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July 10, 2020 - 3:01pm

Press release:

Starting next week, the Adult Educational Opportunity Center (AEOC) located at Genesee Community College is hosting a series of six FREE Zoom meetings on Mondays and Tuesdays to provide information to any adult thinking about college enrollment, financial aid, the college application process, and/or a wide range of different career path options.

Specifically, Monday sessions will cover the financial literacy and the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form, loan options and college affordability; while the Tuesday sessions will cover the Common App for college application, obtaining a GED high school diploma equivalent, and a multitude of career path opportunities.

  • What: AEOC Office Offers FREE Virtual Information Sessions in July
  • When: Three Mondays: July 13, 20 and 27 at 1 p.m. / Three Tuesdays: July 14, 21 and 28 at 1 p.m.
  • Where: Zoom Meetings Accessible from any Computer with Internet Access
  • Who: GCC Adult Education Opportunity Center and any Adults Seeking College and/or Career Information

To sign up for any of the six sessions, email Staci Williams, AEOC director, at:   [email protected] or call (585) 345-6836.

For further information about the AEOC go to www.genesee.edu/AEOC.

April 21, 2020 - 12:25pm

Press release:

Richmond Memorial Library and the Books Sandwiched In Committee are pleased to announce a new online program called “Lunchtime Book Chats,” which will take place on Wednesdays in May at noon.

This program will be conducted online via Zoom and will begin on Wednesday, May 6.

When confronted with the reality that the usual spring series of "Books Sandwiched In" would not take place as usual, the committee built a new program to bring book reviews to the community. Committee members and guests will offer short reviews of fiction and nonfiction titles.

The lineup so far includes a book about Bob Dylan, a new mystery by Peter Swanson, new historical fiction and more! Participants will be encouraged to join in conversation and share what they are reading.

" 'Books Sandwiched In' is one of our hallmark programs and the value of it is really in conversation and interaction with the speakers. We want to ensure all of our patrons and speakers can participate when circumstances allow us to meet again," said Community & Adult Services Librarian Samantha Stryker. "In the meantime, we hope these 'Lunchtime Book Chats' can bring a sense of gathering and community to those who can participate."

Committee members are Richard Beatty, Sue Chiddy, Bob Knipe, Frances McNulty, Sandy Seyfried and Beth Stich.

Participants must have a Zoom account to take part in the program. Information will be emailed to registered participants the day of each session. To register, visit batavialibrary.org. There is a link to the registration form on the home page.

Any questions may be directed to Stryker at:   [email protected]

The spring "Books Sandwiched In" sessions are tentatively rescheduled for Wednesdays in September. More information to come.

Other virtual programs:

A mystery book discussion will be held online on Zoom at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 4. Stryker will lead a discussion of Agatha Christie's "The ABC Murders." The book is available as an eBook or audiobook on Hoopla! Click here to see all of the online services available to cardholders!

If you'd like to participate, email Stryker at:   [email protected]

The library is also hosting online Silent Reading Parties -- the next one will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 23 at 6:30 via an event on our Facebook page @RichmondMemorialLibrary to celebrate National Library Week!

April 14, 2020 - 10:41am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, city council, Zoom, COVID-19.

Reaction to a dog barking in the background and a couple minor technical glitches couldn’t prevent a successful first foray into videoconferencing for the Batavia City Council on Monday night.

“I thought for the initial meeting, Council was a little less talkative than they normally would be, but other than that I thought everything went well,” said Council President Eugene Jankowski, about 14 hours after he presided over a Zoom videoconference that was shown on Facebook live and livestreamed on The Batavian.

Jankowski said that the board conducted a couple of trial runs on Zoom prior to the meeting. As it turned out, every Council member except for two was hooked up to video.

Early in the meeting, a comedic moment occurred when participants, viewers and listeners were distracted by the loud barking of a dog in the background. The owner, a Council member who will not be named in this account, let his feelings be known in harsh terms to quiet that dog down.

Other than that, Council Member John Canale lost his internet connection toward the end of the proceedings, but after a few minutes delay, he was back online and able to cast his votes on a pair of resolutions.

Jankowski said he and Lisa Casey, the City’s confidential secretary, had a plan in place for a situation such as that.

“If someone got kicked off, when we noticed it we would call (that person on the phone) and we will wait for you and try to get you back online,” Jankowski said. “I didn’t mind taking a minute or two recess and that’s exactly what happened. When someone got kicked off and it was noticed, we went into that plan and it took a few minutes longer, but we got him back online and he was able to cast his vote.”

Overall, Jankowski said he found it a bit difficult to make sure people didn’t talk over one another and that he missed the public input part of the meeting.

“Due to the circumstances, we just don’t have the room on the screen to have a lot of people get involved in the meeting,” he said. “We’re going to try to address that by emails and other ways, and hopefully this will only be a couple times and we’ll be back in person in a few weeks.”

At least one regular City Council observer agreed that the videoconference was effective.

“For a first time, it worked well,” said Batavian John Roach, in a comment on The Batavian.

The meeting also was shown on the Batavia News Service YouTube channel later last night and will be televised on Spectrum channel 1301 at 9 a.m. Wednesday and at 8 p.m. Friday.

City Council’s next meeting at 7 p.m. on April 27 has been set up as a Zoom videoconference.

In another development, Jankowski applauded a local business for offering to sew 200 to 250 masks for City employees during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“We’re supplying some of the materials to the local business and they are providing all the labor – free of charge, I guess,” Jankowski said. “They don’t want to be named right now; they are trying to do this anonymously.”

He said the homemade masks are more for others’ protection, “not necessarily the ones who are wearing them.”

“If you’re sick and you don’t know it, you’re not going to infect other people that you’re around … that’s what the governor is saying, anyway.”

April 4, 2020 - 3:06pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, city council, Zoom, Video News Service.

Batavia City Council, as is the case with other Genesee County municipal boards, has decided to “zoom” into the world of electronic meetings.

City Council President Eugene Jankowski told The Batavian today that his group’s next Business Meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on April 13 via the video conferencing service, Zoom – with all council members remotely joining the proceedings by using a specific meeting ID and password.

Zoom Video Communications, headquartered in San Jose, Calif., provides a remote conferencing service that combines video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration.

“We’ve been experimenting with Zoom – testing it and getting instruction about the software – and everyone seems to be on the same page,” said Jankowski, noting that city lawmakers need to meet to “keep things moving forward,” especially since the March 23rd meeting was cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Jankowski said he expects some logistical glitches at first, but is confident that the expertise of Alecia Kaus of Video News Service will go a long way in making the board’s first venture into the electronic age a successful one.

“We’re going to televise it through Video News Service so the public can watch, but they won’t be able to interact … there will be no public (question-and-answer) session,” he said. “We will, however, definitely allow for the public to send questions by email afterwards (to City Manager Martin Moore or to any council member).”

When contacted about the setup, Kaus said that she plans to post the meeting on her Facebook page and YouTube link – something that she normally does – and is open to putting it on other Internet sites as directed by City Council.

“I will be recording it live and airing it not long afterwards,” she said. “I am currently doing that for Spectrum (on its Community Access Channel) for the City and for the Town of Batavia, and I also have been recording the (Genesee County) Health Department meetings and putting them up for everyone to see.”

The Genesee County Legislature also is utilizing Zoom for its full legislature and committee meetings and posting them to YouTube. Its next meeting (a regular session) is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

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