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Friday, April 17, 2015 at 8:57 am

Springtime in and around the wetlands

Pussy willow, one of the earliest harbingers of springtime and perhaps the most short-lived. Within a couple days the catkins will turn yellow and flowery in appearance.  

Oxbow marsh on Oak Orchard Wildlife Management Area. A stopover for both migrating and nesting waterfowl.

Phragmite reflections on the surface of a vernal pool. How long the water lasts here depends on the seasonal rainfall. But the creatures whose procreation depends on such a pool are great barometers and get things under way accordingly. Wood frogs, spring peepers and salamanders are among the visitors who come here to breed.

A late afternoon sun illuminates the trees along Oak Orchard creek on a calm spring evening. Though placid-looking, the water level is presently well above normal as is the current.

Pussy willow stands out in contrast against background evergreens.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 5:42 pm

GO ART! searching for new executive director, deadline to apply is Friday, April 24

post by Billie Owens in GO ART!

Press release:

Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council -- GOART! -- seeks an energetic, organized, communicative manager for a two-county regional arts council. The deadline for applicant submissions is Friday, April 24.

The person selected will be responsible for:

  • Staff of two full-time and three part-time employees;
  • Annual budget of $338,000;
  • Working collaboratively with county and municipal government agencies;
  • Writing and supervising grant applications and projects, including approximately $138,000/year of New York State Council on the Arts regrant funds;
  • Working with a diverse clientele including other arts organizations (historic preservation, music, visual and performing arts), individual artists and groups;
  • Administering an Historic Landmark facility in Downtown Batavia, New York and seven local and regional galleries;
  • Supervising GOART! sponsored and/or based events including annual July 4th “Picnic in the Park";
  • Working with a volunteer Board of Directors, currently 11 members representing both counties;
  • Leads development and fundraising efforts including locating possible sources of funds.

Candidate submissions must include:

  1. Letter addressing why the candidate would be a good choice for GOART! (Please see the GOART! Executive Director Job Description on the GOART! Web site at http://www.goart.org/news/)
  1. Résumé.
  1. Two (2) Reference Letters (may not be from a relative of the candidate) – at least one (1) Reference Letter must be from a community leader, an educator, or a person working in the artistic community.

If submitting electronically, submit all documents in .pdf or .docx format to:

[email protected]

If submitting via U.S. Mail, mark envelope as Confidential and mail to:

Executive Director Search Committee

GOART!

201 E. Main St.

Batavia, NY 14020-2205

Attn.:  Diana Kastenbaum – Search Committee Chair

ALL SUBMISSIONS MUST BE POSTMARKED OR ELECTRONICALLY SUBMITTED BY FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2015

Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 5:38 pm

Accident with injuries reported at Ellicott Street and Ellicott Place, Batavia

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported at Ellicott Street and Ellicott Place. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 5:49 p.m.: The city assignment is back in service.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 4:14 pm

Kiwanis members ready to cook up a heaping helping of spaghetti and meatballs

post by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Kiwanis Club

Members of the Kiwanis Club of Batavia are inviting you to the club's annual spaghetti and meatball dinner from noon to 3 p.m., April 26 at the YWCA, 301 North St., Batavia. Tickets are $7 per person and available at the door.

Pictured are club members, from left, Shannon Ford, Jeanne Walton, Anne Bezon, Patti Pacino and Theresa Asmus.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 2:52 pm

Feds raid vapor shop on Ellicott Street for allegedly selling fake products

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

An E-cigarette/vapor retail shop at 327 Ellicott St. was raided this afternoon by agents of Homeland Security who had a search warrant for counterfeit E-cigarettes. The shop is across from Hutchins Street in the City of Batavia and has no business name on the outside of the building. The feds are investigating the alleged sale of E-cigarettes made in China but marketed under a competitive brand name.

UPDATE: The business name is A Plus Vapors.

UPDATE: Here's a New York Times piece on China's booming electronic cigarette manufacturing business, including counterfeits.

UPDATE 4:34 p.m.: After initially being told by a federal authority that details would be available later, we're now told the search warrant is still under a court-ordered seal and no more information will be released. We'll continue to try and find out what we can.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 1:46 pm

Grant moves forward to assist p.w. minor's plans to move jobs from China to Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, p.w. minor

The first of the necessary paper is being pushed to move jobs from China to the p.w. minor shoe factory in Batavia with the Ways and Means Committee approval yesterday of a resolution to accept a $750,000 grant from the state to assist the company's local expansion.

The county must accept the grant, which passes through the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corp. (a branch of Genesee County Economic Development Center), which will become part of a grant and deferred loan program for p.w. minor.

The grant was approved by Empire Development Corps after the agency encouraged p.w. minor to apply for the grant.

The application pledges 80 new local jobs added over a two-year period, but p.w. minor is planning to transfer a total of 100 jobs over time from China to Batavia.

The LDC will package the $750,000 with $125,000 loan from LDC funds to assist p.w. minor in buying shoe-making machinery.

Mark Masse, VP of business development for GCEDC, laid out the terms of the resolution for members of the Ways and Means Committee, who recommended approval of the resolution to the full County Legislature.

Andrew Young, one of the co-owners the New p.w. minor, is also a member of the Legislature, and while he attended Wednesday's meeting, he was not present during the discussion of the resolution.

Young and local entrepreneur Peter Zeliff, purchased p.w. minor after the previous owners announced plans to close the plant, thereby saving dozens of local jobs at Batavia's oldest, continuously running business.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 12:00 pm

County legislator expresses opposition to proposal for hunting in county park

post by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Park, hunting, outdoors

A proposal to allow limited deer hunting this fall in the Genesee County Park won't get the unanimous support of county legislators.

Legislator Mike Davis said during the Ways and Means Committee meeting that he can't support the proposed local law change that will make the hunt possible.

He said he was concerned about the safety of other park users during hunting season.

"If the park were completely closed to all but hunting, then I'm in, but without that I just can't support it," Davis said.

The committee the voted with the one dissenting vote to recommend passage of the local law to the full Legislature.

Davis was recently appointed to the Legislature and represents the Darien and Pembroke areas of the county.

Under terms of the proposal, bow hunting will be confined to 12 zones along the southern border of the park. While the hiking trails will be open, hunters are being told to stay clear of trails and be courteous of others using the park.

Hunters will be selected through a lottery Sept. 15, following a Sept. 11 deadline for applications, which open Aug. 17.

Two zones will be set aside for youth and disabled veterans, and young hunters and disabled veterans will be given priority over hunters from outside Genesee County.

In all, 48 hunters will be selected to receive permits for the four-week season, which runs from Oct. 19 through Nov. 15.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 11:02 am

Motor vehicle accident at Center Street and School Street, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A motor-vehicle accident is reported at Center Street and School Street, Batavia.

Unknown injuries.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 11:15 a.m.: No injuries. Two vehicles, moved to parking lot.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 9:11 am

School board looking at offering bus rides to city students who live further from schools

post by Jess Wheeler in batavia, City Schools, education, schools

The 157 city school students who live more than a mile and a half from their schools could soon have the option of riding a bus.

Currently, bus transportation isn't offered to students who live within the city boundaries, but the proposal should change the policy.

The district contracts with Student Transportation of America for bus transportation. Under the proposal, BTA will conduct two pick-ups and two drop-offs at designated locations in the city.

Currently, the buses only do one run and pick-up all of the kids on the first pass. 

“We’re paying for time that we aren’t using,” Business Administrator Scott Rozanski said.

The Board was hopeful that the change for transportation would solve concerns that have been raised.

“This would limit the number of students who have to walk well over two miles,” Rozanski said. “They could just walk to their pick-up and then come directly to the high school."

“Ideally, no student will have to walk more than half of a mile to their pick-up destination,” Superintendent Christopher J. Dailey added.

Safety would increase due to less traffic on State Street. Attendance at the high school is expected to improve during the winter when parents might keep their kids at home in bad weather.

The transportation change will be conducted within the parameters of the current contract with Student Transportation of America. There will be no additional cost to the budget or the taxpayers.

The Board of Education thanked Rozanski for his effort to solve the transportation issue Batavia High School has had for several years.

The proposed increased transportation will be added to the ballot which goes to voters on May 19.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 8:55 am

Law and Order: Two teens arrested after officers respond to report of marijuana ordor in apartment

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander, bergen, crime, Le Roy

An 18-year-old Le Roy resident and a 17-year-old Le Roy resident are charged with endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful possession of marijuana. Le Roy PD responded to a report of the smell of marijuana in an apartment. After a brief investigation, officers concluded the youths possessed and smoked marijuana in the apartment while two youths under age 17 were present. The 18-year-old was jailed on $500 bail. Le Roy PD did not release the names of either individual.

Christopher E. Merrell, 53, of Bergen, is charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, 2nd, no seat belt, inadequate exhaust, illegal window tint and unlicensed operation. Merrell was stopped by State Police on Route 98, Alexander.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 8:48 am

Drug Task Force announces three arrests

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Three people have been arrested as the result of two separate investigations into the illegal sale of narcotics in Genesee County.

In the first investigation, arrested were Sege D. Kalmbacher, 39, of Overlook Drive, Batavia, and Paula R. Kalmbacher, 43, of Overlook Drive, Batavia.

Sege is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 5th, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th. Paula faces one count of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and one count of criminal possesison of a controlled substance, 3rd.

Both are accused of selling a controlled substance to agents of the Local Drug Task Force.

Sege was arrested Friday and jailed on $10,000 bail. Paula turned herself in Monday and was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

In the second investigation, arrested was Cynthia C. Richardson, 35, of Maple Street, Batavia. 

Richardson is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 5th, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th. 

She is accused of selling a controlled substance to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force.

She was arrested at the courts facility and jailed on $10,000 bail.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 8:33 am

Interagency Council sponsors basket raffle

Wednesday at T.F. Brown's, Batavia, was the Genesee County Interagency Council sponsored a "Cabin Fever Reliever" Basket Raffle.  

"Our goal is to raise funds to support local college scholarships for students entering the fields of: sociology, psychology, social work or human services," said Heather Bell, a social worker with Catholic Charities.  

Applications have gone out to local high schools and are due back by June 1. Contact Lisa Whittmeyer, Scholarship Chair at Community Action 343-7798.  

More than 50 baskets were offered and there was a 50/50 drawing and grand prize -- overnight package with dinner for 2 at Russell's and Salvatore's in Buffalo.

The mission of the Genessee County Interagency Council is to create fellowship and understanding among community human services agencies. The council helps to identify community issues and encourages development of resolutions.

Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/geneseeorleansinteragency

Pictured above from left is: Heather Bell, social worker with Catholic Charities; Karen Hall, coordinator of Financial Management of Lifespan of Greather Rochester; Stephanie Urena, outreach specialist of United Health Care. Pam Case, PathStone family self-sufficiency manager, and Michele Lawson, support coordinator of Care-A-Van Ministries.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 8:36 pm

Fire reported on Lovers Lane Road, Town of Batavia

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

Heavy smoke and flames are confirmed in the area of 8487 Lovers Lane Road. Town of Batavia fire is responding.

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