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Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 11:38 pm

Candlelight vigil in Le Roy honors the memory of Joshua Mouery

post by Howard Owens in Le Roy

More than 100 Le Roy High School students and community members attended a candlelight vigil tonight at the Le Roy Fire Hall in honor of Joshua Ian Mouery, who died six days ago at age 16.

The vigil was organized by Le Roy students Joseph Pratt, Josh Janiszeski and Amy Kaplun.

Pratt said Mouery was a best friend and urged all who attended to remember all of the good times with Josh and carry him in their hearts for the rest of their lives.

Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Photos: Oakfield Historical Society opens museum with open house

post by Howard Owens in history, Oakfield

The Oakfield Historical Society held its annual open house today, marking the opening of its museum for the season.

Above, reenactor Jim Ferris shows off his flint smooth-bore rifle.

Sue Conklin shows Olivia Tobias, age 7, how to spin yarn.

Reenactor Pete Bosch sits for a photo next to one of the displays in the museum.

Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Photos: Civil War Tea and Fashion Show at HLOM

post by Howard Owens in batavia, history, hlom

The Holland Land Office Museum hosted a Civil War Tea and Fashion Show this afternoon. Dona LaValle (gray dress) lectured in detail about Civil War fashion, mostly in the South; a model did show off a typical dress from the North during the era.

Participants included Melissa Landers, Kaitlyn Landers, Candice, Rachel and Elien Bachorski, Mary Joe Eddy, Rita Reichle and Anne Marie Starowitz.

Vocalist Amy Savino, accompanied by Jeffrey M. Fischer, performed (bottom photo).

Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Today's Deals: Daphne's, Alex's Place, T.F. Brown's, Bourbon & Burger Co., and more

post by Billie Owens in Deal of the Day

$$$  We've lowered the price on some gift certificates. Check it out!  $$$

Daphne's Restaurant & Lounge, 241 Swan St., (Off Rt. 63/Ellicott St.) Batavia, NY. Daphne's is destined to become a favorite for any who enjoy something special in a dining experience. Formerly the old St. Nick's Social Club, now unrecognizable to those who used to frequent the club, Daphne's provides you with a warm, inviting atmosphere and decor, which complements the array of wonderful dishes. We offer homemade seafood and pasta dishes, meatballs that are addicting as well as large salads, hot sandwiches & homemade potato chips. Fresh desserts are prepared in our own kitchen (tiramisu has been the top seller so far). We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

$$$  The Color Salon, 35 Center St., Batavia, NY: Our attention to detail, combined with the focus on precision haircutting techniques will ensure that your hair will be your best accessory when you leave The Color Salon. We offer all hair care services including cuts, color, highlights, up-dos, as well as waxing services. We carry products such as KMS and Paul Mitchell. Now available: Bella Taylor purses! We have a $25 gift certificate for $8.

Santino's Pizza, 2 Main St., Oakfield, NY: We're pizza and a whole lot more! Voted #1 pizza in Genesee County in blind taste test! Santino's features pizza, wings, subs, wraps, ice cream, and more! We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Clor's Meat Market, Catering & BBQ, 4169 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: For the best, most flavorful, juiciest chicken or hamburger in town, hands down, stop by Clor's. Oh, and the steaks are great, too. And the sausage. Clor's is under new ownership and now offers baked goods, pizza, wings, delivery service, and catering. Clor's also serves lunch and dinners from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. We have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew, 9 Main St., Le Roy, NY. The kind of downhome, laid-back and comfortable place that just feels right. Open daily for lunch, dinner and drinks, this eatery and bar features a variety of eats and drinks that are outstanding. Specializing in smoked meats -- each meat is dry rubbed with a proprietary mix of seasonings, then smoked slowly in their on-site smoker for maximum flavor and tenderness. With a variety of appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, combo platters and entrées, there's always plenty of choice for even picky eaters. Great food, frosty brews and some of the best folk around call the Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew their favorite -- make it your favorite today! Don't forget to ask about our catering! We have a $20 gift card for $12.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, NY: People come from all over the region for a fine dining experience at Alex's. It's best known for its ribs, of course, but Alex's seafood is also a favorite of the restaurant's diners. We have a $25 gift certificate for $15.

Alli's Cones & Dogs, 7063 Lewiston Road, Oakfield, NY: Full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu; all-you-can-eat salad bar; ice cream served year-round; eat-in or take-out. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Jagged Edges Salon, 4140 Veterans Memorial Drive, Batavia, NY: Jagged Edges Salon is a walk-in and appointment salon for men, women and children. It is a fun, welcoming salon that offers all hair care services including cuts, color, highlights, lowlights, perms, styling/updos, treatments, and facial waxing. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

$$$  Viking Valhalla Restaurant & Rose Garden Bowl21 Buffalo Road, Bergen, NY: Open for lunch Monday through Sunday, and dinner Friday and Saturday evenings. Dinner favorites are our succulent prime rib and Friday fish fries! We are always happy to help plan your special occasion -- wedding, shower, rehearsal dinner, stag party, graduation, company function, banquet, family or class reunion. We have a $20 gift certificate for $8.

$$$  Casa Del Taco, 234 Ellicott St., Batavia, NY: Mexican food lovers will delight in this new eatery that makes tacos and burritos "the way you want 'em" plus it offers other items like taco salads, burrito bowls, loaded nachos, churros, and chili. Choose from a variety of toppings, including jalapenos, black beans, cilantro and guacamole. There are also several varieties of salsa to select from, such as corn, mango, verde, and sweet Thai ranch. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday thru Saturday; closed Sunday. We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

Sammy Hill's, 7 Mill St., Le Roy, NY: This new restaurant has good, fresh food, including hand-pressed burgers, and a friendly atmosphere. Choose a house specialty burger or make your own with a variety of toppings, cheeses and sauces to select from. The menu also includes flatbread sliders, garbage plates, shredded beef or marinated chicken tacos, sandwiches like the Cuban, bruschetta chicken, or deep-fried pork loin. Friday fish fry -- battered, broiled or blackened. Dine in or take out. "Come Get Some!" Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., closed Monday. We have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

The Mane Attraction Salon and Spa99 Main St., Batavia, NY: offers "Affordable Luxury" in downtown Batavia. We pride ourselves in the great customer service we give to the entire family. Men, women and children are all welcome either by appointment or walk-in. We offer all hair care services including cuts, color, highlights, lowlights, perms, styling/updos, facials, leg and back waxing, Shellac Polish System, manicures and pedicures. We are the only salon in Batavia that has an airplane chair for kids' cuts! Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

T.F. Brown's, 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's." Stop in and check out our Jumbo Chicken Wings, Roast Beef on Weck and Friday night fish fry. The original family spaghetti sauce still adorns all of our Italian specialties. The other popular selections from our menu range from Super Salads, butcher cut Strip Loin and South of the Border items. We offer daily lunch and dinner specials as well as a full adult and children’s menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

$$$  Scooter's Restaurant in Le Roy, 140 W. Main Street Road (Route 5), Le Roy, NY: Come see us at Scooter's family restaurant with our friendly atmosphere and homestyle cooking! We offer classic American food with breakfast, lunch and dinner served all day. We also offer a full take-out menu anytime. We have a $10 gift certificate for $4.

Blue Pearl Yoga, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Stretch your body and soul with yoga. This offer is a $30 gift certificate for $15. For kids or adults -- new students only. Not good with any other discounts or offers. Use before August 2014.

Settler's, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Bourbon & Burger Co., 9 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Batavia's newest burger joint offers more than two dozen different types of tasty hamburgers. Our menu also includes a variety of sandwiches, appetizers and an extensive beer list, plus a full bar. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

$$$  The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Whether you need just the right gift or a memorial or just want to brighten your own home or workplace, The Enchanted Florist can put together just the right floral arrangement for you. We have a $20 gift certificate for $5.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $12.

Sweet Ecstasy Bakery & Bistro, 201 E. Main St., Batavia, NY. A retail and special-order bakery and cafe located in Downtown Batavia inside Seymour Place. Offering a wide variety of items such as cookies, filled cupcakes, quick breads, pies, breakfast pastries, daily. On Fridays, it offers fresh artisan bread like baguettes, sourdough and rye starting at noon. The custom cakes are out of this world with 3D characters or gorgeous wedding cakes to suit any budget. For all your sweet treats, we have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

$$$  Spirits, 78 Lake St., Le Roy, NY. Le Roy's favorite sports bar, where fun and good food are always on tap. Come try one of our many delicious burgers that we have to offer, as well as our HUGE Bomber Sandwich, homemade chicken fingers made to order, and the all-time favorite Dumpster Plate with many choices. We deliver. We have a $20 gift certificate for $8.

Greg'ry's Bakery, 13 N. Lake Road, Bergen, NY: The bakery offers a variety of the finest cakes, cookies, pies, cupcakes, breads, breakfast and lunch sandwiches and so much more. Each treat is made the same as it has been for decades and baked right here. Come in and sample some for yourself! We have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

Dave's Ice Cream, 3872 W. Main Street Road, Batavia, NY: Dave's offers only locally purchased products, including Perry's hard ice cream in a wide variety of yummy flavors, with a wonderful assortment of toppings and homemade waffle cones. Different soft-serve flavors are offered weekly. We have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

SOLD OUT

Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 11:18 am

Photos: Students tested on tractor safety skills

post by Howard Owens in 4-H, agriculture, Tractor Safety

It was test day today for the 10 students who took the 14-class course in tractor safety through 4-H.

The class is open to 14- and 15-year-olds.

The tests were conducted at Empire Tractor on East Main Street Road, Batavia.

Above, Matt Horine backs a tractor to a hitch while being graded by Tim Adams.

Below, a student drives through the obstacle course.

Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 8:47 am

Restoration work was in progress, landlord says, when city condemned apartment building on Jackson

post by Howard Owens in batavia, 113 Jackson Street, Jackson Street, landlords

The four-unit apartment building at 113 Jackson Street has been condemned by city officials and its residents relocated, but the owner says things sound a lot worse than they really are.

The most notable problem is the south wall, according to Guy Pellegrino, which is clearly bowed out, but Pellegrino said it was that way when he purchased the building 15 years ago and was in that condition years before he bought it.

It's never been an issue with city officials until now, he said, and it may not even be necessary to repair. He will need to hire a structural engineer to make that determination and present findings to the city.

The 4,000-square-foot building is 180 years old. The property is assessed at $115,000.

City Manager Jason Molino said 113 Jackson was closed for electrical, mechanical and structural code violations.

Molino said the Red Cross assisted, at least for the first day, the two tenants living in the complex after the building was condemned.

City officials only acted on the property after there was a report of a possible fire in one of the apartments Tuesday, Molino said. Firefighters found suspected code violations and a code enforcement officer was called to the scene.

According to Molino, tenants at the apartment were living in "deplorable conditions." The building was condemned, he said, because it was unfit for human occupancy.

Pellegrino has a different version of what city inspectors found at the complex.

First, the second-story apartments have been vacant since the Fall and are currently undergoing a complete restoration. The apartments have been gutted. The floors have been removed, the walls are being repainted and all the junk left by previous tenants thrown out.

"My plan has been once Spring rolls around is to finish the apartments and turn them into better quality units," Pellegrino said.

Pellegrino believes that it was the former upstairs tenants who have been the source of suspected criminal activity in and around the apartment building. After there was an armed robbery of a pizza delivery driver reported at that location, Pellegrino evicted both tenants, having them physically removed from the property.

A lifelong Batavia resident with a large family locally and other business interests, Pellegrino said the reports of criminal activity at the address, especially the suspected armed robbery, were a real embarrassment.

"That's not who I am," Pellegrino said. "I don't want people to have that impression of me. Once I thought they had something to do with it, I got rid of the tenants."

What Pellegrino didn't know, he said, was that one of his downstairs tenants was a hoarder and was stealing electricity from a neighboring apartment.

"The only person living in deplorable conditions was the hoarder," Pellegrino said.

The woman who lived in the other apartment kept her place clean and there was no problem with that unit, Pellegrino said.

The man had lived in the apartment for 10 years, according to Pellegrino.

"His rent was $600 a month and he paid it like clockwork," Pellegrino said. "I had no reason to believe he was a problem and I had no cause to go into his apartment."

The resident, Pellegrino said, created the alleged electrical code violations by removing electrical panels so he could tap into the power lines of another apartment, and running extension cords into his apartment.

Each apartment has its own electric meter and tenants are responsible for their own utilities, so Pellegrino doesn't get the electric bills and had no idea the tenant no longer had his own electric service to his apartment, he said.

One thing people don't understand, Pellegrino said, is that when a landlord rents to Section 8, HUD or any other social services tenant, the apartments are inspected by the government before the tenants move in. There's never been a problem with his apartments, Pellegrino said.

Other than the issue with the south wall, everything the city says is a code violation will be easy to fix, Pellegrino said. If a structural engineer clears the long-standing bowed south wall, then it will no longer be an issue, Pellegrino said.

There's a dumpster behind the apartment that's half filled with junk and garbage bags. The dumpster was originally brought in to help with the gutting of the two upstairs apartments. It's also being filled with the decades-long accumulation of junk left in the basement by former tenants, and, Pellegrino said, the hoarder has already started cleaning out his apartment and throwing stuff in it.

After 15 years in the residential rental business, Pellegrino is ready to get out. All of his properties are going up for sale, he said.

He was leaning in that direction before 113 Jackson was condemned, he said, but he's been "just sick" about what happened with the property and he's had enough. He thinks a lot has changed about the kind of tenants a landlord has to deal with in Batavia over the past 15 years. It's just not a good business to be in, he said, especially for someone who values his reputation in the community.

Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 12:08 am

Photo: Erin Sydney Welsh performs at City Slickers

post by Howard Owens in batavia, City Slickers, entertainment, music

Ken Mistler has been booking more live music into City Slickers. Friday night, Erin Sydney Welsh performed. While I was there, at least six people came up to me and said something along the lines of, "Doesn't she have a beautiful voice? Are you going to take her picture and post it on The Batavian?" Welsh does have a beautiful, strong, clear voice. She performed a variety of covers and original songs. Welsh is 18 and a senior at Clarence High School.

Friday, April 4, 2014 at 11:53 pm

Area magistrates hold annual dinner at Terry Hills

post by Howard Owens in Justice

Press release:

The Genesee County Magistrates Association held its Annual Banquet Dinner at Terry Hills Golf Course and Restaurant on Friday, April 4. Local judges, town board members and politicians from varying areas of New York State were in attendance. GCMA President, The Honorable Michael Cleveland, Batavia Town Justice, was Master of Ceremonies. 


The keynote speaker at the banquet was The Honorable Michael V. Coccoma, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge (Outside NYC) who is responsible for managing the courts in the 57 counties outside of New York City, which includes more than 700 justices and over 5,500 nonjudicial employees. He works with local administrative judges to allocate and assign judicial and nonjudicial personnel resources to meet the needs and goals of the State-paid trial-level courts as well as town and village courts.

During the banquet, Judge Coccoma was presented with a crystal sculpture created by glass artist Victor Trabucco which recognizes his contributions to the town and village courts of Genesee County. 

Supreme Court Justice, The Hon. M. William Boller, was also recognized for his service to the Genesee County Judiciary. Judge Boller was the Supervising Judge for Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, and Wyoming counties. The Honorable Michael M. Mohun has now been appointed as Supervising Judge for Genesee and Wyoming counties.

Pictured: Hon. Sara Sheldon Farkas, Hon. William Boller, Jeannine Wilson-Sikora,
 Hon. Paula Feroleto, Hon. Michael Coccoma, Hon. Gary Graber, Hon. Michael Mohun.

Photos and information submitted by Hon. Patricia Buczek.

Friday, April 4, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Photo: Ugandan Water Walk at Batavia HS

post by Howard Owens in Batavia HS

Today, dozens of Batavia High School Z-Club (Zonta) students participated in the Ugandan Water Walk. The walk was a fundraiser to pay for a rainwater collection device at a school in Uganda. James Harrington, the tallest person in the picture, is a Rochester resident and director of the Uganda Water Project. He will travel to Uganda soon to install the water collection device and report back to the BHS students before the end of the school year on its installation. The device will last for 35 years, Harrington. Above, Chelsea Jensen, left, and Marissa Carbonell carry water through the hall of BHS as part of the walk.

Friday, April 4, 2014 at 11:40 am

Ranzenhofer announces state funds for road and street repair

post by Howard Owens in infrastructure, Mike Ranzenhofer

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer announced today that the 2014-15 State Budget will provide an additional $40 million to help municipalities repair potholes and road surface damage caused by the harsh winter weather.

“While spring has finally arrived, the aftermath of a brutal winter still remains. There are still a significant number of potholes and surface damage all over the roadways. At the same time, the harsh winter has depleted municipalities’ budgets to repair roads,” Ranzenhofer said. “These investments will benefit towns and villages throughout Genesee County so that new infrastructure repair projects can be undertaken.”

The 2014-15 State Budget includes $40 million in Extreme Winter Weather Assistance Capital and $438 million for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS). The new budget maintains a record level of funding for the CHIPS program for a second consecutive year. The 2012-13 State Budget first increased CHIPS funding by $75 million.

Breakdown: CHIPS/Extreme Winter Weather Assistance by Municipality

Municipality

2013-14 State Budget ($)

2014-15 State Budget ($)

Year-over-year Change ($)

Percent Change

Genesee County

1,674,922

1,823,766

148,844

8.89

City of Batavia

308,736

337,343

28,607

9.27

Town of Alabama

85,971

95,945

9,974

11.60

Town of Alexander

89,208

99,405

10,197

11.43

Town of Batavia

103,681

115,241

11,560

11.15

Town of Bergen

49,382

55,025

5,643

11.43

Town of Bethany

78,161

86,815

8,655

11.07

Town of Byron

96,201

107,622

11,421

11.87

Town of Darien

105,413

117,649

12,236

11.61

Town of Elba

76,621

85,738

9,117

11.90

Town of LeRoy

100,215

111,698

11,483

11.46

Town of Oakfield

50,614

56,278

5,664

11.19

Town of Pavilion

103,501

115,242

11,741

11.34

Town of Pembroke

95,732

106,478

10,746

11.22

Town of Stafford

95,234

106,160

10,926

11.47

Village of Alexander

8,879

9,861

982

11.05

Village of Bergen

19,679

21,685

2,006

10.20

Village of Corfu

13,354

14,920

1,566

11.72

Village of Elba

8,932

9,842

910

10.19

Village of Le Roy

74,672

83,020

8,348

11.18

Village of Oakfield

28,029

31,203

3,174

11.32

In addition to these initiatives, the State Budget provides ways to keep roads and drivers safe. More funding has been allocated toward curtailing dangerous texting-while-driving. Young and new drivers convicted of texting-while-driving will have their licenses suspended for 120 days for a first-time offense and one year for a second-time offense.

The New York State Legislature started the CHIPS program in 1981. The CHIPS program provides funding for the repair of highways, bridges and roads operated by local governments.

 

Friday, April 4, 2014 at 11:37 am

GCEDC board approves Koolatron and Premiere Credit projects

post by Howard Owens in batavia, business, GCEDC, Koolatron, Premiere Credit

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) approved applications for two projects at its April 3 meeting.

Mega Properties, Inc., (Koolatron) will implement a 20,000-square-foot expansion to its current facility in Gateway I Corporate Park in Batavia. The company was approved for a sales tax exemption of approximately $39,200, a mortgage tax exemption of approximately $6,250 and a property tax abatement of $144,648 based on incremental increase in assessed value. The planned capital investment will total an estimated $775,000 and is projected to create 5.5 new full-time equivalent jobs in three years after a certificate of occupancy is issued.

Mega Properties, Inc., is a Canadian company headquartered in Brantford, Ontario, with locations in the United Kingdom and the United States. The company began business with its flagship product line of 12-volt portable thermoelectric coolers and has expanded to manufacture, market and distribute a wide range of items through dealer/distributor network and the Internet. 

Premiere Credit was approved for a sales exemption of $32,000 to expand is call center in the City of Batavia. The capital investment of the expansion project is $400,000 and the company has pledged 25 additional jobs, bringing the facility’s total employment up to 150 full-time equivalent employees.

In 2012, capital expenditure of Premiere Credit was $350,000 with 100 pledged jobs. In 2013, capital expenditure was $325,000 with 50 additional jobs pledged, resulting in the creation of 134 positions at the Batavia location.

“Companies in our county keep expanding operations at their facilities due to the increasing success they’ve experienced with the business climate here. The growth of these companies will continue to positively contribute to our job creation efforts,” said Wally Hinchey, GCEDC board chairman.

Friday, April 4, 2014 at 9:33 am

Darien Lake's new manager combined love of coasters and teaching young people into one career

When Rod Rankin -- the new general manager of Darien Lake Theme Park -- was a young man, he never thought he'd wind up running facilities with rollercoasters and waterslides.

"If you'd asked me I would have said you were crazy," Rankin said. "I was going to be a high school teacher."

He studied secondary education at the University of Southern California and was working as a production manager at Paramount Pictures when Paramount bought a chain of six entertainment parks. Paramount transferred him to the theme park division. He's been working in and running theme parks for 25 years now.

But it's worked out for the would-be high school teacher. Asked what his favorite part of his job is his first response is that it's working with the youngsters who take jobs in the parks each summer.

"It's the good and the bad of this industry," Rankin said. "You're training a new generation of children every year, because this is really kind of a first job. That's the good part." Then he laughs (Rankin, a big man, has a hearty laugh). "The bad part is you're training a new generation of kids every year."

Rankin replaces Bob Montgomery, who ran the park for two years, but decided over the winter that he wanted to return to his native Canada to pursue opportunities closer to home.

Under Montgomery's leadership, Darien Lake was working on developing more of a local flare, bringing in Anchor Bar to serve wings, serving Weber Mustard and Dippin' Dots. That's a trend that will continue, Rankin said.

Besides hiring Nik Wallenda to provide entertainment throughout the season, Three Brothers Winery has agreed to set up a wine-tasting area, a wine shop and will cross promote Darien Lake with tags on its bottles at retail locations.

Another change coming to Darien Lake is a redesigned menu for Beaver Brothers and Maria's Italian Kitchen. The new menu will focus on lighter fare for health conscious diners, Rankin said. Just this week he hired a new chef to oversee the creation of the new menu.

With Paramount, Rankin started out as a project manager and was involved in rollercoaster development.

He describes himself as a coaster junkie. A native of the Los Angeles area, Rankin had plenty of access to coasters at numerous theme parks growing up, notably, of course, Disney and Knotts Berry Farm (he spent a lot of time at Knotts, he said).

Does that mean there's a new coaster in the works for Darien Lake? He won't say. He did say, "It's really fun when you go into a facility to learn the new coasters and then hopefully, eventually, build a new coaster."

Rankin spent 22 years with Paramount and its successor company, before leaving in 2007 as the Western regional vice president. He's been with Herschend Family Entertainment for four years, most recently as general manager of the company's park in Denver (unrelated side note: Herschend recently acquired the Harlem Globetrotters).

A certified master gardener, Rankin is looking forward to putting down roots in Genesee County.  He was excited that he had no trouble selling his home in Denver. He's looking forward to visiting the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Batavia. His gardening interest drifts toward heirloom tomatoes and roses. In fact, he's started a rose garden at every theme park he's run and Darien Lake will be no different, he said.

Darien Lake Theme Park's opening day is May 10. The park is hiring now for seasonal positions.

Friday, April 4, 2014 at 8:35 am

Accident with injuries reported at Bank and Cockram, Byron

post by Howard Owens in accident, byron

A motor-vehicle accident is reported at Bank Street Road and Cockram Road, Byron.

Byron and South Byron and Mercy EMS dispatched.

Injuries are reported.

It involves a sedan and tractor-trailer.

A responder is asking dispatch to check on the availability of Mercy Flight.

UPDATE 8:36 a.m.: A chief on scene says the injuries are not serious. A female driver has cuts on her face.

UPDATE 8:47 a.m.: Equipment and manpower needed for extrication.

Friday, April 4, 2014 at 8:27 am

Wind advisory issued for tonight through tomorrow afternoon

post by Howard Owens in weather

A wind advisory has been issued for 5 p.m. through noon, Saturday.

Winds of 20 to 30 mph are expected with gusts up to 50 mph.

Winds of this magnitude could bring down tree limbs resulting in isolated power outages. Drivers of high-profile vehicles may find travel difficult.

There's a 90-percent chance of rain this afternoon with a quarter inch expected.

Friday, April 4, 2014 at 8:11 am

An array of winged visitors - some colorful, some tuneful, some silly and a bully or two

post by JIM NIGRO in outdoors

Despite the up and down weather this year, the bird life has been nothing short of prolific. April has taken up where February and March left off, by offering up a variety of species. Cardinals have been front and center on the color spectrum around here, and will likely remain so until the orioles show up to scour the apple blossoms for insects.

The absence of foliage makes it an opportune time for pics or simply viewing a wide range of species and a flash of red is sure to catch the eye. His tune is easily recognizable, and it seems like he sings best under a blue sky.

Though strikingly handsome, the bluejay is more noisemaker than songster -- they make many sounds, and in the wild are quick to sound the alarm when intruders are about, be it man or beast.

While not as colorful, the white-breasted nuthatch is quite entertaining and almost comical with its trademark upside down movement.

It can be hard to distinguish between the purple finch and the house finch -- with so much red I'm thinking purple.....is that an oxymoron?!

A classic case of frost beak -- the avian equivalent of frostbite......honest :)

Many of the species share at the feeder, or, at the very least take turns, flitting back and forth between the feeder and the trees......that isn't the case with the bluejays......

The bluejays tend to be a bit of a bully at the bird feeder..... but whereas the smaller birds simply wait nearby while the bluejay gorges itself.........

When the grackles show up the songbirds tend to give them a wide berth, usually vacating the premises altogether. We had a large flock of grackles descend on us last week, and it reminded me of a couple tidbits I want to share with you in my next post.

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