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May 6, 2021 - 4:21pm
posted by Press Release in news, covid-19, coronavirus.

Genesee County is reporting 11 new positive cases of COVID-19.

  • The new positive cases reside in the:
    • West Region (Alabama, Darien, Pembroke)
    • Central Region (Alexander, Batavia, Bethany, Elba, Oakfield) 
    • East Region (Bergen, Byron, Le Roy, Pavilion, Stafford) 
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 40s, 50s and 60s. 
  • Thirteen of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.  
  • Five of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.

 

Orleans County is reporting seven new positive cases of COVID-19.  

  • The new positive cases reside in the:
    • West Region (Yates, Ridgeway, Shelby)
    • Central Region (Carlton, Gaines, Albion, Barre)
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 40s and 50s.
  • Thirteen of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • Two of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
May 6, 2021 - 4:16pm
posted by Press Release in NYs Office for the Aging, news, AgingNY, GetSetUp.

Press release:

The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) today announced a partnership with The Association on Aging in New York (AgingNY) and GetSetUp to offer 50,000 classes, featuring more than 300 different course options developed by and for older adults.

The GetSetUp curriculum and community are designed to combat social isolation and promote independence through live, interactive classes and online connectivity with a community of more than 650,000 older adult learners from more than 160 countries around the globe.

Additionally, all guides and instructors are retired educators/professionals/technologists, promoting economic empowerment, healthy lifestyles, and a purpose driven life.

Instructors are trained to help older adults learn by doing, not just watching, and all learners are encouraged to become creators by leading their own interest groups.

GetSetUp classes are organized into four broad categories:

  • Digital Divide/Connectivity (orientation to Zoom and how to use various devices)
  • Physical Health (i.e. Tai Chi/Yoga/Healthy Cooking)
  • Mental Health (i.e. Dementia/Coping with Stress/Meditation), and
  • Social Health (i.e. Book Club/Gardening/Pets/Travel/Brain Games)

The GetSetUp platform offers more than 40 classes each weekday, and more than ten classes each weekend. They recently launched “GetSetUp TV” for hesitant older adults to get a flavor of the GetSetUp platform without having to fully participate. Classes are rotated regularly to offer the widest variety of programming for older adults in the four main categories.

Technology solutions have grown dramatically over the past year and platforms such as GetSetUp will be part of the new normal. Connecting older adults to an online forum of their peers empowers engagement, continual learning, and even access to employment opportunities outside of the traditional brick and mortar approach.

Director of the New York State Office for the Aging Greg Olsen said: “Social isolation was a public health problem prior to COVID-19, but the pandemic clearly made it worse. This partnership will expand our ability to reduce isolation, depression, and anxiety by significantly expanding virtual programming into the homes of isolated older adults to keep them connected.

"Furthermore, this partnership will allow us to build more programming and classes, taught by older adults, providing them with an economic opportunity to earn money through their skills. We are thrilled to partner with The Association on Aging in New York and GetSetUp to launch this project.”

Executive Director of the Association on Aging in New York Rebecca Preve said, “The Association on Aging in New York is thrilled to partner with GetSetUp, to bring interactive programming to older residents in their homes and communities. This opportunity will alleviate social isolation while providing enriched educational programs to thousands of older New Yorkers.

"As we continue to support older residents, programs like GetSetUp are vitally important to remain connected and engaged. We are grateful to GetSetUp, NYSOFA, and the 59 AAA’s that work every day to make New York a leader in aging services.”

 Cofounder of GetSetUp Lawrence Kosick said, “We are thrilled to partner with NYOSFA and The Association on Aging in New York to provide the state’s older adult population with a scalable way to support lifelong learning, health, and mental well-being.

"We could not be more excited to welcome New York’s older adults to the GetSetUp community, which has recorded more than four million minutes of learning and connection in the last three months, and half a million connections between learners. The power of the platform will continue to be amplified as the community of instructors and learners expands, and this partnership is another huge step in the right direction for our older adult population.”

About the New York State Office for the Aging and Health Across All Policies/Age-Friendly New York

The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) continuously works to help the state’s 4.3 million older adults be as independent as possible for as long as possible through advocacy, development, and delivery of person-centered, consumer-oriented, and cost-effective policies, programs, and services that support and empower older adults and their families, in partnership with the network of public and private organizations that serve them.

New York is nationally recognized for being the first age-friendly state in the nation. Using the state’s Prevention Agenda as the overarching framework, in 2017, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo launched a Health Across All Policiesapproach, where public and private partners work together to positively impact population health by marrying health care, preventive health, and community design, in concert with addressing social determinants of health, to improve the lives of all New Yorkers, young and old.

Stay connected—download the NYSOFA mobile app for iOS or Android; visit the NYSOFA Facebook page; follow @NYSAGING on Twitter and NYSAging on Instagram; or visit aging.ny.gov.

About the Association on Aging in New York

The Association on Aging in New York supports and advocates for New York’s mostly county-based Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and works collaboratively with a network of organizations that exist to promote independence, preserve dignity, and provide support for residents of New York State as they age. For more information, follow us on Facebook, visit www.agingny.org or call 518-449-7080. 

About GetSetUp

GetSetUp is an online community of people who want to learn new skills, connect with others, and unlock new life experiences. Their safe, social, and interactive learning environment has been specifically designed for older adults. Classes are taught by older adults and kept small to ensure everyone can actively participate. The platform helps older adults stay mentally and physically fit, creates economic opportunities through jobs and reskilling, and provides a community where people find meaning and purpose by helping each other and forming new connections. Founded in 2019, GetSetUp is headquartered in California. Learn more at https://www.getsetup.io/.

May 6, 2021 - 3:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Vallance Road, Le Roy, news, photos.

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Out on Vallance Road in Le Roy this morning I stopped for a couple of landscape shots.

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May 6, 2021 - 3:04pm

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Udderly Better Acres, a dairy farm on Vallance Road in Le Roy, has been selected by the Genesee County Soil and Water Conservation District as the 2021 Conservation Farm of the Year.

Brad Mudrzynski presented the Conservation Farm of the Year sign to owners Don Krenzer and Roz Krenzer this morning.

Press release:

Since 1959, Genesee County Soil and Water Conservation District (District) has honored a farm that has displayed a long-term commitment to sustainable conservation, leads by example, and implements farm conservation best management practices on their own or with the District. Udderly Better Acres has met and surpassed these criteria and continues to demonstrate outstanding stewardship of the land.

Don Krenzer and his family operate the dairy farm on 1,200 acres in the Town of Le Roy within one-half mile from Oatka Creek. The farm began using no-till and strip-till methods many years before they became common in our region. These methods, coupled with his use of drag-lining manure and other practices, put him as an early adopter of soil health practices before that term’s recent rise in popularity.

These practices have benefitted not only the farm’s productivity but also ensured watershed health and preserved water quality in Oatka Creek, a blue-ribbon trout stream. The farm has worked with the District to collect and treat silage leachate, manage manure better with new storage, and identify a plan to collect farmstead runoff and prevent it from entering the aquifer.

We thank Udderly Better Acres for their continued use of sustainable farming practices that help to preserve the land. 

soilwaterfarmyear2021.jpg

Friends, advisors, helpers, John Zastrocky and Molly Higgins, with Don, Roz and Brad.

May 6, 2021 - 2:29pm
posted by Press Release in town of batavia, news, public availablity.

Press release:

Town of Batavia Clerk's Office drive-up service window will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Town of Batavia Clerk's Office inside the Town Hall will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on WEDNESDAYS ONLY OR  by appointment Monday through Friday.

The Town of Batavia Court facility resumed court proceedings in person today -- May 6. 

The Town of Batavia lobby inside the Town Hall is closed. For in-person service to pay a fine, etc., please call the court at (585) 343-1729, ext. 216.

The Town of Batavia Highway facility will remain closed to the public.

The public town park is open.

Public meetings:

  • The Town of Batavia Board meetings are resuming in person.
  • Planning Board and Zoning Board meetings continue to be held virtually via Zoom video/teleconferencing.

Town of Batavia website:   http://www.townofbatavia.com

Communication with the Town of Batavia department officials will be available by email, phone or by appointment.

Assessment:

Building/Zoning:

Court Clerk:

Engineering:

Highway:

Supervisor:

Town Clerk:

Water / Wastewater:

  • (585) 356-4900
May 6, 2021 - 12:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, schools, education, batavia, news.

nd70thcornorstone.jpg

As part of its ongoing 70th Anniversary Celebration, Notre Dame High School today commemorated the laying of the school's cornerstone with a reenactment by Principal Wade Bianco.

The school opened in 1951 as one of 18 high schools in the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. Today, Notre Dame is one of eight remaining Catholic high schools in the region.

nd70thcornorstone-2.jpg

Photo: Deacon Walt Szczesny, Kate Edwards (Director of Advancement), senior Ben Skalney ‘21, Mike Rapone (Vice Principal and AD), Joe Teresi (Board President), Kristen Gomez (Director of Academic Advisement), Wade Bianco (Principal), Tom Rapone (Business Manager), John Dwyer, Jennifer Tomm Petosa ‘82, Jim Fix ‘69 

nd70thcornorstone-3.jpg

Maria Prattico lays a wreath on the head of Mary during morning Mass at Notre Dame in an annual tradition, the crowning of Mary, at the school. Deacon Walter Szczesny looks on.

May 6, 2021 - 11:26am
posted by Billie Owens in Nurses Week, news, Sen. Ed Rath.

Nurses' Week is May 6th through May 12th. Senator Ed Rath (NYS-61st) will be honoring local nurses nominated by the community. 

“If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is how important our nurses and medical professionals are," Senator Ed Rath said. "We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our nurses.” 

To nominate someone, visit Senator Rath’s website and fill out the nomination form.

*****************************

FYI...

Today is National Nurses Day.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife to honor of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth and to advance nurses' role in transforming health care around the world.

This year, the American Nurses Association (ANA) joined with WHO and global colleagues in extending the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife into 2021 because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the increased visibility of nurses’ contributions.

In the United States, the national theme for Nurses Week in 2021 is #WeAnswerTheCall.

May 6, 2021 - 11:05am

Press release:

The Genesee County Department of Parks, Recreation & Forestry and Rotary Club of Batavia invite you to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the DeWitt Recreation Area at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 7th.

It's for the new launch dock installed on the ADA floating fishing pier at the DeWitt Recreation Area and the kayaks that will be available to all recreational programs throughout the City of Batavia and the surrounding towns and villages. The dock is a stabilizing device that makes it safer to enter and exit your kayak. The launch dock is free to use.

Please feel free to stop by and share in the moment and even try out one of the 10 kayaks purchased.

This activity is a culmination of efforts of the Rotary Club of Batavia, City of Batavia Youth Bureau, Genesee County Youth Bureau, City of Batavia, Genesee County Legislature and County Parks to bring kayaks and an accessible kayak launch site to Genesee County Parks.

The donation was made possible by Rotary Club International/ Regional grant program, which provided funding to the Rotary Club of Batavia.

DeWitt Recreation Area is located at 115 Cedar St. in the City of Batavia.

May 6, 2021 - 8:58am

The Batavia Town Planning Board -- not satisfied with the answers they received regarding screening from a neighboring couple’s home – on Tuesday night tabled for a second time a proposal to install a ground-mounted solar system off R. Stephen Hawley Drive, across from Genesee Community College.

Batavia Solar LLC is looking to acquire a special use permit to construct the 1.65-megawatt system on vacant land at 99 Med Tech Drive, owned by the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corp., which has an office in the nearby Med Tech building.

Town planners requested Kaelyn Roche and Jim Taravella, project representatives, to provide one-, five- and 10-year simulations of how the property will look with adequate screenings, such as trees and berms, to obscure the solar panels from the sight of Robert and Michelle Wood, who live at 8244 Batavia Stafford Townline Road.

This is what the board had asked for during an April 20 site plan review and special use permit request consideration, when it tabled the proposal until this week’s meeting. Apparently, the information provided on Tuesday is still insufficient.

Roche, project development manager with YSG Solar in New York City, said that she spoke to Michelle Wood and reported that “we basically came to an agreement that we would work with her down the road and determine what works best for her.”

Taravella, an engineer with LaBella Associates, said that the plan is to plant 15 white spruce trees behind the Wood property, noting that the couple’s garage would also serve as a shield from the solar panels.

“As we near construction we can work with them if they want something other than white spruce,” he said.

During the ensuing discussion, planner Paul Marchese asked if the Woods were given the option to have berms placed on the site.

“I told them they could do whatever they wanted,” Roche replied.

Previously, during a Feb. 2 public hearing, Michelle Wood specifically requested berms:

“We really would like a berm put along the back of it – it protects us and our house. We’re OK and in favor of a solar farm there. We would prefer a solar farm versus a cement industrial building there, so we don’t have a real problem with it. We would just like for them to come to us with what their ideas are and what they’re planning to do.”

After Taravella pointed out that additional screening would be placed along the road to obscure it from traffic and that he would work to keep utility poles to a minimum (a planning board priority), Planning Board Chair Kathy Jasinski asked if it could be passed contingent upon Town Engineer Steve Mountain’s final review and approval.

Mountain and planner Jonathan Long brought up the need for visualizations – what the site would look like down the road, warning that it would be best to make sure everyone is on the same page before getting started.

All six planners at the meeting agreed, prompting Donald Partridge to recommend tabling the referral once again.

“I would like to see this tabled; I’m not ready to vote on it. I’d like to be able to talk to the Woods myself,” he said.

At that point, the board voted unanimously to table it and put it on the next agenda (May 18) as long as Taravella has enough time to provide the computer renderings requested.

The proposal calls for the installation of about 4,500 modules on the 7.95-acre parcel, of which 5.63 acres will be fenced in. Other aspects of the project include an access road with a 13- by 20-foot equipment pad and a 6 foot high chain-link fence around the entire layout. 

In other action, the board approved a special use permit for a drive-thru for the Chipotle restaurant to be put into the existing commercial building at 4222 Veterans Memorial Drive – in space formerly occupied by Metro Mattress.

Mountain said the drive-thru on the northwest side of the building would allow room for the stacking of five cars.

Matt Mahaney, town zoning ordinance compliance officer, said all building and zoning requirements have been met.

May 6, 2021 - 8:00am

Community Action Angels present "Journey to Resilience" from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 14th, at the Engagement Center at Robert Morris School in the City of Batavia.

The evening will offer inspirational stories and songs -- voices of survival -- from trauma to transformation.

Tickets are $10 each, available at Community Action of Orleans & Genesee, 5073 Clinton Street Road, Batavia. Call (585) 343-7798 for more information.

Proceeds benefit Batavia City School District Community Closet and Children’s Emergency Fund -- helping those in need.

It will featuring original poetry written and read by Jacqueline Fields.

A motivational story and music by Elly Riber.

Foreword by Pat Standish; also featuring Michelle Figueroa and Julie Wasilewski.

The school is located at 80 Union St.; the engagement center is near the bus loop entrance. Look for balloons.

This event is being held in partnership with Batavia Community Schools.

May 5, 2021 - 6:42pm

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The redesigned Jackson Square looks great, but is it functional?

That’s a question that promoters of The Batavia Ramble Music & Arts Festival are hoping City of Batavia officials and representatives of Architectural Resources consider before breaking ground on the Downtown Revitalization Initiative project later this year.

“They’re putting too much emphasis on the artistic aspect of the design and they’re forgetting about the practicality of what it is used for,” said Stephen Kowalczyk, who has been involved in sound, lighting and (recently) administration of The Ramble since its inception 13 years ago.

Kowalczyk expressed his opinion this afternoon – a day after community residents made their way to the venue between Jackson and Center streets near Center Street Smoke House for an informational meeting set up by city leaders and the Buffalo design firm hired to bring new life to the property.

Enhancing Jackson Square is being funded by a strategic investment grant of $750,000 from the New York State DRI program.

Kowalczyk and co-promoter Paul Draper said their main issues are with components of the proposed stage – its configuration, roofing material, its height and placement of a handicap ramp. He said they gave suggestions to the architect previously, but believe their input was disregarded.

City Manager Rachel Tabelski, in an email message this afternoon, did report that The Ramble musicians requested officials to re-examine the sound acoustics, specifically the “current canopy design of the stage and the materiality of the canopy as well as the stage height and the ramp access point to the stage.”

She said the city will work with Architectural Resources to modify the design to accommodate the commentary, including the canopy and stage.

“We want the citizens of Batavia to utilize Jackson Square for a multitude of events and will continue to work through design to get it correct,” she said.

Kowalczyk provided his “blueprint” for making the area not only attractive but practical:

  • Changing the stage's proposed glass roof to wood with 50-year metal roofing over it.

He said a see-through roof idea is not appropriate for the setting.

“Maybe in an open park it might work but it does not work in a concrete jungle that is Jackson Square,” he said. “It’s already an acoustical nightmare because of all the concrete walls, and they’re just going to make it worse by adding more reflective surfaces that are angled inappropriately to the way a band would be on stage.”

  • Changing the stage from the proposed oblong shape to a rectangle.

“There are no right angles on the stage. Every single cut that they’re going to have to make in building this is going to be an odd angle that will take more resources and time to build,” he said. “We’re just asking for a simple rectangle stage with a normal roof on it so the band can have its gear protected and have some shade from the sun.”

  • Keeping the height of the stage at 30 inches instead of the proposed 16 and moving a new handicap ramp from the front of the stage to behind it to avoid having to go over any cables and wires.

“The height of the stage is the biggest thing that’s killing me,” he said. “They’re cutting the stage almost in half, which means anyone further back is not going to be able to see anything.”

Kowalczyk said the proposed design “is not functional or practical for any live event out there except maybe a poetry slam.”

“They kept talking about a poetry slam. For someone who has done acoustic shows there, with the motorcycles and trucks going by, you can’t get away with doing anything with the spoken word. It’s too noisy.”

He said he was hoping to attract band recitals and start movie nights, but the stage reconfiguration would make it difficult to hang banners or a projector screen.

Draper said he thinks the architect had “good intentions but they were considering the design more than the utility of the event space.”

“It seems like they could have done a better job if they would have listened to people who actually utilize the space,” he added.

Tabelski said that the pavement and lighting element feedback was “all positive.”

“The concept integrates many historical layers of Batavia including the Great Bend -- changing the trajectory of the Tonawanda Creek -- the Ancient Seneca Footpaths and the history of ‘old’ downtown Batavia,” she said.

Following approval of the final design concept, the project will move to the construction bidding phase. Groundbreaking is expected this fall, with completion anticipated next spring.

A call to Justina Dziama of Architectural Design this morning was not returned.

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Architect renderings of the proposed Enhanced Jackson Square project.

May 5, 2021 - 6:24pm
posted by Press Release in Mr. Batavia 2021, Batavia High School, news.

Submitted photos and press release:

Between 2013-2019, Mr. Batavia has raised more than $25,000 for local charities. It's a fun way for the students to help give back to the community. 

This year, we are going to hold the Mr. Batavia contest virtually.

The students are recording parts of the show on their own and we will be providing a link next week for the public to watch it live.

There is also a GoFundMe link here so that people can donate since we won't be having a live show. The link to the show will be available next week and will be linked to the go fund me and advertised on the schools social media. 

Here are the contestants and their chosen charitable organizations:

Contestant #1 - Ryan Bowen -- Crossroads House
Contestant #2 - Jaziel Childs -- Golisano Children's Hospital
Contestant #3 - Chase Pangrazio -- Batavia VA
Contestant #4 - Zach Gilebarto -- Genesee Cancer Assistance
Contestant #5 - Luke Rogers -- Gateway House in Attica
Contestant #6 - Alex Hale -- Ricky Palermo Foundation
Contestant #7 - Sean Pies -- Dave McCarthy Foundation
Contestant #8 - Jonah Epps -- Michael Napoleon Foundation
Contestant #9 - Faraz Idrees -- Anna’s Wish

Photos at top -- Top row, left to right, Hale, Gilebarto, Rogers; middle row, left to right, Idrees, Epps, Pies; bottom row, left to right, Childs, Pangrazio, Bowen.

May 5, 2021 - 5:17pm

Genesee County Legislature’s Ways & Means Committee this afternoon voted in favor of a four-year contract, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020, with the Genesee County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association that calls for between 2 and 2 ½ percent annual pay raises.

Terms of the pact include salary increases of 2 percent for both 2020 and 2021, 2.25 percent for 2022, and 2.5 percent for 2023.

Additionally, according to County Manager Matt Landers, deputies will pay slightly more toward the employee share of health insurance premiums but will receive slightly more for the uniform allowance.

Landers said that it was his understanding that the contract passed overwhelmingly in a vote by the union membership, which consists of road patrol deputies, investigators and school resource officers.

A telephone call to Union President John Baiocco was not returned at the time of the posting of this story.

“The contract has expired, so hopefully in the future we can put ourselves in a position to have a contract settled without having any period where there is an expired contract,” Landers said. “That’s my personal goal as county manager and I’m going to work very hard to accomplish that. In this case, COVID threw everything for a loop. This is an atypical contract. I don’t expect the next contract to have a year and half expired before we ratify a new one.”

Landers said Sheriff William Sheron “hammered out directly with the union some things that are more procedural, but as far as monetary terms, we pretty much got that done with both sides agreeing that it is fair.”

Per the resolution, funds to cover contract costs were budgeted in the county’s contingency account.

Landers said that due to vacant positions in the Sheriff’s Office, funds are available to cover a portion of the increase. The total transfer from contingency is $116,199.

Mortgage Tax Distribution Increases

In other action, the committee approved a resolution authorizing County Treasurer Scott German to distribute the first of two mortgage tax payments for 2021 to the City of Batavia and the county’s towns and villages.

The amount to be allocated, $465,343.03, is more than $75,000 higher than the first payment in 2020 and $200,000+ more than the first payment in 2019.

County Clerk Michael Cianfrini said he attributes the increase to the robust housing market.

“It’s probably a combination of the economy improving so you’re seeing more house purchases than you’ve seen in recent years,” he said. “My speculation is that it is due to the fact that housing prices have gone up so much, and the mortgages that people are taking out on the houses are significantly higher than recent years.”

The amount of the mortgage tax distributions are as follows:

  • City of Batavia -- $81,520.65;
  • Town of Alabama -- $12,378.68;
  • Town of Alexander -- $19,562.53;
  • Town of Batavia -- $80,877.17;
  • Town of Bergen -- $24,236.58;
  • Town of Bethany -- $14,662.19;
  • Town of Byron -- $21,697.85;
  • Town of Darien -- $37,676.58;
  • Town of Elba -- $11,478.03;
  • Town of Le Roy -- $43,476.29;
  • Town of Oakfield -- $13,307.92;
  • Town of Pavilion -- $13,335.52;
  • Town of Pembroke -- $44,538.34;
  • Town of Stafford -- $21,776.79;
  • Village of Alexander -- $2,014.82;
  • Village of Attica -- $708.96;
  • Village of Bergen -- $3,348.50;
  • Village of Corfu -- $2,696.30
  • Village of Elba -- $1,418.78;
  • Village of Le Roy -- $12,577.40;
  • Village of Oakfield -- $2,055.15;

The committee also recommended the reappointment of Matt Gray, of Batavia, owner of Eli Fish Brewing Co., to the Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center effective July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2027.

All of the Ways & Means Committee action will be forwarded to the full county legislature at its May 12 meeting.

May 5, 2021 - 4:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, news, pembroke, notify.

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Seven dogs that once belonged to a dog breeder in Pembroke are in the process of being adopted into new homes, but the resolution of the criminal case against Lori Ann Adolf won't be settled until next month at the earliest.

The 47-year-old Adolf is charged with 26 counts of torturing or injuring animals and failure to provide proper sustenance along with one count of endangering a child.

There is a pending plea offer but her attorney, Michael Guarino, in Pembroke Town Court today said he has not yet had time to sit down with his client and go over the offer with her. He asked for an adjournment and Justice Donald O'Connor granted one until 1:30 p.m., June 9. Assistant District Attorney Kaitlynn Schmidt said she didn't oppose the adjournment but said if Adolf isn't ready to accept the plea offer at the June 9 appearance the offer will be withdrawn.

The terms of the offer were not discussed in open court.

In January Deputy Kevin McCarthy arrested Adolf after reportedly finding 13 dogs and two cats covered in feces, urine, and surrounded by garbage. The dogs were reportedly not in good health but recovered while at the animal shelter. McCarthy also reported finding 10 dead rabbits inside the house that as well as a dead dog.

At a hearing on April 14, Guarino said Adolf would sign over some of the dogs for adoption but that she wanted to keep three dogs and two cats. Three of the dogs reportedly belonged to other people.

"The situation was not the way she intended it," Guarino said in April.

He said his client would like a chance to prove to the county that she can improve her situation and take proper care of her animals.

She has no prior record of animal neglect or abuse and no other criminal record.

All seven of the dogs released by Adolf have been claimed by prospective new owners.

Previously: 

May 5, 2021 - 4:46pm
posted by Press Release in news, covid-19, coronavirus.

Press release:

Genesee County reporting 11 new positive cases of COVID-19. 

  • The new positive cases reside in the:
    • West Region (Alabama, Darien, Pembroke)
    • Central Region (Alexander, Batavia, Bethany, Elba, Oakfield) 
    • East Region (Bergen, Byron, Le Roy, Pavilion, Stafford) 
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. 
  • Nine of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.  
  • Five of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.

Orleans County reporting 12 new positive cases of COVID-19.  

  • The new positive cases reside in the:
    • West Region (Yates, Ridgeway, Shelby)
    • Central Region (Carlton, Gaines, Albion, Barre)
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s.
  • Ten of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list.
  • Two of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
May 5, 2021 - 1:13pm

The Holland Land Office Museum will be hosting its next edition of History Trivia Night @ the Museum.

Join us on Thursday, May 13 at 7 p.m. to test your knowledge of the holiday known as May Day.

May Day is an ancient pagan festival representing the coming of spring, and its modern form is a worker's holiday.

The presentation will be available both in person and via Zoom. A small group of 12 people will be allowed to attend in person.

Please contact the museum to preregister if you wish to attend. Masks and social distancing protocols are required.

The trivia night will also be available via Zoom. The links to join by Zoom are available on the museum’s Facebook page and website, http://www.hollandlandoffice.com.

The Holland Land Office Museum is proud to welcome on Thursday, May 20th at 7 p.m., Douglas Strong, Ph.D., of Seattle Pacific University for the next edition of its Guest Speaker Series. The topic will be one of his major works "Perfectionist Politics: Abolitionism & Religious Tensions of American Democracy."

The work covers the antebellum movements of radical religious to battle with the conflict of slavery. Strong is the dean of Theology at SPU, but is a former resident of Western New York.

The presentation will be available both in person and via Zoom. A small group of 12 people will be allowed to attend in person to watch Strong as he joins virtually. If you would like to attend in person please contact the museum to preregister. Masks and social distancing protocols are required.

The links to join by Zoom are available on the museum’s Facebook page and website, http://www.hollandlandoffice.com.

May 5, 2021 - 12:35pm
posted by Press Release in batavia, art, news, Taste of Buffalo, Tops Friendly Markets.

Submitted image by Batavia artist Jill Pettigrew and press release:

Tops Friendly Markets and the Taste of Buffalo are pleased to announce that Jill Pettigrew, a talented artist from Batavia, is the Grand Prize Winner of the 2021 Taste of Buffalo Tops Poster Art contest.

Pettigrew was the winner for artists in the 18+ year old age group. Her artwork will be featured on the festival poster and in the event’s marketing materials. In addition, she will receive a $1,000 prize.

Anna Valece Bauer, a 17-year old resident of Williamsville, was the winner in the 13-17-year-old age group and will be presented with $500.

The prizes are courtesy of Tops Friendly Markets and The Taste of Buffalo.

“As is always the case, we were incredibly impressed with the talent of Western New York’s many artists who sent in entries for our poster contest,” said Amber Hartman, 2021 Taste of Buffalo chair.

“The Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops looks forward to sharing this year’s winning poster inside all of our participating restaurants and on the cover of our digital festival guide, which will be available on TasteofBuffalo.com.”

This year’s festival taking place July 10-11, will be back as a live event and is planned to take place in Niagara Square and on a portion of Delaware Avenue. This year’s festival will be modified to comply with any COVID-19 restrictions that may still be in place in July. 

About Taste of Buffalo presented by Tops

It is the nation's largest two-day food festival. The 38th annual Taste in 2021 will take place on July 10 and 11. The Taste is a not-for-profit organization with more than 1,000 volunteers helping to put on the annual event.

Approximately $541,000 has been raised at the festival for local charities including three $1,000 scholarships awarded last year to local high school seniors pursuing a culinary or hospitality-related degree. For more information, visit tasteofbuffalo.com, and find us @tasteofbuffalo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

May 5, 2021 - 12:23pm

Frustration and what seems to be a growing level of mistrust on all fronts have bubbled to the surface over a Brockport businessman’s proposal to develop an outdoor shooting range and entertainment venue on Harloff Road in the Town of Batavia.

Tuesday night’s Batavia Town Planning Board meeting revealed a standstill of Brandon Lewis’ bid to secure a special use permit to own and operate a shooting range for firearms’ training and competition, drive-in theater and small RV park on a 22-acre parcel at 3269 Harloff Road.

According to Planning Board Chair Kathy Jasinski, Lewis has yet to comply to a letter sent to him by the town engineer seeking information necessary for planners to make an informed decision.

“The letter outlined everything he needs to do,” Jasinski said, on the Zoom videoconference session. “He has a lot of reports to prove the safety and all of our questions, he has to answer them. And he has not made any effort yet, so we’ll have to wait until he starts producing the material we need.”

Although the proposal to place a shooting range in the vicinity of Area 51 Motocross was not on the evening’s agenda, it came up right away during the “public comments” portion of the meeting.

Lewis, a Genesee County native and owner of The Firing Pin in Bergen, has been attempting to get town approval for the project since early March, when he gave an overview to the Genesee County Planning Board. Since then, residents living in the area have voiced their opposition while others -- both in and outside of the Town of Batavia -- have reached out to the planning board in support of the project.

Lewis: 'It's a Perfect Location'

Last night, Lewis attempted to address the concerns, primarily safety and noise, of those who live near the Harloff Road site.

He said the RV park will be small, not 130 campers as some people have said, and there will be no hook-ups, sewer or water. He also said hours of operation are negotiable and that all members of the shooting club would be certified range safety officers.

As far as shooting toward the Thruway, he pointed out that Four Points in Spencerport (actually Four Point Rod & Gun Club in Scottsville) customers “shoot directly toward the Thruway as well,” at the same distance, about 1,000 feet.

Lewis then said he believes the topography of the area, which is zoned for outdoor recreation use, is “a perfect location for a shooting range in the town” and meshes with the municipality’s comprehensive plan.

He then questioned the restraints of the special use permit.

“It is very difficult and will continue to be very difficult to get people to invest in businesses in that spot … very, very difficult to have any kind of investment in that area with that type of burden placed, where every year …” he said, before mentioning Area 51 owner Chris Mosier and the need for an annual review of the special use permit.

“He’s put $100,000 in labor alone in that facility. I intend to do the same and it’s going to be very difficult for me to justify that if I’m allowed to do something and then every year I have to fight to allow it to stay open.”

Taking Steps to Reduce the Noise

Lewis acknowledged that noise is a “primary concern,” but said he has several solutions, including planting trees around the perimeter of the property, placing berms in the direction of fire, angling the noise away from homes and putting a rifle’s muzzle into a culvert-type pipe to reduce the noise.

“And we have the safety issue covered (with) protocols and training standards in place, I think that people will see that safety is something that we have covered easily,” he added.

Lewis then asked if he could get copies of residents’ complaints (he was told that he would need to file a Freedom of Information Act request with the town clerk) and if he could stage a one-day event where people could gauge the level of noise generated by conducting sound studies.

Jasinski shot that request down, however, stating that the special use permit was a prerequisite to any formal activity on the property.

“If you want anything to go on your property, you need to follow through with the letter the engineers sent to you,” she said. “You need to start sending us the information, and they outlined that very clearly.”

At that point, Cory Coles, who lives on Pratt Road, brought up that Lewis is “soliciting his customers and others to sign a pre-written letter and sending them to the town, himself” (which later was verified by Jasinski).

“Having people from outside the town and Genesee County sending letters that claim our concerns are not valid is absolutely ridiculous,” Coles said. “… to be told that my concerns are not valid even from somebody 10 miles away is pretty unbelievable to me.”

Coles is opposed due to the noise factor, and said that project supporters are contending that the discharge of firearms in the distance is no different than a blown out tire on the Thruway.

“I’ve been living here for a few years and I can confirm that I do not hear 100 tires blowing out on the Thruway every 15 minutes,” he offered.

Resorting to Name-calling?

Then he reported that comments on The Firing Pin Facebook page and discord server have disparaged nearby residents, with terms such as “idiots, morons and even Nazis.”

“One person going as far to suggest that we all should go out into the middle of I-90, presumably to get run over,” he said, adding that he questions the legitimacy of some of the emails and comments.

Coles said photos of the residence of a sheriff’s deputy who lives in that area were uploaded to the discord server, as well.

“Bottom line is it’s kind of concerning. Mr. Lewis claimed over and over how he wants to be a good neighbor, but I just can’t seem to see where he cares if he does or not,” he said.

After dealing with agenda items (special use permits for a solar system on R. Stephen Hawley Drive and a drive-thru for the new Chipotle restaurant on Veterans Memorial Drive), planners revisited the shooting range proposal.

Paul McCullough said he talked to a neighbor who is “quite concerned with the direction of fire and having Area 51 on one side and the shooting range on the other” and about the hours of operation.

Jasinski reported that Mosier is scheduled to address the board at its next meeting for a review of his special use permit.

Chair Says She Will Monitor the Situation

Another question pertained to Lewis’ right to shoot on the property as the owner, with Jasinski saying that is permitted but he can’t hold events. She then said she would monitor Lewis’ website and Facebook page, and if she heard something was going on there, she would check it out.

In closing, Jonathan Long said the way things are proceeding – or not – is leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

“It’s a bad first introduction for the neighbors – the property owners that have been in the town for many years,” he said. “The stuff online in my opinion is just not right. But, like you said, he hasn’t addressed any of the issues in the engineer’s letter; he hasn’t really given us a site plan of what he really wants to do, so until that happens, we’ll have to wait on it, I guess.”

The Batavian obtained a copy of the letter from Town Engineer Steve Mountain.

In it, Lewis is required to submit a detailed project description; and existing conditions, potential impacts and mitigation pertaining to the environment, traffic, community character, community facilities, fiscal impacts, land use and zoning, sanitary sewage and water supply, and water resources.

The plan also requires a coordinated review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act because it exceeds 10 acres.

Previously: Residents speak out against proposed outdoor shooting range on Harloff Road in Town of Batavia

May 5, 2021 - 12:00pm
posted by Press Release in news, byron-bergen central school district.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Byron-BergenCentral School District’s Board of Education (BOE) has agreed in principle to name Patrick McGee as the next Superintendent of Schools. Formal approval by the BOE is expected at the May 11 BOE meeting. 

School Board President Debra List said McGee possesses the key qualities that the Board is seeking in a Superintendent. 

“As a visible and engaged leader, we are confident that Patrick McGee is the best choice for our district," List said. "We look forward to working with Patrick as we deliver the best education possible for our students."

“I am honored and grateful to the Board of Education for extending me the opportunity to serve as Byron-Bergen’s next Superintendent," McGee said. "In my 14 years with the district, I have been privileged to wear many different hats as a teacher, a coach, the Junior/Senior High School Assistant Principal, and, for the last five years, the Junior/Senior High School Principal.

"I look forward to continuing Byron-Bergen’s long tradition of community connection while focusing efforts on the job at hand: helping our students grow into the best students, citizens, and human beings they can be. While we are certainly navigating through unprecedented and challenging times, I have every intention of living and breathing our district’s mission ‘to inspire, prepare, and support using the values of compassion, humility, kindness, and persistence with a vision to change the world.’ ”

McGee has spent his entire career serving the Byron-Bergen Central School District. While the focus of his experience is teaching and as an administrator, he also serves as the Byron-Bergen Administration Union/Unit President and he has coached junior/senior high school sports.

McGee is a graduate of the Leadership Genesee Class of 2017 and received the GCASA Award in 2019. This award which is presented by Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (GCASA) recognizes outstanding advocacy of GCASA and its programs in schools.

He is currently the Principal of Byron-Bergen Junior/Senior High School, a position he has held since 2015. From 2013 until 2015, he served as the Assistant Principal of Byron-Bergen Junior/Senior High School. Before that, McGee was the Dean of Students from 2012 until 2013.

He began his career in education in 2007 as a fifth-grade teacher at Byron-Bergen Middle School and served in this role until 2012. Throughout his career at Byron-Bergen CS, he has served in many leadership capacities including overseeing and supporting the growth of a Video Coaching Model to assist teachers with professional development, increasing the number of Advanced Placement courses offered and implementing an agriculture program, and revitalizing an FFA Chapter. Under McGee’s tenure, Byron-Bergen High School was named U.S. News Best High Schools for 2018, 2019 and 2020.

He holds a Bachelor of Science from St. John Fisher College in Elementary and Special Education, and a master’s degree in Education, Curriculum and Instruction from the Buffalo State College. McGee earned a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership from the University of Rochester and also holds New York State certifications as a School Building and District Leader, as well as Childhood Education and Students with Disabilities. 

McGee is expected to begin on or before July 1, pending successful contract negotiations.

Kevin MacDonald, district superintendent of Genesee Valley BOCES, acted as the search consultant and noted that the search process was a true collaboration between the Board of Education, district staff and community.

May 4, 2021 - 5:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, outdoors, batavia, news.

img_3889beaver.jpg

Reader Paul Barrett shared this photo of a wandering beaver waddling down East Main near Liberty in Batavia.

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