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July 14, 2020 - 2:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia.

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Police were in pursuit of a white Chevy Impala or similar vehicle with "security" on the side.

The car apparently pulled out of the Red Roof Inn with no lights.  It fled toward BJ's Warehouse and around the building back on to Veterans Memorial Drive. It crashed in the area of Aspen Dental and headed back toward BJs.

It then headed back toward the Thruway and was driving on Thruway Property behind the Hersey's building where it stopped or became stuck.

There are at least three individuals in the vehicle.

UPDATE 2:54 a.m.: Police communication indicates the car was stolen out of Rochester. Mercy EMS responded to the scene for the evaluation of at least two individuals.  Troopers at the scene were unable to speak to media and referred questions to the Public Information Officer during business hours. We were able to confirm that chase started when a trooper spotted the vehicle leaving the vicinity of Red Roof Inn without headlights and before the trooper attempted a traffic stop, the vehicle drove off the roadway on Park Road. That section of Park Road had a large amount of gravel on it and tire tracks were visible along the shoulder. Once the trooper tried to initiate a traffic stop, the driver fled.  The spot where the car initially went off the road is also the same spot where the car exited Park Road in an apparent attempt to gain access to the Thruway.  The sedan became stuck in a ditch next to the Thruway.

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July 13, 2020 - 11:36pm

The Batavia City Council is asking the owner of a popular downtown restaurant to go back to the drawing board after deciding not to support his plan to place a tent for outdoor dining in a parking lot next to his building.

Council, at its Conference Meeting tonight at the City Hall Council Board Room, determined that the obstacles identified by City management to the proposal by Vic Marchese of Main Street Pizza were valid reasons to reject his “COVID-19 2020 Temporary Outdoor Dining on City Property Program” application.

However, Council members and management said they are willing to work with Marchese on an alternative, possibly exploring the placement of tables behind his building or on the sidewalk in front of his building at 206 Main St.

“I understand that the restaurant business is an extremely competitive business and Vic does not have a lot of area to expand on,” Council member John Canale said. “He’s at a major disadvantage … outdoor dining is almost imperative. We need to find an option for Vic Marchese to be able to compete with other restaurants who are basically eating his lunch right now.”

Marchese’s proposal was to put up a 15-foot by 75-foot tent, with lighting, in the parking lot on the east side of the restaurant – utilizing seven to eight parking spaces. He then would set up eight to 10 tables, accommodating up to 60 guests, under the tent.

Acting City Manager Rachael Tabelski, referring to her July 7 memo to City Council, read the reasons she and departmental leaders felt the plan would not be feasible.

She cited state building code’s prohibiting tents in a parking space, the fact that the City does not own the entire lot, the removal of prime parking spaces (including handicap spaces) and traffic issues in an already congested parking lot between Main Street Pizza and the building owned by City Church.

The Rev. Martin Macdonald, pastor of City Church, expressed his view of the situation during the public comments portion of the meeting.

“I love Main Street Pizza and I love Vic, but I’m concerned with having an outdoor tent (that would) make traffic more hazardous,” he said. “Batavia Bootery would not have enough parking spaces for their business and I’m very concerned about the square footage being taken away.”

Macdonald also mentioned that it’s already dangerous since cars parked in front of Main Street Pizza block the view of traffic coming from the west.

Canale said he understood the legalities involved, but said “as a councilperson, I need to protect businesses as well.”

Council member Paul Viele was the only one to speak in favor of Marchese’s idea.

“Just put the tables up there, let the guy do it and get over it,” Viele said.

Following the meeting, Viele expounded on his thoughts.

“It’s a temporary thing here. Let the guy make some money like every other restaurant’s doing downtown and when the COVID is over, then you’re all set,” he said, adding that motorists would adjust to the tent being there.

“People would have adapted. It’s only a three month or four month, however long it takes, and let people enjoy Main Street Pizza,” he said. “I understand Marty’s concern and I understand the Bootery’s concern, but if you look at it, Vic’s going to be taking parking spots from his own place because it’s on the side of his building. And people would adjust to it.  It’s a no-brainer, in my opinion.”

Viele called it “unfortunate” that nobody else saw “Vic’s vision” but was pleased that Council is willing to work with Marchese on possible alternatives.

Marchese did not speak during the meeting, but communicated his plight with reporters as he was walking out.

“People aren’t coming in. People don’t like to eat indoors right now; they advise against it. What are you going to do? It’s all over television. Eat outdoors,” Marchese said. “I’ll give you an example. Three Saturdays ago, I left there (his business) at 8 o’clock at night and had one table. I went by Roman’s and I went by Batavia’s Original – packed in the patio, packed.”

Marchese said he’s taken “a big hit” – losing a considerable amount of the business that had elevated him to a lofty place in the pizzeria industry.

“I was named the one of the top independent pizzerias in the United States last year – number 68 in the country,” he said. “I do a big volume and every Friday, Saturday, Sunday, there’s 20, 30 people at the door, and it’s not there right now. Which is understandable. My wife doesn’t want to go out and eat in a restaurant. I need outdoor dining.”

He said he wasn’t in favor of putting tables behind the building (where the exhaust fan is located), but might be open to placing tables on the sidewalk in front.

“But the thing is they want you to keep the tables as close to the building as possible,” he said. “If I can put a table close to the building and right towards the curb, that could work. I could possibly fit eight tables, 10 tables out there, but they don’t want them close to the curb.”

During the early stages of the discussion about outdoor dining, there was some confusion over the “parklets” concept that was featured in a story on The Batavian following a recent Batavia Development Corporation meeting.

Council member Robert Bialkowski said he was taken by surprise by the City’s approval of having parklets (enclosed outdoor dining areas) in the parking spaces along Main Street. It was then explained by Tabelski and BDC Executive Director Andrew Maguire that the parklets story was a separate issue – something discussed as a possibility in the future.

Bialkowski also questioned the process of developing the temporary outdoor dining permit and balked at the $250 fee attached to it.

Tabelski said she received feedback from Business Improvement District members who believed it would be unfair not to collect a fee and also cited costs involved with the program, including attorney’s fees for drafting the legal documentation.

Council President Eugene Jankowski encouraged Marchese to get together with Tabelski and City staff to explore options.

“It’s not our place to redesign the plan here … but we can’t approve the plan as it is now,” he said.

City Attorney George Van Nest mentioned that the State Liquor Authority carries a lot of weight when it comes to arrangements such as this one and puts an emphasis on safety, even to the point of requiring material barricades to prevent traffic accidents.

Council member Rose Mary Christian disapproved as well, mentioning that the tent would take away some of the handicapped parking spots.

The debate ended with Jankowski stating he would call a special meeting to approve an acceptable plan, telling Marchese that “we’re not going to give up on you, Vic.”

Meanwhile, Council – during the Business Meeting afterwards -- did approve an application by Eli Fish Brewing Company at 109 Main St. for a temporary outdoor dining license agreement.

Eli Fish’s application indicated that 12 tables, serving up to 52 guests, will be placed in Jackson Square, with hours of operation set at 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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In another development, City Council spoke favorably of the Deer Management Plan Committee's recommendations to cull the deer population in the City, forwarding the draft to its August 10 meeting for an official vote. Watch for more details on Tuesday on The Batavian.

July 13, 2020 - 8:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, covid-19, coronavirus.

Press release:

  • Genesee County received 1 new positive case of COVID-19 for a total of 234 positive cases
    • The positive individual resides in Oakfield.
    • The positive individual is in their 20’s.
    • The positive individual was on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • 1 of the previous community positive cases has recovered and has been released from mandatory isolation.
    • No new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • No individuals are hospitalized.
  • Orleans County received 1 new positive case of COVID-19 for a total of 269 positive cases
    • The positive individual resides in Yates
    • The positive individual is in their 20’s
    • The positive individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • One of the previous positive individuals has recovered and has been released from mandatory isolation.
    • 3 new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    • 7 of the total active positive cases are hospitalized. Please note those in the hospital may be from the community or a state-regulated facility.  We do not separate them out to protect their privacy.
July 13, 2020 - 6:36pm

Calling 2020 a “tumultuous year” for first-time homebuyers, Mary Leo, executive director of The Housing Council at PathStone, today presented the annual report of the agency’s counseling and owner-occupied rehabilitation programs today to the Genesee County Legislature’s Human Services Committee.

“The lack of housing choices … makes it very competitive” for those looking to capitalize on federal programs and banking institutions’ willingness to purchase their first homes, said Leo, an 11-year employee of the agency who was hired as executive director recently.

Leo said 36 of a possible 58 family units that completed a homeownership program were able to close on their first house, which means that 22 graduates are “still out shopping.”

Her report, covering July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020, indicated that PathStone’s relationships with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development, Habitat for Humanity and local banks “have resulted in a growing pipeline of referrals to the agency,” which received $12,150 from Genesee County in 2019.

The 36 families able to purchase a home through the program are 15 more than the previous year.

Leo also said that finding one-bedroom apartments is a challenge, with “more (financial) support available than apartments.

She mentioned the agency’s foreclosure prevention arm that resolved 11 pending cases in Genesee County over the past 12 months.

PathStone’s Genesee County Handyman program assisted 92 senior citizens, down from 2018-19 due to a decrease in funding and COVID-19, she said.

“We anticipate a rise in the need for this service in the coming months,” she said.

On the subject of funding, Leo said funding remains “flat or slightly down.”

She explained that the federal Housing and Urban Development agency issues housing awards based on the number of counselors in the office and not on the number of clients served as was the case in previous years. Since Genesee County has just one certified counselor, it has resulted in long wait times for applicants.

Genesee County’s contribution is used for a portion of staffing costs for the homeownership counselor, the deputy of Housing & Grants Programs for grant writing and the county’s Handyman Program. The remaining funds are used for a portion of office space and supplies.

Leo said PathStone has received funding from several other sources, including Genesee County United Way, Key Bank, Citizens Bank, M&T Bank and HUD Housing Counseling.

A funding request also went out to Rochester Area Community Foundation to support the Genesee County Handyman Program, Leo said.

Direct subsidies for first-time buyers include a $300,000 grant from Affordable Housing Corporation for acquisition/rehabilitation, $40,000 from NYS RESTORE and $100,000 from Affordable Housing Corporation for owner-occupied rehabilitation.

In other developments, the Human Services Committee:

-- Approved a contract for $25 per hour, not to exceed $4,500, with Susan Gagne to serve as suicide prevention coalition coordinate through the county’s Community Mental Health Services agency. The pact is set to run through the end of this year.

Mental Health Director Lynda Battaglia said filling this position is “crucial” in light of an increase in attempted suicides since COVID-19.

-- Approved the acceptance of two grants for the Office for the Aging from the Rochester Area Community Foundation’s Muriel H. Marshall Fund – one for $88,000 for centralized intake and the other for marking coordination.   The grants are to be utilized through June 30, 2021.

-- Approved a contract with Tender Loving Family Care, Inc., of Webster, for social adult day care services at the rates of $87 per day per person for a five-hour block, $105 per day per person for a full day (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and $120 per day per person for an extended full day (7 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

The agreement stipulates that expenses will not exceed $37,750 for the period of July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. It is being funded by $14,040 under Title III-E Respite grant, $18,720 from the Unmet Needs grant, $990 from Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly grant and $4,000 from Western New York Alzheimer's Disease Caregiver Support Initiative.

July 13, 2020 - 5:18pm

RTS Genesee will resume fare collection on Wednesday, July 15, and launch its new RTS Go contactless fare payment system.

The system uses a real-time trip planning app called transit (available at the App Store or Google Play). Customers who don’t have a smartphone can purchase an RTS Go reloadable smartcard from ticket vending machines (TVMs) at the RTS Transit Center, or online at myRTS.com.

  • Route 211 bus #1 only will run regular service.
  • Route 214 will run regular service.

Please call the office at 153 Cedar St. in Batavia for more information: (585) 343-3079.

To help keep you safe during the coronavirus pandemic, RTS is continuing its enhanced bus-cleaning program. Bus operators have access to masks, face shields, hand sanitizers and disinfectant.

When riding RTS please:

  • Wear a face covering or mask;
  • Wash/disinfect your hands often;
  • Maintain social distancing when possible;
  • Stay home when your are sick.

Here's the previous story published June 15: RTS will launches contactless payment system, will restart fare collection July 15.

July 13, 2020 - 5:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, pembroke, scanner, pets, animal abuse.

A caller to dispatch reports hearing a dog barking from the inside of tool box in the back of a black pickup truck that just left the Crosby's convenience store in Pembroke westbound on Route 5. Law enforcement is dispatched and the caller provided a license plate number.

July 13, 2020 - 3:41pm

Press release:

The Salvation Army in partnership with The United Way, City Church, Byron-Bergen Central School District, Oakfield-Alabama Central School District and Foodlink would like to announce the schedule for the upcoming drive-thru food distributions.

When participating in this distribution please have your trunk/hatch/backseat cleared out to receive three to four boxes of food. Volunteers are not permitted to move your property due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Should you need to pick up for a friend or neighbor you may do so by providing their photo ID showing a separate address. Please wear a mask. 

You will remain in your car and volunteers will load the food.

Should you have any questions about a specific distribution contact that organization directly.

JULY

July 15 at 9 a.m. -- Northgate Free Methodist Church -- 8160 Bank Street Road, Batavia (585) 343-6284

July 22 at 9 a.m. -- Oakfield-Alabama CSD -- 7001 Lewiston Road, Oakfield (585) 948-5211

July 29 at 3 p.m. -- Byron-Bergen High School -- 6917 W. Bergen Road, Bergen (585) 343-6284

AUGUST

Aug. 5 at 9 a.m. -- City Church (St. Anthony’s)— 14 Liberty St., Batavia, (585) 343-6895

Aug. 12 at 9 a.m. -- Oakfield-Alabama CSD -- 7001 Lewiston Road, Oakfield (585) 948-5211

Aug. 19 at 3 p.m. -- Byron-Bergen High School -- 6917 W. Bergen Road, Bergen (585) 343-6284

Aug. 26 at 9 a.m. -- Northgate Free Methodist Church -- 8160 Bank Street Road, Batavia (585) 343-6284

SEPTEMBER

Sept. 2 at 9 a.m. -- City Church (St. Anthony’s)— 114 Liberty St., Batavia (585) 343-6895

July 13, 2020 - 3:21pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Western Regional OTB, Payroll Protection Program.

Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties have lost a combined $220,246 in revenue during the three-and-a-half month period that operations of the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation have been curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

WROTB Comptroller Jacquelyne Leach provided estimated totals today after she and WROTB President and Chief Executive Office Henry Wojtaszek sat down for an interview with The Batavian.

Broken down by county through June 30:

-- Genesee County has lost $59,090 from operations and $4,013 in surcharges for a total of $63,103;
-- Livingston, $62,643, $5,232, $67,875;
-- Orleans, $42,760, $2,627, $45,387;
-- Wyoming, $40,640, $3,241, $43,881.

Livingston County’s has lost the most, Leach said, due to its larger population base.

Leach said that “bottom line” losses since having to close on March 16 are $2.8 million -- $2.5 in revenue and another $300,000 in surcharges that would have been distributed to the public benefit company’s 15 counties, City of Rochester and City of Buffalo.

She estimated a loss of $24 million in revenue since mid-March, funds that would have been generated from patrons at Batavia Downs Gaming, 19 OTB betting parlors and 30 betting kiosks in restaurants and bars.

Leach: Revenues Were Way Up

“Before this hit us, we were doing great … in fact, we showed a million dollar increase (in revenues) in February of this year compared to February 2019,” Leach said.

The distribution estimates support WROTB’s increased activity when compared to the total amounts given to the four GLOW counties for all of 2019: Genesee County, $83,483; Livingston County, $89,637; Orleans County, $60,923; Wyoming County, $57,612.

While WROTB officials are unable to oversee distribution of funds not received, they have taken steps to compensate their 450 employees, Wojtaszek said.

“We were able to get a $3.152 million loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, which covered eight weeks of payroll and related benefits (such as insurance, workers’ compensation and unemployment),” he said.

Wojtaszek indicated that 90 percent of the loan from the Bank of Castile was used for employee wages and benefits – “a much higher percentage than the required 60 percent,” he said – and 10 percent went to cover utilities.

The PPP money was applied from May 10 through July 4, Leach said, and also included a two-week period from April 17 through May 2 when employees were furloughed.

PPP Loan May End Up as a Grant

Both Leach and Wojtaszek said they expect the PPP loan to be completely or near completely “a forgivable loan.”

“With accurate accounting of the loan and how it was used, we think it will be forgivable when audited by the SBA (Small Business Administration) and the bank,” Wojtaszek said. “If not all of it, maybe just 1 percent that would have to be paid back over a two-year period.”

Initially, the SBA did not include legal gaming businesses in the PPP, but on April 24, it issued an Interim Final Rule stating that they would be eligible, stating “a business that is otherwise eligible for a PPP Loan is not rendered ineligible due to its receipt of legal gaming revenues … and believes this approach is more consistent with the policy aim of making PPP loans available to a broad segment of U.S. businesses.”

Published reports have criticized WROTB for taking the PPP loan, which was tweaked to support both small and large enterprises. In WROTB's case, the loan also covered the stipends provided to members of its board of directors.

“Our employees are more important than any criticism we may have received,” Wojtaszek said. “Plus, we had the legal opinion.”

300 Employees Out on Furlough

Starting on July 10, about 300 of the WROTB workforce went on furlough again. Wojtaszek said employees will be eligible for unemployment insurance and they will continue to receive health insurance coverage. During the July 4th week, compensation was paid out of corporation funds, Leach said.

Leach said it was a matter of taking care of the company’s “most valuable asset.”

“We wanted to take care of our employees during this most stressful time, with their health benefits intact,” she said. “They are our most valuable asset.”

Wojtaszek said the corporation is prepared to extend the furlough (meaning that employees’ jobs are safe) for up to a couple months, but is hoping that Gov. Andrew Cuomo allows the casino to reopen in the near future.

MERV-13 Filters on Order

The OTB parlors have reopened and live harness horse racing at Batavia Downs is scheduled to begin a 43-date schedule on July 25. Including administrative, maintenance, security and custodial employees, about 150 employees are currently on the job.

Both Leach and Wojtaszek said the corporation is being proactive as it prepares to welcome guests back.

“We have ordered advanced (air) filtration systems – the MERV-13 filters that go above and beyond – and expect them to be installed by the end of this week,” Wojtaszek said.

He said that other health-related measures include noninvasive temperature checks, social distancing on the gaming floor, extra cleaning and face coverings for staff and patrons.

“That (a clean facility) has been our mantra from the get-go; we’ve had that going for us for years,” Leach said.

Insurance Premiums at $1 Million

Wojtaszek also reported that the corporation’s annual premium for its complete package of insurances will increase by $270,000 to $1 million for the period of June 1, 2020 through May 31, 2021.

“It’s been a tough year for the insurance industry,” he said. “The biggest factor was that Philadelphia Insurance decided not to insure casinos anymore,” he said, noting that the policy now is with Travelers. “We didn’t have any large claims.”

July 13, 2020 - 2:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in farmers market, news, video, Le Roy.
Video Sponsor

On Saturday, we paid a visit to the Farmers Market in Le Roy in part to catch up with what's been going with the Woodward Memorial Library as well as check in on the market. The market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon in Trigon Park.

July 13, 2020 - 2:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in Sunnking, electronics recycling event, batavia, news.

Sunnking, an electronics recycling company with an office in Brockport, will be hosting this area's first electronics recycling event since the COVID-19 shutdown on Saturday, Aug. 1.

It will take place from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the parking lot of Genesee County Department of Social Services, 5130 E. Main St., #3. Enter off Ag Park Drive West.

Sunnking is a 20-year-old company with that has been offering free electronics recycling in Western and Central New York for years.

Due to the rising costs of recycling and the coronavirus pandemic, we ask for a donation to provide this environmentally responsible service.

Sunnking has implemented new health and safety procedures for these events.

To recycle your old electronics, you must preregister, which is free. Click here to sign up.

‍Please STAY in your vehicle, DRIVE-through, and Sunnking team members will UNLOAD your items.

REMEMBER to neatly pack your recyclables in the back of your vehicle for easy unloading.

Limit of four CRT (tube) monitors or televisions per vehicle.

‍For a list of acceptable materials click here.

For more information call (585) 637-8365.

July 13, 2020 - 1:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Pavilion.

A two-car accident, with one vehicle overturned in a field, is reported in the area of 10891 East Road, Pavilion.

Unknown injuries. One person reportedly is trapped in the overturned car because of damage to the door.

Traffic is not blocked.

Pavilion fire along with Bethany fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

July 13, 2020 - 1:33pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in fire, news, Pavilion, notify.

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A 14-year old boy suffered smoke inhalation and was transported to the hospital for an evaluation after he and his father attempted to put out a fire in their living room with the help of some passing volunteer firefighters on Monday morning.

Pavilion Fire Department along with nine other fire companies from Genesee, Wyoming, and Livingston counties were called to 6397 Ellicott Street Road at about 10 a.m. The fire immediately went to a second alarm as smoke and flames were showing.

One cat and one dog did not survive the fire. One other dog was assisted by Mercy EMS and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department and is now at the animal shelter for observation.

According to Genesee County Fire Coordinator Tim Yaeger, the 14-year-old went out to the barn to tell his father the couch was on fire, the dad attempted to use fire extinguishers to put out the fire. Volunteer firefighters who were passing through the area also assisted in keeping the fire contained. Yaeger says the preliminary investigation shows that an extension cord on a window air conditioner caught the couch on fire.

The Red Cross was called to assist. The family of three does have a place to stay. The house sustained smoke and fire damage, but not much water damage and is repairable.

Alecia Kaus/Video News Service

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July 13, 2020 - 1:15pm

Press release:

The 2020 Genesee County 4-H Market Animal Auction will be held online. The sale will feature high quality meat animal projects raised by local Genesee County 4-H youth.

This year’s sale features approximately 40 meat chicken pairs, 14 goats, 14 lambs, one dairy steer, 14 beef steers and 37 hogs. Meat chickens will be sold as a pair of processed chickens while all other animals will be sold live, by the pound.

The 4-H Market Animal Auction will be hosted by William Kent Inc. on www.williamkentinc.com Wednesday, July 29th through Thursday, July 30th. The sale begins to close at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 30th.

Lots will be open for bidding for the duration of the sale.

The Genesee County 4-H Program would like to thank the Genesee County Agricultural Society and William Kent Inc. for their help and willingness to make this year’s auction happen.

For more information regarding this year’s 4-H Market Animal Auction, please contact the Genesee County 4-H Office at [email protected] or (585) 343-3040, ext. 101.

July 13, 2020 - 12:39pm

Press release:

The Genesee County Youth Bureau is seeking applicants for the Genesee Youth Lead Program. Applicants should be a Genesee County high school student entering their freshman through senior year.

The deadline to apply is Sept. 4.

The eight-month program is focused on developing leadership skills within an individual through each specific session and through hands-on experience. Each session will have a different focus on our community and leadership.

The Youth Lead Program will take place at Genesee Valley Educational Program Board of Cooperative Educational Services (GVEP BOCES) beginning Oct. 14 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and will be held once a month on the second Wednesday of each month except for November due to the holiday.

The program dates are: Oct. 14, Nov. 4, Dec. 9, Jan. 13, Feb. 10, March 10, April 14 and May 12.

Youth that complete the program are encouraged to use the skills and information gained through their experience to support the communities in which they live.

The selection process will be done through an application and interview process by the staff. The class size is limited.

The program will cost $75 for each student. If there is an economic hardship please contact the Genesee County Youth Bureau.

Applications for the program can be found here.

Please contact the Genesee County Youth Bureau with questions at (585)344-3960 or at:   [email protected]

July 13, 2020 - 10:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release from AAA:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.20, which is two cents higher than a week ago. One year ago, the price was $2.79. The New York State average is $2.26 – a penny higher than last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.89.

AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.23 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.19 (no change since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.17 (up 2 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.21 (no change since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.28 (up 1 cent since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.16 (up 1 cent since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.28 (no change cent since last week)

Demand for gasoline is slowly increasing according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) as motorists enjoy summer road trips, malls reopen, and people head back to work.

Gas prices remain relatively cheap compared to past years. While the national average is up two cents in the past week, it is 59 cents less than last year while the New York State average is 63 cents cheaper than last summer.

AAA continues to see motorists requesting maps and tour books for summer road trips as cars are the most popular form of travel this summer.

GasBuddy:

"According to GasBuddy data, gasoline demand continues to struggle as of late, hitting some mid-summer blues as coronavirus cases continue to see upward movement in more states, but it hasn't been a sharp enough drop to push gas prices lower last week," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

"While prices for this time of year remain the lowest in over 15 years, it's still easy to spend more than you need to on gas by letting your guard down, especially now with several states raising gasoline taxes in the midst of summer. For now, I continue to expect gas prices to move sideways -- that is -- the lack of a clear national trend for now, some will rise, some will fall, as we remain in a COVID-19 holding pattern."

July 13, 2020 - 7:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, infrastructure.

Press release:

The City Water Department is on location of a water main break in front of 108 River St. The water will be shut off on River Street from Pearl to South Main. The surrounding area may experience low pressure or rusty water, please do not attempt to do laundry at this time.

Traffic will be limited so please avoid the area if possible.

We appreciate your understanding while repairs are being made, the city will make every attempt to have water restored as soon as possible.

UPDATE 11:45 a.m.:

The water main has been repaired and the water has been restored. The water may still be discolored, please avoid doing laundry until water is clear.

It will take a little while for the crew to make the repairs to the pavement, so if traffic can avoid the area it will be appreciated.

 

July 12, 2020 - 2:29pm

Photos and information from Amy Swanson:

There's a new Little Library in Stafford. It's at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, located at 6188 Main Road (Route 5).

It looks like those you've probably seen -- a little post-held structure standing upright in someone’s front yard, a bit like an oversized birdhouse. 

They are quite popular because there are purportedly 60,000 of them around the world, in 80 countries! At first glance, passersby might wonder “What is that…?” And then, after seeing a few of these little nooks filled with books, no doubt a few have wished they'd stopped by to browse the titles.

Well, beginning this week in Stafford, you can do just that.

We welcome the community to take a peek at the Little Library at St. Paul’s. Step right up, open the doors, and poke through the books inside.

If a title or subject seems interesting, take it home to enjoy. After you’re finished simply return it, or not.

This easy access encourages a bit of joy -- the free giving and keeping or sharing of books. That's nice and it's kind, too.

The Stafford project initially began as a way to give visitors a place to share books of interest for children and for adults. It promotes family literacy by offering a variety of books, encouraging parents and children to join together to read, imagine, learn and explore.

In our ever-changing world, the Little Library offers bit of safe entertainment and adventure for families who may be spending more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Books will be cleaned and held in time frames for safety before being replaced on the shelves for distribution again. 

Stafford’s Little Library offers a safe spot to pull your car into if you are driving by, so you can look for a book and sit on the outside bench and read if you like.

Each week a different theme will be highlighted. Follow us on Facebook as well.

Donations are always welcome as are comments and questions.

Please email us at:   [email protected]

Stafford’s Little Library was made possible through the generosity of the Outreach grant through the Episcopal Partnership of the Diocese of Western New York and the Batavia, Morganville and Stafford communities.

(Editor's Note: As the Peter Max poster noted in 1969: "Be all you can be. Read.")

July 12, 2020 - 8:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

A caller reports a white male who isn't wearing pants has been knocking on the door of an upstairs apartment on East Main Street attempting to gain entry.

The subject is now behind the residence. 

Batavia PD responding.

July 12, 2020 - 8:00am
posted by Anne Marie Starowitz in news, history, nostalgia, batavia, city Parks Program, covid-19.

It is the 1950s, the first week of summer vacation and the official opening of the City Parks Program. Children would run out the door at 8:50 a.m. to be the first one waiting to meet the new or previous year’s park supervisor.

You know that a great summer is about to begin. You will spend every day at the park from 9 to noon, and from 1 to 5 p.m.

Batavia at one time was divided into parks: Pringle, Kibbe, Lincoln, Austin, Williams, Farrall, MacArthur, and later as Batavia grew and some parks closed and new ones opened, John Kennedy and Lambert Park.

Children went to your neighborhood park and were so proud to say what park you were from. Parks competed against each other in softball and volleyball games. Every Friday night the scores and contest winners would be recorded in the newspaper.

There was a family feeling with every park. Every day there were scheduled arts and crafts projects.

When it was your park’s week for boondoggles (inset image left), the children would have the choice of three, four or eight strands to work on.

The park supervisor sometimes ended up making them for the little ones so they could wear them around their necks as lanyards or a small bracelet.

The favorite craft was the plaster molds. I can still picture the molds being lined up in the sun and the children standing behind the one they picked to make that particular day.

There were so many choices, a favorite was the mold for "The Last Supper." That was probably the largest mold and the most difficult to make.

There was a technique to make this craft. You had to carefully mix the plaster and when it was the right consistency you poured it into the mold. As it dried in the sun, you were hoping your plaster would set. After the plaster dried you would carefully pull back the rubber mold to see if your mold took the plaster.

You couldn’t forget the little tab you put in the back to hang this very heavy item proudly created for your parent’s wall. The last step was to paint your creation. You couldn’t wait to take it home to show mom and dad.

The highlight of the summer program was the park parade. Every year there was a theme and your park had to come up with a float to go along with the theme. Every day you would talk about the parade and the float and how this year your park would beat Kibbe.

The supervisor would keep samples of every craft because they would be judged at the end of the summer event.

Every park had been secretly working on their float that consisted of chicken wire and crepe paper flowers. Everyone had a job. Main Street would close down at the end of August and the street was transformed into a parade of children proudly walking with their float that was being pulled by a tractor.

The store owners would come out of their stores to watch the annual parade. The celebration after the parade was at Austin Park. After the parade, floats would all be lined up to view and every park had a booth. You would stand with your park friends to wait for the results of what park would be the winner this year.

Of course, you always thought your park deserved to be the winner.

It was now time to go back to school and the summer program was coming to an end. New friends were made, memories to last a lifetime were created. When the park kids return to Batavia as adults and drive by “their park,” those wonderful summer memories will come flooding back.

So, this is what we tell our children what it was like back in the day.

As someone who loved going to my neighborhood park as a child and growing up to be lucky enough to be a park supervisor, I commend the Batavia Parks Program for creating summer memories we will never forget.

My years as a park supervisor will always be a cherished time.

The rules for the parks program was to have fun and most of all, be safe. In this time of so much unrest due to COVID-19, thinking back to those summertimes makes you realize how lucky you were to be a Baby Boomer.

Please share your memories, I only touched a few.

Anne Marie Starowitz was a proud supervisor for Farrall Park for three years in the '70s (inset photo right).

Photos and images courtesy of Anne Marie Starowitz.

July 11, 2020 - 3:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, batavia.

A two-vehicle accident occurred on Veterans Memorial Drive in Batavia in front of the CountryMax store. No injuries reported. There was a family of three in the silver SUV in the forefront, and a family of four in the other one.

Town of Batavia Fire Department, Mercy medics and law enforcement responded.

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