Local Matters

Community Sponsors

covid-19

August 4, 2020 - 4:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news.

Press release:

  • Genesee County received one new positive case of COVID-19.
    • The new positive case resides in Batavia.
    • The positive individual is in their 50s.
    • The individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Thirteen new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • One of the individuals is hospitalized.
       
  • Orleans County received two new positive cases of COVID-19
    • The new positive cases reside in Murray and Kendall.
    • The individuals are in their 30s.
    • Both of 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 individuals is hospitalized.
August 3, 2020 - 5:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, notify.

Press release:

  • Genesee County received five new positive case of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in Batavia, Elba and Pembroke.
    • One of the positive individuals is in their 20s, one is in their 40s, one is in their 50s, one is in their 60s, and one is in their 70s.
    • The individuals were not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Thirty-three new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • One of the individuals is hospitalized.
    • Five of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from mandatory isolation.
       
  • Orleans County received one new positive case of COVID-19.
    • The new positive case resides in Yates.
    • The individual is in their 50s.
    • The individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Twenty-seven new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • One of the individuals is hospitalized.
August 2, 2020 - 11:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, National Grid, covid-19.

Press release:

National Grid is proposing up to $50 million in COVID-19 relief to support the company’s most economically vulnerable residential customers as well as businesses that are struggling because of the financial impact of the pandemic.

The company will work with New York Public Service Commission staff, customer advocates and other stakeholders to determine how best to allocate the assistance to those most in need across its upstate New York service area.

“From the onset of this pandemic we made the commitment to help our customers during these challenging times and we recognize that we have an important opportunity to provide additional customer assistance beyond what we currently offer through our COVID-19 programs and rate plans,” said John Bruckner, National Grid’s New York president.

He noted that the company will use deferral account credits to provide immediate COVID-19 financial assistance and will work with PSC staff and other parties to determine eligibility and program details. There also will be an opportunity for public input during the PSC comment period as the programs are being defined.

The company’s plan to provide additional customer assistance will be filed separately from its request to reset delivery rates beginning in July 2021 so that the customer financial support could be considered and implemented more quickly than the required 11-month rate proceeding process.

“We know our customers continue to struggle during this pandemic and this is a way for us to provide some near-term relief,” Bruckner said.

Enhanced Customer Support Programs Included in the 2021 Rate Filing

National Grid’s current three-year rate agreement expires March 31, 2021 and the company has submitted a request for new delivery prices beginning in July 2021. The new rates would cover the costs of providing service to upstate New York customers and includes enhanced energy affordability programs and services, continued deployment of economic development programs that grow the economy, and unprecedented investment in energy efficiency and demand response programs to help customers manage their energy usage and bills.

Under the proposal, residential electricity customers would see an average bill increase of 4 percent or $3.43 per month. Residential gas customers would see an average bill increase of 6 percent or $4.53 per month. The company originally planned to file a request for new rates in April but delayed that filing until July 31 due to COVID-19.

“We made the decision to delay this proposal so that we could use the time over the last few months to refine and reduce the amount of our request,” Bruckner said. “We worked hard to strike a balance between what is needed in the near term to maintain and improve reliability and further support our customers, and we postponed other initiatives to later years to lessen the financial impact on customers.”

While National Grid has filed a one-year plan, Bruckner noted the company hopes to work with PSC staff, customer advocates and other stakeholders to reach a multi-year agreement that would phase in new rates to further mitigate customer bill impacts. Reaching a settlement that spreads the increase over three years and includes deferral credits and other offsets, for example, could reduce the first-year delivery price impacts by more than half.

“We know we are not operating in a business-as-usual climate,” Bruckner said. “We will doeverything we can to work with PSC staff and other stakeholders to reach a multi-year settlement thatmaintains affordability, mitigates bill impacts and supports New York’s economic recovery. At thesame time, we need to adjust rates to cover the costs of providing service and we must remain financially healthy to attract the necessary capital to finance our operations, which will lower costs forcustomers in the long run.”

The company’s filing would impact only energy delivery prices. There are two components of an energy bill: delivery charges and supply charges. Delivery charges reflect the ongoing cost of operating and maintaining the natural gas and electricity networks – including investments to ensure a resilient grid in the face of more frequent and damaging storms and the integration of clean energy resources. Supply prices are set by the market, not National Grid, and the company does not profit from the sale of energy supply. Customers also have the option to buy their energy supply from a third-party provider.

Under New York public service law, rate cases are an 11-month process that will include a number of opportunities for public input.

National Grid’s upstate New York electricity business serves 1.6 million customers in more than 450 cities and towns across 24,000 square miles. The gas distribution business serves more than 600,000 customers across portions of Central, Northern and Eastern New York.

July 31, 2020 - 5:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in coronavirus, covid-19, news, notify.

Press release:

New Cases – As of 2 p.m. 

  • Genesee County received one new positive case of COVID-19.
    • The new positive case resides in Batavia.
    • The individual is in their 30s.
    • The individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Twenty-three new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • One of the 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.
    • Twelve new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • One of the individuals is hospitalized.
       
July 31, 2020 - 2:34pm

Press release:

After decades of service, Rainbow Preschool, operated by Arc of Genesee Orleans, will permanently close on Aug. 14.

Rainbow Preschool, located in Batavia at 80 Union St., and in Albion, serves children from 2½ - 5 years old with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

After careful consideration by Arc of Genesee Orleans’ Board of Directors, this difficult decision was made due to the current environment of the coronavirus pandemic, uncertain funding and declining enrollment.

While no return to class date was set due to NY State COVID-19 restrictions, enrollment to date included 26 children.

The preschool provided special education, physical therapy, occupational therapy, assistive technology, counseling, parent training, music therapy, and speech/language therapy to help students achieve kindergarten readiness. Preschool staff are New York state certified teachers, with teacher assistants and aides in the classroom. 

This decision was made with heavy hearts,” said Donna Saskowski, executive director. “For any children who are enrolled with Rainbow for the 2020-21 school year, we will work directly with parents and with school district representatives to secure appropriate placements and ensure continuity of services.”

Rainbow Preschool provided critical services to generations of children with and without disabilities and they have a proud history of service for children with special needs.

July 30, 2020 - 6:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, batavia, video, covid-19, coronavirus.
Video Sponsor

Press release:

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The 2020 racing season got underway at Batavia downs on Wednesday (July 29) with owners only on hand to watch the action. But absent a crowd and the usual fanfare, the horses showed up and took full advantage of a lightning-fast track.

A pair of $10,000 Open events headlined the card and the winner of each took a new seasonal mark for their efforts.

In the Open I trot, Il Mago (Jim Morrill Jr.) proved he was the best on the grounds this week after making every step from gate to wire a winning one.

Morrill shot Il Mago off the gate and to the front and the race could have been called at that point. Trotting like a loose horse on the point, Il Mago went quarters of :28.1, :57.1 and 1:26 flat, while extending his lead at each station. With only Chuckabuck (Drew Monti) remotely close, Il Mago was up by 3-1/2 at the top of the stretch and rolled home in front by 4-1/4 in 1:56.3.

It was the third win in the last four starts at three different tracks for the classy Il Mago ($2.80) who now has 49 career wins and $869,373 in earnings. The son of Kadabra-Northern Style is owned by Mike Torcello and trained by Gerry Sarama.

The fillies and mare Open I was also contested Wednesday and Julio’s Girl (Dave McNeight III) upset the apple cart for the second straight week.

HP Sissy ( Jim Morrill Jr.) left best and Lady London (Ray Fisher Jr.) followed while the rest of the field followed in post position order. After HP Sissy got to the half in :56.3, McNeight pulled Julio’s Girl first over entering the third turn and started the outside grind toward the leader. After a quarter-mile in the breeze, Julio’s Girl got even with HP Sissy at the top of the stretch and then paced clear down the lane to win by a length in 1:54.2, holding off a late rush from Protect Blue Chip (Billy Davis Jr.) and Gia’s Surreal (John Cummings Jr.) in the process.

After returning $33.60 in victory last week, Julio’s Girl blew up the tote board again in her seventh win of the year and rewarded her backers with $35.20 this week at Batavia. Julio’s Girl is owned by William Emmons and is trained by Jim Clouser Jr.

Jim Morrill Jr. had the hot hand in the bike on opening night, scoring a grand slam during the evening. Besides the already mentioned Il Mago, Morrill also won with Lyra (1:55.2, $4.90), Leaderofthepack (1:59.4, $4) and Edom Up Blue Boy (1:58.4, $2.30).

Dave McNeight III and Billy Davis Jr. also had productive nights, getting three wins each on the card.

Trainers Gerry Sarama and Jim Clouser Jr. led all conditioners with two wins apiece.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (July 31) with post time at 5 p.m.

July 30, 2020 - 5:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in YMCA, health and wellness, Gov. Cuomo, nonprofits, news, covid-19.

From the YMCA of Genesee & Orleans Counties:

Jeff Townsend, executive director of the YMCA of Genesee & Orleans Counties, is calling for public support in asking Governor Andrew Cuomo to let nonprofit organizations, like the YMCA, resume using their facilities to support the health and well-being of the communities they serve.

He wants you to sign this petition to let Governor Cuomo know that communities need their YMCAs to open fully to support the health and well-being of New Yorkers.

"For hundreds of communities across New York, the Y is so much more than gym," Townsend's missive says. "The Y works with vulnerable populations to improve health outcomes, build immunity and reduce the impact of underlying conditions that make individuals more susceptible to COVID-19.

The programs Ys are not able to offer while our facilities are closed include:

  • Arthritis Management Programs
  • Blood Pressure Self-Management Programs
  • Brain Health Programs to Prevent Cognitive Decline
  • Cancer Wellness and Treatment Recovery
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs
  • Diabetes Prevention and Management
  • Family Wellness
  • Obesity or Weight-loss Intervention
  • Inclusive Programming for People with Different Abilities
  • Programs for People an Caretakers of Those with Parkinson's Disease

Townsend continues by saying Governor Cuomo's decision to prohibit YMCAs from reopening their membership facilities in Phase 4 jeopardizes the economic viability of one of New York State's largest nonprofit organizations and employers: "While our communities generously support the Y through donations and grants, the Y's membership operations are the primary source of funding for its community work."

To date, New York's YMCAs have lost more than $117 million in membership and program revenue due to the government's mandated closures and capacity restrictions.

Unfortunately, these growing losses hinder the Y's ability to positively impact the health and well-being of more than 1.5 million children, families, and seniors who rely on the Y for everything from childcare and meals, to housing and human interaction, according to Townsend.

Ready to Reopen

YMCAs across the state have worked together to ensure that they are reopening in a safe and responsible manner.

Since closing membership operations in March, YMCAs have renovated their facilities, enhanced cleaning protocols, and physically redesigned spaces in order to create an environment that exceeds the health and safety guidelines from the CDC and State Department of Health. During all these changes, the Y continued to serve the needs of communities across New York State.

Open for Good

While our membership operations have been closed, the Y has continued to safely serve communities throughout the State of New York:

  • 2,500 children of essential personnel served each day at childcare centers during the pandemic;
  • 3,000 children served at YMCA Summer Programs;
  • 30,400 calls and visits to vulnerable populations to check on their health and deliver food or goods;
  • 128,302 meals provided through a variety of food programs and distribution centers.

Safe Today, Safe Tomorrow

The Y has served thousands, safely, during the pandemic. It is clear that YMCAs can run safely and responsibly. Communities needs the Y, and it needs your help to make sure the Y can continue to serve our community today, tomorrow, and for years to come.

July 30, 2020 - 4:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in coronavirus, news, covid-19, notify.

Press release:

New Cases – As of 2 p.m.

  • Genesee County received two new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in Batavia and Le Roy.
    • One of the individuals is in their 40s and one of the individuals is in their 50s.
    • Neither of the individuals were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Three new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • One of the individuals is hospitalized. 
       
    • Orleans County received one new positive case of COVID-19.
      • The new positive case resides in Gaines
      • The individual is in their 40s
      • The individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
      • One new individual is on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
      • One of the individuals is hospitalized.
July 30, 2020 - 4:21pm

Press release:

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $3,351,732.05 in federal funding to fire departments across New York State to enhance departments’ response capabilities and to help them more effectively protect the health and safety of the public.

The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG).

The City of Batavia is set to get $68,880.95.

“From the peak of the pandemic to normal times, our brave firefighters are always on the front lines, risking their lives to protect their communities,” Senator Schumer said. “These courageous firefighters deserve all the federal support possible to help them do their jobs.

"I’ve fought my whole career to bring more federal resources to support our brave firefighters, and I’m proud to deliver this funding so New York’s fire departments have the resources and equipment to do their jobs and make it through the ensuing economic crisis.”

Senator Gillibrand said “Every day, first responders face dangerous conditions to protect our communities, and we must provide them with the resources needed to stay safe on the job during this health crisis. I am proud to have fought for this critical funding in support of New York’s local fire departments.

"These federal dollars will help offset costs from the COVID-19 emergency and modernize equipment that will protect our firefighters’ health and safety as they do their jobs. I will always fight in the Senate for the resources that our firefighters need to save lives.”

The senators explained that the funding comes as localities face budget shortages and consider staff cuts, including in fire departments. Schumer and Gillibrand said the funding announced today will go directly to fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organizations, and state fire training academies.

A chart with the AFG breakdown appears below:

Organization Name

City

Funding Amount

Middleburgh, Village of

Middleburgh

$163,000.00

Troy, City of

Troy

$399,457.64

Watervliet, City of

Watervliet

$458,093.29

Greenville Fire District

Scarsdale

$82,599.31

Southwood Volunteer Fire Department Inc.

Jamesville

$40,735.24

New Rochelle, City of

New Rochelle

$159,090.91

Hornell, City of

Hornell

$174,384.76

Coopers Plains-Longacres Volunteer Fire Company Inc.

Coopers Plains

$120,000.00

Poughkeepsie, City of

Poughkeepsie

$33,181.82

Syracuse, City of

Syracuse

$488,195.45

Dundee Village

Dundee

$154,285.71

Fulton, City of

Fulton

$26,505.71

Dewitt Fire District

Syracuse

$64,065.45

East Worcester Hose Co. 1

East Worcester

$24,376.19

Watertown, City of

Watertown

$80,138.18

Lancaster, Village of

Lancaster

$255,171.43

Otter Lake Fire Company Inc.

Forestport

$92,406.67

Oswego, City of

Oswego

$176,206.67

Fulton, City of

Fulton

$86,468.18

Worcester Hose Company Inc.

Worcester

$76,190.48

Tully Joint Fire District

Tully

$89,516.19

Batavia, City of

Batavia

$68,880.95

Auburn, City of

Auburn

$38,781.82

July 30, 2020 - 4:12pm

Media Statement from the Genesee Valley Chief Schools Officers’ Association:

This statement is on behalf of all the school districts in the Genesee Valley BOCES region. Alexander, Attica, Avon, Batavia, Byron-Bergen, Caledonia-Mumford, Dansville, Elba, Geneseo, Keshequa, Le Roy, Letchworth, Livonia, Mount Morris, Oakfield-Alabama, Pavilion, Pembroke, Perry, Warsaw, Wayland-Cohocton, Wyoming and York.

On the evening of Saturday, March 14, the collective group of school superintendents who serve the communities of the Genesee Valley BOCES region gathered around a meeting table to grapple with the impending closure of schools due to the emerging COVID-19 public health crisis.

On that Saturday evening, we could have never predicted what the next several months would hold for our districts. In a very short period of time, however, we found ways to feed our communities, provide technology, support mental health, continue instruction, provide resources for child care, and rethink all functions in our districts.

Fast forward four months, we are now faced with a challenge that is, quite possibly, even greater than how to shut down. The challenge we now face is how to reopen our schools. It’s one thing to shut down our schools. We currently have questions that need to be answered. A few of those questions are, but not limited to, include public health, teaching and learning, technology access, human resource matters and, budget considerations.

As July ends, school districts will be posting their reopening plans on their websites. Every district aspires to open its doors to staff and students the week after Labor Day as we have always done.

We know, however, that this type of traditional opening is challenging at best, and in some cases simply impossible given the pandemic and guidance we must follow. Each district is a unique organization with distinctive challenges, expectations, and capacity and, a “one size fits all plan” does not work.

While we may not be able to have a universal, prescriptive regional reopening plan, we are united in our efforts that each district will provide the best possible conditions for our students and staff.

Some districts may be able to bring more/all students back for in-person instruction while other districts might need to provide hybrid models in order to adhere to public health guidelines regarding social distancing. These decisions need to be made locally based on capacity and community expectations.

While we realize that all of our efforts are certain to be compared, especially with those of our geographic neighbors, the reality is no one has the “right” answer for everyone. All districts in the Genesee Valley BOCES region and across the state will have different strategies and plans, but all have the same goal: create the best learning conditions for students given the extensive guidance, and provide the safest work environment possible for staff.

A recent statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics July 2020 noted, “Schools are fundamental to child and adolescent development and well-being and provide our children and adolescents with academic instruction, social and emotional skills, safety, reliable nutrition, physical/speech and mental health therapy, and opportunities for physical activity, among other benefits.” 

We agree with the AAP that the ideal scenario for Fall 2020 is to bring our students back to school. Yet, we know that the work of reopening is far more complex than opening the doors and operating our schools in a traditional manner. We know that reopening is about far more than simply operations and safety.

We need to consider the broader purpose served by public schools with regard to the intellectual, social, and emotional growth of our students. This work is complex, necessary, and important and we remain steadfastly committed to serving the children and families of our communities.

Ken Ellison
Superintendent, Pavilion Central Schools
Chairman of the Genesee Valley Chief Schools Officers Association

Kevin MacDonald
District Superintendent, Genesee Valley BOCES

July 29, 2020 - 4:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news.

Press release:

  • Genesee County received zero new positive cases of COVID-19, for a total of 253 positive cases.
    • Seventeen new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • One of the individuals is hospitalized.
       
  • Orleans County received zero new positive cases of COVID-19, maintaining a total of 274 positive cases.
    • Eleven new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • One of the individuals is hospitalized.
July 28, 2020 - 4:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news.

Press release:

  • Genesee County received zero new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • One of the previous community positive cases has recovered and has been released from mandatory isolation.
    • Four new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • One of the individuals is hospitalized.
       
  • Orleans County received zero new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • Seven new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • One of the individuals is hospitalized.
July 28, 2020 - 1:12pm

From Rochester Regional Health today (July 28) regarding the latest information on the coronavirus pandemic, reopening, and travel restrictions in New York:

Travel Restrictions

As positive coronavirus cases spike around the country, travelers arriving to New York State from designated states will be met with restrictions, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s updated Executive Order. Gov. Cuomo added 10 more states to the list of states that will require travelers to quarantine for 14 days upon entering New York. 31 states in total are on the list as of July 21.

The new states added are: Alaska, Indiana, Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia and Washington.

The quarantine applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day rolling average or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average. Essential workers are excluded, as well as anyone returning to New York from a designated state in which the visit was for less than 24 hours.

"The last 137 days have been hell for New York as we were the epicenter of this pandemic,” Gov. Cuomo said. “However, New Yorkers stood as one, acted responsibly and—as many other states in this nation are now grappling with new spikes of this insidious virus—the beast, for now, has been brought to bay in this state.”

Newest Rules for Bars & Restaurants

All restaurants and bars in New York State can now only serve alcohol to people who are ordering and eating food, according to a new statewide requirement announced by Gov. Cuomo July 16. All service at bar tops must only be for seated patrons who are socially distanced by six feet or separated by physical barriers, and customers are prohibited from ordering directly from the bar.

To comply with the requirement, the New York State Liquor Authority say that bars and restaurants must sell sandwiches, soups or other foods, whether fresh, processed, precooked or frozen, to customers in order to sell them alcohol. Other foods can be salads, wings, or hotdogs. However, a bag of chips, bowl of nuts, or candy are not enough to satisfy the requirement.

Cases Spike in Florida, Arizona, Texas, California

Almost half of all states are spiking at a faster rate than they had been in the spring, according to a new USA TODAY study. Florida broke the single day record for positive cases with 15,300 new cases on July 11 and reported a record-high of new single-day COVID-19 deaths with 132. Arizona has seen nearly 40 percent of its total yearly cases occur in July alone with more than 50,000 positive cases since July 1. Texas reported 110 deaths and 10,791 new positive cases on July 15, its second straight day of record-high cases in the state and the sixth straight day of more than 10,000 active COVID-19 hospitalizations, according to The Hill

The full list of states on the New York State travel advisory is below:

  • Alaska
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

New York State Slows Spread

Hospitalizations in New York State have dropped below 700 for the first time since March, and the state recently reported its lowest three-day average death toll since March.  

A new study by “The Truth About Insurance” named New York the most responsible state in fighting COVID-19. “We've used data and science to drive this fight and fuel our reopening strategy, but make no mistake, this distinction is shared by every single New Yorker who did the right thing these last months, ignored the politics, socially distanced and wore a mask,” Gov. Cuomo said.

“But we can't stop now. We must remain disciplined and we must remain New York Tough. We've come too far to go back to where we were."

What Rochester Regional Health is Doing

Rochester Regional Health has implemented diligent processes in place to help team members comply with this new requirement. Employees who are currently traveling or plan to travel to any of the designated states are permitted to work upon their return, provided they follow a strict set of guidelines and processes.

Reopening Schools

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently released guidance for reopening schools in New York State. The guidance allows for regions in Phase 4 to reopen if the infection rate remains below 5 percent using a 14-day average. Schools will close if the regional infection rate rises above 9 percent, using a seven-day average. A summary of the full guiding principles created by the New York State Department of Health and can be read here.

Phase 4

Phase 4 has begun for the greater Rochester area and the Finger Lakes Region. Phase 4 allows businesses to reopen in the industries of art, education, recreation, and entertainment. Malls are also reopening, however, not all stores in malls are reopening immediately. Gyms, casinos, movie theaters, and amusement parks remain closed. Museums and aquariums are opening with proper safety protocols in place.

"Phase 4 presents the greatest risk because the amount of variation of facilities that are on the slate to reopen in Phase 4 is more than variable than in Phase 1 through 3," said Dr. Michael Mendoza, Monroe County public health commissioner. "So doing so in a measured, coordinated way will allow the health department to follow the data very close and make course corrections as needed because the last thing we want to do is set ourselves all the way back."

Indoor restaurants in all regions have opened with safety precautions, as well as nail salons, tattoo parlors and spas. Outdoor seating is allowed with outdoor tables spaced six feet apart, all staff must wear face coverings and customers must also wear face coverings when not seated.

July 27, 2020 - 4:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news.

Press release:

  • Genesee County received four new positive cases of COVID-19, for a total of 253 positive cases.
    • The positive individuals reside in Batavia and Le Roy.
    • Two of the positive individuals are in their 30s, one is in their 40s, and one is in their 80s.
    • The positive individuals were not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Five of the previous community positive cases have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation.
    • Six new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • One of the individuals is hospitalized.
       
  • Orleans County received one new positive case of COVID-19, for a total of 274 positive cases.
    • The positive individual resides in Ridgeway.
    • The positive individual is in their 20s.
    • The positive individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Two of the previous community positive cases have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation.
    • Sixteen new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • One of the individuals is hospitalized.
July 27, 2020 - 4:28pm

From Genesee Community College:

An outdoor ceremony for graduates of the Antoinette Marchese Clancy School of Nursing at Genesee Community College was held Friday afternoon.

As the next line of first responders, the nurses were honored with a tribute from others on the front line. A Mercy Flight helicopter flew above the campus, tipping its wings at the newly minted nurses. Town of Batavia firefighters on Ladder Truck #22 were there, with lights flashing, siren and horn blaring.

Ingenuity, kindness, tradition and hard work converged to nudge aside the COVID-19 pandemic for just an hour so for the annual Recognition Ceremony, organized this year as a drive-in event in keeping with New York State's social distancing guidelines.

Graduates and their families parked their cars facing the lectern that was set up outside on the berm by the Student Success Center, and all guests could listen to the program on WGCC 90.7FM from their car radios, or watch it remotely through the livestream access.

"It certainly was an evening to remember," said Laurel Sanger, director of the Antoinette Marchese Clancy School of Nursing. "With the help and support of numerous people and departments across GCC's campus and our wonderful community, I think we gave the Class of 2020 a memorable event. It really is a testament to how proud we are of these graduates."

This class of nurses were not officially "pinned," however. Rather they were handed the emblem and certificate representing their accomplishments, and all were wearing masks and standing safe distances apart.

Pinning ceremonies are a time-honored nursing school tradition that signifies official initiation into the brotherhood and sisterhood of nurses. In a typical year, this event happens the same day or weekend of GCC's annual Commencement. But the nursing staff and College administrators decided to plan something special and a little different this year.

Approximately 18 graduates from a total class of 54 were able to attend Friday's event. Another 49 watched the program via livestream.

"For the easiest access of parking lots, late Friday afternoons in the summer are best for the campus community," Sanger said. "Yet we were worried that families would not be able to hear the ceremony from their cars. That's when WGCC stepped in, and then Media Services provided the remote live streaming access.

"And of course, it was wonderful that our Campus Safety team was able to network with local authorities for the parade. We are grateful to all for a special twenty-first century plan of action during a pandemic for this centuries-old tradition."

Pinning ceremonies are rich with symbolism and history and date all the way back to the Crusades of the 12th century. During this time, the Knights of the Order of the Hospital of St. John the Baptist tended to the injured and infirmed Crusaders with new monks vowing to serve sick soldiers in a ceremony where each monk was given a Maltese cross, the first badges given to those who nurse.

In more modern dates, Florence Nightingale was awarded the Red Cross of St. George in recognition for her tireless service to the injured during the Crimean War in the 1850s. To share the honor, she in turn presented a medal of excellence to her brightest graduates. By World War I, the practice of pinning new graduates and also awarding them caps, became a standard practice throughout the United States.

Genesee Community College continues its own tradition of teaching the next class of nurses and welcomes potential new students to sign up for one of the upcoming online Nursing Information Sessions scheduled at the following times:

Non-LPNs Only:

Monday, Aug.10, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 17, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Advanced Placement (LPN-RN) Only:

Tuesday, Aug. 18, 9 - 11 a.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 23, 4 - 6 p.m.

To register online go to: https://www.genesee.edu/academics/programs/health/nursing/

Photos courtesy of Genesee Community College.

July 27, 2020 - 12:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, covid-19, alexander, 2020-21 fiscal year budget.

From the Town of Alexander Board:

Genesee County has shared sales tax revenue for many years with its towns and villages. Due to increased capital needs to fund building a new jail and the repair and or replacement of large culverts and bridges throughout the County, a new revenue sharing agreement was proposed where the level of funding for towns and villages would be capped at the amount shared in 2018.

The County would use any increase in sales tax to Fund Capital Projects and if there was a decrease in sales tax the decrease would be shared equally by all parties. The County passed a resolution in 2018 and another in 2019 committing the legislature to sharing sales tax revenue at the 2018 level for years 2020 and 2021 so that the towns and villages could incorporate those revenues when creating their budgets.

Once the COVID-19 pandemic started there were projections of decreased sales tax revenue and the County legislature passed a resolution to rescind the previous resolutions, which committed them to sharing sales tax revenue with the towns and villages for years 2020 and 2021. They had already made the first quarter payment for 2020.

At the same time New York State was short on cash so they decided to not fund CHIPS. CHIPS is money that the state and federal governments provide to reimburse municipalities for road repair and building. We do the road work and then submit the bills for reimbursement; 80 percent is funded by the federal government and 20 percent has been in the past been funded by New York State.

What does this mean for the Town of Alexander 2020 budget?

We have a budget of $1,770,000 for 2020. Of that, $519,000 comes from your taxes; $582,000 from sales tax revenue;, $126,000 from CHIPS; $190,000 from services to other governments, which is plowing and mowing state and county roads in our town; $172,000 from other services and $181,000 from Fund Balance.

We anticipate that the CHIPS reimbursement will be down 20 percent (-$25,200). The sales tax revenue will be down $309,000 if no more money is shared by the County. Also other state aid may be reduced.

We had a highway truck ordered to be delivered in 2020 and on advice from our highway superintendent we cancelled the order, which reduced our expenditures by $221,500, but it also reduced our potential revenue by $15,000 as we no longer have a used truck to sell.

We are looking at ways to reduce expenditures to bridge our current budget gap and if necessary will use more Fund Balance to get us through this year.

As you can see the Water District #5 in the southwest corner of the Town is progressing. The funding for this project is through a federal loan and grant which are guaranteed once we commit to the project and are not part of our Town budget.

July 24, 2020 - 5:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, covid-19, chicken wings, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is calling out his state Assembly colleagues for allowing atrocious bills to be passed in the state Legislature late last night.

Among them is automatic voter registration, which automatically registers New Yorkers to vote whenever they interact with what are determined as "qualified" government agencies like the DMV or Department of Health.

A Step Too Far

“I’m all for ensuring we participate in our democratic society to the fullest; that’s the only way democratic societies can work,” Hawley said. “But what was done last night is simply a step too far.

"Superseding the state constitution and writing far-reaching bills, with few checks and balances to ensure they cannot be taken advantage of leads me to believe this will cripple the voting system more than uplift it. Well intended or otherwise, the Downstate legislators need to realize they’ve just opened up a can of worms that will not yield good results.”

In addition to that, the state Legislature passed a redistricting bill that would amend the state constitution and allow for further redistricting in the state. The move comes in a suspected effort on the part of the majority to draw new districts that would be politically advantageous to them.

Disgraceful Politics

“It’s a gross misstep in the use of authority and Majority power, and will almost certainly mean that many voices are at risk of being unheard in the future,” Hawley said. “There really is nothing more disgraceful in politics than trying to uphold your own power and keep the people in the dark.”

Furthermore, the Assembly Majority continues its grip on its monopoly of power by refusing to remove the governor’s emergency powers that he claimed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York. With these powers, he’s continued to hamper businesses like bars and prevent them from reopening and supporting the economy.

The Beef About Chicken Wings

He insists that people order food while ordering alcohol but claims that chicken wings are not substantial food for bars. He added that sandwiches were the "lowest level" of substantive food. 

“Chicken wings are a Western New York food, so this feels incredibly personal to me and my constituents,” Hawley said. “We all know the governor’s ‘Big Brother’ method of governance and one-size-fits-all solutions are his modus operandi, but at a time where people are trying to responsibly reopen and follow health codes as they have been instructed, the governor and his administration continue to curtail the attempts of honest workers getting back to a normal routine. It’s despicable.”

July 24, 2020 - 4:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news.

Press release:

  • Genesee County received three new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The positive individuals reside in Batavia, Le Roy and Pembroke.
    • One of the positive individuals is less than 20 and two individuals are in their 50s
    • One of the positive individuals was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Zero of the previous community positive cases have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation.
    • Six new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • No individuals are hospitalized.
       
  • Orleans County received one new positive case of COVID-19.
    • The positive individual resides in Albion.
    • The positive individual is in their 50s.
    • The positive individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Zero of the previous community positive cases have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation.
    • Eight new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • No individuals are hospitalized.
July 24, 2020 - 2:14pm

Press release:

ITHACA -- Tompkins Financial Corporation (NYSE American: TMP), parent company of Tompkins Bank of Castile, Tompkins Insurance Agencies, and Tompkins Financial Advisors, today reported record year-to-date and second quarter earnings.

The company also has announced that its Board of Directors approved payment of a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.52 per share, payable on Aug. 14, to common shareholders of record on Aug. 3, 2020, and has authorized a new stock repurchase program.

Tompkins Financial Corporation reported diluted earnings per share of $1.44 for the second quarter of 2020, up 13.4 percent compared to $1.27 reported in the second quarter of 2019. Net income for the second quarter of 2020 was $21.4 million, compared to $19.4 million reported for the same period in 2019. 

For the year-to-date period ended June 30, 2020, diluted earnings per share were $1.97, down 25.1 percent from the same period in 2019. Year-to-date net income was $29.4 million, down from $40.4 million, for the same period in 2019. Results for the 2020 year-to-date period were negatively impacted by economic stress resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, which contributed to the $16.3 million provision for credit losses recognized during the first quarter of 2020.

"We are pleased to report strong financial results for the quarter despite a very challenging business climate," said Stephen S. Romaine, president & CEO. "Although the longer term impact of the pandemic and related economic conditions are still unknown, there have been several recent positive trends noted with certain national economic indicators, such as reduced levels of unemployment, improving retail sales and improving consumer confidence.

"At Tompkins, we have seen several positive trends as well, with very strong mortgage application volumes in the second quarter, higher levels of debit card spending, and favorable credit quality measures when compared to last quarter. We are encouraged by some of these recent favorable trends, though the recent rise in COVID-19 cases nationally makes it clear that much uncertainty remains. We will remain vigilant in monitoring risk trends as we navigate these challenging times.”  

For full details, you can access the online versions through the links below.

About Tompkins Financial Corporation

Tompkins Financial Corporation is a financial services company serving the Central, Western, and Hudson Valley regions of New York and the Southeastern region of Pennsylvania. Tompkins Financial operates in Western New York as Tompkins Bank of Castile, Tompkins Insurance Agencies, and Tompkins Financial Advisors. Further information is available at www.tompkinsfinancial.com

Tompkins Bank of Castile is a community bank with 16 offices in the five-county Western New York region. Services include complete lines of consumer deposit accounts and loans, business accounts and loans, and leasing. Further information about the bank is available on its website, www.bankofcastile.com.

Tompkins Insurance Agencies Inc., offers personalized service, local decision-making and a broad range of services for consumers and businesses. It is an independent insurance agency offering personal and business insurance and employee benefits services through more than 50 different companies. The firm operates six offices in Central New York, 16 offices in Western New York and seven offices in Southeast Pennsylvania. Further information is available at www.tompkinsins.com

Tompkins Financial Advisors is the wealth management firm of Tompkins Financial Corporation. With more than a century of experience in helping clients to build, protect, and preserve wealth, Tompkins Financial Advisors provides financial planning, investment management, trust services and estate administration. For more information, visit www.tompkinsfinancialadvisors.com.

July 24, 2020 - 1:57pm

Press release:

Small businesses seeking loans to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic will soon have the information they need to make better borrowing decisions, thanks to the NYS Small Business Truth in Lending Act.

“The NYS Small Business Truth in Lending Act will bring common-sense transparency standards to small business financing at a time when it’s needed most,” said Linda MacFarlane, the nonprofit association’s Chair, who serves as the executive director of the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region Inc.

One of her clients, a certified Minority Business Enterprise, needed cash to add to his inventory, and borrowed money from an online source. He then saw the daily repayment withdrawals from his bank account were much higher than he agreed to — and the debt service nearly closed down his store. Her client was told he must not have read the fine print in the agreement, and learned that overall interest was in the triple digits. The Community Loan Fund stepped in, paid off the loan and gave him a line of credit for new inventory and a small loan for store remodeling. 

“CDFIs are committed to offering loans in a fair, affordable and transparent manner,” MacFarlane said. “Unfortunately, some lenders have made it hard for small businesses to compare the true cost of their offers.CDFI Coalition members around the state are pleased to see that this measure will require lenders to disclose annual percentage rate (APR) and repayment terms.”

“Fair and honest lenders have nothing to fear with regard to transparency and the adoption of standard terms to describe the cost of loans,” said CDFI Coalition Board Member Kim Jacobs, president/CEO of Community Capital New York based in Elmsford. “This is a great opportunity for Governor Cuomo to help protect the small businesses in our state who are already overwhelmed dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 by swiftly signing this measure into law. We applaud NYS Senator Kevin Thomas and Assemblyman  Ken Zebrowski for their leadership on this important issue.”

“The passage of the New York State Small Business Truth in Lending Act (A10118 / S5470) represents a victory for New York’s small business owners,” said Dafina Williams, senior vice president of Public Policy at Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) and Executive Committee member of the Responsible Business Lending Coalition (RBLC).

“Bringing much-needed transparency to commercial lending, this bill equips entrepreneurs with the tools needed to easily compare financing options – allowing them to make the best financial decisions for their businesses. The RBLC thanks Assemblyman Zebrowski and Senator Thomas for their leadership and urges Governor Cuomo to promptly sign New York’s first-ever small business lending transparency bill into law.” 

The NYS Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Coalition represents the institutions that make innovative financing possible, foster financially vibrant and healthy communities, and strengthen all regions of New York State.

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 
 
 
 
 

Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button