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February 3, 2018 - 3:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, 4-H, batavia, news.


Genesee County 4-H hosted a Valentine-making workshop today at JOANN Fabric and Craft Store in Batavia. Children who participated made Valentine cards to distribute to local veterans.




February 1, 2018 - 3:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in Valentine's Day, veterans, NY State Veterans Home, 4-H, news.

Submitted photos and press release:

The Genesee County 4-H Program hosted a community service card making event on Jan. 30.

4-H Staff Jessica Reisdorf and Brandie Waite along with 4-H Volunteer Julie Keller, helped coordinate and lead the event. They spoke to 4-H’ers on the importance of community service and volunteering and how they relate to citizenship.

More than 20 4-H’ers ages 7 to 15 volunteered their time to create over 50 beautiful and thoughtful handmade cards that will be distributed to the New York State Veterans’ Home in Batavia.

The youth worked together on this project with the common goal of brightening the residents' Valentine’s Day and to let them know that the community cares about them.

Genesee County 4-H members will be continuing this service project at the Batavia JOANN Fabrics store in the Valu Home Plaza on West Main Street from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 3.

To learn more about the Genesee County 4-H Youth Development Program visit our website at: http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/4-h-youth-development

January 26, 2018 - 11:15pm

Press release:

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer on Thursday called on the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to complete final acquisitions for two 60-acre and 77-acre parcels in Pembroke and then swiftly act to begin construction of the New Western New York National Veterans Cemetery.

Currently, the VA parcel is 132 acres devoted to a veterans' cemetery. The acquisitions of the two new parcels would effectively double the size of the cemetery and would clear the way for construction of a new veterans’ cemetery in Genesee County, which will be the first and only of its kind in the Buffalo-Rochester area and will save thousands of military families from having to travel upward of 100 miles to visit their loved ones at what is now the closest vet cemetery in Bath, NY.

Schumer said it is vital the VA complete these acquisitions and commit to begin the cemetery’s construction this year.

“The acquisition of these two land parcels clears the way for the construction of the newest veterans’ cemetery in Pembroke. Making this cemetery a reality has been and remains one of my top priorities, and I will keep fighting to ensure that this project comes to fruition,” Senator Schumer said.

“It is now time for the VA to do its part to clear these final roadblocks so we can move to the construction phase ASAP; this cemetery's construction guarantees Western New York’s military veterans will have the proper burial, at a site close to the homes, families, and the very communities they dedicated their lives to defend and serve.”

Schumer explained the new cemetery design calls for the main entrance to be built through this 60-acre parcel of land so that veterans, their families, and cemetery visitors can access the cemetery from Indian Falls Road, rather than via the busy State Route 77 corridor. Schumer said both parcels are located adjacent to the existing 132-acre cemetery site were purchased by the VA in 2014.

The VA had advised last year that before the VA’s could acquire these two parcels needed to begin the cemetery’s construction, a buried gas line that traversed the 60- and 77-acre parcels needed to be plugged and then relocated. With this gas line work completed in December 2017, Schumer said it is time for the VA to finalize these acquisitions so that cemetery construction can begin this year.

Schumer added the 60- and 77-acre parcel will greatly expand the cemetery’s operational life and enable the VA to construct a cemetery more aligned with the Department’s initial vision for a 200-acre site. Per the timeline provided by the VA to Schumer’s office in June 2017, the VA aimed to begin construction approximately six months after purchase of the parcels, followed by the opening of the early turnover area for burials a year later in 2019.

Schumer has long fought to make this project a reality. In 2016, Schumer announced that following his push that $36 million in federal funding for the construction phase of the cemetery in Western New York had been included in the final continuing resolution (CR) package.

In December 2015, Schumer launched his push to get the VA to include this critical funding in the VA’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget request, to safeguard against needless delays between phases. In February 2016, Schumer announced the inclusion of this funding in the previous President’s Budget Request was a good sign for Rochester, Buffalo and all of Western New York. Schumer vowed to continue pushing for this critical federal funding to be included in the final appropriations bill. In April 2016, Schumer announced that, following his push, the $36 million in federal funding had been included in the final Senate Military Construction Appropriations Bill for the construction phase of the cemetery.

Schumer said the establishment of the nation’s newest Veterans’ Cemetery in Western New York is a long-sought and well-deserved opportunity to honor the more than 96,000 veterans and family members in this region who will have a proper military burial at a site close to their homes, families, and communities they served and defended.

This veterans’ cemetery will be the first and only of its kind in the Buffalo-Rochester area and will save thousands of military families from having to travel more than 100 miles in some cases to visit their loved ones at what is now the closest veterans' cemetery in Bath, NY. Schumer said the initial difficulties in acquiring this Western New York property took an unusually long four years and, that the final acquisitions will be needed for construction to begin.

According to guidance provided by the VA on cemetery development timelines, it can typically take up to 24 months to complete the cemetery master planning and design process. Following the completion of that phase, the construction phase typically requires 24-30 months to compete, with early-use burial areas made available approximately 12 months after the start of construction.

A list of Schumer’s actions appears below:

·         In February 2016, Schumer announced that the just-released President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 included $36 million in funding for the construction phase of the newest National Veterans’ Cemetery in Pembroke.

·         In December 2015, Schumer launched his push to secure federal funding for the construction phase of the cemetery.

·         In May 2014, Schumer announced that the VA had selected a site for the long-awaited Western New York Veterans’ Cemetery on a 132-acre parcel at 1232 Indian Falls Road in the Town of Pembroke, Genesee County.

·         This was the culmination of years of work beginning in 2009 when Schumer, together with various veterans' groups, led the charge to bring a much-needed veterans’ cemetery to Western New York arguing that a lack of a national veterans’ cemetery within a 75-mile radius of Buffalo and Rochester meant that it was long-past time for the 96,000 underserved veterans and family members living in Western New York to have a fitting burial option closer to home.

·         In 2010, the VA responded and announced it would establish a new veteran’s cemetery in Western New York. An updated VA policy dictated the construction of a national cemetery in areas where there are at least 80,000 veterans that reside at least 75-miles from an existing cemetery. In Western New York, there are 96,000 who live up to 100 miles away from the closest National Veterans Cemetery in Bath, NY.

·         In March 2012, after the VA failed to find suitable land to purchase following two separate solicitation attempts, Schumer wrote to then-VA Secretary Shinseki to urge that the VA put forth a clear timeline and path forward to avoid another protracted process that could come up empty. In response, the VA dispatched personnel to Western New York to conduct site visits at several sites in WNY, issued a final solicitation for sites, and developed several candidate sites for evaluation, of which one was the 132-acre site in Pembroke that the VA subsequently acquired.

·         In April 2013, Schumer organized a meeting at Daemen College with local veterans and VA officials to update Veterans on the VA’s timeline and in order for veterans to provide input to the VA.

·         In Sept 2013, Schumer wrote to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (SHPO) to urge the agency to complete an archeological cultural-resource study required in order for the VA to complete the required approvals needed to close on the purchase of the preferred Indian Falls Road site in Pembroke.

·         In May 2014, Schumer announced that the results of the archeological cultural-resource study determined a finding of “no significant impacts,” thus allowing the VA to move forward on the purchase of the preferred site on Indiana Falls Road later that month.

·         In July 2014, Schumer called on the VA to move forward on plans to acquire the adjoining 60-acre parcel that abuts the current 132-acre site. This would immediately make the cemetery nearly 50-percent larger, increase capacity, and provide better access to the cemetery for veterans’ funeral processions and visitors.

The 132-acre site on Indian Falls Road in Pembroke is located approximately 30 miles from Buffalo and 48 miles from Rochester. The cemetery will provide a fitting burial option to approximately 96,000 currently underserved veterans and family members living in Western New York. Veterans with a qualifying discharge, their spouses, and eligible dependent children may be buried in a VA national cemetery.

Also eligible are military personnel who die on active duty, their spouses and eligible dependents. Burial benefits available for all eligible Veterans, regardless of whether they are buried in a national cemetery or a private cemetery, include a burial flag, a Presidential Memorial Certificate, and a government headstone or marker.

Schumer said more than 96,000 veterans and their families across Western New York from Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region to Buffalo deserve to have this cemetery constructed as soon as possible and without further impediments or unnecessary delays. Schumer said the VA must do its part to overcome the final impediments to this process for the benefit of veterans and their families who call Western New York home.

A copy of Senator Schumer’s letter to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary appears below:

Dear VA Secretary Shulkin,

I write to request that the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) work to overcome a last remaining impediment to construction of the new Western New York National Veterans Cemetery. Namely, I urge you to complete the acquisition of the 60 acre and the 77 acre parcels in Pembroke, NY that are located adjacent to the existing 132 acre cemetery site purchased by the Department in 2014 and then swiftly act to begin construction this year. As you know, buried gas line work was requisite to VA’s acquisition of these parcels. I understand that this work was completed in December 2017, and I urge you to finalize these acquisitions and commit to begin the cemetery’s construction this year.

The cemetery design calls for the main entrance of the new cemetery to be built through this 60 acre parcel of land so that veterans, their families, and cemetery visitors can access the cemetery from Indian Falls Road, rather than via the busy State Route 77 corridor. Additionally, the 60 acre parcel and 77 acre parcel will greatly expand the cemetery’s operational life and enable the VA to construct a cemetery which more aligned with the Department’s initial vision for a 200-acre site. According to a timeline the Department provided to my office in June 2017, the VA aimed to begin construction approximately six months after purchase of the 60 and 77 acre parcels, followed by the opening of the early turnover area for burials a year later in 2019.

More than 96,000 veterans and their families across Western New York from Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region to Buffalo deserve to have this cemetery constructed as soon as possible without unnecessary delay. I urge you to immediately overcome the final impediments to this process for the benefit of veterans across the region. I thank you in advance for your attention to this matter and appreciate your consideration of my request.


Charles E. Schumer

U.S. Senator

January 18, 2018 - 5:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, cold war veterans, news, notify.

Of the 25 taxing jurisdictions in Genesee County -- not counting the ones in other counties with some local overlap -- only nine have adopted a property tax exemption for Cold War veterans.

The tax exemption is one of the few available to veterans who served during the Cold War but not during Vietnam or some other armed conflict.

Veterans Services Officer William Joyce said he's working to get more jurisdictions to get it passed but it isn't easy.

One school district -- he didn't say which one -- flat turned him down.

"A vet is a vet," Joyce said. "It’s a benefit they earn. It’s not a privilege. It’s time served."

Veterans who served in armed conflicts or used military benefits to purchase their homes are eligible for benefits under other programs.

The initial Cold War exemption was capped at 10 years but the State Legislature last year approved an indefinite extension that each local jurisdiction must pass even if they have an exemption already in place.

Joyce is working on that now.

The county is adopting the extension.

Jurisdictions that provide the exemption, besides the county, are the Town of Alexander, The Village of Alexander, the Town of Bergen, the Town of Elba, the Town of Oakfield, the Town of Pavilion, and the Town of Stafford.

Batavia City Schools adopted the exemption just last week. City Schools is the only district in the county to adopt the exemption.

Some of the jurisdictions that chose not to adopt the exemption include the City of Batavia, the Village of Bergen, the Village of Elba, the Village of Le Roy, the Village of Oakfield, and the Village of Corfu.

Alexander, town and village, are the only jurisdictions that have adopted the higher tier exemption, which is a formula that calculates an exemption of 15 percent off of assessed value or a maximum exemption of $12,000.

All other jurisdictions with the exemption adopted the first tier, which is 10 percent off of the assessed value or a maximum of $6,000.

December 22, 2017 - 2:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins, veterans.


Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement offering his appreciation to elementary school students, businesses, and community organizations from around the 27th District for participating in his “Holiday Mail for Veterans” program. The office collected more than 1,500 holiday cards and delivered them to veterans at the Buffalo and Batavia VA facilities.

“I am proud of the tremendous support we received for our Holiday Mail for Veterans program from around the 27th District,” Congressman Collins said. “This program is a great opportunity for young students and other community organizations to say thank you and share some holiday cheer with the men and women who bravely served our country.

"I would like to thank everyone who participated and extend my very best to our veterans and active duty personnel and their families this holiday season.”

“We appreciate the support of our community for Veterans at VA Western New York Healthcare System,” said Paul Crews, interim Healthcare System director. “The cards with thoughtful messages brighten up their days knowing someone has taken the time to think about them at holiday time.”

Each year, Congressman Collins’ office reaches out to all NY-27 elementary schools to join together to show our appreciation during the holiday season. This is the first year cards were delivered to VA hospitals.

Below is a list of the 2017 “Holiday Mail for Veterans” participants:

Geneseo Elementary School – Geneseo
Livonia Elementary School – Livonia
York Central Elementary School – Retsof
Bloomfield Elementary School – East Bloomfield
Lewiston-Porter Primary Education Center – Lewiston-Porter
Charles A. Upson Elementary School – Lockport
North Park Junior High – Lockport
Hyde Park Elementary School – Niagara Falls
Colonial Village Elementary School – Niagara-Wheatfield
Blasdell Elementary – Blasdell
Clarence Center Elementary School – Clarence Center
Highland Elementary School – Derby
Parkdale Elementary – East Aurora
Wales Primary – East Aurora
Eden Elementary – Eden
GLP Primary School – Eden
Charlotte Avenue School – Hamburg
Union Pleasant Elementary – Hamburg
Harold O. Brumsted Elementary – Holland
Ellicott Elementary School – Orchard Park
Colden Elementary School – Springville-Griffith
Northwood Elementary School – West Seneca
Alexander Elementary School – Alexander
John Kennedy Intermediate School – Batavia
Byron-Bergen Elementary School – Bergen
Wolcott Street Elementary School – Le Roy
Dorothy B. Bunce Elementary School – Pavillion
Manor Intermediate School – Honeoye Falls
Monica B. Leary Elementary School – Rush
Perry Elementary School – Perry
Warsaw Elementary School – Warsaw
West Elementary School – West Seneca
Avon Primary School – Avon
Avon High School – Avon
Royalton-Hartland Elementary School – Gasport
Geraldine J. Mann Elementary – Niagara Falls
Marilla Primary School – Marilla
Camp Stella Maris School Age Program -- Livonia
Geneseo Girl Scouts – Geneseo
YMCA Preschool
4H Scottsburg Leaders – Scottsburg
Arbor Realty – Williamsville
Attica Elementary School – Attica
Kendall Elementary -- Kendall

Photos of cards, decorations, and letters from Jackson School, Byron-Bergen and Pavilion.



December 8, 2017 - 3:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in veterans.
Event Date and Time: 
January 21, 2017 (All day)

Help us send off the 2017 Armed Forces Recruits to Basic Training knowing that their hometown is behind them. There will be a lasagna dinner from 4-7 pm followed entertainment DJ/Karaoke for a donation of $10. Raffles throughout the night. All proceeds to benefit Homeless Veterans in the Batavia area getting back on their feet.

November 17, 2017 - 5:08pm

(Pictured, from left, are: Justin D. Calarco-Smith, Doug Doktor, Dan Waterman and Randy W. McIntire.)

Submitted photo and press release:

Today, Nov. 17, local funeral directors Justin D. Calarco-Smith and Randy W. McIntire were honored to present a check in the amount of $1,000 to Dan Waterman and Doug Doktor of the Joint Veterans Honor Guard of Genesee County.

Along with Joshua Smith, James Smith, and Steven Johnson, the funeral directors operate H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Homes in Batavia and Bergen, Bohm-Calarco-Smith Funeral Home in Batavia, and the Burdett & Sanford Funeral Home in Oakfield.

This donation was made in the names of the 38 area veterans who the funeral home group was privileged to arrange funeral services for in the past year.

The Joint Veterans Honor Guard is a dedicated group of volunteers comprised of veterans from across our county. They provide funeral honors to our fallen. The honors include a color guard, the playing of TAPS, and a firing squad. This year, they have rendered honors to more than 66 fallen veterans throughout Genesee County.

One of only a handful of such organizations statewide, Genesee County is extremely fortunate to have selfless volunteers who are at the ready in a moment’s notice. They stand, without complaint -- in the heat, cold, wind, snow, and rain -- to pay final tribute to their comrades.

“We are humbled by the members of our community who selflessly served this great nation. Additionally, we consider it a privilege to care for our veterans and their families when called upon,” said Funeral Director McIntire, whose son is a Marine Corps veteran.

“This donation will allow us to continue to honor and serve Genesee County’s veterans in the manner they deserve for a long time to come,” said Waterman, of the Honor Guard.

The funeral homes plan to honor the veterans they care for annually by making similar donations to a local veterans' organization each year.

November 14, 2017 - 10:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, news, veterans.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) praised the announcement of new veteran license plates. The new service branch-specific license plates are available for all branches of U.S. military service: the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marines.         

“Our veterans have made a tremendous sacrifice for our country and our state,” Hawley said. “This is an opportunity for each of them to be recognized for the commitment they’ve made for all of us. As the start of a new session approaches, I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass more legislation that will inevitably improve the lives of our veterans across the state.”

The new custom plates, made available for the first time in New York, join a number of others offered in the Veteran and Military series, including the Purple Heart Recipient, Vietnam Veteran and War on Terror Veteran license plates.

In order to purchase a custom plate, New Yorkers are required to validate their military service with a copy of their discharge papers (DD-214 or equivalent documentation) and mail a copy with a completed application, found here.

November 11, 2017 - 3:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, news, Veteran's Day, veterans, history.


Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day, the day the war to end all wars ended, Nov. 11, 1918. After more wars, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, the day we honor all of those who served to defend freedom.

Today's ceremony in Le Roy included guest speaker Ret. USN Commander Robert “Bob” Kettle, who now lives in Seattle with his wife and 2-year-old daughter.

The 1984 Le Roy High School graduate spoke about the sacrifices Le Roy residents made during The Great War.

The honor roll includes:

  • George K Botts, Private, Co G, 7th Infantry, 3rd Division. Killed in action near Fossoy, France, July 15, 1918. Age 23.
  • Cecelia J Cochran, Nurse volunteer, U.S. Public Health Service. Died of influenza and pneumonia in a military camp hospital, Huntsville, Ala., Oct. 15, 1918. Age 24.
  • Errol D Crittenden, Private, HQ Co, 312th Engineers, 87th Division. Died of pneumonia at Camp Grange-Neuve, Bordeaux, France, Oct. 15, 1918. Age 31.
  • Thomas C Illes, Private, Co G, 74th NY Infantry. Killed when struck by a trolley in Buffalo, Sept. 8, 1917. Age 22.
  • Edward L Kaine, Private, Co B, 59th Infantry, 4th Division. Died of pneumonia in a hospital at Aix-les-Bains, France, Nov. 9, 1918. Age 28.
  • Patrick Molyneaux, Private, Co A, 59th Infantry, 4th Division. Killed in action near the Bois de Brieulles, France, Sept. 30, 1918. Age 29.
  • Edgar R Murrell, Private, Btry D, 307th Field Artillery, 78th Division. Died of pneumonia and diphtheria in a military hospital near Winchester, England, March 29, 1918. Age 27.
  • George F Ripton, Private, Co C, 3rd Provisional Battalion, Engineers. Died of influenza and pneumonia at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, Oct. 10, 1918. Age 28.
  • Alvin A Smith, Private, Co A, 108th Infantry, 27th Division. Killed in action near Hindenburg Line east of Ronssoy, France, Sept. 29, 1918. Age 17.
  • John R Wilder, Sergeant, 50th Aero Squadron, U.S. Signal Corps. Died of pneumonia in an Army hospital at Baltimore, Md., Jan. 11, 1918. Age 27.

Source: The County and the Kaiser: Genesee County in World War I.




November 10, 2017 - 5:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, veterans, batavia, news.


Genesee Community College honored veterans today with a ceremony in the forum.


Batavia High School Band playing the National Anthem.




Assemblyman Steve Hawley speaking. Before and during the ceremony a slideshow displayed photos of veterans associated with GCC.


Jessica Caryl, an aviation mechanist, represented student veterans and read a poem about the flag.

November 9, 2017 - 3:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, Announcements, military, veterans, tractor supply.

Tractor Supply Co. is offering a 15-percent "Military Discount" for in-store purchases to all active and former military personnel and their dependents on Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11.

There's no limit to savings. Please show your military proof of service at checkout to receive the discount. This offer is not good with any other discount.

The only store in Genesee County is located at 4974 E. Main St., Batavia; phone is 343-0078.

November 9, 2017 - 2:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in veterans, Veterans Day, news, batavia, east bethany, Le Roy.

The following is a schedule of Veterans Day ceremonies in Genesee County:

Friday, Nov. 10:

  • Noon -- Genesee Community College; Located at 1 College Road, Town of Batavia

Saturday, Nov. 11:

  • 9 a.m.-- Genesee County Park & Forest (Vietnam Veterans of America); Located at 11095 Bethany Center Road, East Bethany
  • 10 a.m. -- Batavia VA Medical Center; Located at 222 Richmond Ave., Batavia
  • 10:15 a.m. -- NYS Vets’ Home; Also located at 222 Richmond Ave., Batavia
  • 11 a.m. -- Emory Upton Monument; Located at the junction of Main Street and Ellicott Street (the fork in the road) in Downtown Batavia
  • 11 a.m. -- Trigon Park, Le Roy; Hosted by Le Roy American Legion, will include remarks by Ret. USN Commander Robert “Bob” Kettle
  • 11:30 a.m. -- Jerome Center (UMMC); Located at 16 Bank St., Batavia

Organizations Participating

Genesee County American Legion

Veterans of Foreign Wars of Genesee County

Marine Corps League – Hansen Brothers Detachment

Disabled American Veterans – Chapter #166

Vietnam Veterans of America – Chapter #193

American Legion Botts Fioritto Post #576

Genesee Community College

"Honor, respect and guard your freedom for it comes from the BLOOD of those who gave their life for it."

November 3, 2017 - 5:20pm

Information provided by Jeanice Howard, of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary, Botts-Fiorito American Legion Post 576, Le Roy:

Consider buying a brick for Christmas. The Veterans Memorial Brick Program is a great way to honor a special veteran in your life by engraving a brick with their name. These make meaningful gifts.

This practice of pride provides a place of honor and reflection for veterans, their family and friends, and those who desire to show their respects to those service men and women who have and continue to boldly serve our county.

A 4-inch-by-8-inch engraved brick costs $50 (with wording space for 40 characters); an 8-ich-by-8-inch engraved brick costs $100 (with wording space for 60 characters).

The Botts-Fiorito American Legion Post 576 in Le Roy has been host to numerous events through the years, such as card games, bingo, breakfasts, holiday celebrations, bowling and the site is available to the community for wedding parties and local churches in time of need.

For information or questions, call Brick Committee Chair -- Jerry Diskin 585-721-3076.

To visit Le Roy's Post 576 online, click here:

To view a copy of the order form to buy a Veterans Memorial Brick from the Botts-Fiorito American Legion Post 576, click here.

You can print it out, fill in the blanks, then mail it with your check to the Legion in Le Roy. Checks should be made payable to American Legion Post 576. All the details, including the address, are on the form.

October 31, 2017 - 1:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, veterans.


Zach Fuller presented plans to members of the County Legislature on Monday for a 55-unit apartment complex on East Main Street, Batavia, hoping to sway the Legislature to officially support it which will keep the project moving forward.

Fuller said 18 of the units will be designated as transitional housing for formerly homeless veterans.

Fuller is with Eagle Star, which operates a home in East Pembroke to assist homeless veterans. The program is aimed at helping veterans re-establish stable lives, providing assistance in obtaining veterans benefits, counseling, life coaching, and a supportive atmosphere.

The complex at 552, 554, and 556 E. Main St., will provide housing to veterans who are ready to move out of the East Pembroke home, or the one Eagle Star operates in Spencerport. Eagle Star works with the Veterans Administration to identify eligible veterans.

"Many of our veterans don't know they're eligible for Social Security, veterans benefits, or some benefits are not fully activated," Fuller said. "We try to make sure they are accessing everything that they are supposed to be and allowed to access."

The veterans program, which will include an on-site guidance counselor, is funded through a state grant.

The rest of the 55 units in the four-story complex will be designated for people earning under the median income for Batavia.

Fuller said the location is ideal for the community of people it will serve because it is a walkable neighborhood with essential amenities, such as a grocery store, pharmacy and public transportation nearby.

Further funding applications will be submitted to NYSHCR in December.

The property is already zoned for this sort of facility and the project has been approved by the city's planning committee.

Fuller hopes to begin construction in the fall with apartments move-in ready in early 2020.

October 27, 2017 - 5:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in assemblyman steve hawley, veterans, Announcements, news.

Press release:

On Thursday, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) praised the signing of legislation to extend property tax exemptions to eligible U.S. veterans to include school taxes. These exemptions would extend the veterans’ property tax exemption to include school taxes in New York State and will ease financial burdens faced by veterans as they transition back to civilian life.

“As Americans, we owe it all to the brave men and women who fought to defend our country,” Hawley said. “Extending tax exemptions to veterans is one small way we can positively impact their post-military lives. I applaud the signing of this legislation and I hope veterans across the state will benefit from these additional tax exemptions.”

At this time, state property tax laws provide partial property tax exemptions to qualified veterans of the U.S. military, but these exemptions didn’t include school taxes. In 2013 and 2016 the alternative veterans’ property tax exemption and Cold War property tax exemptions were revised to give school districts the option of allowing exemptions. With this signed legislation, all three veterans’ property tax exemptions would apply to school taxes.

August 5, 2017 - 1:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, patriots trip, veterans, news, Announcements.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) poses with veterans and their family members in front of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., during a previous year’s Patriot Trip.  

Submitted photo and press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) would like to remind veterans of his upcoming 10thAnnual Patriot Trip to Washington D.C., which will take place from Sept. 21 -24. In 2016, more than 100 veterans and their family members attended the trip.

The Patriot Trip provides these heroes with a great opportunity to connect with fellow veterans and honor the memory of their fallen brothers and sisters.

All veterans, even those who have attended the trip previously or live outside of the 139thAssembly District, can still sign up. The approximate cost of the trip is $375, which includes meals, transportation and admission to the memorials.

“Having the opportunity to meet and spend time with so many local veterans truly is a blessing and I can honestly say I look forward to this trip every year,” Hawley said.

“There is still plenty of room for veterans to sign up, even those who have been on a previous year’s trip, and I encourage all veterans and their family members who are interested to look into joining us on this spectacular journey.”

Attractions Hawley plans to visit this year on the trip include:

  • Gettysburg
  • World War II Memorial
  • Korean Memorial
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • Vietnam Memorial
  • Naval Academy at Annapolis
  • Arlington National Cemetery with wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns

Dinner at the Spates Community Club on Fort Meyer

**Staying at the Hyatt Regency in Bethesda, Md.**

*Early registrants will be visiting the White House, others will visit an Embassy and/or the U.S. Capitol*

If you or a veteran you know want more information about this year’s Patriot Trip X, please call 585-589-5780 or email [email protected]. To view photos from previous years, use the following link: http://vetsdctrip2008.shutterfly.com/.

August 4, 2017 - 10:03am
posted by Jack Keenan in hlom, batavia, veterans, news.


The Holland Land Office Museum honored veterans in a special ceremony at the museum on Thursday night.


July 31, 2017 - 1:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in Alabama, news, Announcements, veterans.

Press release:

The Town of Alabama Historical Society will host a dedication ceremony of the Town of Alabama Veterans Memorial at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5.

The event will take place at the Alabama Town Hall, located at 2218 Judge Road, South Alabama.

Light refreshments will be served. The Town Museum will also be open.

If you would like more information about the Veterans Memorial, please contact Joe Cassidy, of the Town of Alabama Historical Society at (585) 813-2812 or email [email protected]

July 1, 2017 - 11:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, veterans, news.


Funeral services were held today for Master Sgt. Charles L. Higgins, a former Batavia resident who died June 19 at age 36.

Higgins served in the Army and Army National Guard from 1999 to 2017. 

For his full obituary, click here.

June 19, 2017 - 1:05pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in news, batavia, veterans.

Press release:

Victor Roberts, veterans benefits advisor, NYS Division of Veterans' Affairs, will be at the Downtown Batavia Public Market this Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. to distribute NYS FreshConnect Checks to local veterans.

FreshConnect Veterans Checks are a component of Governor Cuomo's "New York Fresh Connect Farmers' Markets" (FreshConnect) program. The program is designed to assist New York farmers by increasing the sale of locally grown food in communities.

FreshConnect checks will be issued as a one-time annual benefit: 10 - $2 checks ($20) -- one packet per household, per season. Checks will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis to veterans and current members of the Armed Forces of the United States, members of their immediate families, including un-remarried surviving spouses of a veteran.

Employees of New York State and veterans or service members with immediate family members employed by New York State are not eligible for FreshConnect checks.

"Recipients will not require ID," Roberts said, "but they will need to sign a form accepting the program's rules and regulations."

"The checks can be used to purchase fresh produce from participating vendors at the Market," said Market Manager Mike Bakos. "The Market is excited to be a distribution point for FreshConnect Veterans Checks and we thank all of our veterans for their service to our great country."

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