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November 4, 2012 - 9:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, top posts.

Hard to believe I haven't done this since June, but here are the most viewed posts for each month of June, July, August, September and October.






*That post showing up from 2010 is rather odd. As near as I can tell, that post on The Batavian is a top-ranking search result for "drug free posters." I'm guessing October was the month for students to look for ideas for creating a poster for a drug-free poster contest.

November 1, 2012 - 11:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, thebatavian, Sponsored Post, advertisement, Zebra Reach.

As you know, here at The Batavian, we're always encouraging local residents to support local businesses. We especially like programs that help connect local shoppers with their neighborhood shops.

A couple of months ago, some friends in the online news business showed us a new smartphone and tablet app that is aimed at rewarding local shoppers for patronizing local businesses.

It's called Zebra Reach.

We're all familiar with loyalty cards -- buy five lunches, get the sixth free, buy nine books get the 10th free. A lot of businesses run these sort of programs, but they usually come with flimsy paper punch cards that either get lost or crammed in your wallet with a dozen other cards.

Zebra Reach makes loyalty reward programs digital and easier to use -- one app stores all of your purchase points for multiple participating businesses.

For the past couple of weeks, Lisa Ace has been busy asking a bunch of local businesses to participate. We wanted to make sure that when you first learned about Zebra Reach, there would be plenty of local rewards to, well, reward you for shopping locally.

To download the app, with your iPhone or iPad, click here. For your Droid powered phone or tablet, click here.

To visit the Zebra Reach Web site, click here.

And, if you don't have a smartphone -- coming really, really soon are plastic cards that will work pretty much the same. The participating businesses (those with smartphones or tablets) will scan your card, but you'll have only one card to carry for all participating local businesses.

Here are the participating businesses and initial offers (and of course, we're looking for more businesses to participate):

Adam Miller, 8 Center St., Batavia
Model Club Rewards -- $5 off your next purchase. For every dollar spent earn 1 point. Earn 50 points, receive $5 your next purchase.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia
1 Free sandwich.
Buy any 5 sandwiches, get 6th free.

Charles Men's Shop, Inc.,  200 E. Main St., Batavia
1 Free tie. Buy 3 shirts, get 1 free tie.

Dog Crazy Daycare, 1 Mill St., Batavia
Earn points toward a free doggy overnight stay. For $25 spent, earn 1 point toward the doggy overnight. New clients receive 2 bonus points.

Fisher Sports, 412 Main St., Batavia
10% off hockey equipment, For each visit you'll earn 5 points. Earn 25 points -- you'll receive 10% off your next purchase of any hockey equipment purchase.

Glass Roots, 12 Center St., Batavia
1/2 off glass. Buy 2 pieces of glass, get 1/2 off the 3rd.

Kravings Kafe, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia
$5 off. Receive 1 point for every $5 spent. Earn 16 points, get $5 off your purchase.

Main St Pizza, 206 E. Main St., Batavia
Free small pizza with 1 topping. Earn 15 points and redeem your free small pizza with 1 topping. Earn points with any purchase.

RW Vapors, 224 Ellicott St., Batavia
Buy 5 bottles of E-Liquid, get the 6th free.

Salsa & Curry, 15 Jackson St., Batavia
Buy 1 lunch, get the 2nd for 1/2 off.

Sweet Ecstasy Bakery, 6173 Main Road, Stafford
Free cookie, cupcake or muffin. Purchase any 10 bakery items and receive a free cookie, cupcake or muffin.

Sweet Pea's Cupcakery & Cafe, 23 Jackson St., Batavia
Free cupcake. Buy 11 cupcakes, get the 12th free.

Terry Hills, 5122 Clinton St. Road. Batavia
Free lunch. Buy 5 lunches, get the 6th free.

The Detail Shop, 3875 W. Main St. Road, Batavia
Free deluxe wash. Buy 5 deluxe washes, Get the 6th deluxe wash free.

Valle Jewelers, 21 Jackson St., Batavia
Free Chamilia bead. Buy 3 Chamilia beads, get 1 free.

Settler's Restaurant, 353 W. Main St.,Batavia
Buy 5 dinners, Get one free.

T.F. Brown's, 214 East Main St., Batavia
1 free lunch. Buy 5 lunches, get the 6th free.

West Main Mini Mart, 3845 W. Main St. Road, Batavia
Buy 7 pizzas, get one free.

Local business owners: To sign up for Zebra Reach, contact Lisa Ace ([email protected] or (585) 250-4118).  Participating is a no-cost, no obligation program to start. There's only a fee, $50 per month, once you have 50 customers participating in your offer(s).

UPDATE: Just added, Lambert's Design Jewelers, 375 W. Main Street. Batavia. "One point for every $10 spent on purchases.  Earn 20 points and receive $10 off your next purchase"

We provide support, in-store promotional materials and the marketing power of The Batavian. There is also a Web site where you can login and manage your offers and check stats on participation to see how your offers are working.

October 13, 2012 - 12:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

At about 3 p.m., we noticed a problem with the Web site. The wrong headlines were appearing on stories. The wrong comments were appearing on stories. If we tried to edit a story, the wrong edit screen would open.

All of the content of The Batavian is served out of a database. Databases have segments known as tables. Different tables perform different functions and are related to each through numeric sequences. One of the tables of our database stores revision history. This table had become corrupted, which caused the content to get scrambled.

We don't believe any malicious act caused this, or even human error. It just happened.

The most recent available back-up of the site was from 10 p.m., Thursday.

It took a great deal of time to first figure out the problem and then look over our options for recovery. We decided to back up some files on the server, back up the back-up database and then install everything on a secondary server and make sure that the restored database wasn't also corrupted.

We then had to restore the primary server.

All-in-all, the site was offline for about seven hours. It came back online at 10 p.m. or so while I was at the Cal-Mum vs. Le Roy football game. Then we had a house fire on River Street, so this is my first opportunity to post something and fill you all in on what happened.

The worst of the news is -- besides being down for seven hours -- is that everything posted on Friday was lost. The good news is, I was able to manually save copies of all the home page posts from Friday, so my next task is to repost those. From the best of my memory I'll time stamp the stories to the approximate times originally posted.

Unfortunately, all of the comments left on those posts are gone. Any obituaries, events, announcements, etc., posted on Friday are gone, too.

We apologize for the inconvenience of all of this. It wasn't any fun for us, either. It reminds me of the time I was a reporter at a daily paper in California and the press broke down just as it started the afternoon paper's run. The sense of helplessness feels the same. It's an unhappy situation, but tomorrow's a new day.

September 19, 2012 - 8:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

In a few hours I'll get on a plane headed toward California.

I'll be in San Francisco tonight through Saturday evening, and then fly down to Bakersfield, visit my parents, and return to Batavia on Tuesday.

While I'm gone, Billie will be here, monitoring the scanner, of course, and covering anything that needs covering, plus we'll have help from our usual correspondents and our news partner, WBTA. And I'll be able to do a little news coverage from California. So while the coverage changes a bit with me gone, there will still be news about our community.

On Thursday I'll speak on two panels -- one on advertising sales, and another on running a small online start-up -- at the annual Online News Association conference.

ONA has become the largest trade association for online news in the world and will be attended by representatives from a lot of large news organizations. I've never spoken at the conference before and the last time I attended was in Toronto about four or five years ago. In 2004, the news site I ran then, for the Ventura County Star, won the ONA's General Excellence Award.

The industry has changed a lot in the past few years though, and when I looked at the roster of attendees the other day, I realized I will actually know very few people who will be there.

I don't expect to attend the entire conference. This will be my first trip to San Francisco since I took to photography in a serious way, so I expect to get out and wander around a bit with my camera.

This is the second of three closely timed out-of-town trips. Billie and I still look forward to a trip together to visit family in California this autumn, but we have no idea when that trip can be booked. We're still waiting for the funds to pay for it.

September 13, 2012 - 7:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

The second of my previously announced, closely packed set of trips begins this morning.

I'm flying to Chicago for a gathering of local independent online news publishers. The conference is called Block by Block and it's in its third year.

The big news for our gathering in Chicago this year is the official unveiling of LION (Local Independent Online News) Publishers. I'll be on the board of directors of the newly formed nonprofit and serve as its treasurer. LION brings together a group of successful online news publications with the purpose of promoting our segment of the industry, educating publishers on business and editorial practices and providing resources for aspiring publishers.

Of course, news coverage while I'm gone will be altered, but not nonexistent. Most importantly, Billie will be here to stay on top of any breaking news. We also have the help of our official news partner, WBTA.

I should be back Saturday just in time for the Wine Walk (skipping out on the conference a little early, in fact, to catch a flight that should allow me to get into Buffalo by 3 p.m.).

As I mentioned previously, I won't be here for high school football coverage, at least not to take photographs of a game.

Games this week include: Attica at Pembroke (Friday, 7 p.m.); Avon at Le Roy (Friday 7:30 p.m.); Livonia at Batavia (Friday, 7:30 p.m. (the Blue Devils' first home game this season)); Finney at Oakfield-Alabama (Friday, 7 p.m.); Holley at Elba/BB (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. (that's what the schedule says ... does that mean Elba is bringing in lights?)); Notre Dame at Alexander, (Saturday, 1:30 p.m.).

September 10, 2012 - 6:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

Some time before 1:30 p.m., the company that handles a good portion of routing Internet traffic was attacked.

Traffic reaches Web sites through what are known as Domain Name Servers. TheBatavian.com's traffic direction is handled by GoDaddy.com.

That site was targeted by an apparent denial-of-service attack (overwhelming servers with a bunch of meaningless data).

A person with a Twitter account of @AnonymousOwn3r claimed responsibility for the attack, though there is no confirmation that he or she engineered the attack. The attacker claims to be a leader in the cyber-anarchist group known as Anonymous, but several known members of Anonymous on Twitter have mocked his claim and denied any connection between Anonymous and the attack.

The good news is, since I'm able to post this, we are back online.

Millions of Web sites went off-line today because of the attack. A company of GoDaddy's size should really have stronger security than the success of, and duration of, this attack suggests.

August 30, 2012 - 3:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, thebatavian.

Public notices: they’re paid for by taxpayer funds, created by public employees, intended for wide public distribution, but publication is dictated by a monopolistic government subsidy for newspapers.

It’s a law I and every other independent online publisher in New York State would like to change.

When I last wrote about this issue, a guy who has created a national public notices Web site contacted me and told me he was already compiling all of the public notices available online for Genesee County. For the simple price of sending him over our logo, he would provide a link where visitors to The Batavian could go and view public notices in a user-friendly fashion.

He wants to work with independent publishers to help prove online-only publications are just as capable of handling public notices as print publications, so he was offering the service for free.

The Batavia Daily News, under the current law, is the carrier of most paid public notices in Genesee County.

Since the notices originate not from the Daily, but from public agencies, it was our belief the notices are public property and not proprietary to the Daily. Besides, the only action The Batavian was taking was providing a link to a third-party Web site for the benefit of readers.

Now, months after we provided the link, the parent corporation of the Batavia Daily News, has decided to take a different view.

A few days ago, I received a “cease and desist” email from John B. Johnson, an executive with the chain of newspapers that owns the Daily.

The note was cordial, but also asserted legal authority to require us to stop posting public notices that originated from the Daily.

The note accused The Batavian of “copying” notices from thedailynewsonline.com, which was a factually untrue statement. As I noted in a reply to Johnson, the service was provided by a third party for which The Batavian has no contractual relationship and no monetary interest.

The assertion that The Batavian was violating the Daily’s copyright of notices also flies in the face of case law that substantiates the idea that a newspaper cannot claim copyright on material that it did not create. Since public employees create public notices, the notices are public property.

And besides, since no advertising appeared on the third-party’s public notice page, and since print publication of public notices is an income stream protected – a monopoly subsidy -- for newspapers courtesy of the State Legislature, the Johnson Newspaper chain cannot establish an important element of any assertion of copyright violation: financial loss as a result of the use of the material.

All that said, the Johnsons can afford corporate lawyers and The Batavian, still a small, family owned start-up, cannot. When you factor in that there is no monetary benefit to The Batavian for providing the free public service of increasing access to public notices, the risk-reward equation for challenging the newspaper chain’s claims falls well short on the reward side.

There’s just no point in fighting the corporation’s claims. 

But we want to continue to provide the service.

The owners of the third party Web site, at no charge to The Batavian, have graciously agreed to start accepting public notices directly from town, village and city clerks along with the agents of every other public entity in Genesee County that create public notices.

Such agencies can now email those notices to (notices at the batavian dot com) (reformat that address into a proper email address, of course).

I’ve already been in touch with about a half dozen town clerks and all cheerfully agreed to start sending their notices directly to this email address.

While the service is free to the public agencies and won’t cost taxpayers a dime, it is no substitute – under current law – for an agency’s legal requirements to publish public notices in a newspaper that has been designated by state law to publish such notices.

While we wish our friends at Johnson Newspapers well in their effort to protect a business model that is being disrupted from a variety of competitive forces, we believe public notices should not be a State Legislature-sanctioned monopoly subsidy for print publications.

In this day and age, public notices should be widely available to the public, and publications other than strictly print should be able to compete for the business of providing verified, legal publication. We will continue to encourage lawmakers to change the law.

August 15, 2012 - 7:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

This morning I'm heading to the Buffalo airport to catch a flight to California.

I'll return on Sunday.

My father asked me to make the trip to Bakersfield while my brothers are also in town for my parents' 52nd anniversary.

My mother has Alzheimer's and the disease has progressed quite a bit in the past year, and even though my travel schedule had already included a planned swing through Bakersfield next month, I thought I should take this trip as well.

Which brings up another point: Quite without any real planning, I've developed a travel schedule over the next couple of months.

Around Sept. 14, I have my annual trip to Chicago for our independent publishers' conference, and then I was invited to speak in San Francisco around Sept. 22 by J-Lab (an educational journalism group) and the Online News Association (the largest organization in the country representing online news publishers of all types and sizes). It's in that SF trip that I was able to wrangle a layover in Bakersfield for a couple of days.

Then, some time before the end of the year, Billie and I hope to make another trip (a week-long trip) to California. Billie isn't going on any of the trips mentioned above and also deserves a chance to see her family.

We started trying to put together the money for this trip before these other trips were scheduled and it's important we follow through on these plans as best we can. I'm hoping we can put this together for November.

I regret so much travel so tightly packed together, but sometimes things just fall into place in unexpected ways.

Meanwhile, Billie will still be in Batavia running the site. Lisa Ace will be taking care of business. There are stories I can post while away. We have some help lined up for coverage this weekend of Summer in the City, the East Pembroke Mud Races and a couple of other events. 

We'll also have our news partner, WBTA, available to help out.

If you see anything interesting and get a picture or information, you can always email it to howard at the batavian dot com (of course, reformat that into a proper email address).

I believe there will still be interesting things here to read and discuss over the next few days.

August 6, 2012 - 6:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

I'll be out of service most of the morning, at a minimum, for routine medical reasons.

Billie will post some items later.

Of course, Billie will monitor the scanner, as usual.

June 6, 2012 - 4:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, top posts.
February 11, 2012 - 6:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, thebatavian, Sponsored Post, advertisement.

There are now 118 businesses signed on as sponsors of The Batavian. That's the highest total ever.

In the past two months, we've been please to have the following businesses sign on as sponsors:

I've written before about how supporting local businesses keeps more local dollars in our home community. Communities with vibrant local businesses demonstrate all kinds of benefits for local residents.

Along those lines, a recent study found that counties with thriving small businesses also have healthier residents.

The study of 3,060 counties and parishes in the contiguous United States -- published online in the "Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society" and forthcoming in its March print issue -- brings new evidence to a body of research literature and a debate among sociologists, who traditionally have advanced two competing hypotheses about how small business impacts public health.

Some sociologists argue that small businesses — unlike chain retail "big box" stores and large manufacturing plants — have a greater investment in the community and thus have more at stake when it comes to the well-being of employees, customers and other local citizens. The LSU and Baylor University researchers, who analyzed national population, health, business and housing data, found that the greater the proportion of small businesses, the healthier the population.

"Some communities appear to have thriving small-business sectors that feature entrepreneurial cultures that promote public health. A place like this has a can-do climate, a practical problem-solving approach in which a community takes control of its own destiny," said co-author Charles M. Tolbert, Ph.D., chair of the Sociology department at Baylor. "The alternative is the attitude that 'Things are out of our control.' "

It's critical we all do all we can to support locally owned businesses.

On The Batavian, you can find information, now, about 118 local businesses. On Shop Batavia, there are now close to 157 local businesses posting information about who they are and what they do.

In other words, it's now easier than ever to support your local business community.

Here's a complete list of sponsors of The Batavian:


January 1, 2012 - 12:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, top posts.

More than 3.3 million times people visited The Batavian in 2011 to find out what's going on in Genesee County.

That's up from 2.5 million visits in 2010, when the site served up 4.3 million page views. In 2011, The Batavian served 5.6 million page views.

Here are the most viewed posts of 2011:

Stories denoted with (*) were reported first, and in some cases, exclusively, on The Batavian.

Below are the most viewed posts for December, November and October. Again, stories you read first on The Batavian are denoted with an (*).




Happy New Year from The Batavian!

December 21, 2011 - 7:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, jobs.
Company Name: 
The Batavian
Job Type: 

The Batavian, Genesee County's leading online marketing company, is looking for a sales rep.

The successful candidate will have three successful and well positioned products to sell:


-- Advertising on The Batavian

-- Facebook contests and other marketing contests

-- Shop Batavia, Genesee County's new online retail and business directory hub


This is a commission-only position.

December 12, 2011 - 11:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, Sponsored Post, advertisement, Shop Batavia.

I was thrilled to get this email from Brian Staebell, marketing director for Roxy's Music, and wanted to share it. Brian clearly gets what we're trying to do with Shop Batavia.

I was very excited about Shop Batavia when you showed it to me and even more after getting in and seeing how easy it is to manage your products and business listings. I’m looking for ideas where we can help each other promote our businesses together. I think if Shop Batavia is successful, we’ll be successful. We’ve already seen sales through the site. We received one direct order for a music stand and another customer saw our guitar starter pack on the site and decided to stop in and buy it. Reaching out to the the local market through shopbatavia.com  is an additional avenue to promote our business in conjunction to our existing website. Being able to drive sales both online and in store is very important to us, this service does that and more. So far, Shop Batavia has been successful for us.

As I said before, when Shop Batavia came along, I felt like it was an unexpected gift -- a great chance to create a new revenue avenue for The Batavian so we can continue to grow the business. But I also was excited because Shop Batavia brought to local businesses some really powerful marketing tools -- tools that through other avenues can be difficult, confusing and/or expensive, but here they were in one place, affordable and accessible.

The real power of Shop Batavia, though, will be realized when we have widespread participation from local businesses. The more businesses using Shop Batavia, the more local residents will want to use it as a shopping guide, restaurant guide, community bulletin board, business directory and online shopping mall.

All boats will rise together -- for local businesses and for local residents.

It was great to read Brian's email and see that he understands the success of Shop Batavia isn't just about success for a business venture of The Batavian's, it also means a success for his business, for all the local businesses it serves and for the people who use the site to shop local businesses.

If you haven't checked out Shop Batavia yet, click here. Nearly 100 businesses have already signed on for accounts and there are new products, services and savings available every day.

December 5, 2011 - 12:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, thebatavian, Shop Batavia.

Most readers will probably remember the trip I took to Chicago a couple of months ago – for a conference with other small, local publishers.

One of my longtime friends in the industry was there and she showed off a service she had launched in her local community to deliver really powerful online marketing tools to locally owned businesses.

These were tools that can be really expensive and time-consuming for local businesses to implement on their own, but here was an effective, efficient and affordable solution.

I told my friend I wanted to bring this service to Genesee County. She got me in touch with the developers and a few weeks ago we signed a contract so The Batavian could deliver this powerful platform to local businesses and the local shoppers who will use it.

Today, we are introducing Shop Batavia.

Why will local businesses like Shop Batavia?

First, because never before have merchants in Genesee County been offered such powerful marketing tools at such an affordable rate.

ShopBatavia.com isn't just another "hope they find us" business directory with nothing more than a picture and a few words about your business. With ShopBatavia.com merchants can actually sell online, offer specials, discounts, coupons, daily deals, product information, set up newsletters for direct marketing, integrate with Facebook and Twitter, answer customer questions and do it all in an environment that is professional and backed by same-day phone support.

ShopBatavia.com is bolstered by the marketing power of The Batavian, with its thousands of daily local readers and thousands of Facebook fans.

With powerful reporting tools, you won't have to guess if ShopBatavia.com is working for you. You will know it's working for you.

Why will local shoppers love Shop Batavia?

Because for the first time, they’re going to be able to shop online at dozens of locally owned businesses and either arrange in-store pick up or have the items shipped directly to their homes.

Customers will be able to use Shop Batavia to find local coupons, discounts, special sales, browse restaurant menus and contact local merchants with questions.

And all of this will be available online, from any computer or mobile device 7/24, every day of the year.

I’m excited and pleased to bring Shop Batavia to Genesee County. There is not now, nor has there ever been, anything like Shop Batavia available to Genesee County residents and businesses.

November 24, 2011 - 10:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, genesee county, thebatavian.

I've had a couple of conversations recently that reminded me how fortunate we are to live in Genesee County.

The first was with a gentlemen who came into Delavan's on Friday night. He's from Ohio but visits Batavia regularly for business. He's decided to buy a small home here rather than always packing for a hotel stay.

"I love Batavia," he said. "It's a great little city. The people are friendly, the crime rate is low, there's a lot beautiful old homes around and it's a nice area."

The other conversation was with Jeff Stephen, the dairy industry expert. Stephen had no idea I was from California when we started to talk, but he began to compare Batavia to the so-called Golden State. Batavia, he said, was a great place for a company to set up business compared to California. We have good schools, the cost of living is so much lower, it's less crowded and people in Western New York, unlike California, he said, really appreciate their jobs.

San Diego, my hometown, can call itself America's Finest City, but I think where I live right now has it beat hands down.

There's a lot of advantages to living in Genesee County that are easy to forget as we go about our day-to-day business. Every community has its problems, and it's easy as we struggle to solve them to let them become bigger in our minds than they actually are, or to forget about all of the good things around us.

All of us in Genesee County have a lot to be thankful for, from the place we live, to the neighbors who are always ready to help, to the friends we stand by and who stand by us, to the families we cherish.

On behalf of myself, Billie, Lisa Ace and our correspondents, we want to thank both our readers and our advertisers for making it possible for us to live and work in America's Finest Little City. We wish you and yours the very best. Happy Thanksgiving!

November 18, 2011 - 12:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.
Company Name: 
The Batavian
Job Type: 

The Batavian has an immediate need for a community correspondant.

A community correspondant is a person who takes on assignments for stories about events and happenings in Genesee County.

These are usually soft news and features about what community groups are doing.

The correspondant can expect from four to 12 assignments per month and is also encouraged to find his or her own stories.

The current rate of pay is $10 per story used on the home page of The Batavian, plus $5 for announcements (non-home page stories) and $1 per calendar item submitted.

September 27, 2011 - 9:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

Today, Billie and I are moving from our apartment into a rental house. Tomorrow will also probably be taken up with moving and getting settled in.

Thursday, I'm flying to Chicago and will be gone through Tuesday.

Throughout, we'll have our scanners on and endeavor to keep the site updated with breaking news. WBTA's Geoff Redick will also provide coverage of Genesee County news, posting directly to The Batavian. We will also have some coverage from our correspondents. And while on the road, there will be news items that come into me that I can post. All-in-all, we should be able to keep the site appropriately updated.

In Chicago, I'll be attending a conference of local online news publishers, then the same university that arranged this conference is hosting about a dozen of us more successful publishers for three days of discussion about how we might continue to grow our businesses.

There's a lot of concern in the journalism world about the fate of newspapers and whether online-only news sites can be economically viable enough to fill in any gaps in news coverage. The Batavian is at the forefront of building a sustainable online-only news business, which is why I've been invited -- all expenses paid -- to these conferences.

While I won't be around to go out and cover things like I typically would, we will continue coverage of our community.

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