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May 24, 2019 - 12:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, video, batavia.

 

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Last year, the Batavia Muckdogs hired Cooper Thomas, trained in Australia, as new head groundskeeper. But visa issues delayed his arrival in Batavia, so he didn't get to work on the field the two months before the season that is ideal for getting it ready for professional ballplayers.

This year, he's back, and he's here early. He said both the players and the fans will be pleased with the field in 2019.

Previously: Muckdogs hire minor league groundskeeper with major league dreams

May 23, 2019 - 10:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in UMMC, batavia, video.
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UMMC's annual Teddy Bear Clinic was Wednesday in Batavia. Here's a video for you (warning: cute kids).

May 19, 2019 - 6:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in farm labor bill, farm labor, agriculture, news, notify, corfu, video.
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Sen. Rob Ortt visited Reyncrest Farms in Corfu on Friday as part, he said, of regular visits to farms in Upstate New York to learn more about the potential impact of the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act.

He said he feels obligated to do it because the supporters of the bill, who have no farms or farmworkers in their districts, aren't doing it and they're not holding hearings on the bill in Western New York.

"We know that the sponsor is not visiting farms," Ortt said "She doesn't have a farm in her district. So I'm trying to fill that void to push back on some of these narratives that are being justified as to why we need to have this legislation in New York."

Ortt is the ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee. He's also a potential candidate for the Republic primary race in the 27th Congressional District.

Sen. Jessica Ramos, chair of the Senate Labor Committee, and a first-term representative from Queens, is the Senate sponsor of the bill. She did visit Genesee County a few weeks ago and met with farmers and farmworkers and tried to prevent the press from covering her visit. She heard from many farmworkers who said they didn't support the legislation because it would mean they would make less money.

The bill, as written currently, would give farmworkers the right to join labor unions, as well as mandate an eight-hour workday and 40-hour work week. Both farmers and farmworkers say it is the cap on work hours that will do the most economic damage.

Earlier this month, Ortt lead a roundtable discussion of the bill and afterward indicated a willingness to negotiate on both of those main points. Friday he said that willingness is based on the feedback he's getting from farmers who tell him, he said, that if passage of such a bill is inevitable, then can it at least be made less draconian?

So far, he said, he's seen little willingness by the sponsors to negotiate.

Reyncrest is exactly the kind of family-owned dairy farm that stands to be most severely hurt by the legislation if it passes as is, he said.

"They have three farmers, (ages) 28, 26, and 25 -- a new generation, right? The next generation of farmers here to keep this going," Ortt said. "But they need to be able to sustain each of those individuals. This farm needs to be profitable for all three of those family members and if they can't make it a go, maybe they're unable to continue on and that impacts consumers.

"That impacts folks here in New York State who want to buy their products from New York State farmers, who want to buy their products from locally grown farms, locally grown here in New York. And so every time we add onto the burden here, and especially when it's being done by people who haven't stepped foot on a farm, who don't understand the dynamics of what they're doing, now I think that should be a real cause for concern for all New Yorkers."

May 17, 2019 - 6:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Durin Rogers, City Court, video.

 

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Thursday evening, Judge Durin Rogers, and one of two candidates for the full-time City Court judge position held a "coffee and conversation" event at the Holland Land Office Museum.

Since we haven't had a chance to cover Rogers at a public event since the campaign started, and we did cover Benjamin Bonarigo's campaign kickoff, including a short video interview, we wanted to be sure to provide Rogers with similar coverage.

We wound up with a 10-minute interview with Rogers and decided to post the entire interview.

Rogers hosts another "coffee and conversation" event at the Richmond Memorial Library on May 25 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

To view our previous coverage of Bonarigo's campaign kick-off, click here.

May 11, 2019 - 5:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, batavia, rotary tournament, video.
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Batavia beat Oakfield-Alabama 5-4 with a bottom-of-the-seventh bunt in an opening round game of the annual Batavia Rotary Club Tournament.

Earlier today, Le Roy beat Notre Dame 8-2.  

Batavia and Le Roy face each other at 7 p.m. in the championship game.

May 11, 2019 - 12:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Rest & Revive Float Center, batavia, video.
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One of Batavia's newest businesses held a ribbon cutting on Thursday with representatives of the Chamber of Commerce -- the  Rest & Revive Float Center at 596 E. Main St.

Partners Gary VanValkenburg and Brandon Buckle converted the former location of The Bed Room, where they sold beds, into a place where people can come and float in water field with epsom salts to help them relax and deal with any number of different health issues.

To find out more, watch the video.

May 10, 2019 - 10:57am
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Carol Burnett's Hollywood Arms opens at 7:30 p.m. at the Harvest 56 Theater.

Additional performances are at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $13 or $11 for students and seniors.

UPDATE: While deleted some unpublished videos from our YouTube account yesterday I must have accidentally deleted the original upload of this video.  Here it is again.

May 8, 2019 - 2:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Anthony's, City Church, batavia, video.
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Last night, I stopped by St. Anthony's with no intention of covering anything. All I had with me was my iPhone but when I walked in, dancers from Divine Dance Studio were just about to start performing and then I watched Ryan Macdonald talk about "doing what you can do to make a difference" before giving away a bike to Alex Baker, so here are two short videos.

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May 6, 2019 - 12:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fashion show, GCC, batavia, video.
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Genesee Comnunity College hosted its 38th Annual Fashion Show on Saturday evening in the Call Arena.

May 5, 2019 - 3:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, batavia, video.
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Hundreds of people turned out to Batavia Downs on Saturday to watch the running of the Kentucky Derby.

May 5, 2019 - 1:18pm
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Terry Hills hosted the annual Derby Day fundraiser for the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation on Saturday.

May 3, 2019 - 7:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Harvester Center, batavia, video.

 

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The Harvester Center hosted a Harvester Crawl Thursday evening, a fun way to explore the Harvester Center the world's first business incubator and see what goes on there and meet some of the entrepreneurs who operate there.

The opening scene is a reference to this story.

May 2, 2019 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, fashion show, video.

 

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Genesee Community College hosts its 38th Annual Fashion show this Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Call Arena.

As many as 1,400 people are expected for the show. Tickets are $5 or $25 for VIP seats. 

The show's title this year is "Limitless."

April 27, 2019 - 5:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in video, batavia, St. Joe's, mammoth sale.
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April 25, 2019 - 4:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in video, John Kennedy School, education.

 

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Fourth-grade students at John Kennedy School this year were given a straightforward message, "If there's not the business in Batavia that you want, make it." So they researched how to write business plans, came up with ideas for the businesses they would like to see locally, and then, today, pitched those business ideas to a group of community leaders.

The people who listened to the ideas had "Cook's Cash" (named after JK Principal Amanda Cook) to invest in their favorite business concepts. The winner will be announced at an upcoming Genesee County Business Education Alliance breakfast.

April 12, 2019 - 3:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jerome Brewster, Sheriff's Office, video.
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April 12, 2019 - 8:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, batavia, elba, news, farmworkers, video, Sen. Jessica Ramos.

 

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Sen. Jessica Ramos, a first-term state legislator from Queens, and sponsor of the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act visited Batavia and Elba yesterday to meet with farmers and farmworkers at the invitation of Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer.

In the morning she and Ranzenhofer hosted a discussion with more than a dozen area farmers and some of their workers in the foyer of the Call Arena at Genesee Community College. That event was closed to the press and a reporter who showed up was asked to leave.

In the afternoon, Ramos visited the Torrey Farms Big-O onion packing facility in Elba and when The Batavian arrived, we were not asked to leave and were able to obtain exclusive coverage of the event. We were unable to interview Ramos at the event because of a scheduling conflict but expect to be able to talk with her soon.

At yesterday's event, we spoke with farmworkers and farmers and were told repeatedly that farmworkers do not favor the farmworkers bill because they fear it will mean fewer hours and less money.  

Farmworkers said they understand the weather-driven variability of farm work and they said that it is critical to their ability to making a living that they be able to pack in as many hours in a week as they can when the sun is shining. They depend on the income to take care of family members back home, their families here, to pay mortgages, send kids to college, and fund their own business-ownership dreams.

Farmers said that if the proposed overtime laws pass, they will be forced to reduce hours worked by their employees and that their migrant employees, who don't have ties to the area, will likely leave for nearby states such as Pennsylvania and Ohio, where they can work as many hours as they want.

UPDATE 11:20 a.m.: Sen. Ramos canceled our interview scheduled for this afternoon.

April 6, 2019 - 2:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in video, Home Show, chamber of commerce, batavia.
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The Chamber of Commerce Home Show is in full swing at the Falleti Ice Arena. It continues until 5 p.m. today and runs tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

March 4, 2019 - 6:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, batavia, video, schools, education.
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Notre Dame High School kicked off Inclusion Month with an assembly this morning. In March, Notre Dame highlights diversity and acceptance of all people.

January 27, 2019 - 4:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in video, St. Joe's, schools, education, news, batavia.

Children at St. Joe's this morning had fun making their own slime. It was then judged based on consistency, texture and elasticity.

For readers using The Batavian's app, click here to view the video on thebatavian.com.

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