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October 3, 2020 - 7:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in music, Old Hippies.

October 3, 2020 - 6:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in downtown, BID, business, batavia.

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Local businesses and community groups, as part of a project hosted by the Batavia Improvement District, have decorated Downtown with their Halloween scarecrows.

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October 3, 2020 - 6:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County ABATE, batavia, Stan's Harley-Davidson, news, video.
Video Sponsor

Genesee County ABATE sponsored a "Save the Headlights" fun run today, originating at Stan's Harley-Davidson in Batavia in support of breast cancer treatment and research. Funds raised from the event are being donated to Genesee Cancer Assistance.

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October 3, 2020 - 5:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, pembroke.

A motor-vehicle accident is reported on Route 77 in front of the Flying-J.

Unknown injuries.

There is reportedly a post-accident verbal altercation in progress.

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments dispatched along with Mercy EMS.

October 3, 2020 - 2:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, accidents, batavia.

A two-car accident with injuries is reported at 3542 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. East Pembroke Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding along with law enforcement. The location is between Kelsey Road and County Building #2.

UPDATE 2:24 p.m.: All lanes of traffic are blocked, according to a first responder on scene.

UPDATE 2:26 p.m.: "It looks like a car rear-ended a truck," says a first responder. "The lady in the truck is hyperventilating; no injuries in the car."

UPDATE 3:01 p.m.: The roadway is clear. The East Pembroke assignment is back in service.

October 3, 2020 - 2:00pm
posted by Press Release in fire hydrants, city of batavia, news.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Fire Department will be flushing / testing fire hydrants on Wednesday, Oct. 7th and Thursday, Oct. 8th from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Friday, Oct. 9th from approximately 9 a.m. to noon in the general area of south of Main Street and west of Jackson Street.

Homes and businesses nearby will be affected. These tests may result in a temporary discoloration of water in that area. As in the past, please do not attempt to wash any clothing if your water appears discolored. If you do experience a discoloration of your water, run cold water for about five minutes or until clear.

This annual testing is essential to maintain the communities Class III Insurance Services Office (ISO) public protection classification, and to assure that fire hydrants are operating efficiently for fire protection purposes. Along with maintaining the fire rating, the test monitors the health of the city's water system, identifies weak areas in the system, and removes material that settle in the water lines. Checking each hydrant improves fire department personnel knowledge of the hydrant locations.

If you have any questions, or should notice a hydrant in need of repair, please contact the fire department at (585)  345-6375.

October 3, 2020 - 9:51am

John (last name withheld) is a 50-year-old long distance truck driver who has been out of work for some time due to a 20-year addiction to alcohol.

He’s also someone who has found renewed hope and strength toward living the remainder of his days in sobriety through his participation in recovery programs offered by Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse.

Originally from Corning and most recently a resident of Saratoga Springs, John has found himself in the Batavia area and, as a result, things are looking up for him for the first time in decades.

“I have had a problem with alcohol for my whole life,” he said while taking part in a special game day and potluck dinner recently at The Recovery Station, GCASA’s social gathering place on Clinton Street Road.

John said he was taking too much time off work “because all I really wanted to do was sit around and drink all day.”

He was able to gather the wherewithal to get into a 28-day program and was referred to a local residential facility to continue the recovery process.

He Hasn't Had a Drink in Six Months

“They referred me for a little bit of aftercare, and I’m glad that I did it,” he said. “It was the best thing that I did in my life because I haven’t had a drink in six months. That’s the longest that I’ve been without a drink in probably for 20 years.”

John said that the counselors at the residence, which houses several people in recovery, helped him tremendously.

“I’m the type of person that likes to isolate a lot and everybody over there is really open and they make me feel very comfortable. I feel that I can talk to them about any mood that I am in or anything that I am feeling throughout the day,” he explained.

He then mentioned the importance of The Recovery Station in his efforts to remain sober.

“This place has been a godsend,” he said. “You can come here and work out as they’ve invested in exercise equipment and they have many different activities throughout the week if you look at the calendar.”

John said the certified peer recovery advocates at The Recovery Station are “good listeners who have helped me considerably.”

Social Gathering Place Fills a Gap

“From what I hear because I’m not from here, this area needed a place like this, and I think that everything that GCASA is doing for this city as far as recovery goes is wonderful,” he said. “Really, I can’t give this place enough accolades.”

The Recovery Station is meeting the need for him to treat “mind, body and spirit,” John said.

“I had the mental support and counseling support, but I always wanted to have a place to come and play games and work out. It has made a huge difference thus far,” he said.

John’s downward spiral with alcohol started when he was 13 years old and hanging out with some older boys.

“It was peer pressure from the bigger kids. They said that if I would carry their beer to the campsite – we used to go camping in the woods – then they would let me drink with them,” he recalled. “That’s what got me started but what kept me drinking was that I always had a self-esteem problem. I got picked on a lot when I was a kid as I had buckteeth and was kind of skinny.”

He said that when he “found alcohol, it took that all away.”

“It takes the inhibitions away. It makes you fit in. You don’t really care what other people say about you. It just makes you feel like you’re on top of the world. That’s what kept me drunk my whole life,” he shared.

Alcohol Catches Up to You over Time

In time, the effect of alcoholism reared its ugly head.

“As you get older, your body starts to wear down and it can’t process (the alcohol) anymore and it starts to affect your health,” he said. “For me, when I start to drink in excess, it makes me very unmotivated. I’ve never been really fired from a job, but I always have quit because I didn’t want to go to work or I didn’t show up to work.”

John said he realized that he was traveling down the wrong road.

“At my last job, I knew that drinking and driving don’t mix but also I didn’t have any desire or energy to go to work because the alcohol takes all of your energy away and makes you not care about anything,” he said.

Divorced with a son, John said alcoholism didn’t cause the marital split, but admits it didn’t make things easier. Still, he is grateful for having a relationship with his son and says his self-esteem and health are improving since he stopped drinking.

However, he is aware that the battle to overcome the disease is far from over.

Support is a Key to Sobriety

“It’s a struggle if I don’t have support around me,” he said. “My whole life, and I don’t know if it’s a man thing or an ego thing, but I’ve always had a hard time accepting help from other people. I’ve always wanted to do everything on my own.”

John said he’s made a conscious effort to accept help from others and to get involved in social activities.

“That’s what has kept me from wanting to drink again,” he said.

He also spoke about how alcohol triggered the depression that has buffeted him.

“Depression is a side effect of alcoholism, for sure. A lot of people use alcohol to stop their depression, which helps for a little while,” he offered. “But then, as you get into the disease and you start to rely on it, it compounds the depression and makes it worse than it was before. It absolutely turns on you. Then the depression doubles and triples.”

John said he’s working through some issues and seeking to develop a support system and a sponsor – with the goal of being in a position to help others.

“I’m making good progress at that. I just don’t have a complete plan in place to be able to help somebody else right now but I can see that coming in the near future,” he said. “I’ve been doing a really good job about taking advice. People say the only way you can keep your sobriety is by giving it back to others and helping others. I do see that as being my long term solution to keeping my sobriety.”

Disclosure: Story by Mike Pettinella, GCASA publicist.

October 2, 2020 - 6:26pm

Now that a police collaboration advisory group is ready to address policies and procedures of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department, County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein says she is confident of a successful response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 203 on police reform.

Stein, speaking by telephone this afternoon, said the level of participation and the fact that the sheriff’s agency is an accredited law enforcement bureau in New York State put the county in excellent position to draft a plan and submit to director of the Division of the Budget by April 1.

“I am extremely pleased with the number of people that have indicated their interest in serving and their commitment to making sure that our process is full and robust,” Stein said. “I think that the fact that the State of New York has already reviewed and approved our policies and procedures in the sheriff’s department, gaining that accreditation puts us well ahead … in the process.

“New York State has already seen our policies and procedures, and have already said that they are all within good policing process. I am really grateful for that process – the accreditation that happened previously and the reaccreditation that just finished up in September.”

Last week, Sheriff William Sheron Jr. announced that his department completed the reaccreditation audit in compliance with a mandate that stipulates that an accredited law enforcement agency be reassessed every five years and must show that it has followed the 133 standards during that time period.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office received its initial accreditation in year 2000.

Stein and County Manager Matt Landers today released the list of members of their Genesee County Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative:

  • Community members – Julie Carasone, Perez Dinkins, Leandro Mateos, Barb Starowitz, Tyrone Woods.
  • Genesee Community College student – TBA. (Stein said a person has been identified but not yet confirmed).
  • Nonprofit Community Groups -- Lynda Battaglia, Genesee County Community Mental Health Services; John Bennett, Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse; Millie Tomidy-Pepper, YWCA of Genesee County.
  • Faith-Based Leader -- John Keller, Northgate Free Methodist Church.
  • Educational Group -- Rachel Siebert, Genesee Valley Educational Partnership.
  • Local Elected Official – Gregory Post, Town of Batavia supervisor.
  • Genesee County Public Defender – Jerry Ader.
  • Genesee County District Attorney – Lawrence Friedman.
  • Genesee County Sheriff’s Department – Sheriff William Sheron, Undersheriff Bradley Mazur, Youth Officer Howard Carlson.
  • Genesee County Manager – Matt Landers.
  • Genesee County Legislature – Rochelle Stein.

Former Legislature Chair Robert Bausch will serve as the moderator.

Landers said he anticipates a resident of the Tonawanda Indian Reservation to join the group, which will include several persons of color.

Stein said all committee members are invited to attend a presentation by Sheron at a full meeting of the legislature at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Old County Courthouse. She said a “meet-and-greet” – likely via Zoom videoconferencing – will take place prior to Oct. 28 but the date and time have yet to be determined.

Stakeholder groups such as these are being formed by municipal law enforcement agencies throughout the state following Cuomo’s Executive Order issued on June 12. The governor’s mandate requires the chief executive to consult with local community stakeholders and develop a reform plan to address policing procedures. The City of Batavia and Le Roy police departments previously announced their groups, developments that have been reported on The Batavian.

Landers said that group members will convene to “openly discuss public safety needs in Genesee County, and policies will be developed that allow for police to protect the public while meeting our local needs.”

Other community members will be invited to join the panel as the process evolves, he said, and all meetings of the committee will be open to the public.

“We look forward to open and respectful dialogue among members,” Stein said, “and see this as an opportunity to collaborate and better understand others’ points of view resulting in updated and new policies that offer fair justice for all.”

October 2, 2020 - 6:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, batavia, news.

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This year as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, city firefighters are wearing pink ribbon pins on their lapels.

"It's a small way to show them that they are the real heroes," Chief Stephano Napolitano said. "Everyone calls firefighters the heroes but breast cancer survivors, those people who are fighting breast cancer, and those who lost the fight, they are the real heroes."

Napolitano's late mother survived breast cancer so this is a cause, he said, that is near and dear to his heart.

Submitted photos.

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October 2, 2020 - 6:05pm
posted by Press Release in elba, covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

“The Genesee County Health Department has received an additional positive COVID-19 test from an Elba High School student,” said Paul Pettit, Public Health director for Genesee and Orleans counties. “The individual has been placed under mandatory isolation where they will remain until they are fully recovered.”

The Genesee County Department of Health is conducting contact tracing that is in process. Students and/or staff will be notified and placed under quarantine if they were identified as a close contact.

"As mentioned earlier in the week, individuals identified by the health department as being close contacts will be expected to follow the New York State Department of Health quarantine guidelines," Pettit said.

“Students and staff who are symptomatic will be tested for COVID-19 in collaboration with the Genesee County Health Department,” said Ned Dale, superintendent of Elba Central School District. “The school will be conducting 100-percent remote learning through Monday, Oct. 12. In-person learning through the hybrid model is scheduled to resume on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020.”

Symptoms of COVID-19 include but are not limited to: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.

For information on school statistics, please visit the New York State COVID- 19 Report Card.

October 2, 2020 - 6:01pm
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) supports the China Task Force Report released yesterday that outlines a comprehensive plan to counter the People’s Republic of China and hold the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) accountable for their destabilizing behavior.

“I commend the China Task Force for their hard work developing a comprehensive plan to address the economic, national security, and now health threats the Chinese Communist Party poses to the American people,” Jacobs said.

“The global pandemic has especially highlighted the clear threat the CCP presents and the serious need to secure our supply chains – especially those used in the production of critical medicines and medical supplies. We need to bring these supply chains back to our shores so we can invest in American jobs and protect American lives from malign foreign interference.”

The report developed by the China Task Force covers a wide range of issues involving the Chinese Communist Party, including: the forced labor and persecution of the Uyghur people; securing critical supply chains; providing resources to investigate and prosecute intellectual property theft; and securing production of advanced technologies such as AI, 5G, and autonomous vehicles.

“The Chinese Communist Party has a long record of human rights violations, stealing intellectual property, and manipulating critical information -- holding them accountable should and can be a bipartisan priority," Jacobs said. "I look forward to working with my colleagues to implement recommendations in this report to address the critical challenges posed by China."

To read the full CTF report, click here:

October 2, 2020 - 5:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Resurrection Parish, news, batavia, religion.

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Resurrection Parish held Confirmation on Thursday evening with Father Ivan Trujillo.

The confirmation service had been delayed from the spring.

The 2020-21 faith formation program begins Oct. 25 at Resurrection Parish and Jason Smith can be reached at [email protected].

Smith is the teacher for confirmation and director of Religious Education at the parish.

Top photo: Sam Chmielowiec, Maxwell Tenney, Evan Preston and Elizabeth Kingston.

Photos and information submitted by Jason Smith.

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Ariana deSae Frias is kneeling, anointed with holy chrism oil, signifying receiving the Holy Spirit.

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October 2, 2020 - 5:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sunset, news.

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Photo by JoAnne Meiser.

October 2, 2020 - 5:40pm
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) is releasing the following statement after voting against H.R. 925 – HEROES 2.0.

“I have repeatedly said I want a bipartisan COVID-19 relief package," Jacobs said. "This will only happen, however, if there is a compromise between the House, Senate and the administration.

"Tonight’s legislation was not a serious effort to bring more relief to struggling families, small businesses, and farmers – it was yet another attempt to use the COVID-19 crisis for political leverage. I urge the Speaker to immediately resume negotiations with Leader McConnell and the Trump Administration so we can vote on a relief package that will actually become law."

October 2, 2020 - 5:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in outdoors, corfu, news, bow hunting.

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Sean Akin of Corfu landed this buck yesterday, the first day of bow hunting this season.

October 2, 2020 - 5:29pm
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, news, NY-27.

Press release:

Rep. Chris Jacobs (NY-27) is putting out the following statement in response to the President and First Lady testing positive for COVID-19:

“My thoughts are with the First Family, and I pray for a swift and full recovery for the President and First Lady,” -- Congressman Chris Jacobs.

October 2, 2020 - 5:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in moon, news, batavia.

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Photographer Jim Burns submitted these photos.

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October 2, 2020 - 5:17pm
posted by Press Release in GCEDC, news, Washington Towers, batavia.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors approved incentives for a $12.8 million renovation of an existing apartment complex in the City of Batavia at its Oct. 1 board meeting.

Batavia Senior Housing Preservation LLC’s project will invest approximately $21,400 per unit in hard construction costs, assuring the apartment complex at 1 State St. remains viable as a safe and affordable housing option for low-income seniors. Current residents will not be displaced during the renovation and construction.

The project has been approved for a private activity bond, sales and mortgage tax exemptions and a property tax abatement. The property tax abatement is limited to the increase in future value only. Project incentives are estimated at approximately $376,466.

October 2, 2020 - 4:41pm
posted by Press Release in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

  • Genesee County received three new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in Alabama, Elba, and Le Roy.
    • The individuals are in their 20s, 30s, and 70s.
    • The individuals were not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Six new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • One of the positive individuals is hospitalized.
       
  • Orleans County received one new positive case of COVID-19.
  • The new positive case resides in Shelby.
  • The individual is in their 60s.
  • The individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
  • Three new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.

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