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Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 1:49 pm

City Centre gets new sign — But what about the old one?

post by Philip Anselmo in batavia, downtown, mall

It's up! The sign that caused quite a stir over the summer has been installed out front of the Batavia City Centre. Isn't it pretty—and it only cost us... what was it... oh, right around $20,000. (Personally, I say for $20,000, we should have bought a hatchback, mounted a megaphone to the roof, and hired a driver to circle the city continuously intoning: 'Come to the mall. Come to the mall. Please.' But the sign is nice, too.)

That big, blank, white face just begs the question: What should be the first message? This sign is supposed to boost business for the shops inside the mall. So what message would get you inside the mall to spend your hard-earned cash?

While we're on the topic of mall signs... Has anyone caught a glimpse of the old sign lately? That's somewhat of a trick question, because if you're heading east on Main Street, you have to see through—or around—the tree that all but blocks the view of the sign from that direction. No matter. Even if you saw that side of the sign, it wouldn't make much sense. Intended to advertise the movies now showing at the cinema in the mall, it currently reads: 'BET' for the first film and 'ARLE' for the second. Any guesses?

So what is the mall telling people with these two signs? The new one seems to say: 'Hey, come buy our stuff. We're fresh and lively, and we believe in the majesty of British orthography.' But the old one tells us: 'We're rusting. Honest to God: we're rusting.'

I mean, come on: 'BET' and 'ARLE'. Well, at least when spring comes, the leaves will blot out the reference to the Genesee Country Mall.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Tough going on downtown roads and sidewalks

post by Philip Anselmo in batavia, downtown

I went out a few minutes ago to take some photos for a post that will be going up this afternoon. In the half hour or so I was out on Batavia's sidewalks and city streets, I found much to be lamented. Sidewalks out front of the Batavia City Centre (a.k.a., the Genesee Country Mall; a.k.a., the Mall) were treacherous. In a span of maybe a couple hundred feet, I nearly fell on my arse a handful of times. Who is responsible for salting those walks? I could understand if it was in that shape earlier this morning. But it's nearly noon. That's lunch time. Do we need people breaking hips on their way to scarf down a BLT?

Is it the responsibility of the individual shop owners to salt out front of their establishment wherever it fronts Main Street? Or is it the responsibility of "the mall" in general? If the latter, who in particular takes care of that?

Of course, this problem is not only confined to the mall. Other Main Street shops need to be much more diligent about salting out front of their establishments. Unless, that is, they want to discourage their clientele from visiting the shop.

Even worse than the sidewalks, however—and I'm sure I'm not the only one to notice this—is the stretch of Ellicott Street for about fifty feet on either side of the railroad tracks that cut across the road right near Center Street.

It is horrendous!

The blacktop is so chewed up that it's like driving off road in a rocky gully.

How about you? Have you found troubles with potholes and unsalted sidewalks?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 9:41 am

Poll: What would you ask the governor?

Folks in the region will have several opportunities to meet and speak with our governor in February. An article in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reports this morning that Gov. David Paterson will hold a series of at least four town-hall style meetings upstate to "allow residents to ask questions and interact with the governor on the ideas he lays out in the State of the State address." Gov. Paterson will give his State of the State this Wednesday at 1:00pm.

Of those meetings that have so far been scheduled, three will be held within a short distance of Batavia: one in Buffalo on February 18, one in Rochester on February 11 and another in Geneseo on February 12. Others will likely be held in Watertown and Binghamton.

From the article:

Paterson has moved away from Spitzer's plan to split up some state duties, particularly economic development, into upstate and downstate branches. Paterson has argued that New York is one state with a united purpose.

Andrew Rudnick, president of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, said an upstate address isn't necessary so long as the governor gives the region the attention it needs.

If the symbolism of an upstate speech, "isn't followed up by definitive policy and asset allocation, what much difference does it make?" he said.

Most people would likely agree that the most pressing issue now facing the state is the budget crisis. A few weeks ago, Paterson released his budget proposal that caused quite a stir. We've put together a poll with a few topics that might come up when the governor visits upstate. Pick whichever you most want to hear about. I figure that the budget proposal will likely be a major part of the State of the State this Wednesday, so try to think what's most important to upstate other than that.

Monday, January 5, 2009 at 11:34 pm

Batavia and Pavilion make Rotary finals

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

 The Batavia girls basketball team got a 17 point, 13 rebound, six block performance from senior center Jaycee Shirk and will be moving on to play Pavilion in the finals of the Batavia Rotary Tournament at Genesee Community College.

The Blue Devils improve to 7-1 and got plenty of help in beating Oakfield-Alabama 45-32 as Stacey Hein had seven points and nine assists with Brittany Mazurkiewicz adding nine points.

Hillary Bates scored 10 points to lead the Hornets (4-5).

Pavilion knocked off Notre Dame 40-36 in the other opening round game. O-A and Notre Dame will play in the 6 p.m. consolation game on Wednesday with Batavia and Pavilion going at it in the finals at 7:45 p.m.

Monday, January 5, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Attica native remembers local basketball tourney from 1975

post by Philip Anselmo in Attica, basketball, batavia, Lions Club, sports

Many thanks to Sean Feeney for sending along this remembrance:

I remember playing in what I think was the original Batavia Lions Club tournament in December 1975 while playing for Attica. We played Batavia in the opener losing by a point or two to Batavia led by now coach Buddy Brasky and Jimmy Orosco. Kevin Kellogg and Doug Miller were our leading scorers. We played Notre Dame in the consolation game. ... I do not remember who Batavia played in the final. I believe Buddy Brasky was the tournament MVP.  Myself and I think Jimmy Orosco were on the all tourney team with someone from ND and the other team in the tourney. Batavia warmed up to the Ohio players "Love Rollercoaster".

The Batavian is great. I love catching up on high school sports back in WNY!

Sean Feeney
Alpharetta, GA

I wanted to post this to the site to see if it sparked any other memories in our readers. Was this the original Lions Club tournament in 1975? Or did it start later on, in 1982, as we had believed? Do you remember? Did you play?

Monday, January 5, 2009 at 2:40 pm

City Council will meet Saturday for budget review session

post by Philip Anselmo in announcements, batavia, budget, city council, finance

From the City of Batavia:

Please be advised that Batavia City Council will hold a budget work session on Saturday,
January 10, 2009.  The meeting will be from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm in the Council Board Room on the second floor of City Hall.

Monday, January 5, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Poll: Looking for a good cup of joe...

post by Philip Anselmo in batavia, business, coffee, Hot Shots

All the lights are extinguished. All the percolators are turned off, the swizzle sticks packed away and the steamers have all run out of steam. It's official... the end of an era.

Main Street Coffee is closed.

We would like to wish former proprietor Rob Credi the best of luck in his future endeavors. Credi took us in when we were still crawling, just learning how to walk, back in May. Main Street Coffee was the home base for The Batavian for several months before we procured an office of our own. We were always treated like family there. And we'll always consider it our home away from home. We hope that right now Credi is still sleeping, for once not having to get up before dawn to help us start our day with a fresh cup of coffee and a hot bagel sandwich.

All that being said, what do we do now? Where do we go now for a good cup of coffee served with class and culture and often—especially in the case of Credi—a touch of comedy? Let's take it to the polls... I'll tell you all right now that I'm voting for Hot Shots. I've always been and plan to remain a staunch supporter of locally-owned and operated cafés. So that's me. How about you? 

Monday, January 5, 2009 at 11:40 am

Best of the Batavian — 2008 Edition: Your Picks!

post by Philip Anselmo in batavia

We've tallied the results and put together our lists of The Batavian's Top Ten Posts and Top Ten Stories of 2008. You may notice that we don't run them down neatly one through ten. There were many ties. So here you are:

Top Ten Posts of 2008:

1. Batavians choose not to live like they do in big cities...

2. Waterfowler's morning...

3. Le Roy remembers Hooks...

4. O-A stuns Pembroke in final seconds...

5. Saturday Day Trip... (Tie - 5th)

5. Chainsaw artist Rick Pratt... (Tie - 5th)

6. A truck that's got a story to tell... (Tie - 6th)

6. Contemplating Bill Kauffman's Batavia... (Tie - 6th)

7. Hillary's Seat: If We Were Speaking Locally... (Tie - 7th)

7. Telling stories that tell stories: The art of Brian Moore... (Tie - 7th)

Top Ten Stories of 2008:

1. Pontillo's in Batavia closes—owes more than $112,000 in back taxes...

2. Muckdogs win NY-Penn League Championship...

3. My T Acres barn fire...

4. High school football...

5. Six-year-old brings loaded gun onto school bus...

6. First major winter storm... (Tie - 6th)

6. Elections... (Tie - 6th)

7. House fire on Lewiston Road claims life of teenage boy...

8. Youth football...

9. The mall...

There you have it. The people have spoken! Please follow the links to view the vote count or to navigate and view any of the top posts you either missed or wish to read again. Thank you! Here's to a new year that will be even more exciting than the last.

Monday, January 5, 2009 at 9:13 am

Rumblings of interest across the state in potential consolidation of town and city — Batavia inches into the spotlight

post by Philip Anselmo in batavia, consolidation, Syracuse

A potential consolidation for Batavia has caught the attention of more than just the local crowds. An editorial from the crew at the Syracuse Post Standard that went up a few days ago asks the question: One Batavia for all?

If Batavia's voters approve municipal consolidation next fall, it should make waves at least throughout the state. As Attorney General Andrew Cuomo recently noted, New York's 10,521 local government entities are excessive. Towns, villages, school districts and special assessment districts consume too many tax dollars and pit folks against each other who should join forces.

Is Batavia ready to make waves? What good or bad could come from the consolidation?

Monday, January 5, 2009 at 8:51 am

Notre Dame graduate teaches hoops at YMCA in Greece

A story in the Democrat & Chronicle yesterday features Batavia Notre Dame graduate Tim Sullivan, now one of the country's best basketball shooting coaches. Sullivan, who graduated in 1978, then "walked onto the team at Canisius College in Buffalo," now puts on some 400 shooting clinics across the country each year.

This article, by John Boccacino, is a fun read, and there are more than a few great tips for any amateur basketball enthusiast looking to beef up his or her shot. It's clear that Sullivan knows his stuff.

After every shot attempt Sullivan preached that, as part of their follow through, the participants kiss the shoulder of their shooting side to guarantee a complete, accurate shot.

His wise words were met with confusion. "When he started talking about that, my friend Matt Noto and I looked at each other and said, 'OK, that won't work,'" said Steven Ciotti, 13, a seventh-grader at Greece Athena Middle School who plays for Greece Basketball Association's seventh-grade house team. "But then he started shooting and he just wasn't missing. I think he made almost 95 percent of his 200 shots and we were all amazed."

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