notify https://www.thebatavian.com/ en https://www.thebatavian.com/themes/barrio_batavian/images/thebatavian_logo.png notify https://www.thebatavian.com/ Local Matters © 2008-2023 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Sat, 25 May 2024 12:59:41 -0400 https://www.thebatavian.com/themes/barrio_batavian/images/thebatavian_logo.png Fri, 17 May 2024 12:09:00 -0400 Standardized procedures, recruitment push among key strategies to fix fire, emergency response issues: Yaeger https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/standardized-procedures-recruitment-push-among-key-strategies-to-fix-fire-emergency
Tim Yaeger

The task force charged with finding ways to stabilize fire and emergency medical service in Genesee County has identified eight priority measures from a list of about 100 recommendations provided by an independent consulting firm.

County EMS Coordinator Tim Yaeger (photo at right) on Thursday said the task force is meeting regularly in an effort to implement these strategies, with a focus on developing standards that all local fire departments or companies can follow and finding efficient ways to recruit potential volunteer firefighters.

In July 2022, the Genesee County Comprehensive Fire & Emergency Medical Service Implementation Plan (Fire & EMS Plan) was finalized. Since that time, the task force received feedback on the recommendations from Municipal Resources, Inc. of Plymouth,

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/standardized-procedures-recruitment-push-among-key-strategies-to-fix-fire-emergency#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/standardized-procedures-recruitment-push-among-key-strategies-to-fix-fire-emergency May 17, 2024, 12:09pm notify Standardized procedures, recruitment push among key strategies to fix fire, emergency response issues: Yaeger mikepett <div class="align-right"> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2024-05/yaeger-1.jpg?itok=gDBK_hhU" width="157" height="239" alt="Tim Yaeger" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> <p>The task force charged with finding ways to stabilize fire and emergency medical service in Genesee County has identified eight priority measures from a list of about 100 recommendations provided by an independent consulting firm.</p><p>County EMS Coordinator Tim Yaeger <em>(photo at right)</em> on Thursday said the task force is meeting regularly in an effort to implement these strategies, with a focus on developing standards that all local fire departments or companies can follow and finding efficient ways to recruit potential volunteer firefighters.</p><p>In July 2022, the Genesee County Comprehensive Fire &amp; Emergency Medical Service Implementation Plan (Fire &amp; EMS Plan) was finalized. Since that time, the task force received feedback on the recommendations from Municipal Resources, Inc. of Plymouth,</p>
Masse touts experience, strong relationships as he begins tenure as GCEDC president/CEO https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/masse-touts-experience-strong-relationships-as-he-begins-tenure-as-gcedc-presidentceo
Mark Masse

Earlier this week, the Genesee County Economic Development Center issued a press release on the promotion of Batavia resident Mark Masse from senior vice president of operations to president and chief executive officer.

Masse, 51, (in file photo at right) is a lifelong Genesee County resident, growing up in Stafford, graduating from Le Roy Central School and spending some of his spare time at Adam Miller Toys & Bicycle on Center Street in Batavia – a business started by his grandfather and later owned by his mother, Joyce, and uncle, Gary Miller.

An avid golfer and bowler, Masse joined the Polish Falcons leagues in both sports in 1995 and has been participating ever since. The start of his 30th year in the bowling league will be delayed a bit, however, due to a scheduled hip replacement in October.

He has a daughter, Grace, and 6-month-old granddaughter, Kennedy, and a son, Jack.

Masse is a certified public account who worked for Freed, Maxick & Battaglia for 15

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/masse-touts-experience-strong-relationships-as-he-begins-tenure-as-gcedc-presidentceo#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/masse-touts-experience-strong-relationships-as-he-begins-tenure-as-gcedc-presidentceo May 17, 2024, 10:11am notify Masse touts experience, strong relationships as he begins tenure as GCEDC president/CEO mikepett <div class="align-right"> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2024-05/mark-masse-1.jpg?itok=D30rh0Ql" width="450" height="464" alt="Mark Masse" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> <p>Earlier this week, the Genesee County Economic Development Center issued a press release on the promotion of Batavia resident Mark Masse from senior vice president of operations to president and chief executive officer.</p><p>Masse, 51, <em>(in file photo at right)</em> is a lifelong Genesee County resident, growing up in Stafford, graduating from Le Roy Central School and spending some of his spare time at Adam Miller Toys &amp; Bicycle on Center Street in Batavia – a business started by his grandfather and later owned by his mother, Joyce, and uncle, Gary Miller.</p><p>An avid golfer and bowler, Masse joined the Polish Falcons leagues in both sports in 1995 and has been participating ever since. The start of his 30<sup>th</sup> year in the bowling league will be delayed a bit, however, due to a scheduled hip replacement in October.</p><p>He has a daughter, Grace, and 6-month-old granddaughter, Kennedy, and a son, Jack.</p><p>Masse is a certified public account who worked for Freed, Maxick &amp; Battaglia for 15</p>
State law opens door for Batavia Town Board to offer stipend for volunteer firefighter training https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/state-law-opens-door-for-batavia-town-board-to-offer-stipend-for-volunteer-firefighter The Batavia Town Board on Wednesday night signed on to a recently launched New York State training stipend program for volunteer firefighters.

In a unanimous vote, the board passed a resolution that calls for payment of up to $500 in local training stipends for certain firefighter training for Town of Batavia firefighters.

“It’s long overdue and we’re very supportive of volunteer fire service,” Batavia Town Supervisor Greg Post said. “We’re pleased to pass this resolution as quickly as we were able to.”

In March, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the start of the statewide program, stating that the goal is to strengthen and stabilize New York’s volunteer fire service. She said that $10

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/state-law-opens-door-for-batavia-town-board-to-offer-stipend-for-volunteer-firefighter#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/state-law-opens-door-for-batavia-town-board-to-offer-stipend-for-volunteer-firefighter May 16, 2024, 1:03pm notify State law opens door for Batavia Town Board to offer stipend for volunteer firefighter training mikepett <p>The Batavia Town Board on Wednesday night signed on to a recently launched New York State training stipend program for volunteer firefighters.</p><p>In a unanimous vote, the board passed a resolution that calls for payment of up to $500 in local training stipends for certain firefighter training for Town of Batavia firefighters.</p><p>“It’s long overdue and we’re very supportive of volunteer fire service,” Batavia Town Supervisor Greg Post said. “We’re pleased to pass this resolution as quickly as we were able to.”</p><p>In March, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the start of the statewide program, stating that the goal is to strengthen and stabilize New York’s volunteer fire service. She said that $10</p>
Quality and Quantity: UConnectCare celebrates expansion of services, honors Friends, scholars https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/quality-and-quantity-uconnectcare-celebrates-expansion-of-services-honors-friends-scholars
UConnectCare friends
UCONNECTCARE ‘FRIENDS’: Receiving “Friends of UConnectCare” awards for 2024 are, seated from left, Dr. Davina Moss, Erin Martin, Pam Gefell, Gordon Luthart; standing, GO Health staff members Paul Pettit, Sherri Bensley, Emily Penrose and Meghan Sheridan, and Riverview Pharmacy representatives Tammy Kublas and Noah Carpenter. Submitted photos.

Wednesday afternoon’s annual meeting at Terry Hills Restaurant in Batavia may have been the first under the name UConnectCare, but it served as a celebration of the many ways the agency formerly known as Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse is having a positive impact on community health.

Chief Executive Officer John Bennett, speaking to 73 employees, board members and award recipients, outlined a long list of recently added programs that, in his words, “are building access to essential services for those in need.”

“As far as quality of care, I look at two things – our staff and board members who go above and beyond each and every day, and the expansion of our service over the past seven years,” Bennett said.

The agency changed its name to UConnectCare Behavioral Health Services last fall to reflect its work toward implementing programs to reach a wide spectrum of people in the areas of prevention, treatment, recovery, detoxification, supportive living and residential.

In 2023, Bennett said, the agency received three significant grants:

-- A federal Rural Communities Opioid Response Program Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome II grant for $498,848 from the Health Services and Resource Administration to provide the Healthy Moms/Healthy Babies program to pregnant and postpartum women.

-- A federal Targeted Capacity Expansion Special Projects grant in the amount of $375,000 to provide harm reduction services in the community.

-- A Statewide Health Care Facility System Transformation grant for $985,250 from the NYS Department of Health to improve building capacity in the integrated outpatient treatment program in Batavia.

UConnectCare’s reach, as indicated by the 2023 numbers, is expanding as well, Bennett said, noting that more than 35,000 people were served by the agency’s Prevention department and more than 39,000 counseling visits were provided.

“Furthermore, we had 2,400 visitors at The Recovery Station (on Clinton Street Road), served 339 people in community residence or detox settings, served 1,538 patients in integrated outpatient services and provided 380 childcare sessions,” he said.

FRIENDS OF UCONNECT CARE’ HONORED

Four individuals, a public health agency and a Buffalo pharmacy received “Friends of UConnectCare” awards at the luncheon.

Honorees are as follows:

-- Erin Martin, case manager at Genesee Justice. Nominated by the Batavia clinic, Martin was recognized for her continued service to the agency by helping clients face their legal consequences and by encouraging them to make positive steps toward improving their lives.

-- Gordon Luthart, health teacher at Medina Junior-Senior High School. Nominated by Orleans County Prevention, Luthart, a Marine Corps veteran, was awarded for working with UConnectCare over the past decade to provide prevention education in the classroom.

-- Pam Gefell, mental health therapist for Orleans County Mental Health. Nominated by Orleans County Treatment, Gefell, a former UConnectCare counselor, provides evaluation and counseling services on a weekly basis in Albion for those who have co-occurring (substance use disorder and mental health issues) disorders.

-- Dr. Davina Moss, founder of Positive Direction & Associates, Inc., of Buffalo and creator of The Positive Direction Model. Nominated by Recovery Services, she is instrumental in starting and sustaining the agency’s Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies program. Dr. Moss said she shares the award with Jessica Budzinack, coordinator of UConnectCare’s program to help the pregnant and post-natal population.

-- Genesee/Orleans Department of Health (GO Health). Nominated by Genesee Prevention, GO Health partners with UConnectCare on the GOW Opioid Task Force and joined forces with UConnectCare on the HEALing Genesee group over the past 18 months. Both agencies have worked to implement new programs focusing on Naloxone and fentanyl education and medications for opioid use disorder, including the launching of the task force’s Text for Naloxone Line.

-- Riverview Pharmacy, Buffalo. Nominated by Residential/Detox Services, the pharmacy was acknowledged for its reliable and dependable service to those on medication and its communication with UConnectCare’s nursing staff.

UConnectCare scholars
UCONNECTCARE SCHOLARS: UConnectCare Foundation scholars for 2024 are, seated from left, Brianne Amico and Megan Gates; standing, Kenna MacKenzie and Chloe Crossett.

FOUR RECEIVE FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS

Three graduating seniors and a Genesee Community College graduate each will be receiving $1,000 scholarships, courtesy of the UConnectCare Foundation.

They are:

-- Kenna MacKenzie, Le Roy High School, who will be attending SUNY Geneseo to major in Psychology.

-- Megan Gates, Kendall High School, who will be attending SUNY Brockport in the Nursing program.

-- Chloe Crossett, Kendall High School, who will be attending SUNY Brockport in pursuit of a degree in Social Work.

-- Brianne Amico, who earned an associate’s degree in human services from GCC before enrolling at SUNY Plattsburgh. She plans to work toward a master’s degree in social work at SUNY Binghamton.

Disclosure: Mike Pettinella is the publicist for UConnectCare.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/quality-and-quantity-uconnectcare-celebrates-expansion-of-services-honors-friends-scholars#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/quality-and-quantity-uconnectcare-celebrates-expansion-of-services-honors-friends-scholars May 16, 2024, 9:03am notify Quality and Quantity: UConnectCare celebrates expansion of services, honors Friends, scholars mikepett <figure role="group" class="caption caption-div"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img alt="UConnectCare friends" class="image-style-large" height="466" loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2024-05/2024-friends-2.jpg?itok=ScqPD3C0" width="800"> </div> </div> <figcaption><strong>UCONNECTCARE ‘FRIENDS’:&nbsp;</strong>Receiving “Friends of UConnectCare” awards for 2024 are, seated from left, Dr. Davina Moss, Erin Martin, Pam Gefell, Gordon Luthart; standing, GO Health staff members Paul Pettit, Sherri Bensley, Emily Penrose and Meghan Sheridan, and Riverview Pharmacy representatives Tammy Kublas and Noah Carpenter. Submitted photos.</figcaption> </figure> <p><span>Wednesday afternoon’s annual meeting at Terry Hills Restaurant in Batavia may have been the first under the name UConnectCare, but it served as a celebration of the many ways the agency formerly known as Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse is having a positive impact on community health</span></p>
Town planners field comments on biogas, racetrack projects; hear update on Byrne Dairy proposal https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/town-planners-field-comments-on-biogas-racetrack-projects-hear-update-on-byrne-dairy An employee of the company that owns and operates the Synergy Biogas manure digesting facility in Wyoming County on Tuesday night downplayed concerns over potential odors from a proposed renewable gas facility at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park on the east side of Batavia.

Speaking at the Batavia Town Planning Board meeting at the Town Hall on West Main Street Road, Melissa Franklin, technical sales & services representative, responded

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/town-planners-field-comments-on-biogas-racetrack-projects-hear-update-on-byrne-dairy#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/town-planners-field-comments-on-biogas-racetrack-projects-hear-update-on-byrne-dairy May 9, 2024, 10:15am notify Town planners field comments on biogas, racetrack projects; hear update on Byrne Dairy proposal mikepett <p>An employee of the company that owns and operates the Synergy Biogas manure digesting facility in Wyoming County on Tuesday night downplayed concerns over potential odors from a proposed renewable gas facility at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park on the east side of Batavia.</p><p>Speaking at the Batavia Town Planning Board meeting at the Town Hall on West Main Street Road, Melissa Franklin, technical sales &amp; services representative, responded</p>
Time to stop stigma surrounding mental health, substance use: Former NFL QB Ryan Leaf https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/time-to-stop-stigma-surrounding-mental-health-substance-use-former-nfl-qb-ryan-leaf/639324
Ryan Leaf
Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf speaking to the public at Genesee Community College on Wednesday night. Photos by Howard Owens.

Growing up in what he calls “the cowboy culture” of rural Montana, former National Football League quarterback Ryan Leaf said that he never saw another man reach out for help with mental health issues because of the stigma associated with it.

Leaf failed to live up to the expectations of the No. 2 pick in the 1998 NFL draft, leaving professional football after a relatively uneventful five seasons. He then turned to drug use, which led to his arrest and incarceration for 32 months.

Today, a week shy of his 48th birthday, he tells his story at venues throughout the nation when he’s not commentating on college football and the NFL as a radio and television host. 

On Wednesday night, he capped his appearance in Batavia with a two-hour talk in front of 70 people at Genesee Community College. Earlier in the day, he spoke to about 300 high school 11th- and 12th-graders at the GCC gymnasium (see story below).

Leaf's presentations were sponsored by UConnectCare (formerly Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse).

Leaf shared that he didn’t have the ability to cope with failure, instead blaming others and taking a self-righteous and “I’m better than you” attitude. He said he didn’t know where to turn when his emotional health worsened.

“I wasn’t used to seeing people being vulnerable or transparent, it's just not,” he said. “It's a huge reason why I didn't seek help because I grew up in what you would consider a cowboy culture of Montana (and) then in locker rooms in college and in the NFL where you've never seen another man simply say, ‘I'm really struggling here. Can you help me?’

“So, if we haven't seen it, what would make us think anybody would be able to do it? Right? It's not taught. What has been taught is rub some dirt on it, get it back in there, toughen up.”

He went on to say that his father, who he said he admires, told him, “Why can’t you just stop (taking the Vicodin pills that led him astray)? Yeah, if I could stop, I would have done that a long time ago. Clearly, this was not a choice. And the idea was stigma exists -- the idea that someone may know that you need help is more frightening than actually getting the help that you need.

“That's what stigma is, and it will be the last rail that you have to climb over for people to take mental health and substance abuse seriously.”

Married with two young children, Leaf, now a Connecticut resident, illustrated his point by comparing those with a medical illness with those suffering from mental illness.

“A perfect example, two kids get sick in the same neighborhood. One has leukemia and one deals with a mental health disorder or substance use disorder. The difference in comparison to how the public then treats the family of the leukemia child in terms of support, food, things of that nature in comparison to what the individual family deals with when it comes to the mental health side of things … they're ostracized, they’re isolated, they’re talked about … when in reality, there's medical science that exactly the same thing exists. It's a disease.”

Leaf, realizing that some in the audience were in recovery, credited those in attendance for coming to hear him speak.

“You had a choice to be at home, stay at home, and not do something to try to be part of the solution tonight within your community,” he said. “So, I applaud all of you and you should applaud yourselves for being able to go off and do that and be a part of it.”

As for his own life, Leaf said he was driven by competition – “my first drug of choice,” he said -- at a young age and developed into a three-sport star (basketball, football and baseball) in high school.

“I worked harder than anybody else, and so I was rewarded with the opportunity to play at any college,” he said. “I was able to get an education for free and relieve my parents of the burden of having to have to foot the bill or something like that,” he said. 

He said he didn’t fit into the Montana culture and looked to escape, signing with Washington State University, where he led his team to a trip to the Rose Bowl and became a Heisman Trophy finalist in his junior year.

His collegiate success led to him being selected by the San Diego Chargers right after Peyton Manning in the 1998 NFL draft. With it came a five-year $31 million contract, including an $11.5 million signing bonus.

Despite Leaf’s extraordinary athletic talent, his dream of a long NFL career and a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame never materialized as he was ill-equipped to handle adversity. He ended up playing for four teams before calling it quits. From there, his dependency on Vicodin led to possession and burglary charges as he continually searched for a way to ease his inner pain.

Eventually, after two years in prison, he was able to turn his life around by finally considering the plight of others around him.

“When you make it about someone else, you're not thinking about you at all, you're not thinking about your problems and your troubles with things you've dealt with, you're actually thinking about someone else's issues,” he said. “That's what empathy is … you actually put yourself in the shoes of someone else going through something. And I don't think I really had an empathetic bone in my body until I was confronted with all my stuff.

“There was no talk of mental illness or drugs or alcohol in my life when I got to the NFL because there just wasn't. It turns out that I was dealing with mental health issues. I just didn't understand it.”

Leaf compared himself to Peyton Manning, who is considered one of the greatest quarterbacks ever, as he pointed out the public’s perception of success.

“If I placed Peyton Manning right here and I stood next to him right now in front of us and asked you to point out the failure and the success, I don’t think it would be hard for anybody to do the pointing,” he said. “But that’s how people view and define success and failure.

“We’re both far removed from playing NFL football. He’s been retired for some time and I as well. If you look at our resume and our life right now, Peyton is a 48-year-old father of two and so am I. I own a profession and consulting company -- a broadcasting one a does he. We both do a ton of philanthropic things and give back to our communities. We both are very happy with our lot in life and … suffice to say, we both have the life of our dreams.”

Leaf said the “baggage” of the past doesn’t define a person’s life today and hope for the future.

“I mean a lot of people quit from that aspect of things like it will never get better. And I think it's the furthest from the truth,” he said. “It does not matter at all what has gone on in your past if you’re willing to accept that and surrender to who you are and why you're here. It's all about what you do today and tomorrow.”

Disclosure: Mike Pettinella is the publicist for UConnectCare.

Leaf
GCC Leaf
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https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/time-to-stop-stigma-surrounding-mental-health-substance-use-former-nfl-qb-ryan-leaf/639324#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/time-to-stop-stigma-surrounding-mental-health-substance-use-former-nfl-qb-ryan-leaf/639324 May 9, 2024, 9:08am notify Time to stop stigma surrounding mental health, substance use: Former NFL QB Ryan Leaf mikepett <figure role="group" class="caption caption-div"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img alt="Ryan Leaf" class="image-style-large" height="966" loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2024-05/ryan-leaf-at-gcc-2024.jpg?itok=INsAxbhn" width="800"> </div> </div> <figcaption>Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf speaking to the public at Genesee Community College on Wednesday night. Photos by Howard Owens.</figcaption> </figure> <p>Growing up in what he calls “the cowboy culture” of rural Montana, former National Football League quarterback Ryan Leaf said that he never saw another man reach out for help with mental health issues because of the stigma associated with it.</p><p>Leaf failed to live up to the expectations</p>
Leaf urges students to focus on attitude, behavior, effort https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/leaf-urges-students-to-focus-on-attitude-behavior-effort/639325 Attitude. Behavior. Effort.

“Those are three things you can control,” said Ryan Leaf, former National Football League quarterback and now a sought-after motivational speaker, to about 300 high school juniors and seniors on Wednesday morning during a prom awareness event at the Genesee Community College gymnasium.

Leaf, the No. 2 selection in the 1998 NFL draft (right after Peyton Manning), came to Batavia as a guest of UConnectCare (formerly Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse).

Following a stellar collegiate career at Washington State University where he was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy in his junior year, Leaf was drafted by the San Diego Chargers – receiving a five-year, $31 million contract, including an $11.5 million signing bonus.

The Great Falls, Mont. Native said that being handed that kind of money only reinforced his belief that he could do anything he wanted.

“Money, power and prestige; I had it all,” he said to the students from Batavia High, Oakfield-Alabama, Elba, Byron-Bergen and Lyndonville at the outset of what turned out to be a two-hour talk. “I really felt that I was more important than anyone else.”

With wins in his first two NFL starts, Leaf was on top of the world. But in week three of his rookie season, a loss to Kansas City, he had “the worst game of my life” and was devastated.

“I wasn’t equipped to deal with it,” he said, adding that he experienced “arrested development” at age 13. “I was humiliated and embarrassed.”

Life in the NFL went downhill quickly after that, with Leaf sharing that he doesn’t remember many good things about his five-year NFL career. He went on to play for Dallas, Tampa Bay and Seattle before mental health issues prompted him to, in his words, “walk away from the think I wanted to do since I was 4 years old.”

Falling into depression and living under the burden as being known as one of the biggest draft busts ever, Leaf said he turned to taking Vicodin to ease his pain.

“I didn’t want to feel anything and the Vicodin did that for me,” he said. “It was eight years of a constant chase.”

Leaf said he squandered all of his money and resorted to going through friends medicine cabinets in search of his high – and then to entering strangers’ homes to find pills. Law enforcement caught up to him in March 2012 and he was sentenced to seven years in prison for burglary and possession of narcotics.

“For 26 of the 32 months that I served, I did nothing much watch a little TV at the end of my bed,” he said. “I wanted to die. I didn’t want to be there.”

Fortunately for him, his cellmate urged him to help some of the other inmates learn how to read. Reluctantly, he accepted the offer and, later on, he set out to become a substance abuse counselor.

Over the past 12 years, Leaf, 47, has maintained sobriety and has worked tirelessly to improve his life through AA meetings, therapy, prayer and meditation, and reaching out to others.

“What changed is (that I embraced) service to others, and it’s not money-generated,” he said. “Just sharing my story. And (addressing the students) your life’s story is just as inspirational and impactful as mine because you’re still here. Sharing that is the most serviceable thing you could do.”

Leaf, a Connecticut resident, talked about how he changed his attitude toward women – “I never respected women,” he said – and speaking glowingly of his wife, 6 ½-year-old son and 6-month-old daughter.

When not traveling around the U.S. speaking about substance use and mental health stigma, Leaf, chief executive officer of RAM Consultant, Inc., serves as a college and NFL analyst for Westwood One Sports and hosts a radio and television shows.

Stating that he’s “OK” with his past, Leaf said, “We all screw up and then think it’s the end of the world. But it’s not. You can stumble and fall but you need to keep trying. It doesn’t matter what happened it the past.”

He encouraged the students to “do the little things” that provide strength in times of temptation.

“You always have a choice,” he said, mentioning drinking and driving, drug use and sexual activity. “Enjoy the next couple weeks (before proms and graduations). It’s fleeting. It goes by so fast.”

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/leaf-urges-students-to-focus-on-attitude-behavior-effort/639325#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/leaf-urges-students-to-focus-on-attitude-behavior-effort/639325 May 9, 2024, 9:07am notify Leaf urges students to focus on attitude, behavior, effort mikepett <p>Attitude. Behavior. Effort.</p><p>“Those are three things you can control,” said Ryan Leaf, former National Football League quarterback and now a sought-after motivational speaker, to about 300 high school juniors and seniors on Wednesday morning during a prom awareness event at the Genesee Community College gymnasium.</p><p>Leaf, the No. 2</p>
Former NFL QB Ryan Leaf to share his story at GCC, Room T-102, at 6 o'clock tonight https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/former-nfl-qb-ryan-leaf-to-share-his-story-at-gcc-room-t-102-at-6-oclock-tonight/639316
Ryan Leaf and students
Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf poses with six of the 300 or so students this morning following his prom awareness presentation sponsored by UConnectCare at Genesee Community College.  The public is invited to hear his inspirational story that focuses on substance use recovery and mental health sitgma at 6 o'clock tonight at Room T-102 at GCC. Photo by Mike Pettinella/UConnectCare publicist.
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https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/former-nfl-qb-ryan-leaf-to-share-his-story-at-gcc-room-t-102-at-6-oclock-tonight/639316#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/former-nfl-qb-ryan-leaf-to-share-his-story-at-gcc-room-t-102-at-6-oclock-tonight/639316 May 8, 2024, 3:17pm notify Former NFL QB Ryan Leaf to share his story at GCC, Room T-102, at 6 o'clock tonight mikepett <figure role="group" class="caption caption-div"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img alt="Ryan Leaf and students" class="image-style-large" height="413" loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2024-05/leaf-and-boys-2.jpg?itok=YlBNkDIJ" width="800"> </div> </div> <figcaption>Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf poses with six of the 300 or so students this morning following his prom awareness presentation sponsored by UConnectCare at Genesee Community College. &nbsp;The public is invited to hear his inspirational story that focuses on substance use recovery and mental health sitgma at 6 o'clock tonight at Room T-102 at GCC. Photo by Mike Pettinella/UConnectCare publicist.</figcaption> </figure>
Genesee County Spartans set high standards as they prepare for 2024 football season https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/genesee-county-spartans-set-high-standards-as-they-prepare-for-2024-football-season/639077
Harry Rascoe
Harry Rascoe

Supported by a newly formed board of directors that is committed to establishing a sense of pride in the organization, the Genesee County Spartans are back for a second season of competition in the Northeastern Football Alliance.

Harry Rascoe, (photo at right), vice president/head of football operations and head coach, said all members of the semipro team – players, coaches, directors and game-day volunteers – will be held to a higher standard for the 2024 campaign, which gets underway on June 1 against the visiting Lockport Wildcats.

The Spartans will be playing their home games at the Town of Pembroke football field, just down the road from Pembroke High School on Route 77. All home games will be on Saturdays, starting at 3:30 p.m.

In an interview with The Batavian on Tuesday, Rascoe acknowledged the disciplinary and behavior issues that surfaced toward the end of last season. He said all those associated

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/genesee-county-spartans-set-high-standards-as-they-prepare-for-2024-football-season/639077#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/genesee-county-spartans-set-high-standards-as-they-prepare-for-2024-football-season/639077 Apr 18, 2024, 9:52am notify Genesee County Spartans set high standards as they prepare for 2024 football season mikepett <figure role="group" class="caption caption-div align-right"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img alt="Harry Rascoe" class="image-style-large" height="269" loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2024-04/harry-rascoe-2.jpg?itok=GWBeLXU9" width="150"> </div> </div> <figcaption>Harry Rascoe</figcaption> </figure> <p>Supported by a newly formed board of directors that is committed to establishing a sense of pride in the organization, the Genesee County Spartans are back for a second season of competition in the Northeastern Football Alliance.</p><p>Harry Rascoe, <em>(photo at right)</em>, vice president/head of football operations and head coach, said all members of the semipro team – players, coaches, directors and game-day volunteers – will be held to a higher standard for the 2024 campaign, which gets underway on June 1 against the visiting Lockport Wildcats.</p><p>The Spartans will be playing their home games at the Town of Pembroke football field, just down the road from Pembroke High School on Route 77. All home games will be on Saturdays, starting at 3:30 p.m.</p><p>In an interview with The Batavian on Tuesday, Rascoe acknowledged the disciplinary and behavior issues that surfaced toward the end of last season. He said all those associated</p>
Town planners set public hearings for solar farm, motocross, snow equipment storage, biogas projects https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/town-planners-set-public-hearings-for-solar-farm-motocross-snow-equipment-storage-biogas The Batavia Town Planning Board on Tuesday night set public hearings for four projects, including a 5-megawatt ground-mounted commercial solar system on a large agricultural parcel at 9327 Wortendyke Rd.

Speaking at the board’s meeting at the Batavia Town Hall, Will Nieles, project developer representing New Leaf Energy said the solar array will cover about 15.7 acres of a 51.3-acre field in an Agricultural-Residential zoned district.

The application has been submitted by Judy Green/Wortendyke Road Solar 1, LLC.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/town-planners-set-public-hearings-for-solar-farm-motocross-snow-equipment-storage-biogas#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/mikepett/town-planners-set-public-hearings-for-solar-farm-motocross-snow-equipment-storage-biogas Apr 17, 2024, 4:08pm notify Town planners set public hearings for solar farm, motocross, snow equipment storage, biogas projects mikepett <p><span>The Batavia Town Planning Board on Tuesday night set public hearings for four projects, including a 5-megawatt ground-mounted commercial solar system on a large agricultural parcel at 9327 Wortendyke Rd.</span></p><p><span>Speaking at the board’s meeting at the Batavia Town Hall, Will Nieles, project developer representing New Leaf Energy said the solar array will cover about 15.7 acres of a 51.3-acre field in an Agricultural-Residential zoned district.</span></p><p><span>The application has been submitted by Judy Green/Wortendyke Road Solar 1, LLC.</span></p>