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Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Photo: Tree on Bernd Road, Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, photos

Tree, Bernd Road, Le Roy.

Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Sponsored Post: Batavia Soccer Club - Summer Sign Ups.

Batavia Soccer Club Summer 2013 sign ups and walk-in registration will be held on from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. January 12th at Richmond Memorial Library.

For online registration; please visit: http://www.gasabatavia.org

  • $65  U6-U8, Registration ends 3/1.
  • $95 U11-U15, Registration ends 1/15.
  • $110 U16-U19, Registration ends 1/15.

U-11 to U19 -- Need copy of birth ceritifcate and passport-size photo.

Please make checks payable to: Genesee Amatuer Soccer Association, P.O. Box 53, Batavia, NY 14020

Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:35 am

Village of Le Roy switching all trash removal to one day a week -- Wednesdays

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy

Starting Feb. 6, Village of Le Roy residents used to garbage pick-up on Thursdays will need to start putting out their trash on Wednesdays.

The village, in an attempt to help their refuse collection contractor hold down costs, has agreed to Wednesdays-only pick-ups, eliminating Thursday collection.

"They could really use us to go to one day to help them through these tough financial times," Mayor Greg Rogers said.

Rogers said the switch could help the village stave off a rate increase, though negotiations are not yet completed with the company.

Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 11:15 am

State grant will help Le Roy improve sidewalks on routes kids walk to school

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy

Le Roy will receive a $421,000 grant from New York for sidewalk improvement under a program designed to ensure sidewalks are safe for children walking to school.

The village must still finalize its improvement plans.

"We weren't expecting this much, but we'll put it to good use," said Mayor Greg Rogers.

Meanwhile, the village lost out on grant applications for tree planting and a DEC water quality grant.

"We are actively perusing other grants, trying to get some of the tax money back residents already paid and (have it) returned to the community," Rogers said.

One thing Rogers would like to see the village explore with the sidewalk grant is replacing street lamps on Main Street. He isn't sure that's permissible, but he thinks the lamps could be more attractive, pointing to Downtown Batavia's street lamps of an example of what's possible.

"It's more of a cosmetic thing and how far the grant will take us, I don't know," Rogers said. "It's not a top priority."

The main purpose of the grant will be to replace sidewalks that need to be replaced along routes frequently used by children going to school.

Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 10:09 am

Trustees pass on offer for business group to buy Wiss, start process to have it torn down

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Le Roy, Wiss Hotel

All the experts agree, as Bob Fussell pointed out Wednesday night, the Wiss is structurally sound, but that doesn't mean it's not on shaky ground.

Wednesday, the Village of Le Roy trustees took two key steps that all but guarantee the irreplaceable building's destruction. The board failed to vote on a motion to make a counteroffer for a group of local residents to buy the property and then passed a motion to seek requests for proposal to have the old hotel demolished.

"You're being given an opportunity to have this $250,000 -- maybe half a million -- headache taken off your shoulders and you're asking us to pay $10,000 to boot," Fussell said. "We're probably willing to pay you that $10,000 just because we care about the community.

"We're willing to do something for you that's a huge value and every expert who's looked at it said it's remediable, even Clark Patterson has said you can remediate that."

The reference to Clark Patterson goes back to a three-page letter trustees discussed to kick off the meeting. Trustee Robert Taylor, according to Mayor Greg Rogers, was concerned about the condition of the Wiss and asked engineers from Clark Patterson Lee Design Professionals in Rochester to inspect the building.

Their three-page report, as discussed by trustees, said the building is currently a danger to the public. Youths have trespassed on the property and there are several potential safety issues that need to be addressed immediately.

But as Trustee Jennifer Keys pointed out, the engineers didn't say the building needed to be demolished, and on a merely visual inspection, they found no structural defects.

A more thorough inspection might be required to find any serious problems.

Trustees Taylor, Jim Bonaquisti and Mike Tucci all seized on the report to call for the building's immediate destruction.

"Obviously, this report kind of opened my eyes to a lot of different things," Bonaquisti said.

He noted that his family once owned the building so he knows the roof has been leaking for 30 years and that there have been no tenants on the third floor, because of the leaks, for those three decades.

He said the report noted that youths have apparently been playing beer pong in the vacant building.

"A great concern of mine is that somebody is going to get hurt," Bonaquisti said. "Now there's talk of somebody signing a release from liability and going in and putting a tarp on the roof. Even though we might not be legally liable, it sure would not make me feel very good if somebody went in there and got hurt."

Taylor said one of the things he learned from the report that makes him more comfortable with tearing the Wiss down is that the neighboring building and the Wiss don't share a common wall, so destruction of the Wiss won't harm the other building.

"And the very last paragraph of the report says that some major structural problems may have eluded detection because of limited access to some areas of the building," Taylor said.

Tucci said the report, in his mind, cements the idea that the Wiss needs to be demolished.

"It needs to come down and it needs to come down now," he said. "The report talks about the danger it poses to life and proprty and the surrounding area. If we continue to let it sit there and collect snow that melts and freezes and does it all over again, it's putting the assets of the village at risk."

Fussell, an attorney with experience in liability law, was taken aback by the sudden concern over liability for the village by Bonaquisti, Taylor and Tucci.

If there was such a concern for the danger of the building, Fussell asked, how come the insurance company for the village hasn't been demanding a cover on the roof or a scaffolding around the building or otherwise pushed the village to ensure the safety of the building?

"We've put in a lot of money and a lot of effort to do something for this community and all of the sudden these bogeymen concerns about liability," Fussell said. "You know I know a lot about liability.

"I'm a trial lawyer. I've been doing it for 40 years. I know a great deal about it. I know that this baloney that you've got about liability is nothing more than that. I'll be very blunt in telling you that."

Former Mayor Jim DeLooze -- who owns a building on Main Street that he said he's invested $250,000 in -- said he's very concerned about the fire danger presented by the Wiss. The first fire wall on Main Street isn't until 60 Main St. The fire department said six years ago, it won't fight an interior fire in the Wiss, but will only fight it from the outside, according to DeLooze.

"The number one responsibility of you five people is the safety of the people of this community," DeLooze said at the start of his statement, and concluding, "I have a very big concern that if that thing ever did catch fire, my building is possibily going to be in danger also. So I'm asking you as a former mayor, please do the right thing and have the thing taken down as quickly as possible."

DeLooze also questioned the historical value of the Wiss, and fellow Main Street property owner Jack Hempfling questioned its esthetic value.

"Most of the younger generation I talk to would feel like Walgreens and the Bank of Castile are the best looking things on Main Street," Hempfling said. "They're certainly not historical, but they (replaced the) eyesores that were taken down. Regardless of what anybody is talking about doing with the Wiss, it's still going to be one of the remaining eyesores in Le Roy.

"They say they're caring for the community. Some of us would think caring for the community isn't keeping it looking like it was in the 1930s. Some of us would say caring for the community is bringing it down and widening the intersection."

Lisa Compton said that since talk of saving the Wiss made the news, it's drawn interest from members of the Genesee County Landmark Society and the NYS Landmark Society, that even a trustee in Bethany has expressed an interest in investing in the project.

While the Wiss itself isn't historical, the structure could play an important role -- and losing it could diminish the chances -- of declaring the village a historic district.

"It's a significant part of the district," Compton said.

Mayor Rogers said he was only looking at the Wiss as a business proposition, which is why he put considerable time into drafting a counterproposal for the LLC to purchase the building.

"While their vision for the Wiss Hotel is nowhere shape or form what mine is, but from what I'll call a business standpoint, we always hear from people who tell you what they can't do, but very seldom do you hear from people who tell you what they can do," Rogers said. "We have people here who are the latter, who are willing to take a chance, who have invested their own money already and, quite frankly, if successful, would save the village $200,000.

"I don't believe they are looking to renovate the building to have the building be the eyesore it is now," Rogers added. "If somebody were to look into the future and think that's their vision, just to have the doors open over there, I would like to think in no way shape or form that's the ideal they have coming."

Rogers' counteroffer included a specific timetable for the LLC to meet, such as being legally formed, securing financing, taking possession of the building, shoring up safety issues and beginning renovations, as well as paying the village $10,000 once a certificate of occupancy was issued.

One of Tucci's objections to the project was that he didn't think the LLC could successfully rent the apartments. Fussell said there would be more market research done before the final floor plan was completed and if the market couldn't sustain five more expensive apartments, then seven could be put into the space at a lower monthly rent. Rogers pointed out that what the LLC did with the building once it owned it wasn't really a matter of village business.

When he called for a motion to approve the counteroffer, Jennifer Keys made the motion, but there was no second, so it died for lack of support.

Talk of possible ground contaminates that could drive up the demolition costs, perhaps to $500,000, almost had Bonaquisti convinced to back the sale to the LLC, but others pointed out that there is no evidence of ground contaminates under the Wiss.

With the counteroffer killed, Tucci made a motion to have the building demolished. This was amended to see requests for proposal to find out exactly how much it would cost the village to tear down the Wiss.

This motion passed 3-2, backed by Tucci, Taylor and Bonaquisti.

Photo: Bob Fussell.

Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 10:01 am

Today's Deals: Alli's Cones & Dogs, Bourbon & Burger, Present Tense Books and Gifts, Settler's, and more!

post by Lisa Ace in Deal of the Day

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.

Batavia Downs Grandstands Bar & Grille, 8315 Park Road, Batavia, NY: A full menu, salad bar and drinks in one of the region's most popular entertainment venues. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50. (Must be new or current Players Club member to redeem.)

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.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

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.

Present Tense Books and Gifts, 101 Washington Ave., Batavia, NY: Whether your taste runs to local authors, the finest in fiction or nonfiction or you're looking for a unique and special gift, this charming store in a cozy Victorian house on the edge of downtown is a great place to stop and shop. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

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.

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.

SOLD OUT!

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

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Hawley, Ranzenhofer react to governor's state-of-the-state message

post by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, steve hawley

Statement by Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

The Governor’s State of the State address detailed his personal agenda for the 2013 legislative session. His plans to promote Upstate New York’s economy and invest in programs that will put the state on the cutting edge of high-tech innovation will provide a much-needed boost for our region. However, his presentation lacked any plans to address unfunded mandate relief, one of the biggest issues facing state government this year. No legislative agenda can be considered complete without a substantive plan to free our schools, towns and taxpayers from the burden of unfunded mandates.

Statement by State Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer (R, C, I- Amherst) has issued the following statement in response to Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address:

“Over the last two years, the State Legislature has been able to work together – unlike the gridlock and partisanship in Washington, D.C.– to pass two on-time budgets that reduced overall spending, lowered middle-class tax rates to the lowest levels in 58 years and realigned investments toward job-creation initiatives, such as ReCharge NY and Regional Economic Development Councils. Despite our fiscal house being put back in order, difficult choices remain ahead since the State still faces a $1 billion budget gap.

The ultimate goal must continue to be making New York more business friendly and improving our State’s economy so that the private sector can create jobs. The Governor’s proposals to reform workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance programs and his commitment to avoid taxes as a way to balance the budget will further help companies lower the costs of operating a business in New York. I am also pleased that, after announcing a billion dollars in economic development incentives for the Buffalo region last year, the Governor has again recommended a series of initiatives to revitalize Upstate New York’s economy.

The private sector created more than 210,000 jobs in New York State alone during the last two years, and I am hopeful that the State Legislature will be able to move New York’s economy in an even stronger direction by making the right investments and taking the right actions in the 2013 Legislative Session.”

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Genesee ARC in the mix of bids for modernized trash service in Batavia

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

In conjunction with two partners, Genesee ARC submitted a bid to continue providing the City of Batavia garbage and recycling service.

Donna Saskowski, executive director of the ARC, sat through the bid opening at city hall today and characterized her agency's bid as "somewhere in the middle."

But, she said, the city's decision doesn't just come down to price. It's also a matter of being responsive to the bid specifications and she thinks ARC delivers value to the city beyond just price.

"I would hope they could give us a real fair hearing in terms of our value-added items that we will do for the city, keeping people employed here," Saskowski said.

She added that the agency's partners on the project, Boon and Son and Cascade Recovery, also add value to the package; Cascade, in particular, which can sell recyclables anywhere in the world.

"They want a share of that revenue and the city can get more than they ask for if they work with us," Saskowski said.

In the public meeting to open the bids, Director of Public Works Sally Kuzon read each bid for garbage collection and the purchase of totes (two separate bids). A city staff member recorded the bids. When asked for a copy of the record of bids, Kuzon declined to provide a copy to the media.

Saskowski shared ARC's bid, which for refuse collection is $102.97 per parcel per year and $60.13 for recycling. Refuse disposal is $42.50 per ton.

In response to a FOIL request for the rest of the bids, City Clerk Heider Parker said, "This information will be available within 20 business days but I will notify you if it is available sooner."

Deciding to proceed with a bid was a big decision for Genesee ARC, which has provided the city with garbage collection services for 30 years. City officials are seeking to create a new program that is more automated and encourages recycling. ARC is partnering with Boon to provide the trucks necessary for tote pick-ups and with Cascade to help market recyclable material.

"We decided to go ahead because we still have people with disabilities and people in Genesee County who still need jobs here," Saskowski said. "That was my major motivation."

Sean Mason, an environmental sales specialist representing one of the tote manufacturers bidding on the job, Rehrig Pacific, said his company is motivated to help communities improve what they send into the waste stream. Rehrig Pacific has been making totes for 13 years and been in the plastics business for 100 years.

"We're always looking to increase our footprint and to help communities increase their recycling rate and increase the participation per household," Mason said (pictured below with coworker Jason Gimlin).

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 4:46 pm

UMMC announces first baby on New Year, born Jan. 1 to Lyndonville couple

post by Howard B. Owens in New Year's Baby, UMMC

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center welcomed the first baby born within Genesee County in the New Year, 2013. Naomi Lynn, a baby girl, was born to Kristen Keiffer and Robert Gerety of Lyndonville, on Tuesday, January 1st at 4:16 a.m. at United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia. She is the first child for the new parents.

Grandparents are Doug and JoAnn Keiffer, of Medina, and John and Nora Denfer, of Lyndonville.

Baby Naomi weighed 4 pounds, 13 ounces and was 17 ¼ inches long. She was delivered by midwife, Cecelia Stearns, CNM.

The new mother, Ms. Keiffer is employed as an aide at Medina Memorial Hospital and Mr. Gerety works for ATB Staffing Solutions at Mizkan in Lyndonville.

As the New Year’s baby, Naomi and her parents received a $250 gift card to a local store from United Memorial.

In 2012, there were 654 babies delivered at United Memorial, a 21-percent increase from 2011.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Tree and wires down on Platt Avenue in Le Roy

post by Billie Owens in Le Roy

A tree and wires are reportedly down in the roadway at 8 Platt Ave. in Le Roy. The fire department is responding. The location is between George and Elm streets. The Department of Public Works is on scene.

UPDATE 3:03 p.m.: The wire is determined to be a cable line.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Safety, educational progress, and library updates discussed by school board

Highlights from the Batavia City School District (BCSD) Board of Education meeting on Jan. 8 include news and updates about the following: 

  • Security and Safety Procedures Review
  • Focus Update
  • Kindergarten Registration Begins Feb. 4
  • Curriculum Coordinator Hired
  • Budget Ambassadors Appointed
  • Richmond Memorial Library Updates Goals
  • Financial Summary Report

Security and Safety Procedures Reviewed

Superintendent of Schools Chris Dailey announced that an “Emergency Go Home Early Drill” will be held on Feb. 5 as part of the required State Safety Plan. All students will be released at 1:15 p.m. and off of school grounds by 1:30 p.m.

The BOE Safety Committee Chair Amy Barone reported that the committee met in December with Batavia City Police Chief Shawn Heubusch to review and discuss school safety. In addition to providing the district’s internal safety plan to the police department, the group discussed more police presence on school property (including both an increase in patrolling the grounds as well as having officers come inside buildings during extracurricular activities), police access to school buildings in a lock-down situation, the possibility of funding safety officer positions at schools, an increase in number and type of safety drills, and modifications to existing safety equipment and building design to increase safety functionality.

Election Day, which has been highlighted as a safety concern due to the schools being open to all voters on a day when children are present, was also discussed with proposals ranging from moving the election site off school grounds to scheduling a Superintendent’s Conference Day on voting days so that students would not be in the buildings.

Focus District Update

With two of his training sessions in Albany completed and another coming up in March, Superintendent Dailey reported that the district continues to move forward with meeting state requirements and criteria for the school improvement plan that identifies areas of need as well as programs and activities to help increase student achievement.

As one of the state’s requirements for the evaluation process is to work with non-district educational experts, Dailey noted that the district is fortunate to be working with Steve Uebbing, Ed.D., and Sandra Quinones, Ed.D., from the University of Rochester. They will meet with district administration and staff to help increase understanding of the six tenets of the state’s diagnostic process as well as to facilitate preparation for the state’s visits to the district and the middle school. The visit will take place in June.

In addition, bids are going out to approved vendors for the creation of surveys to solicit feedback from students, staff and parents. Overall, Dailey said, the process in very extensive and the district continues to make progress.

As noted at previous board meetings, the district did not meet New York State’s proficiency benchmarks in the 2010-2011 school year for one subgroup of students. As a result, it has been identified by the NYS Education Department as a Focus District, which is required to choose at least one school on which to focus efforts toward improvement for this subgroup.

Because the middle school has the greatest number of students in the specified subgroup, it was chosen as the Focus School. The district has assembled a school improvement committee to develop and implement a plan that identifies areas of need as well as programs and activities to help increase student achievement.

It’s important to note that the data used for the determination dates back to the 2010-2011 school year and if data from 2011-2012 had been used, the district would have made the target cut points. So while the district is responsible for following an approved Comprehensive Improvement Plan, many of the strategies and plans are already under way and yielding positive results.

Kindergarten Registration Begins Feb. 4

Superintendent Dailey announced that kindergarten registration for the 2013-2014 school year will take place Feb. 4-8 at Jackson Primary School in the multipurpose room.

Children who will be 5 years old on or before Dec. 1, 2013 are eligible to attend kindergarten in the fall. To register, parents are asked to go to Jackson primary on one of the designated school days between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and bring with them proof of residency such as a current utility bill or formal lease agreement, as well as the child’s birth certificate, Social Security card, and complete record of immunizations. Please note that no child can be registered without the required documentation.

Parents of new first-grade pupils are also asked to register their child in the same time frame and with the same documentation.


Jackson Primary School is located at 411 S. Jackson St. The office phone number is 343-2480, ext. 4000.

Curriculum Coordinator Hired

Superintendent Dailey announced that Curriculum Coordinator Jolene Dettman will begin work on Jan. 18. The position is shared with Pavilion Central School District. She comes from Monroe 2 where she developed expertise in the Common Core and in curriculum development.

Budget Ambassadors Appointed

Sherri Bartz, Rodney Brinkman, Frank DeMare, Jacquie Fowler, Michael Grammatico, Jay Gsell, Jill Halpin, Lynn Heintz, Patti Johnson, Cheryl Kowalik, Jason Molino, Marcia Riley, Durin Rogers, Richard Seymour, and Danielle Torcello applied and were appointed to be Budget Ambassadors for the 2013-2014 district budget proposal.

Ambassadors are residents of the district who volunteer and commit to serve on a committee which meets for two (2) two and a half (2.5) hour evening sessions. Ambassadors review the preliminary budget as developed by the administration (within parameters established by the Board of Education) and recommend to the board any modification(s) they would like to see. Their recommendations, while highly valued, are advisory rather than binding as the board develops the Proposed Budget to be brought to the voters. In addition, ambassadors agree to explain their work to any interested individual in the community.

Richmond Memorial Library Updates Goals

In addition to continuing to build on its previous goals related to space utilization, technology usage, working with the business community, and fiscal responsibility, the Richmond Memorial Library Board has approved goals for 2013-2017. Library Director Diana Wyrwa presented the revised mission statement and outlined the four goals.

The updated mission statement is “Richmond Memorial Library continually provides access to physical and virtual resources and services that meet the educational, informational, and recreational needs of its diverse community in a safe and comfortable environment.”

The four goals are:

1.      Engage diverse populations with specific library programs and services.

2.      Provide multifaceted resources and assistance for all ages to continue learning throughout their lives.

3.      Act as a central source for information about and support of the wide variety of programs, services, and activities available to Batavia residents.

4.      Provide ongoing economic stability for the library.

In addition, Wyrwa announced that, in 2014, the library will celebrate being open for 125 years. Plans are being made now to commemorate that event.

Financial Summary Report

Business Administrator Scott Rozanski reported on the November 2012 revenue and expenses for the district, reviewing them in comparison to the November 2011 figures.  

Overall, the recorded revenues in the year-to-year comparison were fairly consistent, with an increase of $467,000 or slightly less than 2 percent. The most significant increases were recorded in Real Property Tax Levy and in state and federal aid. Real Property Tax Levy, which is counted as revenue when levied rather than when actually received, showed an increase of $355,000. State and federal aid showed an increase of $311,000, largely due to the state making its customary TRS (Teacher Retirement System) payments which the district is obliged to record as income.

Decreases in the “miscellaneous” category of $153,000 were largely due to BOCES refunds for both unused billed expenses as well as an increase in their state aid. In addition, the Non-property Tax Items category (utility tax) was down slightly more than $86,000. The utility tax, as has often been reported, experiences regular fluctuations and has been trending lower than last year.

Expenses were up by approximately $93,000 or slightly less than 1 percent, which was less than expected and primarily due to timing of payments in transportation.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Notre Dame, Batavia to play in Rotary Tournament Finals

post by Nick Sabato in sports

Notre Dame used a 13-2 second-quarter run to edge past Alexander in the first round of the Batavia Rotary Tournament at Genesee Community College, 57-43.

Neither team appeared to have an edge early on, with the score being tied after the first quarter. The Fighting Irish started the second quarter with a bang, outscoring the Trojans 18-6 in the frame. The run was keyed by three point field goals made by Shea Norton and Emma Francis, and the Irish ratcheted up their defense.

“After the first we tried to change up defenses,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Dave Pero. “We went back to basics and got us back to where we could get into the lead.

Notre Dame’s defense suffocated Alexander all night, coming away with 13 steals and holding leading scorer Sarah Loranty to six points on 2-of-12 shooting for the game. The Trojans also failed to connect from beyond the arc, missing on all seven attempts.

The Irish offensive attack was balanced all night long, getting 11 points apiece from Melanie Taylor and Shea Norton, while Riley Norton chipped in with 10. Pero’s squad also got seven points each from Francis, Laurie Call and Maddie Mancuso.

“You can’t score if you don’t shoot,” Pero said. “We always tell our players to shoot the ball if you’re open.”

Taylor continued her solid start to the season with another superb all-around game, collecting seven rebounds and six assists to go with her 11 points. Shea Norton added 12 rebounds to go along with her 11 points and Mancuso chipped in with six rebounds off the bench for the Irish (8-1).

Despite being held in-check for most of the night on the offensive end, Loranty did dominate the boards, bringing down 17 rebounds in the loss. Maria Dominick scored a game-high 13 points and grabbed five rebounds for Alexander (7-2), which lost two straight after winning their first seven.

Notre Dame will go on to face Batavia in the finals on Thursday night after the Blue Devils overcame a 30-19 halftime deficit to defeat Perry, 57-48.

The Blue Devils managed to cut the lead to five heading in to the fourth quarter and were able to outlast the Yellowjackets and hand them their first loss of the season.

Batavia got gigantic performances from two freshmen, Madison McCulley, who scored a game-high 15 points and dished out 10 assists while Tiara Filbert chipped in 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for the Blue Devils (8-3), who has defeated Perry in the Rotary Tournament for the second straight season. The Yellowjackets fell 44-41 in the finals a year ago.

Perry (7-1) got 13 points from Ashley Miller and will play Alexander in the consolation game at 6 p.m. on Thursday night at GCC. The finals between Batavia and Notre Dame are scheduled to tip-off at 7:30. 

To purchase photos, click on the link in the slide show that says "purchase photos."

All photos by Howard Owens.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 11:04 am

Law and Order: Bethany resident accused of taking sledgehammer to car

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, crime, Pavilion

Steven Leo Decker, 62, of Francis Road, Bethany, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Decker is accused of breaking out the windows of a victim's vehicle with a sledgehammer. The incident was reported at 7:53 p.m., Tuesday.

Chad M. Johnston, 26, of 111 Liberty St., Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Johnston is accused of punching another person in the head at 5:15 p.m., Tuesday.

Douglas G. Bryant Jr., 41, of 1 Florence Ave., Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Bryant is accused of threatening another person and spitting on that person and throwing food at that person. Bryant was jailed on $500 bail.

Sean P. Case, 25, 47 of Washington Ave., Batavia, is charged with assault, 2nd, and assault, 3rd. Case is accused of punching a person in the face and breaking his nose during an incident at 6:50 a.m., Jan. 1, at a residence on South Main Street, Batavia. He is accused of injuring another person who attempted to intervene. Case, arrested Tuesday, was jailed without bail pending his next court appearance.

Jason Lee Perry, 18, of Telephone Road, Pavilion, is charged with sexual misconduct. Perry is accused of having sex with a 16-year-old girl.

Michael Steven Bennett, 31, of Columbus Avenue, Mt. Morris, was arrested on a bench warrant for alleged failure to pay fine. Bennett is being held on an unrelated matter in the Livingston County Jail. He was released to the custody of the Sheriff's Office for arraignment in Genesee County Court and then returned to Livingston County.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 10:01 am

Strong winds predicted from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

A wind advisory kicks in at 10 a.m. with gusts up to 45 mph expected.

Sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph from the southwest are expected, according to the National Weather Service.

The advisory is in effect until 5 p.m.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Possible electrical fire snuffed out at Garden Drive residence

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

City firefighters were called at about 9:08 p.m. to 405 Garden Drive after a caller reported a loud noise followed by smoke in the familty room. It was thought to be a possible electircal fire. Upon arrival, firefighters found a small fire, extinguished it and ventilated the house. A city code enforcement officer was contacted and it is estimated that he will arrive on scene in the next 20 to 30 minutes.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Today's Deals: Ficarella's Pizzeria, Alex's Place, Greg'ry's Bakery, Bohn's, and more!

post by Billie Owens in Deal of the Day

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.

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.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

SOLD OUT

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Phil Ricci pushing effort to organize Libertarian Party in Genesee County

post by Howard B. Owens in Libertarian Party, Phil Ricci, politics

The time might be right for a third party to try to make a difference in Genesee County politics, the way Phil Ricci sees it, so he along with a small group of like-minded residents are working getting the Libertarian Party established locally.

The process involves signing up members for the committee, holding a convention and finding a candidate or two to run for local offices.

"I think this has been coming for a long time," Ricci said. "There's a growing interest in the breakdown of the two-party system. People see either Republican or Democrat and they just don't fit in. I think what the ideology of Libertarian stands for is vastly misunderstood. More people have what I believe are libertarian beliefs and are looking for viable options to the two-party system. They want less intrusive government and people in government who are responsible financial stewards."

Rather than trying get candidates elected to national and state offices, Ricci thinks any viable third-party effort needs to start at the local level where it's easier to build an organization.

And localism fits well with the basic Libertarian tenant of less intrusive government.

"Here's the big thing -- I'm tired of people far away telling people here, where we live, what's best for us," said Ricci, who ran for Batavia City Council in 2009 and is currently a member of the Batavia City School District Board of Education.

"We control were we live, and we do that as an individual, so why does our government, which has no real local connection, even think about telling us what we should do for our local community? We need local ideas, local vision, to fix local issues."

At a minimum, Ricci would like to have Genesee County Libertarians well enough organized by late summer to run at least one candidate for city council, perhaps a candidate or two in village or town elections and maybe the county legislature.

"Our first goal is to allow people who support individual liberty to have a viable choice at the local level," Ricci said.

On Facebook: The Genesee County Libertarian Committee.

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