pastor Marty Macdonald was an evangelist for Downtown Batavia at the Business Improvement District's annual meeting and awards breakfast in the Generation Center on Friday morning.

Macdonald, pastor of City Church and the keynote speaker Friday, delivered a sermon on the virtues and values of Batavia, his belief in its potential, and his encouragement for Downtown's business owners to remain steadfast in their commitment to growth and community.

“This is the greatest city on the face of the Earth,” Macdonald said. “I really believe that. We as leaders are commissioned to make incredible decisions, not just once in a lifetime but every single day because we are presented with the call to make the future around us great. And not just for five, 10 or 15 years. We are called to change generations yet to come.”

He said he is overjoyed to see the success he sees coming Batavia's way and encouraged business owners not to gripe about the problems they might see but embrace what is going right.

"I’m thankful when I pull into the parking lot next to our building and I can’t find a place to park," Macdonald said. "I remember there was a time you could have thrown a bowling ball in any direction and not hit anything. Now people are upset because they’ve got to walk a little bit. Come on, we need to walk more anyways."

Instead of listening to the few lingering negative voices in the community who badmouth everything they see, Macdonald said we all should aim higher.

"I know I’m not talking to anybody in this room who talks about things that can’t be done," Macdonald said. "I’m talking to people who are can-do people here. Instead of saying what cannot be done or listening to the two or three voices in the community that seem to have the largest megaphone built into their mouths, let’s decide to live at a higher level than we’ve ever lived before. Let’s commit our attitude to be changed in order to go higher and go further than we have ever gone before."

After comparing and contrasting two birds of the desert -- the vulture that feeds only on dead things and the hummingbird that seeks beautiful flowers and spreads life -- Macdonald said, "Can I encourage you today to start thinking like a hummingbird, to start thinking like that one who is looking for life, looking things that are living, instead of focusing on something that is dead. I just want to throw this out here, and I don’t mean to insult anybody, but urban renewal is over. It’s dead. It’s gone. Yes, we learn from yesterday but we can’t stay stuck in yesterday if we are going to move on to a great future."

Adding, "In my church, everyone would say, ‘Amen’ right now."

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Jon Mager, co-owner of the newly established Eli Fish Brewing Company, along with Matt Gray and Matt Boyd, delivered the opening remarks, talking about how the new restaurant, brewery, and restaurant incubator came to be.

"We all grew up in Batavia," Mager said. "We’re all very familiar with the area. We recognize that Downtown has been hurting for quite a few years. Over the years we, unfortunately, saw many restaurants and retail stores leave Downtown or close up completely. We admit we looked other places. We saw places with lower rent, lower operating costs, and lower construction costs over the entire project."

But they picked the former Newberry building for several reasons, including (the fact that) its surrounded by parking; Jackson Square is a hidden gem; there is ample traffic passing past the location; the current Downtown businesses are "awesome," and they are all nostalgic and love old buildings.

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City Council President Eugene Jankowski talked about the benefits of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative and the process of the city winning the $10 million prize.

He recalled that while making a presentation in Albany, a slideshow of pictures was on a screen behind him when serendipity struck.

"I was talking about how I was walking to school and I remember the smell of those wet, demolished bricks and seeing this once beautiful downtown just rumble down," Jankowski said. "I remember that smell and I was telling the story, and unbeknownst to me, the picture came up of urban renewal and a pile of wet bricks. Jason (Molino) told me that afterward and I thought maybe the timing is right on this one."

Jankowski expressed his appreciation for Downtown's local business owners.

"I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for investing your time and your hard-earned money in our Downtown and in our City," Jankowski said. "I know it’s a risk and I know sometimes it’s not always easy, but I as a Batavian really appreciate driving down Main Street and seeing all the traffic."

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Jeff Gillard was named a Volunteer of the Year.

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Derek Kane was named a Volunteer of the Year.

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The Genesee Valley PennySaver, celebrating its 70th year in business, was named a Business of the Year. Pictured are Manual Karem, PennySaver ad manager, owner Steve Harrison, BID Director Beth Kemp, BID Board President Steve Krna, and Beth Walker, a sales associate with the PennySaver.

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Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, celebrating its 100th anniversary, was a Business of the Year. Pictured are Buzz Masse, Mark Masse, Joyce Masse, Cathy Roche, Michael Mugler, John Roche, and Krna and Kemp from the BID.

April 27, 2018 - 10:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, bergen, news.

Several minutes ago a deputy, who could be heard while running, reported to dispatchers that he was involved in a foot pursuit in an area north of Swamp Road in Bergen.

A short time later he reported he was "15" (meaning an arrest has been made) with the subject.

Backup units are in route but no other deputies were with him at the time of the pursuit.

The deputy reports he is about 100 yards into the farm field with the suspect in custody.

There is no indication of why the suspect has been arrested or what preceded the foot chase.

UPDATE 11:05 p.m.: The deputy is conducting a field sobriety test.

April 27, 2018 - 5:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alexander Central Schools, Alexander, news, notify.

This afternoon, the Alexander Central School District released a statement to the community addressing concerns raised by parents in the district about school safety issues and how the Code of Conduct is enforced and implemented.

The statement also notifies the community that the district had already set aside money in the proposed 2018-19 school budget to hire a School Resource Officer (SRO).

The budget vote is May 15 and the district will hold a public hearing on the budget proposal next Wednesday, May 2.

Sheriff William Sheron has made it a priority to convince all local school districts to hire SROs.

"I'm very happy they made this decision," Sheron said. "It has been my position SROs should be in every school. There is no price we can put on our children's lives. I'm thrilled about the budget proposal and now we will let the voters decide."

The statement comes two days after publication of a story by The Batavian covering concerns raised by parents at two school board meetings about issues of concern.

Dear Alexander Community,

Student safety and well-being are top priorities at Alexander Central School District. Our work each day focuses on creating the conditions for students to thrive. We are committed to ensuring all of our students walk through their school days in a safe, structured, and caring environment as they strive to grow as confident, contributing learners. That commitment is our mission and drives our goals as a District.

Alexander is a wonderful community filled with caring families and remarkable children. The District provides outstanding opportunities in the classroom, in athletics, in the arts, and in clubs/organizations for all of our students. Our District is a great place for children to learn every day. Our community cares. Central to who we are as a community is our unwavering commitment to all of our students. As a District, we welcome feedback from students, parents, and community members on all matters relating to how we are meeting the needs of our students and how the District is functioning in alignment with our mission and our goals. When a student, parent, or community member reaches out to our teachers, administrators, and Board members, the concerns shared are taken seriously and acted upon as appropriate.

Recently, District administrators and our Board of Education have heard from parents regarding their concerns about the District’s commitment to student safety and well-being as well as how the District is applying the Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct provides a framework for our disciplinary processes when student conduct does not meet the expectations outlined in the Code. It is important to keep in mind that the details of any situation that may result in disciplinary consequences are complex, specific, and confidential. The District is not free to share the details related to specific student discipline or consequences - especially with parents and community members who are not the parent of the child involved. In fact, the District is legally bound to keep all of these matters confidential. We take that obligation seriously. Be assured, however, the fact that the District cannot provide the community with details relating to specific disciplinary consequences does not mean that the District is not taking action nor does it mean the District is not upholding the Code of Conduct. We work diligently to investigate all situations in which a student’s conduct is alleged to violate the Code and impose consequences consistent with our findings.

In responding to recent concerns expressed by parents and community members, the District’s unwavering commitment to confidentiality has put it at a bit of a disadvantage, particularly because others are not bound by the same legal requirements regarding confidentiality. In fact, some community members have questioned the District’s commitment to confidentiality and have even suggested the District was acting improperly by not sharing details of certain situations involving the District’s students. Our legal obligation and moral commitment to confidentiality should not be construed as the District being non-transparent or non-responsive. We are merely doing what we are legally and ethically obligated to do. While District administrators and our Board of Education are not at liberty to share the details of every situation that is brought to our attention, please know that does not mean that we are not committed to student safety and well-being. As a community, we must remember our commitment to each other and to our students, even when we disagree or question certain disciplinary consequences.

Our District administrators and our Board of Education have used the recent feedback from members of the community as an opportunity to reflect on our practices. In fact, conversations we started last spring with the Sheriff’s office regarding the possibility of adding a school resource officer (SRO) at Alexander CSD were reinforced by our current community conversation about student safety. The addition of an SRO is part of our 2018-19 budget proposal. We continue to welcome feedback. Through feedback, we continue to grow as a District.

As always, thank you for your support as we work to create the conditions for all students to thrive. Even when we disagree and even when all of the details of every situation cannot be shared, we always have our love for our District and our commitment to our students in common. Let's continue to work together to make sure our community remains strong and that we continue to move the work of our District forward.

With thanks~
Dr. Catherine Huber

April 27, 2018 - 4:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in O'Lacy's Irish Pub, batavia, news, Richmond Memorial Library.

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Kent Ewell, owner of O'Lacy's Irish Pub, and Bob Conrad, director of the Richmond Memorial Library, during a fundraising event last night at O'Lacy's in Batavia.

Patrons who arrived early enough at O'Lacy's could purchase a Guinness glass and have it personally engraved and then enjoy a pint perfectly poured by an O'Lacy's bartender.

Proceeds from the sale of the glasses benefit the Richmond Memorial Library.

This is the third year for the event and it was the largest turnout ever. Ewell said O'Lacy's sold out of glasses and that more than $1,000 was raised for the library.

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April 27, 2018 - 3:57pm

Press release:

The recipients of the 2018 Law Day Observance & Criminal Justice Awards were announced at an annual dinner held at Batavia Country Club on Thursday, April 26.

Kiwanis Club President Matt Landers and Genesee County Bar Association President Peter Casey announced the honorees. The speaker at the dinner was the Honorable John Curran, Supreme Court Justice of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department.

Kiwanis Criminal Justice Award

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia Criminal Justice Award is presented to a member or members of the community, law enforcement, or a criminal justice agency serving the citizens of Genesee County whose exceptional career achievements and conscientiousness to citizenship have demonstrated a spirit of selfless public service or demonstrated an act of exceptional valor or heroism.

The 2018 Award Recipients are:

Sergeant Bradley D. Mazur, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office

Sergeant Mazur started his career with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 31, 1999, as a Deputy Sheriff assigned to the Road Patrol. As a Sergeant, Mazur's primary assignment is to supervise the counties local drug task force.

In his first year supervising the Task Force, they investigated a record number of cases since the Task Force was formed in 1989, for the sale and distribution of illegal drugs within Genesee County. These tireless investigations resulted in several arrests against those who use and sell drugs on the streets and neighborhoods of Genesee County.

Mazur, with his work in the Task Force, has proven to be a valuable source of information that assists in the apprehension and conviction of individuals involved in other felony crimes within Genesee County to include attempted murder, robbery, burglary and assaults.

He was also a Field Training Officer (FTO) in the Sheriff's Office, which is a valuable position that helps train our newest Deputies as they are coming out of the academy and learning how to handle calls for service. Many officers look to Mazur for guidance when dealing with difficult cases, especially when the cases involve drugs. With Sergeant Mazur's guidance, the Drug Task Force is already looking to have another banner year.

In 2002, Sergeant Mazur received the "Officer of the Year" Award and has received two Commendation Awards. Sergeant Mazur is most deserving of this award and recognition for his dedication and hard work toward protecting the citizens in Genesee County as a Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy. Sergeant Mazur was nominated for this award by Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr.

Sergeant Daniel J. Coffey, Batavia Police Department

Sergeant Coffey has been instrumental in creating quality law enforcement training for the City of Batavia Police Department and other agencies in the County. He is a general topics instructor, firearms instructor, taser instructor and chemical breath test instructor. He has developed or helped develop training protocols throughout the county that have ensured law enforcement officers are trained to the highest standard possible.

Coffey continues to improve himself as a trainer and police officer regulary attending training symposiums and leadership schools. Not only has Sgt. Coffey been an asset to the City of Batavia as a police officer but he also spends a lot of his "free time" volunteering for the Town of Batavia Fire Department and is an instructor for Genesee County Emergency Management.

He exemplifies what a public servant is and for that he should be recognized. Sergeant Coffey was nominated for this award by Chief Shawn Heubusch.

Charles L. Mancuso Mock Trial Award -- Oakfield-Alabama High School Mock Trial Team

The “Charles L. Mancuso Award” was presented to the members of the Oakfield-Alabama High School Mock Trial Team as winners of the 2018 GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties) District Competition in the New York State Bar Association High School Mock Trial Tournament.

The award reads “Dedicated to the Memory of an Outstanding Attorney-Citizen." Mancuso, a Batavia lawyer, served as coordinator of the local competition until his untimely death 11 years ago.

The Oakfield-Alabama High School team members honored at the dinner include: Logan Cadieux, Noah Gray, Ryan Manges, Justina Pruski, Aiden Cornelius, John Igoe Jr., Nick Munger, Alison Woodward, Colin Graham, Dylan Maier, Derek Pruski, Josiah Yantz, Coach Peter Beuler, and Attorney Advisor Melissa Cianfrini.

Coordinator of the local Mock Trial Program Kristie DeFreze and Genesee County Bar Association President Peter Casey presented the award.

April 27, 2018 - 3:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in construction, Stroh Road, bridge replacement, Alexander, news.

From County Highway Superintendent Timothy J. Hens:

The County has hired LC Whitford from Wellsville to replace the Stroh Road bridge over the Tonawanda Creek in the Town of Alexander.

The contractor plans on closing the bridge to traffic starting at approximately 7 a.m. on Monday, May 7th. The bridge will be closed for approximately six months while it is replaced.

There will be no detour posted during construction. Maplewood Road will remain open during construction.

April 27, 2018 - 3:23pm

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) will be hosting a special roundtable discussion in Batavia on May 3 with Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, called "ThinkDIFFERENTLY."

The discussion offers different perspectives on how our businesses, organizations and individuals can better treat our residents with special needs.

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro said, “I thank Assemblyman Hawley for embracing the ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY’ initiative we’ve found so successful in Dutchess County, and I hope communities throughout his district will continue to answer our call to action.

"Each New Yorker deserves to treated based upon their own unique abilities and potential, and we in Dutchess County seek to embrace all residents of all abilities. I thank the communities that have chosen to ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY,’ and I look forward to seeing the trend continue throughout our state.”

The event will take place at the ARC of Genesee Orleans Community Center located at 38 Woodrow Road in Batavia beginning at 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 3. Residents who wish to attend are asked to please call Hawley’s district office ahead of time to register at (585) 589-5780.

“I am pleased to host this important roundtable discussion with County Executive Marc Molinaro, and I look forward to bringing in community stakeholders to talk about ways to foster a more inclusive and welcoming environment for our residents with special needs,” Hawley said.

“I am hopeful we can implement many of the ideas and solutions that are part of this program, and I am eager to have a productive discussion.”

Editor's Note, April 28: This story has been updated to correct the venue's address; it will take place at 38 Woodrow Road, Batavia, not on Walnut Street.

April 27, 2018 - 3:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, downtown, batavia.

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Staff from the Genesee County Economic Development Center hosted staff from Invest Buffalo Niagara and other interested local officials on a walking tour of Downtown Batavia yesterday afternoon.

Rachel Tabelski, marketing director for GCEDC, said Invest Buffalo Niagara is the marketing partner for GCEDC for all of its shovel-ready development sites.

"The tour helps make them more aware of the assets we have in our city," Tabelski said.

The tour started at Eli Fish Brewing Company, which Invest Buffalo Niagara visited last year just as construction was beginning. They then walked to the Old Courthouse for a proclamation ceremony. Next, they visited two of the potential DRI projects, the Masonic Temple and GO ART!.

The Invest Buffalo Niagara staff will use the information they gathered and the pictures they took to create digital media content that will be used to help market Batavia to businesses looking for site locations.

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April 27, 2018 - 3:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in Charles Schumer, dairy farmers, agriculture, business, news, O-AT-KA.
Press release:
 
U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer announced today that he is working directly with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and Senator Tammy Baldwin(D-WI) to urge U.S. trade officials to secure a level playing field with Canadian producers during the renegotiation of the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
 
According to Schumer, in recent years, Canada has established dairy pricing policies and has maintained high tariffs that have effectively created a “Dairy Wall” stopping most U.S. dairy products from accessing Canadian markets and distorting global trade. Dairy farmers and producers, like O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative Inc. in Batavia, Cayuga Milk Ingredients in Cayuga County and dairy producers in Wisconsin, have been severely hurt by Canada’s manipulative trade practices and it will only get worse without action.
 
Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) from Wisconsin has also been a leader on lowering Canada’s dairy trade barriers, working closely with Senator Schumer.
 
“With Speaker Ryan’s and Senator Baldwin’s help, we now have a real opportunity to churn the tide and hopefully fix the unfair Canadian dairy trade barriers that have plagued dairy farmers and producers from the Finger-Lakes to Central New York to Wisconsin,” said Senate Democratic Leader Schumer.
 
“Our hardworking New York dairy farmers and producers across Upstate New York are the most competitive in the world, but they depend on stable and fair rules to compete in a global economy, to sell their dairy products, expand their business and create new local jobs – and right now, for dairy, Canada is erecting unfair barriers and not playing by the rules and the current NAFTA renegotiation must be used to rectify that.”
 
Schumer explained Canada has an unfair advantage over New York dairy farmers and producers. In addition to Canada’s 270 percent tariff on milk, a program called the “Class 7” pricing program, a market-distorting supply management system, has caused severe pain to New York dairy producers since it came into force last year.
 
In fact, Canada has used the Class 7 program to triple its milk powder exports in the past year by creating excess milk production capacity within Canada, then dumping the resulting milk powder onto world markets. To further prove this dumping exists, Schumer added that Canada’s dairy farmers are some of the highest paid in the world, yet Canadian dairy companies are still able to be among the lowest cost sellers of Class 7 products globally.
 
As U.S., Canadian and Mexican trade officials are closing in on a deal to revamp North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Schumer said working with Senator Baldwin and Speaker Ryan – who represents many dairy farmers and producers in their own state, represents a real opportunity to finally dismantle Canada’s market-distorting policies and ensure a level playing field for American dairy farmers and producers.
 
Schumer continued: “As trade officials near a deal to renegotiate NAFTA – a bipartisan issue President Trump, Senator Baldwin, Speaker Ryan and I agree on – we must make it a top priority to begin reversing restrictive dairy pricing policies in Canada that are hurting our dairy producers at their core, and now is a real opportunity to do just that.”
 
Schumer said that he has directly stressed the importance of securing meaningful changes in our dairy trade relationship with Canada to past and current administration officials, including President Trump, current United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. David MacNaughton, and the U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft -- who have all committed to address this issue.
April 27, 2018 - 3:00pm


These listings won't last long, call Lynn Bezon today to make your appointment!

8041 E. Main Road, Le Roy: Opportunity awaits next owners of this property! Home is site of successful long-term, family-run farm market -- This is a true homestead! Super solid well-kept, one-family home, With over 2,100 square feet and room to grow!

Bright and spacious this home has great layout with 2 bedrooms and full bath downstairs as well as 3 bedrooms and full bath up, they don't build them like this anymore! Custom oak kitchen with cupboards galore and large family/dining area.

Basement is high and dry -- amazing extra space, storage, or hobby/work area! Sitting on 2+ acres outside features awesome 24x32 outbuilding currently farm market -- with all utilities and 8x16 cooler as well! Already established location the possibilities are endless all you have to do is move in and start living! A lot to see here-call today! Click here for more informaton.

147 Pearl St., Batavia: Superbly maintained 3 bedroom, bath and a half home with not one ounce of anything to do! This home is no flip -- completely gutted and remodeled within the last 5 years beautifully done and tastefully decorated. Roof full tear off 4 yrs. ago, furnace 5 yrs.

Beautiful cherry cabinetry with granite countertops all stainless appliances to stay plus washer/dryer! Nice formal dining/extra large living room area with cozy gas fireplace-great for entertaining. Upstairs bath fully gutted with super convenient upstairs laundry area and three large bedrooms. All new carpeting throughout as well!

Outside features extra wide drive and double lot and nice back deck -- Inexpensive utilities and no flood insurance, what more do you want? Check it out, click here for more informaton.

April 27, 2018 - 2:57pm

Press release:

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, Genesee County law enforcement agencies and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. 

Bring your pills for disposal to:

Pembroke Town Hall, Route 5 at Route 77 Pembroke

    -- received by Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies

Batavia Police Department Headquarters, 10 W. Main St., Batavia

    – received by Batavia Police Officers

Le Roy Police Department Headquarters, 3 W. Main St., Le Roy

   – received by Le Roy Police Officers

Only pills and other solids, like patches, can be brought to the collection sites—liquids and needles or other sharps will not be accepted. The service is free and anonymous; no questions asked.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet.

In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety, health and environmental hazards.

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