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Monday, February 7, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Elba's FIRST Lego League invites robot fans to a maze race at GCC

post by Daniel Crofts in announcements, GCC, lego league, tech wars

The following is a press release from Chantal Zambito, a resident of Elba and co-coach of Elba's FIRST Lego League (see Aug. 5 article):

Calling all NXT/RCX Robotic Clubs, Groups, Teams, and Enthusiasts!

If you are between the ages of 9 and 14, you are invited to come to Genesee Community College in Batavia to participate in a friendly maze race. Whether you are a novice or an experienced user of the NXT/RCX Robotic software, this is for you.

The event will take place on Thursday, March 17, 2011 in conjunction with Tech Wars. Registration will begin at 8:45 a.m. with the events from 9:30 – 12:30.

You may decide which level you would like to compete at, novice or advanced. The three teams with the fastest times making it in and out of a maze will receive a ribbon and certificate. The best time will be taken from the group’s three trips through the maze.

Novice groups will know the route of the maze prior to the competition. The advanced teams will navigate a route chosen at random. All routes will be on an 8’ X 4’ table.

A free style, noncompetitive exhibition will also be available for teams who would like to show off a creative robot.

Information on how to get a Robotics Club started at your school or in your community will be available at the event as well. Come and look at the 2010 FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Challenge Missions, projects and presentations from local teams.

For a map of the maze, registration form, or more information about the NXT Challenge at GCC contact Chantal Zambito at [email protected]. For more information about Tech Wars go to www.techwarsgcc.org.

Monday, February 7, 2011 at 10:33 am

Catholic Charities holds volunteer workshop in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in announcements, batavia, Catholic Charities

Press Release:

Nearly 60 parish and leadership volunteers, clergy and staff of Catholic Charities gathered today for a volunteer training workshop and luncheon to start the 2011 Appeal for Catholic Charities in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties. The event was held at Bohn’s Restaurant in Batavia in preparation for the Appeal, which carries a goal of $10.5 million this year.

The theme of the 87th annual campaign is again, “Whoever. Wherever. Whenever.” because Catholic Charities is always there, providing help for people of all faiths and walks of life when they need it most. Appeal Week 2011, celebrating those who already have donated and encouraging others to do so, will take place April 10-17, though the Appeal will continue through the end of the fiscal year (June 30).

At the luncheon, Bishop Kmiec remarked on the number of people assisted by Catholic Charities in the area and the importance of the Appeal to that assistance, especially in light of the continued challenges of the local economy.

“Last year, Catholic Charities helped just over 5,000 people in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties through its programs and services,” said Bishop Kmiec. “This far-reaching and vitally important support relies on the funds raised during the Appeal. We have already seen a loss of government funding for our programs and services at the federal, state and county levels, and expect more of the same in 2011.”

He added, “Despite the challenges we face, I am inspired by the incredible commitment of the Appeal leadership team, our volunteers in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties and our many supporters. I have found in our diocese a marvelous and extraordinary spirit of giving and service to others.”

The Bishop also talked about this year’s goal and Appeal patron.

“Our goal this year is $10.5 million, the same as last year,” he said. “Even though we fell a little short in 2010, I have confidence that we will meet or exceed this year’s goal and bring our Appeal to a successful conclusion.”

“The 2011 Appeal is under the patronage of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, a woman of our own era who gave herself to the needs of the poor, sick and disadvantaged because she so clearly saw in them the image of God. Like Blessed Teresa, we ask God for the strength and courage to reach out to the people of Western New York again this year, praying that they will continue to act as a community of hope to all in need in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties and throughout the diocese.”

Bishop Kmiec was joined by Sister Mary McCarrick, OSF, Catholic Charities diocesan director; Greg Maher, chair of the 2011 Appeal; members of the Appeal leadership team; and community volunteers, clergy and lay leaders from 13 parishes in the three counties.

Sister Mary McCarrick thanked the volunteers for their dedicated efforts.

“I am so grateful for all of your hard work each year that enables Catholic Charities to carry out our mission of help and hope to people here in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties and across the Diocese. Your efforts make all the difference in keeping the Appeal and its importance at the forefront of the minds of your friends and fellow parishioners – thank you!”

Appeal Chair Greg Maher praised the immense generosity of Western New Yorkers through the last few years of tough economic conditions. He also stressed the importance of both individual and corporate donations to the Appeal, citing that one in 10 Western New Yorkers receives assistance from Catholic Charities.

“Last year charitable donations nationwide were down 10 percent. At Catholic Charities of Buffalo we missed the 2009 mark by only one-half of one percent,” said Maher. “As another show of support by the community of good neighbors, corporate donations last year actually increased by more than two percent.”

“This year we again appeal to both individuals and our strong corporate base to continue their support of Catholic Charities and help spread the word about what Catholic Charities offers nearly 160,000 Western New Yorkers each year,” he continued.

Other members of the leadership team include David Nasca, vice chair; Stephen Ulrich, parish and large gifts chair, and Anthony Delmonte, corporate gifts chair.

In Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties, Catholic Charities provides these services through its Batavia, Albion, Warsaw and Arcade offices: Domestic Violence Offenders Program, Home Visitation Program, Interfaith Caregivers of Eastern Wyoming County, Our Kids: Parent Education Groups and Preventive Services.

The Batavia office is located at 25 Liberty St., Suite 7; the Albion office at 243 South Main St.; the Warsaw office at 4 West Buffalo St., and the Arcade office is at 417 West Main St.

The Home Visitation Program is a recent addition to the Department of Clinical and Aging Services, offering weekly visits to homebound Genesee County seniors 60 years of age and older to provide socialization, companionship and assistance. There is no fee for the service, which can include non-medical assistance, light housekeeping, errands and crafts. For more information about the Home Visitation Program, call the Batavia office at 585-343-0614.

Catholic Charities is the most comprehensive direct human service provider serving all eight counties of Western New York, with 70 programs and 61 locations. Founded in 1923, Catholic Charities also provides, without regard to religious affiliation, comprehensive counseling services for children and families, anti-domestic violence programming and emergency services, among other social and mental health services.

The 2011 Appeal is under the patronage of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. For more information on the 2011 Appeal or to make a donation, contact Catholic Charities at (716) 218-1400 or go to www.ccwny.org.

Sunday, February 6, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Peace, Love and Charity fundraiser at college

post by Billie Owens in announcements

The Global Education Committee and the Student Government Association at Genesee Community College will sponsor a Peace, Love and Charity fundraiser from 12:30 to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 10 at the Batavia Campus. It will take place in the Forum and is open to the public.

Proceeds will go to Both Your Hands, a nonprofit organization that focuses on global self-sufficiency.

The fundraiser will feature samplings of international foods for $1 that are made from low-cost regional ingredients, as well as Bingo games for $1 per card. There will be an assortment of gift baskets to be raffled off.

Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase handmade goods just in time for Valentine's Day to support developing global villages across the world. A henna tattoo artist will also be creating henna tattoos for $1.

Both Your Hands is designed to connect caring communities with poor villages to create self-sufficiency and pride in achievement. Developed by small business owner and Alden resident, Deborah Naybor, the organization uses grassroots programs -- including microloans, education and training, and tools and materials -- so poverty-stricken communities can learn to create income to support their families.

"The college aims to bring cultural awareness to the college community each semester with events like our Peace, Love and Charity fundraiser," said Karin Kovach-Allen, EdD, dean of Human Communication. "With the help of the Global Education Committee, we hope to raise awareness of the diverse cultures that surround each and every one of us."

For further information, please contact Nina Mortellaro at Genesee Community College at 343-0055, ext. 6228 or <http://[email protected]> or go to <http://www.bothyourhands.org>.


Sunday, February 6, 2011 at 4:44 pm

GCC named one of nation's top community colleges, only one in NY

post by Billie Owens in announcements

This is a news release from Genesee Community College.

The American Association of Community Colleges has named Genesee Community College as one of 40 outstanding community colleges nationwide.

Genesee was the only community college in New York State selected.

This select group will help develop and implement the American Association of Community College's groundbreaking "Voluntary Framework of Accountability" (VFA) program. Its goal is redesigning how community colleges measure and report accomplishments and outcomes.

The program is being introduced in collaboration with four prestigious organizations: the Association of Community College Trustees; the College Board; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and the Lumina Foundation.

Historically, educators measured student success by reviewing such data as graduation rates and student grades. Institutional effectiveness and accountability was often measured very simplistically by analyzing fiscal data and service provided.

However, these traditional measures do not assess the long-term impact of a college, such as concrete skills acquired by students, job success of graduates, economic impact of a college, and other goals important to legislators and the general public.

The VFA program will develop and test new metrics that measure a broad range of student and institutional outcomes, according to Larene Hoelcle, EdD, Genesee's vice president for Human Resources and Planning.

Genesee has made student and institutional assessment a high priority over the last decade.

"We are already innovators in outcome-based assessment, and our participation in the VFA may lead to even higher standards of excellence here at Genesee," Hoelcle said. "Beyond that, we will have the opportunity to help shape the assessment and accountability techniques community colleges across the United States will use in the decades ahead."

The pilot VFA project involves 37 individual colleges, two state systems, and one multi-college district in 29 states. (A complete list of participating colleges can be found at  <http://www.aacc.org>). Each college will begin testing custom metrics this year. The project will eventually result in metrics and standards that can be used by colleges, funders, and legislative policymaking bodies for evaluation and accountability.

VFA pilot colleges will work from a draft technical manual developed by four VFA working groups, a technical committee, and a national steering committee made up of veteran research experts and educators.

Project leaders are developing the VFA in stages. If pilot testing over the next year is successful, the AACC hopes to make the VFA tools available to the nearly 1,200 community, junior and technical colleges in 2012.

Genesee's participation in the Voluntary Framework of Accountability is both a reflection on Genesee's past accomplishments and a tool for innovation and greater success in the years ahead.

Genesee President Stuart Steiner said: "Many traditional measures of institutional and student success don't work well for community colleges. For example, traditional measures are geared toward full-time students, while community colleges serve a large population of part-time students, some enrolled in credit-bearing classes, some in non-credit classes, some seeking degrees, and some simply seeking new job or professional skills.

"We are very pleased to work with the American Association of Community Colleges in developing measures that clearly and accurately illustrate how community colleges perform well through all programs and services."

Steiner continued: "We at Genesee Community College have a long history of being at the cutting edge of academic innovation and accountability. We know how to reach standards of excellence, and provide a very cost-effective return to taxpayers.

"We are very proud to have been selected for the Voluntary Framework of Accountability program after a rigorous application process, and to help influence the effectiveness of all of our nation's community colleges."

Sunday, February 6, 2011 at 3:05 pm

County CASA for Children has new website and e-mail addresses

post by Billie Owens in announcements

Here's a news release from Genesee County CASA for Children.

After long hours and hard work, Genesee County CASA for Children has a new website. This was made possible with the help of AmeriCorps member Erika Sobczak, who designed the website.

To provide greater resources for the community, CASA has included a resources tab on the website. This will help families and children to access services and be a central location to get contact information on local agencies.

CASA is asking that any agency that would like their information included on the website to please send: contact name, number, e-mail, website, address, and one or two sentences about what the agency provides.

This new website will also allow find out about: what CASA does; how to become a volunteer; how to support our mission to advocate for abused and neglected children involved in Family Court; and what fund-raising and public awareness events are scheduled.

Along with the new website, Genesee County CASA for Children will also be transitioning to a new e-mail address list.

The new website can be found at: http://www.geneseecountycasa.org and e-mail addresses include: [email protected] and [email protected] and <mailto:[email protected]>.

Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 6:28 pm

College at Brockport names academic honorees for fall 2010

post by Billie Owens in announcements

The College at Brockport, SUNY, recently honored students who excelled academically for the fall 2010 semester.

To achieve the honor of being on the President's List, a student must earn a GPA of 4.0. Students who earn a GPA of 3.70–3.99 are named to the Dean's List with Honors, while students who achieve a 3.40–3.69 are named to the Dean's List.

The College at Brockport is a comprehensive four-year public college, offering 50 undergraduate majors, more than 40 graduate programs as well as 24 teacher certification programs.

These students made the PRESIDENT'S LIST.

Batavia: Christopher Berardini; Stephenie Davis-Reiss; Amy Dorman; Diana Kindig

Bergen: Brian Burgay

Byron: Jeff Appis; Tammy Fuller

Darien Center: Kaylei Miller

Elba: Carly Crnkovich

Le Roy: Nicole Bower; Gena Korn; Antonio Madau; Kara Miller; Erin Whiting

These students made the DEAN'S LIST WITH HONORS.

Basom: Hillary Bates

Batavia: Linsay Bartholf; Tina Ditzel; Christian Hilken; Courtney Perkowski; Jenna Raphael; Melanie Roth; Tracy Young

Bergen: Joanna Menzie

Byron: Darren Kwiatkowski

Corfu: Jennifer Lazarony

Darien Center: David Hecht; Andrea Mead; Eric Meyer

East Pembroke: Renae Jurek

Elba: Judith Littlejohn

Le Roy: Daniel Rider; Melinda Stedman; Maureen Weinman; Jeffery White; Danielle Wojtaszczyk

Oakfield: Brittany Bills

Stafford: James Mignano

These students made the DEAN'S LIST.

Alexander: Zachary Vaughan

Batavia: Charles Andre; Megan Boring; Melissa Maxwell; Stephanie Pastore; Elizabeth Richards; Krystal Smith; Corey Stearns; Ethan Wade; Jennifer Whitcroft; Brittany Wormley

Bergen: Kathleen Lovett; Kristy Lynn Madziarz; Harjit Singh

Byron: Brittany Kessler

Corfu: Christopher Jones; Katheryn Laporta; Alyssia Pfalzer; Ethan Reynolds

East Pembroke: Josh Macgregor

Elba: Brian Dilcher; Heather Gleason; Michael Lyons

Le Roy: Mary Barkley; Justin Becker; Chelsea Dillon; Danielle Ford; Garrett Jordan; Carolyn Kovach; Jillion Mooney; Abby Murray; Joseph Patton

Oakfield: Bridget Chartraw; Kelsey Wolcott 

Pavilion: Kathryn Davis; Kathryn Beaumont

Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Holland Purchase Historical Society elects board members, officers

post by Billie Owens in announcements

The Holland Purchase Historical Society met in January to elect new members and officers for 2011.

The following people were elected or reelected as board members.

Re-elected members: Don Burkel, Arnold Kelly, Brian Paris, Don Read, Anne Marie Starowitz and Barbara Toal.

New members: Elizabeth Hanobik, Kathleen Jasinski and Vicki Talbot.

The following were elected as officers for 2011.

President -- Robert Turk

Vice PresidentJames Dusen

TreasurerElizabeth Hanobik

Recording SecretaryGarth Swanson

Corresponding SecretaryKathleen Jasinski

Turk says he is looking forward to an exciting 2011 with new programs and events such as the extended summer program for children and a monthly Museum Lecture Series with local authors.

Many new exhibits are planned starting with “Local Manufacturers,” which will open later this month. The annual Antique Show will be held at Batavia Downs on March 11 and 12. For more information on events call the Holland Land Office Museum at 343-4727.

Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Basom resident named to Dean's List

post by Billie Owens in announcements, Basom

Andrew Lipnicky, a resident of Basom, was named to the Dean's List for the fall semester at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. He is majoring in Space Science -- Astronomy and Astrophysics.

To be included on the Dean's List, a student must complete 12 or more graded credits in a semester with a semester grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.4 on a 4-point scale.

Founded at the dawn of the Space Race in 1958, Florida Tech is the only independent, technological university in the Southeast. It offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs. Fields of study include science, engineering, aeronautics, business, humanities, mathematics, psychology, communication and education. Additional information is available online at <http://www.fit.edu>.

Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Women's Republican Club to hold Valentine's Day Luncheon

post by Billie Owens in announcements

The Genesee County Women’s Republican Club is planning a Valentine Day Luncheon to replace the Christmas Party that was cancelled due to inclement weather.

It will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday Feb. 12 at the Batavia Country Club, 7907 Batavia-Byron Road, Batavia.

It will be a soup-and-sandwich buffet with cookies and coffee for dessert. Entertainment will be provided by “Finess," a women’s barbershop quartet which will sing appropriate “Valentine's Day” songs.

The cost is $15 per person. Reservations may be made by calling Mary Alice Panek at 585-343-2782, or e-mail <[email protected]> by Feb. 7.

A collection of monetary donations will be taken up one last time for the 2011 “Caring for American Organization,” which was Crossroads House. New members or anyone interested in our Republican Club are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm

'Toons producer Fred Armstrong focus of this month's GO ART! salon

post by Billie Owens in announcements, Fred Armstrong, GO ART!

The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council (GO ART!) continues its popular Salon Series with “The ‘Toons Producer: Fredrick Armstrong” at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 15.

The program takes place at GO ART!, Seymour Place, 201 E. Main St. in Batavia and includes supper and beverages.

A "Going to the Movies" themed menu will be served: popcorn, assorted grilled pizzas (white veggie, red with three cheeses, red with mushrooms and pepperoni), antipasti, garlic bread, and old-fashioned ice cream bars.

A contribution of $25 for non-members and $22 for GO ART! members is requested. A discounted rate is available for those wishing to also attend the April 5th Salon, "The Comic Illustrator: Lauren Barnett."

Reservations are required and can be made by phone at (585) 343-9313, e-mail at [email protected], or by stopping in to GO ART! in Downtown Batavia (open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays). The GO ART! Salon Series is sponsored by the Bank of Castile.

Havens for those who craved intellectual conversation and stimulation for centuries, salons became fashionable when French kings showed their art treasures in the reception room of the Palace of Louvre.

This month's salon the president and founder of Animatus Studio & The Animation Workshop in Rochester. Armstrong will present several short cartoons produced at award-winning Animatus Studio along with some clips of his “live action” acting roles.

Interspersed among the videos, Armstrong will entertain attendees with the background on each of the animations and his journey into the field of animation and film.

Bio: For more than 35 years, Armstrong has worked on feature films, documentaries, industrials, commercials and music videos. He began his professional film career in 1975 creating animated segments for a local retail store, the House of Guitars.

In 1980, he moved to New York City where he apprenticed and worked as an Oxberry animation cameraman under Francis Lee of Film Planning Associates. In 1989, Armstrong founded Animatus Studio, Rochester’s only full-service animation studio that specializes in 2D and Flash animation. He also founded The Animation Workshop in 1992, which continues to teach the joys of animation to students of all ages.

Continuing to work in live action as well as animation, Armstrong produced and co-directed “The End of the Line - Rochester's Subway.” This award-winning documentary tells the story of the smallest city in America to build and abandon a subway. It has aired on PBS and The History Channel and was recently re-released on DVD with 45 new minutes of material and extras.

Animatus Studio has been a sponsor of the 360 | 365 George Eastman House Film Festival (formerly the Rochester High Falls International Film Festival) since its inception in 2001. Armstrong has also acted as animation program director for the 360 | 365 GEH Film Festival.

He was instrumental in bringing filmmakers such as Faith Hubley (Oscar winner), Vicky Jenson (director of Shrek,) and voice talent Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson) to the festival. Through collaboration with the 360 | 365 George Eastman House Film Festival, Animatus Studio has also hosted animation workshops for disadvantaged and at-risk youth for the last eight years.

He is currently vice president of RAVA (Rochester Audio/Visual Association), a renowned organization of professional filmmakers and media industry people founded in 1956.

Over the last three decades, Armstrong has also worked on hundreds of live action film shoots as a key grip, where he specializes as a crane and dolly operator. He has even been an actor in many commercials and several feature films.

He recently taught “Business in Animation” as an adjunct professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Today, he continues to be involved in all aspects of filmmaking and animation for commercials, documentaries, music videos and businesses throughout the region.

The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council (GO ART!) is a private nonprofit organization, which believes that art and culture enriches, inspires and educates, while strengthening a community's identity.

Therefore, GO ART! initiates a broad range of opportunities for artists and cultural organizations, and facilitates cooperative efforts among the cultural, business, service and educational communities for the people who live in and visit Genesee and Orleans counties. GO ART! exhibits are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts.

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