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January 28, 2015 - 6:03pm

Millennials -- that generation born after 1980 but before the turn of the century -- came of age in a time of economic stagnation, fewer jobs, fewer chances for career advancement, lower pay.

Technology has ruled their lives.

They're getting married later in life, starting families later, and moving to smaller cities in droves.

Buffalo has attracted a 34-percent jump in recent college graduate residents, outpacing bigger cities such as Los Angeles.

All of these trends, and more, are attracting the attention of land use planners and informing a new way of looking at planning, said Felipe A. Oltramari, director of the the Genesee County Planning Department, during a presentation at City Hall this morning on the Millennial Generation.

There are 87 million people born in the Millennial decades, about 11 million more than were born during the Baby Boom years.

What they want out of life tends to be far different than Baby Boomers or even Gen-X.

To them, suburbs are dead.

A higher percentage of them than any previous generation have never had a driver's license. Often, they don't own cars.

They're more environmentally aware and socially connected through their digital devices.

The reason they're flocking to cities like Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Portland and Houston is they're more interested in deciding what lifestyle they want before deciding what job they will take, Oltramari said.

Sixty-four percent settle in a city before they get their first job offer.

"It's going to be a difficult job market any place you go, so you might as well go to someplace where you want to live," Oltramari said.

So why not go to New York City instead of Buffalo?

Because it costs a lot more to live in NYC than Buffalo.

So why come to Batavia instead of Buffalo?

Because, Oltramari said, eventually, as Buffalo attracts more Millennials, the cost of living will rise. Adjacent small cities such as Batavia can offer some of the same advantages of bigger cities, but at an affordable price.

Besides, Millennials are the coming economic driver, so Batavia should be planning to be the kind of community they want now; otherwise, we get left behind.

The planning model for this new urbanism is called "form based."

From the 1920s until recently, all planning was built around zoning codes -- what developers cannot do, not what a community wanted.

Planning zones were radically segregated, not just separating, say, residential from industrial, but apartments from houses, offices from retail space, artisans from factories.

Mix-use was a product of the organic growth of American cities in the 19th Century, but planners tried to stamp it out in the 20th Century.

In the post-War years, as suburbs grew and highways were built to accommodate the booming auto industry, planners replaced dense city blocks with strip malls and paved over culturally diverse neighborhoods.

Batavia, with its white elephant of a mall and Urban Renewal conformity, is an example of a city that lost its soul to parking lots and drive-thru restaurants.

"What planners tried to do was try to make our cities more like suburbs, and what did we get? Very bad suburbs," Oltramari said.

Form-based codes allow cities to set a vision for what they want to be.  

"Conventional planning looks at use, not at form," said Derik Kane, a senior planner for the county, and himself of the Millennial Generation. "In looking at use, you eliminated things you might want, such as small artisans when you moved out the industry, things like that that make an economy and a community. With form-based codes, instead of eliminating things you don't want, you say what you do want."

For developers, new construction and renovation of existing structures becomes a more streamlined process.  

A community with form-based codes doesn't need to require a developer to go through the current lengthy and expensive environmental review process, Oltramari said, because a conforming proposal will already fit within those environmental requirements.

"We need to be moving at the speed of business," said Chris Suozzi, VP of business development for Genesee County Economic Development Center. "Developers don't want delays."

The City Council has already approved funding for a new master plan for Batavia and City Manager Jason Molino said form-based codes will certainly be part of the discussion as the process moves forward.

Urban Renewal did a lot of damage to Downtown Batavia, but there are still positive aspects that can be enhanced.

Kane pointed out that experts in new urbanism recommend you build on successes, rather than trying to fix problems.

For Batavia, that success would center around Jackson Square, especially Jackson Street.

Oltramari suggested borrowing a page from a small Massachusetts city and building over a portion of the parking lot on the west side of Jackson Street and putting up a row of single-story, small retail shops.

Millennials want walkable communities -- remember, they often don't have cars -- which means density, and more retail on Jackson would give them what they want.

County planning is planning on bringing in a walkability expert this summer to study Batavia, but online resources such as WalkScore.com already give Batavia low marks.

On a scale that counts 80 as pretty good, very little of Batavia scores higher than 70 (my house, three blocks south of Downtown Jackson Street, scores 67).  

Greater density and more options downtown would help improve those scores, which Millennials look at when deciding where to live.

One issue planners might wrestle with is Baby Boomers still have an auto-oriented mindset. They demand parking. They expect to park right in front of the store they wish to enter. Any proposal to eliminate parking downtown is going to meet resistance, even as data shows it's not necessary.

People will park and walk, or just walk from their residence, if it's an interesting walk, Oltramari said. 

"Nobody wants to park on the far edge of the Walmart parking and walk to the store, because it's not interesting," Oltramari said. "But if you measure it, they probably walk at least twice that distance once they get inside the store."

People will walk for blocks and blocks at Disneyland, he noted, and then come home and complain if they can't find a convenient parking place downtown.

For Millennials, if they're living and working in a neighborhood they like, parking simply isn't an issue.

"The good news is, we know how to build this way," Kane said. "We built this way for centuries.  Your villages, your main steets, are all walkable places."

Copies of the slides used in Oltramari's presentation along with related material can be found on the Web page for the county planning department.

December 12, 2014 - 7:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Pavilion, planning, land use.

Dollar General would like to build a new store in Pavilion, but the proposal got a cold reception from the Genesee County Planning Board on Thursday night.

The proposed location is less than 1,000 feet from the high school, and with heavy, speedy truck traffic on Route 63 and no sidewalks between the school and the store, board members thought the location presents a safety hazard.

Planners also thought the proposal doesn't fit within Pavilion's comprehensive plan.

However, the location is the one picked by town officials, Todd Hamula, a development manager for Zeremba Group, who is representing Dollar General in the project.

Originally, the company was looking at a location closer to the school, but town officials were worried about students leaving campus to go to the store, so a compromise was found with the location further away.

The location also gives the town a chance to appeal to the Department of Transportation to lower the speed limit along that stretch of road to 35 mph (the location is right near the current dividing line between a 35 mph zone and 55 mph zone).  

Hamula said Dollar General wants its stores on roads with speed limits less than 55 mph, which ruled out locations further south.

He also said the company picked the location because they believe it's well suited to the comprehensive plan. He said rezoning the property would merely extend the current business district area around Route 63 and Route 19.  

Planners thought it too far away from the current business area to meet that goal.

"We work really hard to make sure we don't bring a proposal for rezoning unless we have local support and that it doesn't go against the comprehensive plan," Hamula said.

While the town seems to take a dim view of a store within walking distance of the school, county planners were scratching their heads over the decision. The original proposed location would have sidewalks and a pedestrian tunnel nearby.

"If the concern here is traffic and kids walking, moving the location does not really solve that," said Board Member Lucine Kauffman. "I think it makes the danger even greater. Now they're walking further and there's no sidewalks."

She thinks regardless of the location, kids are going to walk to it for drinks and food.

"I think it's great idea to have place where kids can walk to after school to have a snack," Kauffman said.

The negative vote doesn't kill the project. The town planning board can still approve it with a vote of a majority plus one.

Hamula said he will pursue that outcome with the town planning board.

July 11, 2014 - 2:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, planning, land use.

Concerns about adequate parking and emergency vehicle access led the Genesee County Planning Board on Thursday night to recommend against approval for a senior housing apartment complex off Route 5 in the Town of Batavia.

The board's vote is not binding, but it does require the Town of Batavia Planning Board to vote with a +1 margin to approve the project.

The site for the project is 3833 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. It is 33.4 acres and would contain 110 apartment units that would be marketed to middle-income residents age 55 and older.

There's currently no senior housing in the area designed for middle-income residents, said Ben Gustafson, a civil engineer with Hunt Engineers/Architects/Surveyors, and representing the developer, Calamar.

The project calls for 1.5 parking spaces per unit, which is a variance from the town's 2-per unit ordinance. 

Gustafson explained that two per unit is excessive by modern planning standards, the county's own planning goals and what Calamar's studies of its own 15 similar complexes shows is necessary.

In some Calamar locations, the local ordinance requires only one parking space, but even there, because of Calamar's own experience, they put in 1.5.

"What we're proposing is in keeping with sustainable development throughout this country by not providing more parking than is required," Gustafson said. "Our studies show we need far less than two spaces per unit."

Multiple board members expressed concern about 1.5 parking spaces, even so.

"The 1.5 parking per unit is unrealistic," said Mel Wentland, board chairman. "For 55 and older, both members of the family usually have cars. You're under-populating parking spaces. There should be two per unit. There are also people coming to visit, nurses aides, various kinds of help. I don't think the parking (the plan) provides is adequate to meet all the needs of such a community."

Gustafson said it's common for residents in these communities to not even have cars, but if the parking proved inadequate, there's plenty of space on the property that could later be converted to parking if needed.

Another issue is the single driveway for the complex off Route 5.

The main concern of the board is access for emergency vehicles -- what if traffic is tying up the driveway, or there's an accident in front of it?

According to Gustafson, there are fewer than 30 cars an hour that will pass through the driveway, far less than similar-sized units serving younger families. The traffic impact will be minimal and the wide driveway will provide ample room for emergency vehicles.

Board Member Lucine Kauffman said no one on the board is arguing against the need for the project, but that these issues should be addressed before it's approved for development.

November 21, 2013 - 3:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, planning, zoning, Terry Platt, Platt Properties.

Local landlord Terry Platt has brought an Article 78 action against the City of Batavia over a planning committee's denial of his application to open a rooming home on East Main Street, and the Erie County judge presiding over the case indicated in court today he leans in favor of Platt's side of the case.

When Larry O'Connor, representing the city's insurance company, told Judge John Curran that he thought the case was straightforward, Curran responded, "I think it is straightforward and you're running up hill."

O'Connor said he got that feeling after listening to Curran pepper Platt's attorney, Michael Perley, with questions about how the case should be decided.

Platt sought approval from the city in May for a rooming house at 316 E. Main St. and several neighbors came to a meeting of the Batavia Planning and Development Committee and objected to the plan.

The committee voted to deny Platt the necessary approval for the project.

In the Article 78 action, Platt's attorney argues that the proposed use is both allowed by existing zoning, fits the mixed use nature of the neighborhood and could not be denied on any legal basis.

O'Connor said the committee had the authority to deny the application based on the city's Comprehensive Master Plan.

That, however, raises what Perley characterized as a "fatal defect" in the city's case -- there's no proof on the record that the city ever formally approved its master plan.

O'Connor did not provide proof of plan approval prior to arguments in the case and Curran said the record is now closed. O'Connor said, however, he could provide proof of an approval. (Outside of court, O'Connor said Curran could "take judicial notice" of the approval, even if it's not part of the record).

Perley said the city couldn't produce a copy of the master plan when Platt issued a FOIL request for the document earlier this year.

A copy was found and it is now part of the case.

City Manager Jason Molino confirmed later in the day that the City Council did ratify the master plan Feb. 25, 1997. Molino could not comment further on the case.

According to the discussion in the Erie County courtroom of Curran today, Curran must weight the role of the master plan in the committee's decision, whether the master plan gives the committee the authority to reject Platt's application, and whether he should take the extreme step of overturning the decision of a group of community volunteers over a zoning issue.

Curran spent a lot of time asking the attorneys questions about how they propose he decide the case.

"The property is properly zoned?" Curran asked.

"Correct," said Perley.

"There's no defect in the application?"


"There's no request for a variance?"

"There's no need for a variance."

"There's no request for a change in zoning?"


"There's is no need for a special-use permit?"


"Both you and Mr. O'Connor have experience in municipal law," Curran said. "You and I both know a lot of municipal law. If I run a (report) for special-use permit legal cases to come up with standards or if I run it for variances to come up with a standard, we know what I'll find. What do I run for this one?"

"The standard you apply is whether or not this decision was arbitrary and capricious," Perley said. "How does the committee deny an application that is proper for the property before it without misapplying the zoning law?"

O'Connor argued that the denial was consistent with the master plan, and Curran honed in on the section that says the permitted uses of buildings on that section of East Main Street (zoned C1, which is mixed use) includes professional offices, small restaurants and other small businesses, but says nothing about single-family residences, so how can the city argue that it wants to preserve the historic nature of the single-family residences?

The master plan as a whole is about preserving and enhancing current single-family residences, O'Connor told Curran.

"This is an area of single-family homes along with limited commercial use," O'Connor said. "The city wants to preserve the integrity and character of that area."

Then Curran laid out his underlying frustration: Neither attorney had filed a memorandum of law.

Such memorandums are often filed by attorneys to provide a judge with their views of how the law and prior legal precedents apply to a particular case.

Perley said he wrote such a memorandum and was surprised it hadn't been filed with the case. Since O'Connor hadn't received such a memo, he hadn't written a response.

Curran agreed to give both attorneys time to file such memos and continued the case to Jan. 30.

The options before Curran include: upholding the committee's decision; overturning the decision and permitting Platt to open the rooming house; or overturning the committee's ruling but ordering the committee to reconsider its decision.

April 5, 2013 - 3:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, planning, development.

A local businessman is planning a housing development on 100 acres of vacant farm land just off Route 5 and Seven Springs Road in the Town of Batavia, and the town's planning board has scheduled a public hearing on the subdivision application.

Peter Zeliff, an executive EIF Renewable Energy Holdings and a Batavia resident, has filed the application to convert the farmland into 76 lots for 120 single family and town home units.

The public hearing is set for 7:30 p.m., April 16 at Batavia's Town Hall, 3833 W. Main Street Road.

The location of the proposed development is north of Route 5, across from the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

Zeliff is best known locally as an aviation buff, so much so that he built a large house near the west end of the Genesee County Airport runway. He owns small planes and a helicopter.

Among his charitable work is the annual WNY Aviation Camp for youngsters throughout the region.

He's also a member of the Genesee County Economic Development Center Board of Directors. CORRECTION: Zeliff is a member of the Genesee Gateway local Development Corporation, which is affiliated with GCEDC.

The owner of the parcel is listed as Oakwood Hills, LLC. It's currently assessed at $128,200.

December 4, 2012 - 9:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in events, planning.
Event Date and Time: 
December 14, 2012 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Members of planning boards and people interested in planning are invided to a video presentation and discussion at County Building #, 3837 West Main Street Road Batavia, hosted by Genesee County planners.

Any member of the public is welcome, but planning board members with their local municipalities to verify that this meeting will count towards local board training hours.

Please RSVP by Dec. 12 to (585) 344-2580 ext. 5467. Space is limited.

May 18, 2011 - 11:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, planning, Holiday Inn Express.

A special use permit and site plan were approved for a proposed Holiday Inn Express on Tuesday night by the Town of Batavia Planning Board and a spokesman for the hotel owner said the only step remaining is to secure a building permit.

However, an attorney for a group of hotel owners who oppose the project say the fight isn't over.

Attorney Thomas Warth said the conditional use permit may not be valid because for approval, a project on this particular piece of property must be compatible with an industrial park, not overly increase traffic on local roads and not be on a road ill-suited to retail operations.

“It fails on all those counts," Warth said.

But with the approval in hand, Buffalo attorney Corey Auerbach said his client is ready to apply for a building permit and start construction in June.

There had also been objections raised about the lack of a left-turn lane on Route 98, but Kenmore-based architect Mark Tiedemann said the turn lane is not required.

"We have a credible expert who says it’s not a requirement and doesn’t need to be mitigated at this time," Tiedemann said. "There was a traffic report done in 2007 that said no turn lane was required and there's been nothing added (to the complex) since then."

Warth said the site plan is also open to challenge because it shouldn't have been approved without a variance for parking.

"I think this planning board approval is invalid until they address the parking issue," Warth said.

As for next steps, Warth said he would rather not take the matter to court, but instead try to talk the matter through to a suitable resolution.

"Right now their approval is very vulnerable if it were to go to a court action, but I’d rather save the time and money and address it by having them do the right thing at the board level," Warth said.

The Holiday Inn Expres, being developed by Michael Patel, would add 80 rooms to the current hotel stock and the other owners say they already have too many vacancies.

Tiedemann said he's been involved with previous hotel projects in the area and each time one comes up, the occupancy rate is about the same as it is now, and after each new hotel is built, it doesn't go down. He also noted that in the past two years, two hotels have changed hands.

"I know all of the Patels and they don't invest in things that lose money," he said.

January 14, 2011 - 12:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, Darien, planning.

A Darien resident who wants to open a small business for auto repairs and sell a few cars at 606 Broadway got a little push back from the Genesee County Planning Board.

On Thursday, the board disapproved the proposed business because it apparently does not have a complete site plan according to code.

However, a representative of owner Mark Bernen said the site plan was completed exactly according to instructions from the Town of Darien Planning Board.

"We went back and forth and back and forth with the Town of Darien Planning Board," said Joyce Stevens. "He did everything on plans exactly like they said."

Planning Director Jim Duval said that the county's vote is advisory and the town board has the capacity to override the vote.

In another matter, Andrew Schmieder received approval to construct a new small house at 3438 Railroad Ave., Alexander.

Schmieder purchased the property at the county auction with the intent to restore the existing home, but it was too badly damaged by flooding and had to be torn down.

He said his mother will live in the new house.

October 15, 2010 - 12:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, planning, land use.


A group of residents on Fox Road, Oakfield, got their wish tonight when the Genesee County Planning Board voted against a proposed RV campground in their neighborhood.

It's the second time this year about a dozen residents of the quite Oakfield neighborhood had asked the countywide planning body to reject proposed 30-acre campground on land owned by Mike Dilcher, and it's the second time the board voted unanimously against the plan.

foxroad_attorney.jpgDilcher's attorney Brian Lewandowski tried to convince the board to vote for recommendation, saying that none of the issues being discussed by residents -- such as zoning use and environmental impact -- were appropriate for the county board to decide. Lewandowski maintains that the Town of Oakfield planning board retains appropriate authority on those issues.

The board rejected the proposal for the 267-site campground unanimously (with Michael Cianfrini abstaining) and without discussion.

It's the same results dealt to Dilcher last January.

The rejection returns the proposal to the Town of Oakfield Planning Board, which can veto the county's recommendation with a majority-plus-one vote.

About six residents spoke Thursday night, raising issues about traffic congestion, safety, noise, odor, water and property values.

"I'm sorry to tell you, John, if this project goes through you won't be able to sell your house," said resident Bob Chamberlin. "Nobody on Fox Road will be able to sell their house."

Chamberlin was referring to John Walther, a school teacher -- as is his wife -- who bought a large parcel south of the proposed campground just more than a year ago. 

His property has a pond which won't be fenced off from the campground and is adjacent to a proposed recreation area. Walther said he's worried that children will be able to easily wander over to his pond.

"A berm or hill isn't going to keep children away," Walther said. "What's that going to do to my liability, to my insurance?"

But his biggest concern, he said, is all the strangers the campground will bring into the neighborhood. He said he bought his property specifically because he thought it would be a good place to raise the children he and his wife are planning. If the campground is built, he said, he would have to sell his property and move.

Among the many concerns raised by Diane Oaksford was the density of the proposed campground, which will have 15 sites per acre, she said. She compared that to other campgrounds in Genesee County, listing off the number of sites and acreage for each.

"The point is," she said, "the applicant has proposed the most amount of camp sites on the fewest acres in the most populated residential neighborhood in the county."

Lewandowski didn't take issue with any of the complaints raised by residents, but said none of the issues could correctly be addressed by the county board. He asked the board to refer the matter back to the Oakfield board to handle.

Photos: Top, Diane Oaksford; inset, Brian Lewandowski

June 25, 2009 - 7:12am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, planning, websites.


 Canadaway Creek(Canadaway Creek)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How's the caffeine hangover coming?
JOE: Better every day. Yesterday my brain felt a little fuzzy. Still I accomplished quite a bit despite my lack of caffeine and my body's resistance to being deprived.
CALLIOPE: Glad to hear you are surviving. What did you accomplish?
JOE: I revised my entire Commonsense Wisdom website. I think it's ready for release although I want to check over the format and links first.
CALLIOPE: Congratulations. Tell me about the site.
JOE: Originally it duplicated my Sliding Otter site. I struggled with how to make the two complementary.
CALLIOPE: How did it end up?
JOE: The Sliding Otter site lists my writings for sale and offers samples from all of them. The Commonsense Wisdom site serves as an archive for stories, articles and archives of past blogs and newsletters.
CALLIOPE: Sounds sensible.
JOE: I hope so.
CALLIOPE: Are both sites the way you want them?
JOE: Not quite. They are both still works in progress. I have some refinements in mind once I figure out how to do them.
CALLIOPE: I'll be watching anxiously.
JOE: So will I. Talk with you tomorrow.




March 28, 2009 - 9:31am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, planning, learning.

(Morning- Leroy, NY)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Good. Yesterday I finished working on my narrative time line.
CALLIOPE: Any further discoveries about yourself?
JOE: I think I am getting a better understanding of how my life has progressed.
CALLIOPE: What has been your pattern?
JOE: I have experienced periods of feeling competent and alive amid some long stretches of loneliness and feeling rather worthless.
CALLIOPE: Sorry to hear it. How are you feeling about yourself now?
JOE: Happy to say, I have overcome the doldrums and feel happy with who I am and what I have become.
CALLIOPE: Glad to hear it. How does what you have learned in this process affect your outlook on the future?
JOE: I'm still working on that and will keep you posted?
CALLIOPE: How about the effect on your writing?
JOE: That remains to be determined as well. I hope to spend some time on both these issues over the weekend.
CALLIOPE: I'll be interested in seeing what you come up with.
JOE: You'll be the first to know. Talk with you on Monday.

August 20, 2008 - 2:59pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in crime, Daily News, business, police, planning.

A Batavia detective will become a full-time member of the Genesee County Drug Task Force, according to the Daily News. This marks the first time since 2002 that a member of the city force joined up full-time on the multi-agency task force. Police Chief Randy Baker said he hopes the group will continue its focus on "the big guy," as well as the "smaller concerns of neighborhoods." At least, that's what I think he says. Here's the full quote, from reporter Scott DeSmit:

"We met and we wanted to refocus our efforts ... They were doing long-term investigations, focusing on getting the big guy rather than addressing the smaller concerns of neighborhoods. That's all tied together and that's what we're doing."

It's not clear if the chief is saying that the task force was concentrated on the big guy and now they will focus more on smaller concerns, or my interpretation up above. I phoned the chief to clear up the ambiguity. He was unavailable. I left a message.

UPDATE: Chief Baker did get back to me this afternoon to confirm that the second interpretation is correct, that the task force will do more to address the "smaller concerns."

Plans for the soon-to-be-built Sallome's Deli on Oak Street—check out their job listing on our site—were approved by the city planning board last night following a brief debate over the number of signs to be allowed. There's no mention of when the deli will open at 34 Oak St., but the hours will likely be from 8:00am to 8:00pm six days a week.

Richard J. Peters II, 18, of Batavia, was sentenced to 11 1/2 years in state prison for the rape of a four-year-old girl. Wyoming County Judge Mark H. Dadd added 20 years of post-release supervision. Peters could have faced up to 25 years in prison for pleading guilty to a felony county of first-degree rape and a felony count of first-degree criminal sex act.

As the wrecking ball gets set to smash Le Roy's historic Masonic Temple to the ground, Genesee County's Economic Development Center gets set to give Walgreens $122,375 in tax exemptions. The temple, a few neighboring retail spaces and a couple of homes around the corner are all being torn down to make way for the pharmacy chain.

Batavia's town planning board has determined that the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park will have a "significant impact on the environment." A public hearing has been set for 7:00pm on September 16 at the town hall, 3833 West Main Street Road, for residents to hear about the impact and voice their opinions on the project. "The potential effects of constructing the Ag Park," writes Paul Mrozek, "include increased noise, odor and traffic and converting 200 acres of vacant land into an industrial park."

August 15, 2008 - 7:43am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, planning, organization.

(Into the Woods)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: A bit discombobulated.
JOE: I finally got my computer back from the shop yesterday. Now I have the task of reinstalling my programs which can be a challenge.
CALLIOPE: How's it coming?
JOE: Slowly. I think I will need the day to get set up again.
CALLIOPE: No literary activity today?
JOE: Probably not.
CALLIOPE: How about over the weekend?
JOE: Tomorrow I am scheduled for a writers' retreat at a farmhouse in Albion. I'm looking forward to meeting some new people and recharging my creative batteries.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like fun.
JOE: I hope so. I also plan to meet some new contacts, particularly from the Linkup writers group in Rochester.
CALLIOPE: What do they have to offer you?
JOE: I hear they focus on publishing more than my group. I am hoping they can be helpful in my search for a home for Marital Property once it's finished. I have to leave early tomorrow. I'll talk with you if I have a chance. Otherwise we'll talk on Monday.

July 24, 2008 - 8:08am
posted by Joseph Langen in priorities, planning, life purpose.


JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Okay. I am coming to some resolution of my video camera mystery.
JOE: I visited the dealer yesterday and learned that the camera is working fine. The problem seems to be with my computer.
CALLIOPE: Does that surprise you?
JOE: Not really. I have been having some other problems lately and think it might well be difficulty with an outmoded operating system.
CALLIOPE: And the solution?
JOE: Replace it with a more up to date one. It is rather a bother however since I will have to reload all my programs.
CALLIOPE: Is that such a big deal?
JOE: Not really. It just takes time, and time is something I have been thinking about lately.
CALLIOPE: In what regard?
JOE: I am beginning to realize I won't live forever. I can keep sailing on or decide how I want to spend whatever time I have left.
CALLIOPE: Do you need to make a decision?
JOE: Probably not. But I feel I am drifting lately and would like to be more focused. I will give this issue some thought in the next few days. Talk with you tomorrow.
(Ernestina- New Bedford, MA)
July 14, 2008 - 8:23am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, planning, organization.

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Raring to go.
CALLIOPE: Good. I take it you had a refreshing weekend.
JOE: I did. I chauffeured my clown Fuzzy to the Oatka Festival parade. While watching the parade I made two new contacts. Later we relaxed with friends in Penfield. Yesterday I found some sale books at the Leroy Library and continued reading The Poisonwood Bible and also completed my outline of the video, Are You Afraid To Read This Book.
CALLIOPE: Sounds busy as well as relaxing. What's on the agenda for today?
JOE: I have some library books out which I want to review for style today. I also have an evaluation to complete and the video to record.
CALLIOPE: That should keep you busy. Any progress with Marital Property?
JOE: No, I haven't had time to work on it. If I have time later today I will. If not, I will get back to it tomorrow.
CALLIOPE: You sound more organized today than you did last week.
JOE: I'm working on it. I feel I have a better sense of direction this week. I think it will help me get more accomplished.
CALLIOPE: I hope you're right.
JOE: I hope so too. Talk with you tomorrow.
(Morning- Leroy, NY)

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