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November 23, 2020 - 1:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Oakfield, scanner.

At about 1:40 this afternoon a man who had been trapped in a gigantic grain bin at 3162 Lockport Road in Oakfield was able to climb down a ladder to safety.

Mercy medics on scene are evaluating him.

His ordeal was first relayed to the Genesee County Dispatch Center around noon and Oakfield Fire Department responded to the location, a farm between Albion and Fisher roads.

Elba fire responded with a grain bin tool to help with extrication. Alabama fire is standing by in Oakfield's hall; Barre is standing by for Elba.

More T/K

November 23, 2020 - 1:19pm

Having a role in the successful completion of a municipal project has provided a sense of satisfaction to City of Batavia Public Works Director Matt Worth, but it pales in comparison to his appreciation of and attachment to the people he worked with over the past 34 years.

“The people I have worked with I just can’t say enough about. I’m getting all choked up thinking about it, really,” Worth said during a telephone interview with The Batavian as he winds down a distinguished career with the city.

Worth’s official retirement date is Jan. 15, but his last day on the job – due to time earned – is Dec. 11.

His final City Council meeting is tonight’s Conference session at the City Centre Council Board Room, where he will receive a proclamation from lawmakers, honoring him for his dedicated service.

The 56-year-old lifelong resident of the Pembroke area said he has a special place in his heart for the people who believed in him and labored by his side.

“A lot of people gave me an opportunity or a chance, and I can’t thank them enough. I can name names, but I don’t want to leave anyone out,” he said.

Still, he first mentioned (the late) Dennis Larson, the former Public Works director who hired him back in March 1987 – “Dennis is someone I always thought the world of,” Worth said – and he thanked John Schaefer (former Water & Wastewater superintendent) and Len Walker (former Public Works director) for their expertise.

City Workers a Close-Knit Group

When it comes to his coworkers, Worth said they were like family.

“Those guys were special. When there was a water main break in the middle of the night and you’re out there in the freezing cold, you counted on each other to be there for each other,” he said. “Jim Ficarella and Bill Davis (retired and current Water & Wastewater superintendents, respectively), and the crews. There’s a sense of camaraderie and friendship and professionalism that I will always treasure.”

Worth began his career with the city – following a short stint with the Genesee County Highway Department – as an engineering technician and was promoted to deputy superintendent of water/wastewater in 1999. He took over as superintendent of that department three years later.

In July 2015, he was appointed Public Works director. The promotion put him in charge of the Bureau of Maintenance (Streets & Sidewalks), Bureau of Water and Wastewater (Water Plant and Sewer Plant), Bureau of Inspections (Code Enforcement) and Bureau of Engineering, with responsibility for approximately 50 employees.

During his tenure, he has been involved in numerous public works projects, including street reconstruction, water and sewer plant upgrades, and capital infrastructure planning.

“The projects that we’ve done over the years are the things that I’ve really craved,” he offered. “A project gets done and there’s a tangible change that happened – something that you can really see … the road got plowed, the road got paved, a new water line got put in, whatever that may be.”

Keeping a Low Profile is Just Fine

He said he understands how important public works are to residents and doesn’t mind flying under the radar.

“If we’re doing it right, the people don’t notice you’re doing it. There’s a certain satisfaction in that,” he said.

“When the kids come through on tours of things, we tell them that Public Works is the department that you touch and feel every day. You’re using the streets, you’re walking on the sidewalks, you’re using the water, you’re flushing the toilet. That interaction is very real with the services that Public Works provides compared to fire and police and other big departments that really you don’t have to interact with them, even though they’re a higher profile profession.”

In January 2018, Worth took over as interim city manager after the departure of Jason Molino and served in that role for about 10 months.

“That year of me being upstairs as the interim city manager, I really missed DPW,” he said. “The city manager position is more of a higher-level planning, with stuff more in the future and not readily tangible, so that’s why I was quite ready to get back to Public Works.”

He did such a fine job as interim city manager that he was selected by the Genesee Valley Branch of the American Public Works Association as the 2018 recipient of the Public Works Leader of the Year in the Administrative Management Category.

Worth said he had plenty of support during that time.

“I was very fortunate that I had really good people (department heads) when I was upstairs here – Ray Tourt (Department of Maintenance), Jim Ficarella, the two superintendents – they really ran the Public Works department for those 10 months, and did a really good job as there were projects still going on,” he said. “A lot of people pulled together, understanding that there was a vacuum and we all needed to help each other to get through it.”

Looking Back at Specific Projects

When asked about specific projects that stand out, Worth mentioned the new sewer plant construction, a $45 million venture that took place during his first year with the city.

“Being a young kid who doesn’t know a darn thing and walking into a huge project like that, I got exposed to so many different aspects of construction and large-scale projects,” he said. “What an opportunity to observe that and learn from that. That was on the very front end, but that sticks in my mind.”

He also said mentioned the Main Street reconstruction in 2003 and 2004 – “the road was in such bad shape,” he noted – and talked about some of the benefits of the smaller, residential street projects.

“You got to meet the people who lived there and you built relationships with them,” he said. “I remember some older people who lived on the street – by the end of the summer they were giving me canned tomatoes and offered to pray for you at night. That was a fun aspect of working in a municipality. You get to meet the people.”

As far as unfinished business, Worth remembers his first day on the job, performing survey work on Oak Street to prepare for a new street, Cecere Drive.

“It was a small subdivision with a few houses to be built there, but there ended up being a conflict over some property deeds or something, and that project never happened. That one never made it to the finish line.”

Hope Ahead for the City Centre Mall?

Worth acknowledged some “missed opportunities” in regard to building a new police station, but is pleased to see that it finally is on track.

“We always were going to do something, but something would come up and it got put off. The police need a new headquarters. The old City Hall (former Brisbane Mansion) is about 200 years old and trying to function as a police station.”

He said he is optimistic that a solution to the City Centre Mall dilemma is near. He called the initial concept of the Genesee Country Mall a mistake, “having all of these individual ownerships with this common hallway in the middle of it.”

“I was involved in that on several different levels over the years. I think frustration would be the word here, but I think moving forward there are opportunities that will be very positive – considering the DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative) redevelopment work.”

When it was mentioned that at least the roof has been repaired, Worth said the last section is scheduled to be done in the coming year … “and then all the buckets go away, right?”

Council President: He’s Going to be Missed

City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said Worth deserves to enjoy his retirement, admitting “we’re going to miss him tremendously.”

“He’s done a lot of work; he’s involved in a lot of the projects. He stepped up even as assistant city manager for a time and was able to lead the ship for a couple months while we got things squared away so, he’s going to be missed for sure,” he said.

Jankowski said he is sure Worth has imparted his knowledge to put the city in position to promote his replacement from within.

“Hopefully, we’ve done our job and there are people in place to take over, but I know that Matt is that kind of guy -- a teacher and a mentor to a lot of the employees that he works with. So, I’m sure there will be somebody qualified to take the reins,” he said.

Tourt, a city employee for nearly 22 years, started out in the Engineering Bureau, working with Worth.

“They’re really going to miss him and they don’t realize how much yet. He’s been a real good boss and he’s been a great mentor and he’s been a good friend. He has really looked out for the operations of the city and always put the city first,” he said.

Worth said he intends to find another job, but is not sure of the line of work.

“I’m hoping to find somebody that has a need for an old, washed-up Public Works director, I guess,” he said, downplaying his experience. “I’m leaning toward something local. I really do enjoy living here and have lived here all my life.”

He also said that he and his wife, Joan, will have more time with the family – their grown children, Adam and Kathryn, and two grandchildren, ages 1 and 3 – and continue to enjoy their walks at the Iroquois Wildlife Refuge.

“It’s a chance to give the dog some exercise,” he said.

November 22, 2020 - 10:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, pembroke.

A motor-vehicle accident is reported at 9036 South Lake Road, Pembroke.

A car reportedly hit a house and the driver fled the scene.

One car involved.

Injuries are reported.

Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments responding.

November 22, 2020 - 2:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, thanksgiving, batavia, news.

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Members of Batavia High School's senior class and their families held a pandemic-era Thanksgiving parade through the City of Batavia this morning.

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November 22, 2020 - 2:00pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in alexander, news, The Jixter, FeedMoreWNY, food donations.

For a week, local television stations have been advertising the antics of 97 Rock’s DJ, known as The Jixter, and his promotion to collect food for Rock Out Hunger.

Many people don’t realize The Jixter is none other than Alexander native Dave Gick, son of Bill and Audrey Gick, of Alexander.

Gick, who prefers to be called “The Jixter,” got his first broadcasting job at WCJW Radio in Warsaw after graduating from Alexander High School.

He went to work at 97 Rock (WGRF-FM) in 2005, and every year since he has spent a week at Thanksgiving living 24/7 in a tractor-trailer parked in the Buffalo area to accept donations of nonperishable food items and turkeys.

This year the donation truck is at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital on Maple Avenue in Buffalo. The Jixter will be there until 10 a.m. Tuesday to accept your gifts of food for our neighbors in the region who need it.

“When I first started at 97 Rock, they asked for a young and single guy to volunteer,” The Jixter said. “They asked me if I’d be willing to live in a truck for a week.”

He has done that every year since, he said. He sleeps in a recliner and only takes a break to change his clothes and brush his teeth in a motorhome supplied by the Upstate Auto Group of Attica.

“Upstate Auto has supported everything I’ve done since I started broadcasting,” The Jixter said. 

He has a heated recliner, which someone donated for him to sleep in this year, although he said it is questionable how much sleep he gets. If people show up in the middle of the night with a donation, he accepts it. Sometimes he wakes up and there will be a box of food on the steps.

During the past 14 years The Jixter has done this, they have collected $260,000, 245,000 pounds of food and 31,000 turkeys. Last year they collected more than $37,000, and 32,557 pounds of food and 2,400 turkeys. As of Saturday afternoon, they 844 turkeys.

The donated food will be distributed by FeedMoreWNY, a group formed by the merger of the Food Bank of Western New York and Meals on Wheels of Western New York. In 2019, FeedMoreWNY provide 12 million meals through various programs, and as of September they had already surpassed that number.

The Jixter said there are people in need every year, and this year especially is expected to be greater.

Rock Out Hunger is sponsored by 97 Rock, Kaleida Health and WKBW 7 Eyewitness News. 

The Jixter said a lot of his friends from the Genesee County area have come up to see him and he welcomes everyone.

Saturday, he and a dozen volunteers were busy nonstop accepting donations from people who could drive up in their car and open their trunk for a volunteer to take their donation. The Jixter said volunteers sign up with FeedMoreNY, and they come every year. 

Top photo, The Jixter stands on the stairs leading into the tractor-trailer at Millard Fillmore Surburban Hospital, where he is spending the week to collect food for the needy.

Below, The Jixter unpacks donated food for Rock Out Hunger.

Below, Alexander native Dave Gick points to paper chains, each link representing a donated turkey to feed the hungry.

Below, 97 Rock’s The Jixter takes time out from unloading cases of donated food to broadcast a live thank you for a large donation of pizzas for FeedMore WNY. 

Photos courtesy of Virginia Kropf.

November 21, 2020 - 6:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in holm, Wonderland of Trees, batavia, news.

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The Holland Land Office Museum's 2020 Wonderland of Trees is open to the public during regular business hours until Dec. 31. The annual event this year doesn't include the usual gala opening but visitors are still welcome to enjoy the holiday cheer of more than 20 trees decorated by local organizations and businesses.

As many as 25 people at a time will be allowed into the building to view the trees. Masks are required inside the building.

This year's sponsors include Tompkins Bank of Castile, Batavia Downs, and The YNgodess Shop.  

This is a major fundraiser each year for HLOM and to help in that effort, there is a basket raffle. The winners will be drawn on Dec. 18.

The Genesee Symphony Orchestra will provide musical performances on the evenings of Dec. 4, Dec. 11, and Dec. 18.

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November 21, 2020 - 5:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in stuff the cruiser, law enforcement, Target, news, batavia, Le Roy.

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Sgt. Greg Kellogg, Le Roy PD, and troopers Ben Hersee, Stephanie Grimaldi and Bill Franz, show off some of the toys collected at Target today for the annual Stuff the Cruiser event.

Local law enforcement gathers for the event each year to collect donations for children who might not otherwise fund many presents under their Christmas trees. Besides Le Roy PD and State Police, participating this year were the Sheriff's Office, Batavia PD, Corfu PD, GC Probation Department, and the Department of Environmental Conservation.

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Brooke Fisher, 5, drops off a toy with Le Roy PD Officer CJ Miller and Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello, Sheriff's Office.

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Photo submitted by Greg Kellogg of the final haul of presents.

November 21, 2020 - 5:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in VA Hospital, VA, batavia, red osier, veterans, news.

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Patrick Hager, with American Legion Post 637 in Strykersville, helps deliver meals from the Original Red Osier Landmark Restaurant to residents and staff at the VA Hospital in Batavia on Thursday. Veterans in Wyoming County raised $2,100 to pay for 175 meals.

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November 21, 2020 - 12:21pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, genesee county, Ways & Means Committee.

Genesee County governmental leaders have trimmed the fat from the county’s self-funded employee health benefits plan that has been hit with consecutive years of double-digit premium increases, County Manager Matt Landers said this week.

“I will say that the plan is run lean, believe it or not,” Landers said following a vote of the Genesee County Legislature’s Ways & Means Committee to approve monthly rates for 2021, effective Jan. 1. “There is no healthy reserve fund balance in that fund. We are just covering our costs.”

And the costs to the county are considerable as participants pay an average of 15 percent of the total premium, with the county picking up the other 85 percent.

Genesee County has budgeted $13,994,483 for 2021 for actual claims plus administrative and ancillary costs. Approximately 680 employees of the county and Genesee Community College are enrolled in the plan, with total participation including additional family members at approximately 1,660.

Landers said that medical and prescription drug premium rates are increasing 17.6 percent in 2021, and this is on the heels of a 10-percent increase for 2020.

“While it is painful, we are increasing the premiums as little as possible,” he said. “We’re trying to be mindful of the impact it has departments, on taxpayers and on individuals that are paying these increased premiums through cost sharing.”

He said the goal is to have everyone on the plan pay 15 percent of the total premium – which will be achieved through negotiations with the county’s four unions – and that each county department has a budget for the health care costs for its employees.

“Right now, the average county employee is pretty close to paying 15 percent,” he said.

For an illustration of the cost, an employee signed up under “Family (3 or more)” in the Health and Wellness Plan will pay around $339 per month for that coverage in 2021.

With the total monthly premium set at $2,261, the county is responsible for $1,922 per month.

Landers explained that being self-insured means that all medical and prescription drug bills come directly to the county.

“We’re self-insured, so when a person goes in for a surgery or somebody has a premature baby delivered and stays in the hospital two months, we’re not sending (bills) to Blue Cross & Blue Shield, we are our own self-insured company,” he said. “So, basically the doctor or the hospital … sends a bill to Genesee County for $175,000 and we’re the ones paying that.”

Other monthly rates under the Health and Wellness Plan include Single, $696; 2 Members, $1,391; Retired, single, $696; and Retired, family 3 or more, $2,261. The county also offers dental and vision benefits for both Single and Family.

Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein said management and health plan consultants did their best to keep costs as low as possible.

“We understand that this increase in premiums is necessary, but if you go on to the market, you will see that it is right in line. So, I’m just pleased with this, considering where we are today,” she said.

November 21, 2020 - 9:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, alexander.

A milk truck is on its side in a ditch at Dry Bridge Road and Sandpit Road, Alexander.

The driver is out of the vehicle and reportedly uninjured.

Alexander fire is on scene.

November 20, 2020 - 6:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, muckdogs, news.
Video Sponsor

At a press conference in Medina yesterday, Sen. Charles Schumer announced that the Rochester Red Wings will become an affiliate of the Washington Nationals. The Nationals will move their AAA affiliate from Fresno, Calif., to Rochester.

He said he continues to fight to save the Muckdogs, the Doubledays, as well as the entire New York Penn League. We asked about Congress using its power to exempt Major League Baseball from its anti-trust exemption and he didn't answer the question directly.

Support Local News. Support Community News Coverage. Support The Batavian.

November 20, 2020 - 5:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, news, batavia, notify.

While it's too early to say that a series of brush fires next to buildings at 29 Liberty St. in the City of Batavia were deliberately set, said Chief Stefano Napolitano, the fires do deserve closer scrutiny.

City fire and Batavia PD are working together on an investigation.

The property is a long narrow band with a trailer on it -- like a long trailer used at construction sites -- and the fires were several yards apart on the property.

"With fires at multiple locations, it warrants an extremely closer look," Napolitano said.

The investigation will also try to determine if the Liberty Street fires are linked to a dumpster fire at School and Cedar streets earlier today.

Out at the scene this evening, Napolitano was overheard talking with a police officer about the unusual number of brush fires in the area for November. We asked him about it later.

There were fires today in Alabama, Oakfield, Pavilion and Darien.

"I can't speak for other chiefs but in my 35 years (in the fire service), I don't remember a November 20th with this kind of temperature and dry conditions," Napolitano said. "Maybe when I was younger, I didn't notice it, but now I can feel it in my bones."

He said its really not a good time for one last bonfire or to burn things.

He praised the response of his team. The firefighters protected nearby buildings from the fire and got it out quickly.

Previously: Brush fire reported on Liberty Street in the city

Video by Rick Hale.

November 20, 2020 - 5:04pm
Video Sponsor

The need for COVID-19 testing sites in rural counties was the focus of a press conference by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer Thursday morning at Medina Memorial Hospital.

Schumer said Congress has approved $9 billion in funding for states and rural counties, such as Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming, but the Federal government won’t release it.

Both Schumer and hospital CEO Mark Shurtz are concerned about the amount of testing that will need to be done with the coronavirus cases exploding across the region. Schumer said Orleans seven-day average has quadrupled since Nov. 1, and yet the county has zero free COVID-19 testing sites.

Genesee and Orleans County Health Department Director Paul Pettit said there are currently no free testing sites in the three-county area, forcing residents to drive to Monroe Community College in Rochester, Niagara County Community College in Sanborn or Downtown Buffalo for a free test.

Testing is being done at Oak Orchard Health in Albion, and drive-thru testing at Orleans Community Health’s Urgent Care in Albion, but it isn’t free. 

County officials estimate thousands more tests are desperately needed immediately and with cases on the rise, there will be increased need for testing of nursing home residents, health care workers and school children, Pettit said. 

County officials project they will need at least seven to eight rapid test machines and thousands of test kits at minimum, compared to the two machines and 700 rapid test kits they have now. 

Schumer demanded the Department of Health and Human Services release the testing dollars he helped to originally secure to conduct sufficient rapid testing and tracing programs to keep residents safe from the virus. Schumer also announced his intention to fight for more of those funds for communities across Upstate New York, as the possibility of a second wave emerges and as a Covid relief deal continues to be negotiated. 

Marc Shurtz, CEO/CFO of Orleans Community Health, said every tool and resource available is needed to best protect the community and health professionals, and that certainly includes more robust testing. 

“Especially now as Covid infection and transmission rates are spiking again in Western New York, we need to increase our testing capacity – including rapid testing – to stop the spread and avoid other protective measures, like lockdowns,” Shurtz said. "If we can head off community spread with more testing, we can curb new hospitalizations, which are already up 550 percent in the Finger Lakes Region.”

November 20, 2020 - 4:37pm
posted by Press Release in news, batavia, stuff the cruiser, holiday season.

Tomorrow's “Stuff the Cruiser" event (Nov. 21st) will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the parking lot outside Target in Towne Center at Batavia on Veterans Memorial Drive.

Multiple local law enforcement agencies* as well as the Rotary Club of Batavia will be attending to collect unwrapped toys, new clothing and nonperishable food to distribute back into Genesee County families in need this holiday season.

All donations stay in Genesee County.

*Participating local law enforcement agencies are: Village of Le Roy Police Department, Genesee County Probation Department, Genesee County Sheriff's Office, and City of Batavia Police Department.

November 20, 2020 - 4:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, fire, scanner.

A brush fire is reported next to a "primary care" building at 29 Liberty St. The location is between School and Ellicott streets. City fire is responding.

UPDATE 4:42 p.m.: The fire was next to an abandoned trailer. Fire is out; doing overhaul.

UPDATE 5:37 p.m.: City Fire is back in service.

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Photo by Rick Hale.

Video by Rick Hale.

November 20, 2020 - 4:19pm
posted by Press Release in news, city of batavia, city council.

Press release:

Please be advised there will be a City Council Conference Meeting scheduled for Monday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Council Board Room on the second floor of the Batavia City Centre. This meeting is open to the public. Face masks and social distancing will be required

Options for viewing the meeting:

  • Video News Service YouTube Channel and City’s Facebook (later in the evening):
  • Spectrum Cable TV Channel 1301 – Wednesday, Nov. 25th at 9 a.m. and Friday, Nov. 27th at 8 p.m.

The agenda is posted on the City website.

November 20, 2020 - 4:10pm
posted by Press Release in news, notify, covid-19, coronavirus.

Press release:

As of 2 p.m.:

  • Genesee County received 17 new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in Alabama, Batavia, Darien, Elba and Le Roy. 
    • One of the new positive individuals is a resident at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Batavia.
    • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s.
    • One of the individuals was on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Nineteen of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
    • Eight of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
  • Orleans County received one new positive case of COVID-19.
  • The new positive case resides in Barre.
  • The individual is in their 0-19s.
  • The individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
  • Twenty-nine of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.

Three of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.

November 20, 2020 - 3:49pm
posted by Press Release in news, covid-19, Resurrection RC Parish, batavia.

Masses this weekend at Resurrection Parish in Batavia are cancelled due to some individuals that came to a funeral at St. Joseph's last week.

Here's a note from Rev. Ivan R. Trujillo, pastor at Resurrection RC Parish, Batavia:

I regret having to advise our parishioners that I am taking a pre-emptive measure and cancelling our weekend Masses for Nov. 21st and 22nd, as well as on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26th. Weekend and Thanksgiving Masses will be online through Facebook and our website as usual.

We have been notified by the Health Department that five members of a family attending a funeral last week have tested positive for COVID-19.

As we have been strictly following all of the recommended guidelines by the State and our Diocese -- such as wearing masks, social distancing, limiting the number of people attending, movement around the church, and disinfecting the entire interior of the church after EVERY Mass -- I believe we are doing the best we can to stay safe.

In addition, we have notified the Diocese regarding our situation. However, we cannot know for certain that everyone entering our church is healthy.

We will be temporarily closed to have some extra cleaning done and continue to disinfect every day (even though no one will be in the church).

I hope everyone will feel comfortable returning to Mass on the (Nov.) 28th.

Sincerely,

Fr. Ivan

November 20, 2020 - 3:39pm
posted by Press Release in news, notify, covid-19, health alert, coronavirus.

Health Alert

From the Genesee County Health Department:

The Genesee County Health Department has received seven positive COVID-19 tests from individuals who attended funeral service arrangements on the following dates and locations:

  • Nov. 11th -- Gilmartin Funeral Home (333 W. Main St., Batavia) between the hours of 3 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 12th -- Resurrection Roman Catholic Church (303 E. Main St., Batavia) between the hours of 9 to 10:30 a.m.
  • Nov. 12th -- Saint Joseph’s Mausoleum (Ellicott Street, Batavia) between the hour of 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Nov. 12th -- Polish Falcons of America (123 S. Swan St., Batavia) between the hours of 12 to 6 p.m.

Contact tracing is in progress; however unidentified individuals may have unknowingly been in contact with the positive cases.

We advise all individuals who were at the locations listed to monitor their symptoms for 14 days.

If symptoms of COVID-19 develop, contact your primary care provider to seek testing immediately and self-isolate until you receive your test results.

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 more information please visit: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home

November 20, 2020 - 3:15pm
posted by Press Release in Genesee Valley Conservancy, art, news, bergen, Pavilion, Oakfield.

Above, "Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse" by Charles Malone, of Oakfield, who uses soils from the area to color his work.

Submitted images and press release:

This week marked the opening of the "Genesee Valley 100: A Community Painting Project" of the Genesee Valley Conservancy.

The project had only two simple directives for artists: use the provided 12X12 canvas, and paint something inspired by the Genesee Valley.

Organized by Genesee Valley Conservancy, a nonprofit celebrating 30 years of protecting habitat, open space, and farmland within the Genesee Valley, this project aims to capture the beauty and undefinable essence that the organization has been working to protect.

The Genesee Valley 100 exhibit of paintings is viewable online on the Conservancy’s website and in person during regular business hours at the Silver Lake Brewing Project in Perry (Wyoming County) through the end of the year. It is located at 14 Borden Ave.

Online is where all sales take place, which benefit both the local artist and the Conservancy.

This year, three Genesee County artists participated and one close by in Attica: Charles Malone, of Oakfield; David Burke, of Bergen; Susan Kinney, of Oakfield, and Linda Fix, of Attica.

In creating such a collection of work and exhibiting them to the public, the organization hopes to inspire people to recognize the importance of the local lands and natural resources that surround and benefit us. Lands that future generations will be grateful if we properly care for them today.

Agricultural lands provide jobs and local food, supporting a large part of our rural economy. Lakes providing drinking water depend on the open spaces and forests surrounding them to naturally filter runoff so it is clean and safe to drink. Thriving habitat provides unique places to explore, recreate and enjoy fresh air while breaking from screens and devices.

A range of diverse styles are on display and artists of all levels of experiences participated. High school students and amateurs have pieces hung next to lifelong and professional painters. This is another unique part of this show. No one is juried to get in. Everyone interested is welcome to submit their painting, no questions asked.

The goal is to see what inspires people about the Genesee Valley and, in turn, present those images to the public to inspire others to recognize what a beautiful and special place we live.

While each individual piece warrants up close inspection, hung together at the brewery the collection is an impressive mosaic that is a work of art itself.

In trying to reach a broad audience for the project, the show is intentionally hung in a nontraditional space for art, that is to say, not in a gallery. The hope is people not seeking art out will be confronted by the project and be exposed to some great local artists and to images of our beautiful landscape. 

Paintings represent locations within the Genesee Valley from the headwaters of the Genesee River in Pennsylvania all the way to the shores of Lake Ontario, and everywhere in between.  

Forty-three communities are represented by painters this year. Fifty-one artists are first-time participants in the Genesee Valley 100. Thirty-four return from 2018, the first year of the project, that also featured original paintings. Eighteen artists this year are returning from last year’s project, which was oriented just to photographers, but held the same 12x12 requirement and that the work be of the Genesee Valley.

About Genesee Valley Conservancy

It is a nationally accredited nonprofit conservation organization working to protect the habitat, open space and farmland in the Genesee River watershed. Over 21,360 acres of natural habitat and productive farm and forest land have been conserved by Genesee Valley Conservancy and private landowners. The organization also owns nature preserves open to the public year-round for recreation and education.

For more information visit www.geneseevalleyconservancy.org

Below, "Bergen Swamp Trail" by David Burke, of Bergen.

Below, "Rainy Morning at Armson Farms" by Susan Kinney, of Pavilion.

Below, "Nature's Wonder" by Linda Fix, of Attica.

Below, a portion of the 12" by 12" works in this year's "Genesee Valley 100: A Community Painting Project."

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