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Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Did you know what you were getting into Super Bowl Sunday when you saw the Denny's Ad?

post by Lori Ann Santini in batavia, Dennys, restaurant, Staff

     I will keep this short and to the point. My hats off to the staff at Denny's Restaurant  in Batavia today.  I could not believe how well they survived the overwhelming crowd that formed early this morning and continued through the day.

     One of the ads for the Super Bowl announced that between 6am and 2pm you could receive a free Grand Slam Breakfast meal at Dennys.  After searching the internet to confirm this, I decided that I would give it a try. I loaded up my two toddlers and headed out.

     When we arrived at Dennys I thought for sure that I had made a mistake. The lot was full. Total strangers were helping to direct traffic. The waiting area was full to beyond capacity. The crowd was calm and patient. The staff took names and the number of people in the party. We waited about an hour. I didn't think that was too bad for the crowd. The staff was better then some fine quality restaurants I have eaten in.

     Thank you to my waitress Lori, The busboy that would play peekaboo with my son,  the lovely Mom/Son (Sue) group that ate with us, and everyone in the kitchen. I applaud the job very well done.

     By the way, we did not know Sue and her son when we entered Denny's. I offered to have a couple join us in order to make room for another group at another table. It was a great experience. It was a delight for my kids to have someone elses attention for awhile too. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Updates on local stars at Keuka

post by Brian Hillabush in Attica, basketball, batavia, elba, sports

 Missy Thurston was known for her defense when she played at Batavia High. She's definitely brought that to the Keuka women's basketball team.

The Storm won its sixth game in a row, including two over the weekend.

Keuka beat Penn State-Berks 61-46 on Saturday and Penn State-Harrisburg 71-38 on Sunday.

Thurston had five steals and 10 points on Saturday while scoring 14 points with three steals on Sunday.

She also had a total of 12 rebounds and seven assists over the weekend.

Thurston has started all 15 games for the Storm, which has improved to 8-7 because of the win streak. It is the first time the team has been above .500 all season long.

She is averaging 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds. She leads the team with with 57 steals - more than double the player that is second on the team - and is second on the squad with 30 assists.

The men's team is 7-8 but has two locals in Attica's Rob Crowley and Elba's Ian Woodworth.

Crowley, a junior, has played in 11 points and is averaging 4.6 points and 1.2 rebounds per game. He also has five assists and six steals on the season.

Woodworth, a freshman forward, has played in just four games and is averaging .5 points per game.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Some highlights from the GR swim meet this past Saturday

post by Brian Hillabush in batavia, Notre Dame, pembroke, sports, swimming

Whealtand-Chili's Nick Westrich was the boys swimmer of the meet and Notre Dame's Lucy Norton was the girls swimmer of the meet at Saturday's Genesee Region League Championships at Gates-Chili.

Norton (100 freestyle, 100 backstroke) was a double winner and Westrich (200 IM, 100 breaststroke, 400 freestyle relay, 200 medley relay)  was a quadruple winner. 

Westrich set meet records in the IM and with the 400 free relay.

Byron-Bergen's Baxter Ritsema (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle) was a double-winner for the boys and ND's Haley Alexander (200 IM, 100 breaststroke) was a double-winner for the girls.

Tyler Scoines won the 200 freestyle for Pembroke while in the last event of the meet Dylan Pratt, Ethan Burns, Chris Fleming and Adam Sewerniak won the 400 free relay, setting a school record time of 3:35. 

Wheatland-Chili finished first in the boys competition with a two point win over Pembroke.

Harley-Allendale-Columbia was the winner in the girls competition, beating out Byron-Bergen by two points.

 

(Thanks to Sue Fleming for the photo of the Pembroke relay team and result information.)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 8:28 am

News roundup: City school board cuts a half million from budget

post by Philip Anselmo in batavia, budget, finance, LeRoy, school board, schools

After slimming the budget by a half million dollars last night, the Batavia City School Board has already cut the proposed property tax increase from 23 to 16 percent, according to WBTA's Dan Fischer. City Schools Superintendent Margaret Puzio told Fischer that she hopes an offer of early retirement option to three labor unions could help stave off any outright layoffs of teachers or staff. Puzio also hopes and expects to further reduce the tax increase. Visit the WBTA Web site to hear her comments on that.

Batavia city schools are closed today for Superintendent's Conference Day. Also, LeRoy BOCES school is closed today due to a water main break.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 3:38 am

Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation is making a difference

post by Brian Hillabush in batavia, cancer, charity, Notre Dame

When Michael Napoleone was diagnosed with Burkitt's Lymphoma/Leukemia, he wasn't going to give in without a fight.

The child fought the disease, and was as strong and positive as any eight year old kid would be in the situation.

But, he couldn't fight anymore and wound up passing away from the cancer on December 30.

Michael played youth baseball and football before becoming ill. He was also a big Notre Dame fan and was able to visit the University of Notre Dame three months before his passing.

While Michael was fighting the disease, the Batavia community rallied and helped the family out. The Napoleone's were struggling to to pay for food, gas and medical bills.

They appreciated what the community was doing for them.

After Michael's death, parents Michael and Laurie founded the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation, with the hopes of raising money to help fight childhood cancer.

At Monday night's game between Pavilion and Notre Dame, there was t-shirts and hats as well as raffle tickets for sale to raise money. The game was called "The Michael Napoleone Foundation Cancer Awareness Girls Basketball Game" and both Pavilion and Notre Dame's team was wearing shirts to support the cause.

Dave Pero is Michael's uncle and got together with Pavilion coach Verne Brooks to work out the details of setting up the fundraising game.

The Pavilion girls wore t-shirts that said "Gopher a cure", which plays off the Golden Gophers mascot. Notre Dame's shirts said "Irish for a cure".

The Foundation started small but with the support of the community has grown to be pretty big and is helping a lot of people out. Money has been raised by countless donations and fundraisers. 

At last count, 63 families have been helped out by the foundation in just over a year.

The Foundation also purchased the scoreboard at Lyons Park in Michael's memory, after youth football was banished from Dwyer Stadium.

The big one is donating $5,000 to the Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong Memorial. That money went towards purchasing a machine that analyzes cells. A test like that used to take the hospital a week, and now it can be finished within a day.

The Foundation has also made large donations to United Memorial Medical Center and Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

If you are interested in donating to the charity you can e-mail the Foundation at [email protected].

 

Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 1:43 am

Notre Dame girls get revenge on Pavilion

post by Brian Hillabush in basketball, batavia, Notre Dame, Pavilion, sports

Pavilion beat Notre Dame 40-36 in the Rotary Club Tournament earlier this season. But the Fighting Irish got revenge Monday night, picking up a tight 45-43 home victory.

Nichole Hart and Liz Geandreau were the heroes in picking up this win as Hart poured in 18 points - including four 3-pointers - and Geandreau had nine points, but grabbed 15 rebounds.

The 15 boards was an astonishing number as Pavilion's Marcy Ethington is a force in the paint.

The game was tight throughout as the Fighting Irish had a 27-23 lead at halftime and was up 35-32 after three periods of play.

But the Golden Gophers had no quit in them as they opened the fourth quarter with Amie Brooks dropping in a pair of free throws and making it a 1-point game.

Geandreau had a bucket for Notre Dame and after a turnover,  Brooks made a steal and scored to make it 37-36.

The Fighting Irish then took an eight point lead with Hart scoring five points and Geandreau adding a basket to make it 44-36 with a few minutes left in the game.

Ethington scored, Danielle Tallo hit a 3-pointer and Brooks scored to make the score 44-43 with a minute remaining.

Geandreau got to the line and hit 1-of-2 foul shots.

The Golden Gophers (10-6) had a few decent looks, but wound up having to foul as the clock ran out. Brooks scored 16 points and Ethington added 10.

Jayvee call-up Carly Pike had six points to go with Hart's 18 and Geandreau's nine. The Fighting Irish are now 12-3.

Monday, February 2, 2009 at 8:13 pm

Sunnys offers to honor unused South Beach gift certificates

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, South Beach, Sunnys Restaurant

Tina Rose, co-owner of Sunnys Restaurant in the Genesee Country Mall, left a comment on The Batavian about an hour ago offering to honor unused gift certificates from South Beach, which was shuttered Sunday.

Long time Batavia Restaurant Owners comes to aid:

Local family owned Sunnys Restaurant in the Batavia City Centre is stepping in to honor Gift Certificates.
Anyone who has purchased or received a Southbeach Gift Cert.- Sunnys owners Michael and Tina Rose will honor at their Restaurant. In these tough economic times no one wants or can afford to lose money. Simply give us a call at 343-4578 or stop in.

*some restrictions may apply*

That's a generous offer, but also smart business.

UPDATE: Cori Majors from Center Street Smokehouse says gift certificates may also be redeemed there, and there may be job openings.

Colleen Odessa, sales manager for Alex's Place, also said certicates can be redeemed there as well.

Monday, February 2, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Batavia Consolidation Plan gets its own Web site

post by Philip Anselmo in batavia, city, city council, consolidation, town

City and town of Batavia officials announced today that a Web site will be launched by the end of the week devoted to the consolidation plan right now being put together for the municipalities. We've included most of the text from that press release below. We also received a "Consolidation Plan Process Flow Chart" that details the process for approving the potential consolidation.

Noting that the "topic of consolidation has generated tremendous interest in Batavia in recent weeks," Town Supervisor Greg Post and City Council President Charlie Mallow today issued a joint statement endorsing the work of the joint consolidation planning committee. They also announced that by the end of the week the City and Town websites will have links to a special "Batavia Consolidation Plan" website so that area residents can stay informed about the planning process.

Mallow and Post pointed out that the actual work of developing the plan is the responsibility of the seven-member City/Town Consolidation Study Committee that is working with the Center for Governmental Research (CGR), a nonprofit consulting group based in Rochester. "We were both please with its decision — one recently endorsed by our respective boards — to move from a 'study' to a 'plan,'" they said.

Post added, "I'm a believer in smaller government and I'm action-oriented. This community does not need a study that sits on a shelf. It needs a plan so that Town voters have the choice of saying yes or no."

Mallow said, "I'm a firm believer in consolidating the City and Town, because there are so many benefits for our community going forward. Consolidation will positively impact every generation that comes after us."

They pointed out that the Committee will develop a report of model options for the combined community by June 1. The Committee will then hold community forums for the public to provide input in June and July. Based on the input, the Committee will develop a draft plan to present to the City Council and Town Board in early August. Assuming City Council and Town Board approve, a consolidation plan will be presented to City and Town voters at the November 3 election.

Please click here to download the full press release.

Monday, February 2, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Storage barn fire in Batavia burns man

post by Philip Anselmo in batavia, emergency, Erie County, fire

A Gasport man was taken to the hospital this afternoon after suffering burns to his head, face, neck and hands when a fire broke out in a barn in the town of Batavia, Genesee County sheriff's deputies said. Twenty-nine-year-old James Putnam Jr. is recovering in the burn unit of the Erie County Medical Center at this hour.

Fire crews from the East Pemrboke volunteer squad were the first on scene at 9161 Wilkinson Road, where reports had come in shortly after 12:30 p.m. of a fire in the storage barn. Firefighters found flames coming out of the structure when they arrived shortly thereafter. Putnam was immediately taken to the hospital by city of Batavia ambulance.

Batavia, Darien, Alexander, Corfu, Oakfield and Elba also sent crews to the scene, and the fire was extinguished before it spread to an unattached house. The barn and everything inside of it were destroyed in the blaze. The barn is owned by Gabriele J. Miller, of 9161 Wilkinson Road.

"The preliminary investigation into the cause and origin of the fire indicates that the fire is accidental and was a result of the work that was being performed inside the workshop at the time of the fire," deputies said. Genesee County's Office of Emergency Management assisted in the investigation


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Monday, February 2, 2009 at 5:49 pm

South Beach owner "was forced to close" restaurant, says sister-in-law

post by Philip Anselmo in batavia, restaurant, South Beach

Earlier today, The Batavian was informed that South Beach restaurant in Batavia had abruptly closed over the weekend, and the former employees—about 30 or so—were coming by to pick up their final checks. We spoke with some of the staff as they came and went. You can see our earlier post for those details.

Gail Giuliani phoned us a little while ago to say that her brother-in-law, Alex Giuliani, the restaurant's owner, "had to close" the business the way he did, without notifying the employees, for fear of theft. Gail told us that Alex has already moved back to his home in Florida and was likely not able to comment on the matter at this time.

"The reason they were not told was because Alex was advised not to tell them," she said. "Because when you tell people like that, they will steal from you."

One employee who went in to pick up her check today even said that had she known that the place was closing, she would not have "rung up" the meals. Jason Giuliani, Alex's grandson, was handing out the paychecks at the restaurant this morning when he overheard that comment, she said. Jason had worked as a manager at South Beach.

"Alex wrote a very very nice note to his employees and it says: 'To all my employees, today is a very sad for me.' And he went on and told them how he had to do it. And he left this letter on the bar when Jason went in today to give the employees their paychecks."

Alex and Barbara, his wife and co-owner of South Beach, were at the restaurant Sunday cleaning up, according to Gail, who was helping out. They were not there to "empty the place out," she said. "All the furniture is there. Everything is still in the building."

"One of the barmaids went by when we were cleaning that place," she continued. "We were there from eight o'clock in the morning to six o'clock at night. We scrubbed every cooler, every stove. I went back, cleaned all the bathrooms, cleaned all the rugs. We didn't want to leave it any other way. We had to take bags of food out of the place. This waitress happened to go by and saw all this stuff.... So she started text messaging everybody around, and before you know it... Jason's phone was ringing off the wall."

Gail says that she understands the workers might feel a little resentment, but that Alex had no choice in the matter. She said: "If Alex wasn't forced to do this, he would have never done this."

"It just irritates me," she continued. "The employee's are angry, but let's face it—bartenders and waitresses—is that a career? I'm sure they can find another job.... If you put yourself in that position: what would you do? Would you tell your employees that next week is going to be your last night? He was advised not tell his help. They just made it like my brother-in-law just up and left and he's a real rat. But people who know him, know that he's not like that. He's a charming man and a gentleman." 

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