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October 22, 2020 - 2:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in Basom, news, crime, notify, Darien, byron.

Nicholas Brian Turnquist(inset photo left) 35, of Reading Road, West Falls, is charged with first-degree rape. Turnquist was arrested Oct. 21 after a multi-county investigation into a series of sex offenses involving one victim, according to the Sheriff's Office, that occurred at various locations in Genesee, Wyoming and Erie counties. These included an incident that allegedly occurred at 11 p.m. Aug. 23 on Alleghany Road in Darien. He was arraigned virtually in Darien Town Court, then returned to Wyoming County Jail where he is being held without bail on related charges. The case was investigated by Genesee County Sheriff's Investigator Howard Carlson.

Thomas Frederick Rudolph, 29, of Maple Road, Basom, is charged with driving while intoxicated and failure to signal. On Oct. 22 at 12:43 a.m., Rudolph was arrested after a traffic stop on Reynolds Road in the Town of Darien. Rudolph was released on an appearance ticket an is due to appear in Darien Town Court on Nov. 17. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jordan Alejandro, assisted by Deputy David Moore.

Aurello Aragon-Figueroa, 41, of Chapel Road, Byron, is charged with third-degree grand larceny, a Class D felony, and offering a false instrument for filing, a Class E felony. He was arrested Oct. 21 after allegedly not reporting income that he was earning and filing applications, starting on Aug. 1, 2014, that were used to determine eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits without citing that income. As a result, it is alleged he received $9,321 in SNAP benefits that he was not entitled to. The case was investigated by Genesee County Department of Social Services Investigator Robert Riggi, and the arrest was made by Genesee County Sheriff's Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello.

October 22, 2020 - 1:34pm
posted by Press Release in news, crime, Le Roy.

From the Genesee County Department of Social Services:

Jillian Hupp, 30, of Le Roy, was sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge in Batavia Town Court on Tuesday, Oct. 20, after pleading guilty to one count of petit larceny.

An investigation by the Genesee County Department of Social Services allegedly revealed that Hupp failed to report that the father of her children was also residing in the home, and she failed to report his wages. Hupp subsequently received $2,776 in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) she was not entitled to.

She was originally charged with one count of fourth-degree grand larceny four counts of offering a false instrument for filing. Hupp accepted a plea deal to the reduced charge of petit larceny and was sentenced to the one-year conditional discharge, was also disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for one year and has made full restitution to the Genesee County Department of Social Services.

Anyone wishing to report suspected cases of Welfare Fraud in Genesee County can contact the Genesee County Department of Social Services Investigation unit at (585) 344-2580, ext. 6417 or 6541.

October 22, 2020 - 12:40pm

More than $90,000 in surcharges generated through September gaming activities of the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation will be distributed to the public benefit company’s 15 counties plus the cities of Rochester and Buffalo.

WROTB Chief Financial Officer Jacquelyne Leach today reported that $92,162 in surcharges for last month, topping the $91,604 achieved in August.

“The latest figure is up over $18,000 from September of 2019, which shows how well the pari-mutuel horse racing wagering is doing,” she said, following the monthly board of directors’ meeting at Batavia Downs Gaming on Park Road.

Leach said that there will be no third-quarter earnings’ distribution as Batavia Downs Gaming was shut down in July and August, but did report operational earnings of $189,000 for September.

Batavia Bets is Up Considerably

On the OTB side, Sean Schiano, director of branch operations, said that Batavia Bets continues to thrive with wagering handle increases of 95 percent and 110 percent in September and October, respectively.

With help from the Kentucky Derby, betting via the interactive online and telephone wagering platform was up $912,000 in September and, with help from the Preakness Stakes, wagering this month is up $612,000 through Sunday.

Schiano said Batavia Bets is up $2.9 million – 29 percent – this year as compared to the same time period in 2019.

Directors passed about a dozen resolutions this morning, including advertising buys for direct mail services through Applied Business Systems, licensing rights to show select Ultimate Fighting Championship wrestling and boxing, production costs for television and radio commercials, print ads in the Genesee Valley Penny Saver and digital media marketing on Facebook and Instagram.

Marketing Director Touts 'Pop-Up Shop'

Marketing Director Ryan Hasenauer said Batavia Downs Gaming has televised UFC fights at its 34 Rush sports bar for the past two or three years, but indicated that if 34 Rush doesn’t open (due to the COVID-19 restrictions), they corporation won’t purchase the licensing rights.

Hasenauer said promotions at Batavia Downs Gaming are limited due to state mandates as attendance is capped at 50 per room and live performances are not allowed inside a casino.

“So, we can’t have incidental music, we can’t have a comedian, a psychic or anything where someone is performing,” he said. “But what we can do is we can host vendor shows – we have the vendor show out on the track – and we’re going to be doing something called the 'Pop-Up Shop', where we allow one vendor to be in the Park Place room downstairs and sell whatever they’re selling.”

He said "Pop-Up Shop" vendors will have exclusive rights in that area for a period of time.

“It’s a nice way for businesses in the community to take advantage of our power, our ability to draw people to the facility,” he said, adding that local vendors already are calling to reserve dates, which will be promoted on Facebook.

Other resolutions passed pertained to custodial supplies, track resurfacing costs, diesel fuel and gasoline, dumpster service and building repair items through various vendors.

The board also extended a contract with New Wave Energy Corp. of Buffalo for electric and natural gas for two more years, and announced it had a buyer for the corporation’s former OTB location in Hornell.

GoFundMe for Farewell Family at $28,000

On another front, WROTB President Henry Wojtaszek expressed the corporation’s sympathy for the family of employee Jeff Farewell, supervisor of environmental services, on the death of his daughter, Cheyenne, 20, who was shot and killed on Saturday at a Halloween party in Lockport.

“Obviously the family is devastated and we’re devastated for them. She is a beautiful, young girl, a soccer player and a cheerleader,” he said.

He mentioned that Batavia Downs has set up a GoFundMe page for Cheyenne, who was a student at Brockport State College. The fund has raised more than $28,000 for the family, exceeding its goal of $20,000.

“Jeff is a great employee and I really want to extend thanks to all the employees who have stepped up to help Jeff and his family, and we will continue to do so for the next couple months,” he said.

October 22, 2020 - 11:51am

Press release:

The Genesee County Shooter’s Committee On Political Education (SCOPE) recently published their candidate ratings. They gave  Mark Glogowski, Ph.D., Libertarian Candidate for NYS Assembly District 139, a “D” rating. The copy of Scope’s rating document Glogowski received was partially obliterated, but what could be read stated “Glogowski supports the 2nd Amendment but lacks the … (two words unreadable) … in dealing with NY democrats.”

Glogowski said today that the “D” rating SCOPE gave him clearly doesn’t have anything to do with his position on your right to bear arms, nor the enforcement of the 2nd Amendment’s prohibition on governments passing laws infringing on your right to bear arms.

His position on the 2nd, 9th, and 10th Amendments are clearly explained on his campaign website page: www.glogowskiforassembly/the-second-amendment.

Glogowski said that the reason for the low rating is because is willing to vote for bills that protect your rights, liberties and freedoms no matter who proposes and supports those bills, even of those sponsors are Democrats.

The case in point, at the Oct. 12th meeting of Genesee County SCOPE, Glogowski criticized Assemblyman Steve Hawley’s opposition to the anti-SLAPP bill S.52A/A.5991-A. Glogowski emphatically said he would have voted for the bill, a bill that had overwhelming Democratic support and corresponding Republican opposition.

That bill was designed to protect you from the rich and powerful who have launched many frivolous “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation” (SLAPP) intended to stop such activity. According to Glogowski, the anti-SLAPP bill is consistent with the intent of the 14th amendment.

He stated he would have voted for that bill, and now believes that statement was the reason for SCOPE members to rate him a “D”; he will not willingly and blindly oppose Democrats and their proposals. Hawley, a solid Republican, voted against the Democrat-sponsored anti-SLAPP bill.

Glogowski was also very outspoken about the NYS legislators, including Hawley, who abdicated their responsibility to legislate earlier this year and who unconstitutionally transferred their legislative powers to Governor Cuomo.

“No incumbent should be reelected this year. Doing so would be an act rewarding them for their abandonment of their responsibilities,” Glogowski said.

Glogowski stated that he will support any bill, regardless of who the sponsors are, that will: reestablish county representation in the Assembly; end the tyranny of grants; furthers the reduction and elimination of state income taxes and real estate taxes; eliminate unconstitutional budget legislation practices; work to stop wasteful spending; work to overhaul the Election Laws; create line item veto powers for the Governor, Senate, and Assembly; create a balanced budget; decrease state mandates; and protect your rights, liberties and freedoms.

Glogowski claims Hawley’s “A” rating is not related to his position or actions concerning the 2nd Amendment. SCOPE has consistently overlooked Hawley’s vote cast to fund the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013, commonly known as the NY SAFE Act.

The SAFE act is clearly an unconstitutional gun regulation law. SCOPE also overlooked the explanation, provided at a New York Revolution meeting held in Genesee County, where Hawley stated that if he did not vote for the budget bill that included SAFE Act funding, he would have lost $28 million allocated for the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing (WNY STAMP) Project.

With that statement, he traded your 2nd Amendment protection against tyranny for $28 million. The question today is why is he still receiving an “A” rating?

"Our right to own property, the right to own the fruits of our labors, both have already been traded for the thousands of dollars each year the government collects in taxes from you," Glogowski said. "What other rights do we have that will be traded for money this way?”

“We need legislators that will fight tyranny, not participate in the tyranny because it is convenient or that there is money in it for them.”

This year, with your vote, you can help put an end to this slide down the slippery slope to the Democrat’s tyranny of socialism or the alternative being the Republican’s tyranny of fascism. This year, Glogowski pleads, don’t make a choice.

Drive a stake in the ground and make a decision, a decision to Vote Libertarian. Vote for Mark Glogowski, Assembly District 139.

October 22, 2020 - 8:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, east pembroke, thruway.

thruwaybackupoct222020-2.jpg

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported on the Thruway in the area of mile marker 395.

There are multiple callers. It may involve two semi-trucks and a passenger vehicle.

East Pembroke fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 8:57 a.m.: Westbound traffic is blocked. The East Pembroke chief requests that traffic be diverted at the Batavia exit.

UPDATE 8:58 a.m.: Extrication will be required according to an Indian Falls chief who responded. Confirmed, two tractor-trailers, possibly a car.

UPDATE: One person was transported by ground ambulance to ECMC with a possible serious injury.

thruwaybackupoct222020.jpg

October 22, 2020 - 7:56am

The Genesee County Legislature is reaching out to a Buffalo law firm as it has encountered “serious disputes” with a Macedon-based water and wastewater pipeline installation company contracted to connect water main under the I-90 Thruway as part of the county’s Phase 2 Water Supply Project.

On Wednesday, the Ways & Means Committee voted in favor of a resolution authorizing Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein to sign an engagement letter with Hodgson Russ LLP to provide legal advice concerning disputes with Randsco Pipeline Inc., at the rate of up to $305 per hour.

“We are seeking advice to assure that our risks are limited for our contract for water supply, and that’s all I can say,” Stein said after the meeting. “It pertains to Phase 2 – the big water line.”

Scott Smith, owner of Randsco Pipeline Inc., was equally tight-lipped, stating, “I’m not going to comment on any of the matter.”

According to the Randsco Pipeline website, Smith purchased the company in 2015, and was able to expand its services -- primarily public projects throughout the state -- by moving it from Victor to Macedon.

In a Sept. 23rd story, The Batavian reported that the legislature approved a change to a contract with Randsco Pipeline, adding $125,000 to a pact for the installation of reinforcing sleeves on five tangential tee connections along the transmission main on North Road in the Town of Le Roy.

The modification raised the total contract amount to $5,657,030.60.

Highway Superintendent Tim Hens said that the change order related to the reinforcement of five tangential tees or hydrant assemblies off the 36-inch water main on North Road and to prevent any future leaks at the tees due to settlement or car accidents involving hydrants.

Hens said the work is part of a $23.5 million project designed to add 2.4 million gallons per day to the county’s water supply from Monroe County Water Authority sources, essentially doubling the current output of 2.5 million gallons per day.

The resolution to sign the engagement letter for legal advice states that “serious disputes have arisen with Randsco Pipeline Inc. regarding the work … and these disputes are likely to result in litigation involving the County of Genesee.”

It also states that Hodgson Russ was recommended to the county by Clark Patterson Lee, the engineering firm involved in the project. County Attorney Kevin Earl then drafted the letter, with both the legislature’s Public Service and Ways & Means committees accepting the rate of up to $305 per hour.

The resolution states that legal costs will be paid from the county’s water fund through a budget transfer from wholesale water purchases that came in under budget.

In other action, the committee approved the following resolutions (which will be voted upon by the full legislature at its Oct. 28th meeting):

-- A capital project for the Darien-Alexander Townline Road over Tunnery Creek Bridge Replacement at a cost of $1,076,213, with 80 percent of the expense ($860,970) covered by federal aid. The county’s 20-percent share ($215,243) will be taken from its road and bridge reserve fund.

-- The reappointment of Dennis Phelps of Alabama as a director of the Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District through Dec. 31, 2023.

-- The reappointment of John Gerace as the Town of Batavia (District #4) representative to the Genesee County Parks, Recreation and Forestry Advisory Committee through March 31, 2023.

October 22, 2020 - 1:05am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Batavia Town Board, Borrego Solar Systems.

The Batavia Town Board is gearing up for the possibility of some public comments by testing their Zoom videoconferencing capability.

Following Wednesday night’s monthly board meeting at the Town Hall of West Main Street Road, Supervisor Gregory Post, Deputy Supervisor Dan Underhill and Council members Patti Michalak, Sharon White and Chad Zambito worked with Clerk Teressa Morasco to get their laptops in sync in case they have to add a remote component to the public hearing on the 2021 budget.

The public hearing on the $5,101,886 preliminary spending plan (which includes the highway fund) is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Town Hall, unless the board changes the location due to COVID-19-mandated occupancy restrictions.

As reported first on The Batavian last week, the board raised the allocation of its unexpended fund balance to balance the 2021 budget from $135,899 to $552,358 after receiving news that Genesee County authorized a final $1 million revenue distribution payment for 2020 and pledged about $1.7 million for 2021.

Thus, town residents will have the opportunity to weigh in on a general fund budget that calls for a tax levy of $1,236,000 and a property tax rate increase of 40 cents (16.4 percent) from $2.45 per thousand of assessed value to $2.85 per thousand of assessed value.

That’s an easier pill to swallow than the 88- or 89-cent increase that came up during previous budget discussions.

Breaking down the general fund, appropriations are $4,068,163 and the estimated revenue is $2,279,805. The highway fund adds another $1,033,723 in appropriations, equaling the estimated revenue.

Add in the special districts (sewer, water districts combined and fire) and the total budget comes to $11,837,477, with an estimated revenue of $8,548,384 and tax levy of $2,736,735.

The town's volunteer fire department budget of $1,086,528 is achieved totally through property taxes.

The preliminary budget also sets public officials’ salaries as follows:

Supervisor, $40,000; Deputy Supervisor, $18,000; Council members (three), $10,000; Town Clerk/Tax Collector, $72,370; Highway Superintendent, $19,707; Town Justices (two), $28,000.

Post said he wasn’t sure how many residents would attend the public hearings, but wanted to be prepared in case more than 25 show up. He also mentioned the county’s announcement of a 31-cent property tax decrease for 2021 and the fact that the town/county tax rate combined was increasing by only 9 cents.

The budget public session will follow a 7 p.m. public hearing on the sewer rate for District No. 1 and District No. 2 in the town, and a 7:05 p.m. public hearing on the water rates.

The town’s proposed sewer rate for the period of May 2021 to February 2022 is staying the same at $7.09 per thousand gallons while the proposed water rates for the same period are at $6.20 per thousand gallons for the base rate – a 3.4-percent decrease -- and $5.02 per thousand gallons for the agricultural rate – a 1.6-percent decrease.

A special meeting to adopt the budget, and the sewer and water rates is set for Nov. 5 at the Town Hall.

In other action, the board:

  • Approved a resolution for a solar energy system decommissioning agreement for a 8.99-megawatt, 20.45-acre ground-mounted solar farm at 5230 Batavia-Stafford Townline Road.

Filing of the decommissioning bond is part of the process to obtain a special use permit from the Town of Batavia Planning Board.

The town calls for decommissioning bonds for solar farms because “should the company go under (in this case, Borrego Solar System LLC, of Lowell, Mass.), we don’t want a bunch of solar panels sitting on 20 acres of land,” Post said.

The solar project, which first came before town planners in August 2019, is slated to be placed on a 52-acre parcel, featuring 43,355 solar panels in a fenced-in area of 19.94 acres with an additional half acre to be used for an access driveway. It also will include four utility poles.

  • Approved a resolution adopting Local Law No. 3 of 2020 to override the state tax cap for fiscal year 2021, something that the town has done for several years.

“This authorizes us to fund operations to the degree we need to fund them with local money when we don’t get state money,” Post said.

  • Approved levying unpaid water and sewer charges against property owners’ 2021 tax warrants. As of Monday, more than $146,000 is owed to the town in overdue water and sewer bills.
October 21, 2020 - 6:17pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Alexander Central School District, ONC BOCES.

hubermay2018.jpg

The Alexander Central School District Board of Education will be conducting a superintendent job search to replace Catherine Huber, Ph.D., who has accepted the position of district superintendent of the ONC (Otsego Northern Catskills) Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Grand Gorge, a hamlet in the Town of Roxbury in Delaware County.

Board President Brian Paris this afternoon confirmed that Huber has left the Genesee County school after nearly four years as its chief administrative officer. While stating that a search for a permanent replacement is about to begin, he did not provide a timetable or any other details.

The Batavian found out about Huber's departure earlier today when an email sent to her about a different matter bounced back with an automated message from her indicating that she has taken the position at ONC BOCES.

An online search of her name brought up accounts of her new appointment in Downstate news outlets and on the ONC BOCES website back in August. The Alexander Board of Education, however, has not issued a media release about Huber’s resignation, new position and/or accomplishments at the Genesee County school.

Paris said minutes from a meeting in August or September “contain notification that the board approved the resignation of Dr. Huber."

A search of the board’s meeting minutes on the district website revealed one line from the Sept. 9 meeting:

Appointment of Interim Superintendent -- Jared Taft Interim Superintendent.

Taft previously was the elementary school principal.

According to a story dated Aug, 20 and updated on Sept. 2 in The Cooperstown Crier, Huber will begin (has begun) work Oct. 1, pending successful contract negotiations and formal appointment to the position, according to a media release. She will replace Nicholas Savin, who announced his retirement in April.

In a media release cited by the newspaper, Huber said, “I am honored and grateful to be selected as the next ONC BOCES District Superintendent. I look forward to working with the Board of Education, our staff, and our component districts to achieve our collective goals.”

She was hired as the superintendent in Alexander in December 2016.

Paris congratulated Huber on her new appointment, describing her as “an extremely intelligent and well-credentialed individual who did a fantastic job at Alexander, which is indicative of the fact that she has been elevated to one of only 37 (district superintendent) positions in New York State.”

“And I think it speaks well for Alexander that she was promoted, technically, within this system to, quite frankly, a very sought-after position within the New York State educational program,” he said. “We’re sad to see her go, but I know that this was a really good situation for her.”

Per the ONC BOCES website posting:

Dr. Huber earned her undergraduate degree in English from Ithaca College, and her graduate work at Canisius College resulted in Master’s degrees in English Education and in Educational Leadership. She earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership at D’Youville College.

Dr. Huber was selected as one of 25 female superintendents from across the country to participate as a member of the 2018 AASA National Women’s Leadership Consortium. Dr. Huber twice received the D’Youville College Doctoral Program Leadership Award and she was named Regional Administrator of the Year by the Empire State Supervisors and Administrators Association in 2011.

In addition to her work in K-12 public education, Dr. Huber has higher education administration experience in addition to her current work as an adjunct lecturer in the SUNY Brockport Educational Administration program.

Photo: File photo.

October 21, 2020 - 6:05pm
posted by Press Release in City Fire, news, batavia.

img_5338firealarm.jpg

Press release:

The City of Batavia Fire Department joins fire departments nationwide in promoting the annual “Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery” campaign on Sunday, Nov. 1. Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano encourages all residents to adopt the simple, life-saving habit of changing smoke alarm batteries when they change their clocks back from daylight savings time to standard time.

“It’s an easy, inexpensive, and proven way to protect your family and your home,” Chief Napolitano said. “Plus with winter quickly approaching and most everyone turning their heating systems on, it also makes this an ideal time to make sure your heating system is working properly. This is a great opportunity to check your carbon monoxide detectors as well.”

Today’s home fires grow in size faster than ever, typically allowing as little as one to two minutes to escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds, due to current home furnishings burning faster and producing more toxic gases and smoke. One thing that is instrumental in reducing deaths is to close doors to prevent the fire from spreading and to facilitate escape.

Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with either no smoke alarms or non-working smoke alarms. Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing or dead batteries or disconnected wires. The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when most families are sleeping; a working smoke alarm provides the critical extra time needed to get out safely.

According to the NFPA, the maximum life cycle of a smoke alarm is 10 years from the date of manufacture, not the date of installation. Beginning in 2002, all smoke alarms must have a manufacture date marked on the outside of the smoke alarm. If your smoke alarm does not have a manufacture date or if you’ve had it for more than 10 years, it needs to be replaced.

The City of Batavia Fire Department recommends purchasing smoke alarms with 10-year lithium batteries. All smoke alarms should be tested monthly.

"The City of Batavia Fire Department has a free smoke alarm installation program,” Chief Napolitano said. “If you do not have a smoke detector or if you are unsure the batteries are working properly, members of the City of Batavia Fire Department will come to your home and ensure that you have a working smoke detector, absolutely free of charge. Call (585) 345-6375 to set up an in-home appointment.”

Photo by Howard Owens.

October 21, 2020 - 5:00pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, GOW opioid task force.

dr.-terry-daniels.jpgIf more people utilized the services of nonmedical practitioners such as chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists and pain management professionals, it could significantly reduce addiction to prescription opioids, according to a Wyoming County chiropractor who will be one of the guest speakers at Thursday’s GOW Opioid Task Force quarterly meeting.

Terry Daniels, DC, who, with wife, Dawn, owns and operates Daniels Family Chiropractic in Warsaw, said a recent study shows that noninvasive procedures – spinal adjustments or alternative drugless therapies – “demonstrate an inverse relationship between chiropractic utilization and opioid use for patients with spinal pain.”

He said an article in Pain Medicine from Sept. 27, 2019, cited statistics revealing that those who saw a chiropractor were 64-percent less likely to use opioids compared to those who did not.

“And regarding lumbar spine surgery, if the first provider a patient sees for back pain is a chiropractor as opposed to a surgeon, 42.7 percent of workers who first saw a surgeon had back surgery whereas just 1.5 percent of workers who first saw a chiropractor required surgery,” he offered.

Daniels’ presentation on the topic of “Non-Opioid Alternatives to Pain Management” will focus on the benefits of nonmedical practices, especially as they relate to preventing injuries and conditions that could lead to chronic pain.

The virtual meeting is scheduled for 9:30 to 11 a.m. tomorrow via Zoom videoconferencing.

Task force members are asked to register by going to www.gowopioidtaskforce.org. Once registered, a confirmation email will be sent with Zoom information and a link to join the meeting.

“As a chiropractor, I tend to look at health and health care from a different perspective,” Daniels said. “I am thankful and grateful that in our society we have developed medical specialties and have the best specialized care in the world. I see the new cancer institutes going up and new cardiac centers going up … however, the question I always ask is, “Where is the new center for prevention of disease, or where is the new how to avoid getting heart disease and how to avoid getting cancer center?”

Daniels said if society concentrated more on prevention, then it would have “to worry much less about treatment.”

“The practice of medicine is the treatment of disease. Optimization of one’s health is rarely addressed other than in passing. We as health consumers have become lazy and reliant upon just getting a prescription and paying lip service to prevention,” he said.

Concerning the opioid crisis, Daniels wonders why society doesn’t do a better job “of fighting this problem on the front end now that the cat is out of the box.”

“What can we do to better manage and treat and eliminate pain from the onset that we are not doing now?”

The majority of opioid prescriptions are for musculoskeletal injury, Daniels said, with an estimated 126.6 million Americans (one in two adults) affected by a musculoskeletal condition. People with these conditions -- back pain, neck pain, headaches and joint injuries – comprise the bulk of a chiropractor’s work.

Daniels noted that chiropractic is the largest drug-free health care profession in the world, and is documented to be effective in the acute and chronic neuromusculoskeletal pain environment. He added that other nonmedical professionals such as massage therapists, physical therapists, yoga instructors, pain psychologists and mindfulness-based stress reduction classes also produce encouraging results.

Along those lines, he said more emphasis should be placed on directing patients to nonpharmacological approaches.

“In my opinion, based on this information, thousands to hundreds of thousands of cases of addiction and even deaths could be avoided if we utilized these practitioners more,” he said. “It is important to bring awareness to this topic because people are dying. The same level of thinking that got us into this problem is not going to get us out of it.”

The doctor said he is thankful that Gov. Andrew Cuomo considered chiropractic physicians as “essential workers” during the COVID-19 pandemic, mentioning that the “vast majority of the emergency chiropractic treatments were performed on essential workers and many medical providers.”

Disclosure: Story by Mike Pettinella, GCASA publicist.

October 21, 2020 - 4:33pm
posted by Press Release in covid-19, coronavirus, news.

Press release:

New Cases – As of 2 p.m. 

  • Genesee County received three new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • The new positive cases reside in Batavia and Pembroke.
    • One of the positive individuals is an inmate at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility. 
    • One of the individuals is in their 40s, one is in their 50s, and one is in their 60s.
    • None of the individuals were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Two of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation.
    • Five new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
    •  
  • Orleans County received six new positive cases of COVID-19.
  • The new positive cases reside in Albion.
  • The individuals are: three are 0-19 yrs. old, two are in their 40s, one is in their 50s.
  • One of the new positive individuals is a student at Albion Elementary School. The individual was not in school 48 hours prior to becoming symptomatic and testing positive, there is no identified direct school contact. The individual is under mandatory isolation and will remain there until fully recovered. Contact tracing has been initiated to determine potential close contacts in the community.
  • None of the individuals were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
  • Three new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
October 21, 2020 - 3:07pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, genesee county legislature, Town of Bethany.

Town supervisors and village mayors in Genesee County have varied opinions when it comes to the circumstances surrounding changes in revenue distribution from the county that have occurred over the past six months.

Some, such as Batavia Town Supervisor Gregory Post, have voiced their support of the County Legislature, reasoning that lawmakers and county management have acted prudently as they deal with the negative financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Others, such as Bethany Town Supervisor Carl Hyde Jr., have criticized the legislature for nullifying agreements between the county and municipalities from 2018 and 2019 to make quarterly revenue payments.

It was in May, a couple months into an economic shutdown, when legislators rescinded the authority of the county treasurer to make those payments, action that Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein called a temporary move and pleaded for town and village officials to “hang in there with us.”

Since then, the legislature continued to pass resolutions that provide money to the municipalities, now calling them "voluntary revenue distributions" that are not subjected to a formal contract. The fourth and final payment for 2020 is expected to be approved by lawmakers at their meeting next week.

On Tuesday, Hyde said the county’s decision to cancel the revenue sharing agreement has led to a “lack of trust.”

“They left the towns hanging when the county decided to completely cut the sales tax revenue distribution from the towns, and left us to fend for ourselves,” said Hyde, who is completing his sixth year as supervisor and has three years remaining on his current term. “Yes, there have been some distributions (in 2020) but they aren’t what we were supposed to get.”

Hyde also said he’s not convinced that the municipalities will receive the amounts the county has publicized for 2021, either.

“Until it shows up in the town’s bank account, I’m not taking them at their word for it. They took an agreement that all the towns (and villages) worked hard at to come up with and signed and agreed to, and they just threw it away.”

Town Received 16.2 Percent Less

Final revenue distribution dollar amounts for 2020 released by the county show that the Town of Bethany was allocated $502,644.47 – that's 16.2 percent less than the $599,560 than it would have received if the previous distribution agreement was still intact.

The 16.2 percent is slightly more than the 14.8-percent average decrease across all the municipalities for 2020, Landers said. 

Click here for a table showing the 2020 distributions (pdf) (made in four payments) for all towns and villages and the percentage of decrease.

Landers said the first payment was made per the previous agreement with the towns and villages. The remaining three payments were based on current taxable assessed valuations of the municipalities.

“So, municipalities that had recent assessment increases at a higher rate than other municipalities did better than municipalities that had low assessment increases or no assessment increases,” Landers explained. “In the Town of Batavia, for example, because they had more growth, its decrease is less than 14.8 percent (actually 11.8 percent), while some municipalities had higher than 14.8 percent.”

The county manager said the legislature understands the difficulty that this creates for towns and villages, “but we’re just basically trying to share in it and not pass all of our (losses) as we’re projecting a 20-percent reduction in our state aid and a 4 to 5 percent (reduction) in sales tax. So, we’re trying to share the best we can while also maintaining our operations.”

County Allocates $10 Million for 2021

Going forward, the county recently announced it plans to distribute $10 million to the towns and villages in 2021. That represents a 28.5-percent decrease from what it originally planned to share.

The Town of Bethany is supposed to receive $410,123 next year and has budgeted accordingly, Hyde said.

“We’re trying to do what we can to survive with whatever the county gives us, we’re going to use it for road maintenance, to keep the taxes down, things like that,” he said. “We’re trying to get off the county welfare wagon.”

Hyde said his 2021 preliminary budget of $1,100,935 calls for an increase of 28 cents in the property tax rate – from $3.71 per thousand of assessed value to $3.99 per thousand of assessed value.

“It’s better than what it could have been,” Hyde admitted, noting that when the distribution agreement was ended, the town was looking at a tax rate of $9 per thousand.

Fund Balance to be Utilized

He said the budget lists revenues at $476,221 in revenues, fund balance to be used at $226,842 and the tax levy at $397,872. A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Bethany Town Hall.

“We’ve cut everything – every line in the budget pretty much. We asked all the elected officials if they would be willing to take a 10-percent pay cut, which they did, and the town had to eliminate a person from the highway department,” Hyde said.

Hyde said he and the board “have done a good job over the last six years, not raising taxes and maintaining everything that we need to, and I’m sure the residents are happy about that. This whole thing threw a monkey wrench it in.”

He said he would like to see someone with a financial background “step up” and run for his office in 2023, but until then, he said he will continue to monitor the state Comptroller’s website each month to see how much each county has either lost or gained in sales tax revenue.

“From January 1st through the end of September, Genesee County’s sales tax is only down 7 percent,” he said. “And here we are down (much more than that) because of whatever the county is doing with the money. That doesn’t make sense does it.”

Landers responded to Hyde’s concerns by noting the legislature voted in favor of a resolution to authorize the final distribution of this year.

“That’s why we passed that Rule 19 resolution to try to demonstrate that it’s on the way and it will get paid in the next audit at the legislature meeting on October 28th,” Landers said. “That’s when the payments for the final distribution go through and on that Friday (Oct. 30) is when the ACH (automated clearing house) payment will show up in their bank accounts. For those who don’t have direct deposit, the checks will be mailed out.”

Bethany Signs Plowing, Mowing Contract

In another development, the Town of Bethany has entered into an intermunicipal agreement with the county to provide snow and ice control and mowing services on county roads.

According to a resolution to go before the entire legislature on Oct. 28, the cost per mile for the 2021 snow and ice season is $6,521 and the cost per mile for mowing is $474. This represents a 1.1-percent increase in the rate for snow and ice over the 2020 season and a 2-percent increase in the cost for mowing.

The total annual payment to the Town of Bethany for these services will be $141,961.85 for snow and ice control and $10,328.46 for roadside mowing.

“With this contract, all towns except the Town of Batavia have snowplowing and mowing contracts with Genesee County,” Highway Superintendent Tim Hens said. “It is the most efficient way for us to plow the roads for our residents.”

Hens said the agreement with the Town of Batavia stipulates that the county plows roads east of Route 98 and the town plows roads west of Route 98 since their highway garages are on opposite sides of the city/town.

“Again, it’s the most efficient way. We’ve been doing it that way for 20 years,” Hens added.

October 21, 2020 - 2:56pm
posted by Press Release in ILGR, Meet the Candidate, General Election 2020, news, covid-19.

Press release:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, every educated voter is critical to our community. To support this, for the 40th consecutive year, The Western New York Independent Living Family of Agencies (WNYIL) is giving voters with, and without, disabilities the opportunity to hear from, and ask questions of, officials running in the Nov. 3rd General Election at their Annual Meet the Candidates Days. 

WNYIL, being committed to the voice of persons with disabilities, especially within the challenges of this pandemic, is moving the event virtually this year to continue to offer this important forum. 

With individual campaigning at a minimum this year, this gives voters the chance to hear from officials running for several different offices.

Candidates running for local, state, and federal office will be given the opportunity to talk to, and hear from, constituents via our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/WNYIL.

Already scheduled to appear include candidates running for Congress, NY State Senate, NY State Assembly, as well as several candidates running for local offices. WNYIL Chief Policy Officer, Todd Vaarwerk, points out that “even during the pandemic, legislators will still make decisions about the things that matter to persons with disabilities. Meet the Candidates allows them to know, directly from potential constituents, how important those decisions are.”

The New York State and Federal races Meet the Candidates Day will be Tuesday, Oct. 27th from 1 to 4 p.m. The local races (Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming counties) Meet the Candidates Day will be Friday, Oct. 30th from 1 to 4 p.m. Both can be accessed at WNYIL’s YouTube channel.

For those without internet access who want to listen to Meet the Candidates, call 1-425-436-6200, Access Code 595227.

The Western New York Independent Living Inc. Family of Agencies offer an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

October 21, 2020 - 2:40pm

Press release:

As coronavirus cases rise across the country, "sparking worries the next big wave has begun," school districts throughout Upstate New York face a shortage of pediatric rapid tests needed to safely and efficiently continue in-person teaching throughout the winter, and even leaving some districts unsure how students will even be tested at all.

Today, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer revealed that the feds, specifically the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is sitting on as much as $9 billion dollars needed right now as part of a more coordinated and robust virus testing regime as new standards require any symptomatic student or family member to have a rapid turnaround test within 48 hours or the school must presume a positive result and begin contact tracing.

The senator said Upstate New York alone will need millions of dollars to conduct sufficient rapid testing and tracing programs in schools to keep students and their families safe from the virus.

Schumer demanded HHS release the testing dollars he helped to originally secure in prior COVID relief legislation right now. Schumer also announced his intention to fight for more of those funds as the possibility of a second wave emerges and as a COVID relief deal, long hamstrung by a divided White House and Senate Leader McConnell, is considered. 

“There’s absolutely no question that the health and safety of all students across Upstate New York is paramount, bar none. However, as any Upstate New Yorker can tell you, with allergy season upon us and flu season around the corner, in order to keep our students safe we’re going to need an influx of rapid tests and we’re going to need them quickly,” Senator Schumer said.

“Right now, the feds are sitting on over $9 billion that can and should be long out the door, being used to ramp up testing and tracing for students across the state. Those dollars should be used to get rapid tests to New York students and ensure peace of mind and some semblance of stability to students, families, and teachers who have already endured a tumultuous year.”

Schumer said that thousands of students and people Upstate will need to be tested every day, should a second wave hit hard, and that an effort like that will cost money the federal government is responsible for. Schumer made the case for applying the lessons learned over the past many months — right now — not after it’s too late.

According to the The New York Times, there were 4,675 new cases of COVID-19 in Upstate New York in the last week and the state reported that some regions are seeing up to a 1.5-percent positivity rate.

“This administration must remember sobering lessons and apply them. I first called for a public health emergency declaration on January 26, 2020 but that call was not heeded and inaction cost us precious time, money — and most critically — it cost this country lives.

The federal government cannot and must not repeat COVID mistakes of the past months. Instead, it must use the dollars it has and the premise of robust testing and tracing to tamp down any second wave of this virus and lead us to a true recovery,” Schumer added. 

Schumer has repeatedly expressed his concerns and fought to improve testing and contact tracing throughout the country and New York State. In March, Schumer wrote to the CDC and FDA regarding federal barriers New York was facing in its effort to fully and quickly test people for COVID-19.

The testing capacity was not sufficient to meet New York’s needs and he urged the CDC and FDA to work with New York health officials. Now, as coronavirus cases across the country are rising again, the feds are sitting on money, billions of dollars, that is critical to delivering a coordinated and robust testing regime needed to offset the chances of a strong second wave of the virus. 

According to the Washington Post, for almost a month, new COVID cases have been trending upward and more than 20 states have hit a new high in their seven-day average of case counts, and more than half of those states set records again last week. The rising numbers are especially concerning because they set the stage for an even greater surge this winter.

The newspaper warned that this upward trend comes before the increased mingling of people expected to arrive with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, much of which could be indoors as the weather cools, thereby increasing the chance of transmission.

October 21, 2020 - 12:16pm

The City of Batavia Planning & Development Committee on Tuesday night approved a special use permit that opens the door for the creation of two apartments on the second floor of the Main Street Pizza building at 206 E. Main St.

Applicant Paul Marchese, doing business as Just Chez Realty LLC, said the $489,000 project – which qualified for a Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant of $137,600 from the Batavia Development Corporation’s building improvement fund – advances to the next stage, which is “to finalize the engineering drawings and move the project into the construction phase.”

Marchese said planning committee members asked whether he is looking to renovate the other half of the upstairs as well.

“The plans for the other half of the upstairs have not been solidified as of yet,” he said. “At this point, we have acquired funding and grant sources and various things to complete phase one of our project. Phase two could be apartments or it could be something totally different depending on if we have a tenant that wants a specific build-out for up there.”

Concerning apartment rental rates, Marchese said that since the project was awarded one of the grants, it is bound by a predetermined rent schedule.

As previously reported on The Batavian, Marchese’s application calls for placing two apartments on the second floor and altering the building’s exterior by adding an entrance door on the south side, replacing windows, changing the nameplate on the north (front) of the building from MANCUSO to MARCHESE, and installing “up lighting” on that side.

Additional improvements include removing existing awnings and exposing the original transom windows, installing a new aluminum-clad wooden door on the north side and installing new aluminum-clad wood windows/door storefront in the center bay.

October 21, 2020 - 11:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, jobs, news, notify.

Genesee County's unemployment rate, at 4.8 percent for September, is the lowest percentage it's been in 2020 but still significantly higher than its seasonal rate a year ago.

In August rate 2019, the rate was 3.4 percent.

Since the pandemic hit the economy, the local employment rate has been:

  • April, 14.4 percent
  • May, 10.1 percent
  • June, 9.5 percent
  • July, 10.5 percent
  • August, 8 percent

The lowest rate prior to September was in February and March at 4.9 percent. The pandemic-related job losses started in March but those job losses didn't start to show up in official statistics until April.

There are 28,900 county residents counted in the labor force. A year ago, there were 29,900 people in the local labor force.

Of those currently in the labor force (people who are employed or are actively looking for work), 27,500 have jobs. There are 1,400 looking for work.

For September, there were 21,200 non-farm jobs in Genesee County compared to 23,000 a year ago. Of those, 15,700 are in the private sector (compared to 17,400 a year ago).

October 20, 2020 - 7:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, news, downtown.

img_6615.jpg

Legacy Insurance Group held a grand opening and ribbon-cutting today at the company's new office at 212 E. Main St., Batavia.

Legacy Insurance will be a local resource for Medicare Advantage plans through UnitedHealthcare, as well as several life insurance options, and can help with navigating health insurance choices on the NYS of Health Marketplace. 

Agent Diana M. Wagner resides in Stafford with her husband, Ron, and two of her three children, Bobby and Rachel.

In the photo, Wagner cuts the ribbon surrounded by friends and family along with Tom Turnbull, president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, and Ken Sciarrino, from United Healthcare (holding ribbon on right).

October 20, 2020 - 6:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news.

Press release:

As of 2 p.m.:

  • Genesee County received zero new positive cases of COVID-19.
    • Two of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been released from mandatory isolation.
    • Fourteen new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
  • Orleans County received four new positive cases of COVID-19 for a total of 356 positive cases
    • The new positive cases reside in Albion, Ridgeway, Shelby and Murray.
    • One of the new positive individuals is under mandatory isolation out of state.
    • The individuals are; one is 0-19 yrs. old, one is in their 20s, one is in their 40s, one is in their 60s.
    • None of the individuals were on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.
    • Three new individuals are on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states.
October 20, 2020 - 4:11pm
posted by Press Release in election 2020, news, NY-27, Duane Whitmer.

Press release:

With the National Guard under orders from Governor Andrew Cuomo to subject innocent New Yorkers to an unconstitutional quarantine, Republican Representative Chris Jacobs should be calling on his “friend” President Donald Trump to order the Guard to stand down. But as usual, when Cuomo seizes power, Rep. Jacobs is nowhere to be found.

This should’ve been known from his Yea vote on S7919, where he rolled over as soon as the Governor demanded unilateral power over the state. Luckily for voters in NY-27, there is a candidate brave enough to stand up to Andrew Cuomo.

Duane Whitmer, the Libertarian candidate for NY-27, Erie County Libertarian Party chairman, and 2nd vice chairman of the Libertarian Party of New York, held a press conference with 2ANYS yesterday where he called on President Trump to order the National Guard to not enforce the unconstitutional quarantine.

He went on to call out Rep. Jacobs for being completely silent on the issue. And now, he is calling on Rep. Jacobs to answer to the voters for his complacency at Wednesday morning’s Saint Joe’s University Congressional Debate. 

Rep. Jacobs refused to show up to the University of Buffalo’s debate last night, resulting in the debate being cancelled. He is refusing to show up to tonight’s debate with the University of Geneseo.

This is a sign that Jacobs “knows what he’s done is inexcusable,” Whitmer said. “We cannot afford to have a representative who is asleep at the wheel during these unprecedented times. When you apply for a job, you wouldn’t skip the job interview would you?

"That’s exactly what we’re seeing from Chris Jacobs, and it’s completely unacceptable. The residents of NY-27 deserve better, and I intend to make that case tonight, tomorrow, and every day until November 3rd.”

October 20, 2020 - 3:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in Great American Smokeout, news, GOW reality check, art.

Press release:

Reality Check programs of Western New York are getting creative to honor this year’s Great American Smokeout. As communities continue to grapple with the challenges of COVID-19, the youth coordinators in the GOW Region decided the safest (and fun) way to help young people demonstrate their leadership is through an art contest.

The deadline to submit entries is Nov. 13. Winners will be announced on Nov. 19, the date of this year’s Great American Smokeout.

“We miss doing group events like cigarette butt pickups, educational events, and watching our young people champion issues they believe in,” said Brittany Bozzer, GOW Reality Check coordinator. “This art contest will build awareness on the impacts of tobacco use and help ensure that youth voices are a part of the solution for healthier communities.”

The American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout is an annual event that encourages and offers support to smokers to make a plan to quit smoking or to quit smoking on the day of the event – Thursday, Nov. 19. By quitting – even for one day – smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk. 

Contest Details

Creative Western New Yorkers between the ages of 12 and 18 are encouraged to virtually submit a piece of artwork that highlights the dangers of tobacco use or why they want their community to be tobacco free. Artwork can be a poster, poem, comic, photo or video. Winners will be chosen in two age groups: 12-14 years old and 15-18 years old. 

Youth are asked to submit their masterpiece, along with their name, age, school name, phone number and guardian’s name, to:   [email protected]

About Reality Check

Reality Check is a youth-led movement in New York State that empowers youth to become leaders in their communities in exposing what they see as the manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry. The organization’s members create change in their communities through grassroots mobilization and education.

Reality Check groups work in their communities by trying to limit the exposure of tobacco marketing in stores, help make smoke/vape-free public, work, and housing spaces, and limiting the exposure to smoking/vaping in movies.

These initiatives are to help discourage young people from becoming new daily smokers and encourage current smokers to quit. More information can be found at realitycheckofny.com and tobaccofreenys.com

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