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Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 10:23 am

Car strikes tree at Route 19 and Peachy Road in Bergen

post by Billie Owens in accidents, bergen

A car struck a tree at Route 19 and Peachy Road and a person suffered a head injury. Bergen fire and Mercy medics are responding. The vehicle is well off the road.

UPDATE 9:28 a.m.: The location is north of Black Creek.

UPDATE 9:33 a.m.: The patient is alert and conscious.

Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 10:15 am

Today's Deals: Alabama Hotel, Bourbon & Burger Co., Ficarella's, Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew, and more!

post by Lisa Ace in Deal of the Day

Adam Miller Toy & Bicycles, 8 Center St., Batavia, NY: Feel like a kid in a toy store again, or treat your kids to the greatest toy store they will ever see. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Alabama Hotel, 1353 Lewiston Road, Basom, NY: A historic and legendary tavern and restaurant. The Alabama Hotel is famous for its fish fries, but also serves a variety of top-quality entrees, featuring Certified Angus Beef. Now with expanded hours. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

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 $12.50.

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 $10.

Blue Pearl Yoga, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Exercise your soul as well as your body in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. Join us for a Couples Thai Yoga Massage/Valentine's Workshop. This Valentine's day, learn to express your tenderness for your partner through the healing touch of Thai-Yoga Massage. We have a $60 gift certificate for $30.

Bohn's Restaurant, 5256 Clinton St., Batavia, NY: Fine dining in an atmosphere of casual elegance. Lunch and dinner, steak, prime rib and seafood. Ask about Bohn's catering services and banquet facility. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

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 $10.

The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Give your Valentine the gift of flowers or choose from our selection of Valentine's gift baskets. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.00.

Ficarella's Pizzeria, 21 Liberty St., Batavia, NY: Dine-in, drive-thru or delivery. Featuring fresh, hearth-baked pizza since 1985, plus wings, pasta and more. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10. (Good only at the Batavia location.)

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 $20 gift certificate for $10.

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.

Palm Island Indoor Water Park, 8250 Park Road, Batavia, NY: The newest family fun center in Genesee County, featuring a hot tub, monsoon lagoon pool and play area, tipping buckets, water slides, arcade with 15 games and birthday party rooms. We have a pair of gift certificates worth $40 in merchandise or services for $20.

Salsa & Curry, 13 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: An authentic Mexican restaurant, offering all of your favorite dishes from enchiladas and burritos to tacos and fajitas, as well as daily Indian food specials. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

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 $10.

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 $10.

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 $10.

Sweet Ecstasy Bakery, 6173 Main Road, Stafford, NY. A retail and special order bakery located in Stafford. Offering a wide variety of items such as cookies, filled cupcakes, quick breads, pies, breakfast pastries, daily. On Fridays, Sweet Ecstasy Bakery 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 $5.

Sweet Pea’s Cupcakery Café, 23 Jackson St., Batavia, NY. We are a full-service Cupcake Bakery and Café. We provide a variety of baked goods, mainly varieties of specialty and traditional scratch-made cupcakes, as well as other bakery items such as cookies and brownies. We also offer a variety of hot and cold coffee beverages. Check out our location, or place an order for parties, gatherings or any other reasons you can think of to enjoy some cupcakes. We have a $10 gift card for $5.

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 $10.

The Mane Attraction Salon and Spa, 99 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 $20 gift certificates 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 $10.


Note: If you've never purchased Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and processclick here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 10:00 am

Former Elba mayor rebuffed by Village of Elba GOP in attempt to get old job back

post by Howard B. Owens in elba, politics

Former Elba Mayor Steve Goff's attempt to regain the seat he voluntarily gave up a few months ago was rebuffed by the Village of Elba GOP last night.

Goff tried for the committee endorsement, but garnered only five votes.

Acting Mayor Scott Schuler won the nomination with 27 votes.

Goff is the proprietor of Elba’s Stumblin’ Inn.

Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 9:56 am

Car hits tree at East Road and Route 20, minor head injury

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Bethany

A car has hit a tree on East Road at Route 20, Bethany, and a person has reportedly suffered a minor head injury.

Bethany fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 9:24 a.m.: The patient will be transported to a hospital via Bethany ambulance.

UPDATE 9:31 a.m.: The patient is being taken to UMMC. Bethany units are back in service with the exception of fire police, who are told to stop traffic until the tow truck removes the car.

UPDATE 9:37 a.m.: The road is reopened.

UPDATE 9:46 p.m.: The driver is a 24-year-old female with complaints of pain in the left side of her neck and a headache.

Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 9:12 am

Law and Order: Woman accused of giving bath salts to child arrested on warrant

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Stafford

Ashley R. Keene, 25, of 244 Liberty St., Batavia, was arrested on a warrant out of city court for an alleged failure to appear on previous charges. Keene was previously charged with unlawful dealing with a child and harassment, 2nd. The endangering the welfare of a child charge stems from an incident in July when Keene allegedly gave bath salts to a child. Keene was taken into custody upon her release from the Monroe County Jail, where she was held on an unrelated charged. Keene was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Stacy Lynn Patterson, 25, of Main Road, Stafford, is charged with grand larceny, 3rd, and offering a false instrument for filing. Patterson is accused of filing false information with DSS in 2010 and 2011 in order to receive benefits. Patterson was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Tammy L. Piesczynski, 36, of 1 Florence Ave., Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. Piesczynski is accused of damaging two doors of a residence on Florence Avenue on Jan. 1.

Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 9:07 am

Smoke reportedly coming from dryer at residence on Pearl Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire

City fire is responding to 142 Pearl St., Batavia, for a report of smoke coming from a dryer.

UPDATE: Faulty machine. City fire back in service.

View Larger Map

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Le Roy man involved in theft of $51,000 from Pavilion home sentenced to prison

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy, Pavilion

One of the four men arrested together in connection with a pair of burglaries over the summer in Pavilion appeared in Genesee County Court today and received the stiffest sentence of all.

John H. O'Shea, 20, of Wolcott Street, Le Roy, was given consecutive 3 1/2 to 7 year prison terms. He must also pay his part of more than $53,000 in restitution to his victims.

On Nov. 28, O'Shea plead guilty to burglary, 3rd, and grand larceny, 4th.

He had been charged with two counts of burglary, 2nd, and grand larceny, 4th, in connection with the May 21 Pavilion robbery. He had also been charged with burglary and grand larceny for a break-in in Le Roy.

O'Shea was first arrested in July and faced a charge for falsely reporting an incident for reporting a burglary in which he said jewelry and marijuana were stolen.

His Nov. 28th plea satisfied all pending charges.

The Pavilion homeowners spoke in court today about how the nighttime robbery devastated them.

O'Shea and partners Dylan J. Hawkins, 20, of Morrow Road, Pavilion, and Anthony J. Gonzales, 20, of Myrtle Street, Le Roy, reportedly got away with more than $51,000 in cash and more than $21,000 in securities.

"This crime greatly altered our financial future," one of the victims from Pavilion told Judge Robert C. Noonan. "We would like Mr. O'Shea to know that it took a lot of hard work by my husband over many, many years to earn that money and save that money. Why did Mr. O'Shea think he could just come in and take it?"

The victim pleaded with O'Shea to reveal where the money is hidden.

While O'Shea has reportedly admitted to spending $6,000 of the money on cocaine; he doesn't know what happened to the rest, according to his attorney, Thomas Burns.

Hawkins and Gonzales have both pled guilty to attempted burglary. Hawkins was sentenced to five years in prison and three years probation. Gonzales received six months in jail and five years probation.

Joshua M. Bratcher, 22, of Lake Street, Le Roy, who was initially charged with burglary, 2nd, and grand larceny, 4th, for his part in a May 18 break-in of the Pavilion residence, entered a guilty plea in Pavilion Town Court to petit larceny. He has not yet been sentenced.

Assistant District Attorney Kevin Finnell argued for the maximum sentence under the plea deal. He said O'Shea received a substantial break in getting his plea reduced from a violent felony -- second-degree burglary -- to a nonviolent third-degree burglary.

O'Shea has a prior violent felony conviction in South Carolina for robbery with a deadly weapon.

"I don't know that I've ever seen in a PSI (pre-sentence report by the Probation Department) before what I saw in this PSI," Finnell said. "It says, quite correctly, I think, that he is a menace to society."

Noonan told O'Shea that he has a criminal record that shows he's a violent felon and while he got a break with the plea bargain, Noonan intended to put him away for as long as possible.

Noting that if his victims had awakened in the middle of the night during his Pavilion robbery, the scene could have turned violent, if not deadly (there were guns in the house), and that was a very scary situation for the victims, Noonan said he was just glad the victims didn't wake up.

"I'm going to make sure nobody sees you in their house in the middle of the night for a good long time," Noonan said.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Sponsored Post: Grease Lightning - $24.95 Oil Change!

Grease Lightning at 4003 West Main Street Road in Batavia and its sister location, Castrol Premium Lube at 50 Liberty St., have a great offer for not only you but for a friend or family member.

Come in for fast, friendly service with no hassles whether it's oil changes or full repair right now and get a conventional oil change for just $24.95 (5 qt. limit) when you either mention The Batavian or you can get 2 coupons for the offer by clicking the above banner and printing it from their Web site. Keep a coupon for yourself and give one to a friend.

Owner/Operator Scott Levensailor wants everyone in town to come by and know they'll be treated friendly, fairly and with no tricks.

Here's the link to the Web page with the coupons: https://www.mygreaselightning.com/article.cfm Page=Articles&ArticleNumber=15

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Letter from Genesee ARC regarding trash collection contract

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, garbage collection, Genesee ARC

Open Letter:

There has been much misinformation and confusion regarding Genesee ARC and the city’s Trash and Recycling Request for Bids. I am writing to clarify the process from the ARC perspective. The city administration also has information, a perspective, and opinion on this issue. I am speaking on behalf of Genesee ARC to answer some of the many questions that have been posed to me and on the various sites in social media, The Batavian, and The Daily News.

I’d like to preface this letter with the fact that we are a nonprofit organization and we are mission driven, as we should be. Our decisions in every aspect of the work we do are predicated upon doing what is best for the individuals we serve. We have a highly dedicated staff who understand that this is our purpose: “to support people with disabilities, in partnership with their families and the community.  ... and nurture their social, spiritual, physical and emotional growth.”

Genesee ARC began discussions regarding contract renewal with the city administration last summer. The city administration presented a number of new options that they wanted to transition to, including the cart system. This program was something we were asked not to share and we didn’t share, at their request. We voiced our concerns about this change because it would eliminate a number of jobs for the people we support. If we are not providing jobs for people with disabilities we are not following our mission. We also discussed single-stream recycling which would be difficult for us to implement but felt we would need to do if we were to proceed with the contract. We were asked for much information including the financial reports of the program. We complied with the city administration’s request as they said they were entitled to such as they held the contract.

We also discussed that this contract fell under the NYS Finance Law Article XI, Section 161 & 162 4(b)(i), which governs Preferred Source Vendors and Municipalities in NYS. A municipality must work with a Preferred Source Vendor if there is a vendor who can provide the service or commodity. The vendor must provide the service in the “form, function, and utility" as prescribed by the municipality. This is an important point that plays a significant role in the current discussion.

Genesee ARC did share some of our financial information regarding this service with the city administration so that we could develop a program that would fit the city’s needs and requests. After that submission we did not meet again even though we requested additional meetings with the director of Public Works.

On November 6, 2012, NYSID, the organization that facilitates the Preferred Source contracts and Genesee ARC received a request for bid from the City of Batavia. At that time we had 10 days to respond with a letter of intent as required in Section 162 referenced earlier. NYSID did respond on our behalf as required within the required timeframe. A meeting was requested by Genesee ARC and NYSID with city administration which they accommodated on November 14th at which time the city advised that they considered our letter to be insufficient. Subsequently, a second letter was submitted which clearly stated that we would fulfill the contract following the “form, function, and utility.” The city manager asked at the end of our meeting if we (Genesee ARC) could fulfill the contract in “form, function, and utility” and my final answer was “Yes." Subsequently, the city administration claimed we were non-responsive, in spite of the letter from NYSID and my in-person verbal response to the contrary.

On November 29th we received a response from the city administration that they did not recognize our request as a Preferred Source Vendor and had determined that we would not be able to meet the “form, function, and utility” of the request based on previous conversations with Genesee ARC. On that same day, the Request for Bid was submitted to all public bidders and posted on the city’s Web site. Of course we were eligible to submit a bid as well.

We considered filing an Article 78 motion to force recognition of our status but determined that it would not likely be of benefit.

At that time we were determined to participate and compete in the bid process to the best of our ability and try to maintain as many jobs for the people we support as possible.

The public should understand that the tote/cart system was a part of the city's request and unless ARC complied with the critical components of the proposal we could not participate at all. The city does have the right to propose such a program, if the residents disagree with this recommendation they should appeal to their council representatives. The bidders all had access to the provisions of the RFB and needed to submit a proposal that met the requirements or be disqualified.

Genesee ARC followed all the requirements. We consulted with regional experts in the field and submitted what we felt was a competitive bid and one that keep a majority of the people who currently work on the contract employed.

The city requested automated and semi-automated service. The purchase of all new equipment was not within our budget. We could however retrofit two of our trucks and retain the recycling pick up. We were able to work with a company from Chili which would be able to fulfill the trash collection and disposal portion of the contract. Again, this helped us retain jobs for most of the people with disabilities, who were employed on this contract.

We went head-to-head in the competitive marketplace as many have felt should have happened for many years, in spite of our Preferred Source Vendor status as written in NYS law. Although I believe we gave it our best effort, we were competing against national companies who bring all of their considerable resources to the table with them. I liken this to a Big Box store competing against a homegrown Mom-and-Pop grocery mart. The financial position of the bigger companies is hard to overcome.

We provided value-added components that we thought were worthy of consideration, as well as the knowledge that dollars spent with ARC are reinvested locally.

The final decision will be up to the council members. We will accept their decision but hope that they review all proposals fully before rendering that final decision.

There have been a number of questions regarding the financial statements and charts that were in the city manager’s presentation of January 14, 2013. I would ask that the charts from pages 7 and 9 be looked at carefully. The presentation indicates that current city costs are approximately $1,016,034. That may be true, but ARC has been paid only $811,000 for the fifth year of the contract, it was lower each of the previous four years. In fact, this final year of the contract is lower than the contract of 2007, which was $870,707. This shows that the payment to Genesee ARC has decreased over the past five years. The difference between what ARC is paid and the annual cost of the contract could be attributed to the rate that the city negotiated with its vendor for disposal. We do not receive any reimbursement for that portion of the contract. As for the five-year prediction, the city manager will need to provide an explanation for such a dramatic increase as over the past five years ARC has only experienced an average increase in revenue of 2 percent.

Also in clarification to concerns about prevailing wages: Genesee ARC has always paid prevailing wages for any municipal, government or any other contract that has required it, including the contract with the City of Batavia. ARC employees also receive a full benefit package to include health insurance if they so choose.

Regarding wages for other people who work within our vocational program, they receive compensation at various levels that fall within our Special Wage Certificate as granted by the Federal Department of Labor. These wages are carefully monitored not only by DOL but also OPWDD (Office of People with Developmental Disabilities) and NYS DOL.

People who experience disabilities have the highest level of unemployment in the U.S. at approximately 14.4 percent based on the U.S. National Bureau of Statistics. That rises to almost 70 percent for someone with a developmental disability. One of our major initiatives is to access employment in the community for the people we support. This is not an easy task. There are several local companies who have been very supportive of these efforts yet we continue to have many people who remained unemployed or underemployed. Our ultimate goal would be to be able to close our work center because the people we support are employed in the community.

We would be happy to work with any company, agency, or local government entity that would be interested in learning more about providing employment opportunities for the people we serve at Genesee ARC.

In closing, this is a very complex topic. The depth of this issue and implications for all parties involved cannot be summarized in a two-minute interview with a news outlet or conveyed in the back-and-forth of an online news site. The financial implications for the city are significant, as are the impacts to the residents of the city. For those who seek more in-depth information regarding the proposals you can ask to see them at city hall. You can also review the new ordinance that will govern this process. Also you should attend every council meeting and utilize the opportunity they provide to you to express your thoughts and opinions.

Genesee ARC will continue to provide services to the people with developmental disabilities in Genesee County. The loss of this contract will have implications for everyone who works on the contract and our community as well. In the end, whatever the outcome, we will continue to provide whatever supports we can to everyone we serve. It is our mission and this drives our actions and our future endeavors.

Respectfully and proudly submitted,

Donna Saskowski
Executive Director
Genesee ARC

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Reader submitted editorial: Welcome to the State of The City of New York

A fact has become clear to me: The State of New York no longer exists. What we have today is a polity that is, in effect, the City of New York and its possessions.

The passage of the “SAFE” Act is a clear message to the residents of the possessions of the City of New York that our interests and lifestyle are no longer relevant to the politicians of the State of New York. The passage of this bill is the legislative equivalent of rape. It was passed suddenly and without our consent. Our interests and concerns, as well as our rights, were secondary to the whims and desires of the City of New York.

I am sure that there are state-level politicians who are absolutely befuddled by the fact that they are required to vote on farm issues since they have never seen a farm in the Bronx. I would not be surprised if the legislature of the State of the City of New York voted for a car tax that required New Yorkers to pay 100% of the value of their automobile each year since, in reality, a car is a luxury. You can always take the subway or a bus to wherever your going, after all. The cultural gap between the City and the State of New York is as vast as the gap between Washington, D.C., and America.

In a perfect world, the residents of the State of New York would have the right, and ability, to divorce themselves from the political overreaching of the City of New York. In the real world, we are stuck with its mandates and its world-view. I have had a recurring dream: I stand at the Rockland County line with a huge saw. I cut, and I cut. Eventually, NYC and Long Island are cut free and I push them out to sea. I wish them good luck in their journeys, but I do not miss them.

Back in the land of the awake, we have to deal with the costs of this NYC control to the people of the possessions of the City of New York. Unfunded mandates, regulations and laws, passed to solve NYC and NYC suburban county problems, but having statewide effect and statewide costs, have built upon and compounded on themselves. These costs are bringing our local governments to the brink of bankruptcy. The State Senate is controlled now by the politicians of the City of New York, regardless of the fig leaf of a few Democrats caucusing with the Republicans to form a “Republican” majority. The situation will continue to worsen and the costs to rise.

I can dream of the counties of Western New York declaring their separation and forming their own polity to free themselves from the tyranny of the City of New York, but this will not happen. It would create a new entity that would potentially result in a new state that would bring with it two new U.S. Senators who would inevitably be Republican. The City of New York would never stomach that, let alone the party of which it is a wholly owned subsidiary.

Alternatively, perhaps the border counties, and their neighbors, could petition Pennsylvania for admission to the Commonwealth. That will not be allowed for very much the same reason. It would tip the balance of power in Pennsylvania in favor of the Republicans. That would never be allowed.

What I suspect will continue to happen, though, is that former citizens of what was, once, the Empire State will continue to make their homes in Free States in the South and West of the United States of America in increasing numbers as the oppression of the City of New York continues. With lower taxes, and better employment prospects than are available in the possessions of the City of New York, it is a no-brainer to flee. Good luck paying your ever-increasing bills with an ever-increasing out-migration of taxpayers, State of the City of New York.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 11:07 am

Driver allegedly driving too fast for conditions, causing minor injury accident

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama

A driver may have been going to fast for conditions at 8 p.m., Tuesday, when she apparently lost control of her car on Ledge Road in Alabama, causing a minor injury accident.

Cited for allegedly driving at a speed not reasonable or prudent was 20-year-old Jessica Metzler, of Portland.

Metzler was southbound on Reuben Road when she lost control of a 2010 Chevy sedan owned by Lauren Reinhardt, of Farmington. She drove off the left shoulder of Ledge Road, came back onto the roadway, drove off the south shoulder again, went back onto the roadway and into the westbound lane of Ledge Road and exited the north shoulder, hitting a sign post and then a large rock.

Reinhardt, 22, suffered a minor injury but did not require transportation to a hospital.

The accident was investigated by Deputy Tim Wescott.

Police accident report sketch.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 10:51 am

Submitted Photo: Great Kutz gives out 1,000th free haircut

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Great Kutz

Nathan Puls is 3 years old, and local haircutting salon Great Kutz is celebrating its third year in business. As a matter of coincidence, Nathan helped Great Kutz achieve another milestone this week by becoming the 1,000th customer to receive a free haircut. At Great Kutz, every seventh haircut is free. Nathan is pictured with his father, John. Maren Slane cut Nathan's hair.

Photo and information submitted by Great Kutz.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 10:29 am

Law and Order: Syracuse woman accused of shoplifting in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Carrie G. Blunt, 20, of 339 Hudson St., Syracuse, is charged with petit larceny. Blunt is accused of shoplifting $40 in merchandise from a business in the Tops Plaza.

Andrew A. Crimes, 40, of 627 E. Main St., Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt and aggravated harassment, 2nd. Crimes is accused of contacting a person several times whom he had been ordered not to contact over a six-hour period. Crimes was jailed pending his next court appearance.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 9:45 am

Reminder, time running out to buy event photos from the past three years

post by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian

Earlier this month I posted a notice that we're changing services for selling photos. At the end of this month, photo sales through the old service will no longer be available and because of the massive amount of work involved, I won't be transferring those three years worth of photos from one server to the other.

To ensure everybody has one last chance to buy prints of photos of events we covered in the past three years, I've greatly reduced the prices on the old service.

To view the photos and make print purchases, click here.

Event photos and slideshows created since early December were put on howardowensphotography.com and can be accessed by clicking here. The prices for these prints represent the new pricing structure and we've gotten nothing but positive feedback from people who have made purchases through the new service.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 1:11 am

Council gets details on 2013 budget from city staff

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, budget

Given the backdrop of a proposed city budget that reduces local property taxes by 14.58 percent, various department heads sat before the Batavia City Council tonight and explained some of their funding needs.

The annual budget work session gives council members a chance to understand how taxpayer money will be spent and to ask questions, and even challenge, some of the budgeting decisions.

The discussion comes a week after City Manager Jason Molino presented the council with a proposed budget that reduces spending from a 2012 total of $15.8 million to $15.2 million for 2013.

Most of the savings comes from a proposal to change the way garbage is collected in the city.

For the past three decades, Genesee ARC has picked up residential garbage and recycling, with residents leaving their household waste by the curb in bags, cans and boxes.

The proposed new system would give each city residential property -- and some businesses -- at least two totes for refuse and recycling that could be collected by trucks fitted to dump the cans automatically.

According to Molino's budget, this would save -- especially if Allied/Republic is selected over Genesee ARC as the vendor for the new service -- some $218,000 in the first year.

That's a 21-percent reduction in expenses over what it would take to keep things as they are.

The city's tax rate would go down from $10.71 per $1,000 of assessed value to $9.15.

The tax rate could conceivably go down even more, but the city is faced with a nearly $300,000 increase -- mandated, non-negotiable -- in pension costs.

For the third year in a row, the assessed value of city property has not increased.

With that backdrop, here are some key points from tonight's discussion:

  • The city could receive $250,000 in revenue from Batavia Downs from video lottery terminals. The VTL revenue is never a sure thing because Albany sometimes decides not to release the funds. But if it comes through, half of the money would go to the revolving loan fund of the Batavia Development Corp. If that happens, the redevelopment coordinator job currently held by Julie Pacatte could be retained for another two years. Economic growth and new jobs are critical to growing Batavia's tax base, Molino said. About $30,000 would be used to recapitalize the revolving loan fund. The city would also continue its $10,000 annual contribution to fund the position. If the city doesn't receive the funds, the city council will need to make a decision about what do to with the economic development coordinator position. In response to questions from council members, Molino said the position is necessary because the Genesee County Economic Development Center is not focused on redevelopment, or "brown field" development -- the kind of economic development a built-out city needs. Rather, GCEDC is focused on "green field" projects such as the agri-business park and STAMP. That lack of focus on the city means if that the city is going to pursue business develoment, Molino said, it needs a person dedicated to that task.
  • This spring and summer, look for a community garden at the youth center near Batavia High School. Nearby residents will be able to have plots to grow vegetibles for $15 to $35 per plot.
  • In response to questions from council members: The city expects to pay $28 million on debt currently accured, including principle and interest, from 2008 to 2043. Molina said he will need to look up what the actual principle owed is on the city's debt.
  • Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian raised the issue again of privatizing Falleti Ice Arena. "When are we going to get serious about letting somebody else take it over," Christian said. Molino said that while it's not certain, city staff believes if the city were to sell the arena, the proceeds would need to be spent on building a similar facility, under terms of a grant secured 30 years ago by then-Rep. Barber Conable.
  • The Department of Public Works needs to spend $377,000 from its equipment reserve fund to replace aging trucks, including a loader, a single-axel dump truck and plow and two one-ton dump trucks.
  • The city will spend $75,000 from the sidewalk reserve to replace some 12,000 feet of sidewalk, including walkways on Hutchins Street, Cedar Street, Tracy Avenue and Richmond Avenue.
  • Council members asked why residents don't help pay for sidewalk replacement. Molino said sidewalks are legally the resident's responsibility. Councilman Jim Russell pointed out that at one time the city had a program whereby residents would share the cost of replacing sidewalks. Molino said city staff could research alternative programs. Such a program, Russell pointed out, could mean twice the amount of sidewalks could be replaced each year. Christian said she remembers when the city did that and it was no big deal to have the cost of a new sidewalk in front of your house tacked onto your tax bill. Molino said such an approach is popular across the country.
  • Matt Worth, superintendent of water and sewer, said the city will need to hire a consultant this year to come up with a plan and a budget for removing sediment from one of the wastewater facility's treatment ponds. The actual clean-up work won't occur until 2014. The last time this was done the bill was $600,000, but the pond in rotation for clean up now doesn't have the filtration devices that the previous pond did, so the cost should be less. There is a build up of phosphorus in the pond. Phosphorus must be removed before the wastewater is introduced into the Tonawanda Creek, because it causes algae to grow, which isn't good for aquatic life.  Worth said he remembers when he was a child how Lake Ontario would have a lot of foam on it. That was from phosphorous being dumped into the water stream (such as from laundry detergent).  Worth said if the city doesn't clean the pond, the Department of Environmental Conservation will come down hard on the city. The clean up is mandated by the Clean Water Act. This is a once-every-22-years requirement for this pond.
  • The city fire department is currently down five firefighters and by the middle of summer it will be short eight firefighters due to retirement. New firefighters won't graduate from the academy until August. By the end of 2013, city fire should be fully staffed.
  • The department is hiring an already-trained firefighter, in his first year on the job, from Canandaigua. The Canandaigua department is reducing staffing. The new firefighter will be required to move to Genesee County, though not necessarily into the city. Questioned by Christian, Fire Chief Jim Maxwell, who started his job more than a year ago, said he has relocated his family to Genesee County.  (After the meeting Molino said that reducing the number of firefighters in the city fire department will be a topic of negotiation with the union during upcoming contract talks.)
  • Because of the shortage of firefighters following a spate of retirements, the city is expected to incure $220,000 in overtime expense in the department in 2013.
  • Batavia PD faces a similar personnel shortage early in the year with the anticipated retirement (due to a forced restructuring of the department) of three lieutenants. A sergeant is also expected to retire. The city plans to replace the lieutenant positions with two new patrol officers and a sergeant. The department will also create a deputy chief position that will oversee road patrol. There are currently two vacant positions in the department and new officers aren't expected to start arriving until late summer.
  • Staff shortages will mean an anticipated $220,000 in overtime expense for the police department.
  • The city will also acquire a new patrol vehicle and a new supervisor's SUV at a cost of $55,000.
  • Council President Tim Buckley questioned the need for five new Tasers at an expense of $5,200. Molino and Police Chief Shawn Heubusch explained that all new officers will be Taser-certified, which isn't necessarily the case with veteran officers. The use of Tasers and other non-lethal means to subdue suspects helps reduce the city's liability costs, Molino said.
  • Heubusch said his former department, in Warsaw, had officers wear body cameras -- these attach to an officer's uniform and are activated when they are out of a patrol car and dealing with an incident. He said prosecutors love them because they record everything that an officer sees and everything that is said by the officer and a suspect. The city will purchase three such devices as a trial for using them in Batavia. Cost: $1,500.
  • Batavia PD will try bicycle patrols for the first time in 2013. Cost: $1,500. This covers the bicycles, safety equipment and training. Heubusch said bicycle patrols will help the city enhance its community policing program.
  • A public hearing on the budget, as well as a slight water rate increase and the new proposed refuse program will be Feb. 11.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 11:53 pm

GCC Basketball: men cruise, women fall against Alfred State

post by Andrew Crofts in basketball, GCC, sports

The Genesee Community College men's basketball team snapped a five-game losing streak, which included their first three Western New York Athletic Conference games of the year, by defeating visiting Alfred State College, 76-47 on Tuesday night.

Joe Gray set the tone with a first half double-double, collecting ten rebounds and scoring ten points for Genesee.

The Cougars cashed in five times from three-point range in the opening half and led the entire night.

Vaughn Boler returned from injury to score 15 points on six-of-nine shooting and grab seven rebounds in just over fifteen minutes of work.

The GCC defense stymied the Pioneers to just 24% shooting in the second half and Donte Meredith scored a game-high 18 points,  which included five 3-pt baskets. Genesee ended the night with 12 baskets from long-range.

Gray finished with ten points and 14 rebounds, Malik Brown chipped in 13 points and Terryl Coombs put together another strong effort, scoring nine points and grabbing eight boards.

The win is the tenth (10-10) on the season for GCC and their first in conference (1-3) this year. The Cougars will host Jamestown Community College this Thursday night at 8pm.



The Genesee Community College women's basketball team will have to keep searching for their first conference win of the season after falling to visiting Alfred State College, 81-35 on Tuesday night.

Genesee battled in a close first half that separated the two teams by just ten points. The Lady Cougars jumped out to an early six-point advantage before Alfred State responded at took back the lead for good halfway through the opening period.

Dashawna Jenifer and Nanase Akagami combined to score 14 of GCC's 20 first half points.

In the second half, Genesee was held to just 15 points on 4-of-30 shooting from the field.

Akagami finished the night with 15 points and Jenifer chipped in nine. Sarah Scarborough and Jackie Janes each grabbed eight rebounds in the losing effort.

Genesee falls to 0-4 in conference play and are now 1-14 on the year. They will return to action on Thursday night when they host Jamestown Community College.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Hawley issues statement on governor's budget proposal

post by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley

Press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

The governor’s Executive Budget proposal set the stage for weeks of public review and compromise with many details yet to be worked out. The governor’s proposal fails to address the pressing need for mandate relief and a more equitable school aid formula. Through my position on the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, I will make these issues and all of our local concerns a focal point of the legislature’s revisions to this spending plan.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Car vs. deer accident on Alexander Road in the Town of Batavia

post by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents

A car vs. deer accident is reported at 9295 Alexander Road, near the intersection with Pike Road. The driver and her young children are apparently not injured but do require evaluation. Town of Batavia Fire Department is responding along with Mercy Medic #1.

UPDATE 6:38 p.m.: Responders report the deer has been dispatched. It is blocking one of the responder's trucks. There are a couple of sign-offs. Town of Batavia is told to return to service.

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