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Billie Owens's blog

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: tara@geneseecountycasa.org and erika@geneseecountycasa.org and <mailto:erika@geneseecountycasa.org>.

Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Wires, tree on fire on Route 63, south of York Road

post by Billie Owens in fire, Pavilion

Three or four electrical wires, still connected to the pole, are on fire on the north side of Route 63, just south of York Road. A nearby tree is also on fire. (The location is reportedly near an old house than burned down a long time ago.)

Pavilion Fire Department is responding.

UPDATE 7:21 p.m.: National Grid has been notified. No arrival time estimate given.

Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Wires, tree on fire on Route 63, south of York Road

post by Billie Owens in fire, Pavilion

Three or four electrical wires, still connected to the pole, are on fire on the north side of Route 63, just south of York Road. A nearby tree is also on fire. (The location is by an old house there than burned down a long time ago.)

Pavilion Fire Department is responding.

Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Hawley wants lawmakers in new session to have a sense of urgency

post by Billie Owens in politics, steve hawley

Here's a 'Legislative Column' submitted by Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”

You don’t have to be a 'Renaissance Man' to appreciate Leonardo da Vinci’s advice.

Whether presented with an artist’s blank canvas or the complexities of engineering the future out of 15th Century technology, his attitude was to dare greatly without delay. In this new legislative session, the New York State Assembly must heed da Vinci’s words and act with the sense of urgency to our state’s current crisis demands.

In 2010, Albany’s legendary dysfunction reached levels of gridlock and infighting not seen since the Articles of Confederation. (This might be overstated – but only slightly.)

My colleagues and I must therefore renew our mission to serve our constituents, to earn the seats they have given us. I am committed to continuing my agenda from last year’s legislative session, including bringing jobs back to Western New York, reining in out-of-control taxes, and supporting economic growth through farming and other agricultural endeavors.

Costly unfunded mandates – essentially deferred taxes to pay for current, reckless spending – also demand Albany’s immediate attention in order to cut property taxes for working families.

Western New York’s rural communities occupy a special place in our state’s cultural and economic ecosystems. Our family farms are the sturdy backbone of the Empire State’s economy and our vast open spaces continue to draw visitors seeking peaceful, natural surroundings. It’s a way of life strengthened by a commitment to tradition and freedom for the individual.

But now, Albany bureaucrats want to change this culture of self-reliance and begin to dictate individual behavior.

The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is attempting to place new restrictions on property owners, including prohibiting them from burning materials or refuse in any open area. The state agency is undertaking this measure despite our lack of larger waste-management facilities found in suburban or urban areas - the very reason why some residents of the 139th Assembly District have safely and responsibly burned discarded material on their properties for generations.

A bill to prevent this power grab by the DEC was introduced in the Legislature in January 2010. Since that time, the measure has been held for further consideration in an Assembly committee. I am the prime sponsor of this vitally important legislative reform as the new session begins and will work with my colleagues to bring it to the Assembly Floor for a vote as soon as possible.

Landowners in rural communities must have the property rights protections that they deserve with the urgency required to prevent future arbitrary rulings from unelected, unaccountable government pencil-pushers.

Winter can sometimes make laggards of us, but now is no time to take it easy. As your assemblyman, I am renewing my focus and channeling my energies on the legislative priorities interrupted by last year’s chaotic session. There is no time to waste. Each day that passes is a missed opportunity to correct our course away from the fiscal cliff.

As we work together to create more private-sector jobs, reduce spending, and eliminate deficits, I will also continue to fight for your interests and our way of life here in Western New York.

As a small-business owner, I know what it takes to balance a budget. As a neighbor and friend of our region, I understand Albany’s actions can stifle economic growth and threaten individual freedoms in Western New York. This is our home, and here is my mandate: to act with urgency for your interests in 2011. ... “Being willing is not enough; we must do.”

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 4:55 pm

Lots of weather-related car wrecks

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Alabama, indian falls, pembroke

Predictably, the weather is creating hazardous road conditions. There are at least four accidents now -- and cars have careened off the roads in several other places countywide.

One car is well off the road on the westbound 490 at the Bergen exit.

Another accident is reported on the Thruway at mile marker 399.9, eastbound. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments responded. Air-bag deployment, no injuries.

Alabama Fire Department is responding to an accident on Alleghany Road, just south of Ham Road. Car, with heavy front-end damage, and a tractor-trailer.

Route 5 overpass of the Thruway. Driver only, no injuries, heavy front-end damage.

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>.

Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 3:49 pm

One-car rollover accident on Thruway

post by Billie Owens in accidents, east pembroke

A one-car rollover accident is reported on the Thruway, eastbound at mile marker 398.8. East Pembroke Fire Department and Mercy EMS are responding. There are injuries, but their severity is unknown.

Callers say responders should use caution upon approach since there are reportedly people running across the roadway to the accident scene.

UPDATE 3 p.m.: A responder says the accident is not a rollover.

UPDATE 3:01 p.m.: Apparently there are two separate incidents. One car is off the roadway at mile marker 398. A half mile eastward, a black SUV was overturned, but is now right-side up. The occupants are out and seem to have suffered lacerations only.

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 <MPanek@hughes.net> 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.

Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Car crashes into pole, trapping driver, in Bethany

post by Billie Owens in accidents, Bethany

A car has struck a pole, trapping the driver inside, at East Bethany-Le Roy Road and Transit Road in Bethany.

Mercy Flight is in air, on standby. Bethany Fire Department and Mercy EMS are responding.

UPDATE 12:34 p.m.: Responder requests Mercy Flight to the scene. Serious injuries reported.

UPDATE 12:37 p.m.: Stafford Fire Department is called in for mutual aid.

UPDATE 12:38 p.m.: Law enforcement is there and controlling traffic. A landing zone is being set up on Transit Road.

UPDATE 12:42 p.m.: The "jaws of life" are called for to extricate the driver, who is the sole victim.

UPDATE 12:50 p.m.: Mercy Flight has landed.

UPDATE 1:04 p.m.: Alexander Fire Department is called to standby in its quarters.

UPDATE 1:36 p.m.: The male victim has yet to be extricated and they are working diligently to do so. The car's roof has been removed in the process. The car's front end is heavily damaged.

UPDATE 1:45 p.m.: The man has been extricated from his vehicle.

UPDATE 2:08 p.m.: Mercy Flight is airborne, heading to Strong Memorial Hospital. Alexander is released from standby.

UPDATE 2:17 p.m.: Bethany fire units are back in service. The site is being cleaned up and the roadway reopened.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Two-car accident with injuries in Alexander

post by Billie Owens in accidents, alexander

A two-car accident with injuries, possibly serious ones, is reported at Wortendyke and Dodgeson Roads. Mercy Flight is called but unable to fly due to weather conditions.

Alexander Fire Department and Mercy EMS are responding.

UPDATE 4:29 p.m.: A responder says "If you're coming around the corner at Goodman Road, be careful -- it's nothing but a sheet of ice." A fireman says a person involved in the accident "is barely breathing." They also need to employ the jaws for extrication. Authorities are asked to control and/or close traffic at Wortendyke and Rose Pike roads.

UPDATE 4:38 p.m.: Traffic at Wortendyke and Dodgeson is being shut down.

UPDATE 4:42 p.m.: A teenage girl involved in the accident has a respiratory rate (breaths per minute) of 12, which is within normal range. They are unable to get her out and expect it will be at least 15 minutes before they can.

UPDATE 5:37 p.m.: One victim was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital at least 20 minutes ago. No word on the teenage girl's extrication. A young man involved in the accident has both parents and an uncle on scene with him.

UPDATE 5:55 p.m.: Media trying to access the scene are stopped by a State Trooper who says "This is a crime scene."

UPDATE 6:13 p.m.: An Alexander fire unit has returned to the hall.

UPDATE 9:14 p.m.: As of about 9 p.m., all Alexander units back in service and the road is reopened.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Possible chimney fire in Pembroke

post by Billie Owens in east pembroke, fire, pembroke

A possible chimney fire is reported at 2185 Route 5. A passerby called dispatch and said heavy smoke, with a yellow-brown hue, was pouring from the chimney.

East Pembroke and Pembroke fire departments are responding.

A firefighter said it is possible that they've responded to that address previously for the same kind of report but the heavy smoke was due to the type of wood the residents burn.

UPDATE 4:20 p.m.: This was not a chimney fire. Responders are put back in service.


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Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Truck on fire on Ellicott Street

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

A pickup truck is on fire at 610 Ellicott Street, at the intersection with Buell Street. The truck has a full tank of gasoline in it and is fully in flames. The driver is out.

Ellicott Street at Harvester Avenue is being shut down to traffic.

Batavia City Fire Department and police are on scene.

UPDATE 1:02 p.m.: Semi-trucks are backing up on Route 63. Some traffic is being routed down Harvester. A tow truck has been called.

UPDATE 1:28 p.m. (by Howard): The truck was being driven by Fred Haslip. He said, "It just started to smoke. The cab started to fill up and we just pulled over and jumped out as fast as we could. There was a lot of smoke, but nothing under the hood. Then all of the sudden, it just burst into flames." Haslip said both he and his wife got out of the truck safely. Ellicott Street is now clear.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 5:21 pm

First public information meeting on Cedar Street project is Thursday

post by Billie Owens in batavia, cedar street project

This information is from city Director of Public Works Sally Kuzon.

The City of Batavia has begun the preliminary design for a project to reconstruct the entire length of Cedar Street. This is a locally administered federal-aid project that is scheduled for construction in 2013.

Design development is now under way. During this phase, comment and input from affected residents and businesses are valuable and required elements necessary for achieving a successful project.

The first public informational meeting is this Thursday, Feb. 3, in the Council Board Room (2nd floor) at Batavia City Hall. People are invited to voice concerns and ask questions. City staff and representatives from the consulting engineering firm, Erdman Anthony, will be there.

The meeting will be divided into two parts, with a session for business owners and representatives from 3 to 5 p.m. and another for residents and residential property representatives from 5 to 7 p.m. But if you are unable to attend during these designated times, please feel free to join the meeting anytime between 3 and 7 p.m.

Erdman Anthony, which was retained by the city this past October, has completed survey and mapping for the project and is beginning engineering studies.

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 info@GOart.org, 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.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm

'Love Notes' symphony concert with violinist Michael Ludwig

post by Billie Owens in announcements, GSO

The Genesee Symphony Orchestra will perform a concert entitled "Love Notes" at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 13, at Genesee Community College. It will feature special guest violinist Michael Ludwig.

This performance, to be held in the Stuart Steiner Theatre, is in partnership with the Cancer Services Program of Genesee & Orleans. It is being partially underwritten by the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which is dedicated to education and research about the cause and treatment of breast cancer.

Tickets are: $12 adults; $8 seniors 62 and over; $5 students 18 and under, including GCC students with valid I.D.; $30 for families, including children 12 and under.

Tickets are available at the GCC Box Office, or at the door one hour prior to the performance and at these locations: Hi-Tek Graphics in Oakfield; Bank of Castile in Le Roy; Roxy's Music Store; GO ART!; and The Enchanted Florist.

Monday, January 31, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Two-car accident at Vine and Bank streets

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents

A two-car accident with minor injuries is reported at Vine and Bank Street in the City of Batavia.

Batavia Fire Department and a Mercy ambulance are responding.

Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Possible chimney fire on North Bergen Road

post by Billie Owens in fire

A chimney fire is reported at a structure located at 6719 North Bergen Road.

Byron, South Byron and Bergen fire departments are called to the scene. Elba Fire Department is told to stand in at Bergen's headquarters.

A firefighter on scene says no flames are showing. Units told to respond nonemergency.

UPDATE 6:10 p.m.: Using a thermal imaging camera and evaluating the situation, the fire chief says he's found "nothing over 100 degrees from the chimney up through the roofline."

UPDATE 6:19 p.m.: Fire units are being returned to service.


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Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 3:39 pm

15-year-old runaway boy found safe

post by Billie Owens in batavia

From Detective Richard Schauf:

The Batavia Police Department thanks the public for assistance in finding a 15-year-old runaway.

Nathaniel Davis was located on Thursday afternoon in the City of Batavia.

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