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Monday, June 2, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Manure pile on fire on Marble Road

post by Billie Owens in fire, pembroke

A manure pile is on fire at 8122 Marble Road, according to a farm hand there. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire departments are responding. The location is between Akron and Gabbey roads.

UPDATE 1:05 p.m.: The site is next to the alpaca farm. A responder on scene says "it's smokin' pretty good."

UPDATE 1:31 p.m.: Fire is out. Indian Falls is back in service.

UPDATE 1:49 p.m.: Pembroke is back in service.

Monday, June 2, 2014 at 10:53 am

Organizers of Garden Party awards dinner thankful for community support

This was sent in by Barb Toal, Friends of Batavia Peace Garden, and Jeanne Walton, YWCA of Genesee County.

 

PARTNERS IN PEACE

This year for the first time, Friends of Batavia Peace Garden and YWCA of Genesee County combined efforts to throw a fantastic "Garden Party" awards dinner on May 10. We could not have done it without the tremendous and overwhelming support of this wonderful community, and we
offer our heartfelt thanks to all involved.

In attendance was an incredible mix of people from many walks of life, all who were joined together in a mutual effort to support the goal of two organizations: to bring more peace and harmony to our community.

We have learned that a common goal helps to create the common thread that ties us all together to
accomplish great things. Thank you to everyone for helping us to turn our vision into reality.

We can't say it was all easy to merge the desires and goals of two organizations for one big event. But it was a terrific lesson that with change comes challenge, and with challenge comes learning. It was the learning that ultimately gave us the ability to overcome the challenge.

Let’s all learn from our experiences and change the things we often accept without question, because they are familiar and comfortable. That can result in "the greater good," and we all prosper and grow in the end.

Our mantra for the evening, a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, now holds true more than ever: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

Monday, June 2, 2014 at 7:37 am

Former Batavia resident, Iraq War veteran dies during training at Fort Bragg

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

The Army is investigating the death of 21-year-old Paratrooper Shaina Schmigel, who grew up in Batavia before moving to Medina.

Schmigel was found unresponsive during a jump at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

She enlisted in the Army four years ago after graduating from Medina High School in 2010. She was promoted to sergeant in January and recently committed to four more years with the Army, Krissi Gress, a friend of the family, told OrleansHub.

In a statement, Army officials said, “All of the Paratroopers in the brigade are deeply saddened by the loss of an extraordinary and much-respected member of our team,” said Lt. Col. Albert Paquin, commander of the 2nd BCT. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends during this time of great loss. Our chaplains and our health care professionals are available to help comfort and support all of her fellow Paratroopers affected by this tragedy.”

As a paratrooper in the Army, she deployed to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn from July to November 2011.

Her awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, and the Parachutist Badge.

The Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel in Batavia will be handling funeral arrangements.

Thank you to Tom Rivers of OrleansHub with coverage of this story.

Monday, June 2, 2014 at 7:23 am

Fire spread quickly in Pavilion building even as firefighters poured water on the flames

post by Howard B. Owens in fire, Pavilion

After nearly an hour on scene in Pavilion yesterday, I told a chief things seemed under control and I was heading back home to my yard work.

At that point, the two-story commercial and residential structure at the corner of Ellicott Street Road and West Park Street looked fine. There was a faint whiff of smoke in the air, but no smoke showing and certainly no visible fire.

"You might want to stick around," the chief said.

A firefighter told me a few minutes later as he laid out hose from a tanker truck, "this could get really interesting really fast."

Later the chief would tell me, "see, my worst fears came true."

The origin of the fire was in the crawl space of the attic. An area covered in hard wood, spray-in installation and only 18 inches of space in any direction.

First Assistant Chief Sean Vogt said his crew was poking through the ceiling, trying to find the right access point to the smoldering fire and Le Roy's crew had punched a ventilation hole in the roof, then the fire took on a life of its own.

"If we we could have gotten up there, gotten our hose lines up there, wetted it down, maybe we could have saved a little more of the building, but with it going through the roof, it just flashed over on us too fast," Vogt said. "It was just rough."

Pavilion's volunteer firefighters responded to the structure at 2:40 p.m. for the report of smoke in the building. Le Roy was immediately requested to the scene. Soon, responses from Bethany and Stafford were requested as well, then Bergen.

By the time fire broke out, there were two ladder trucks in position (Town of Batavia had its ladder in place minutes after the first flame erupted through the roof).

Even with Le Roy shooting water at the first flames, the blaze spread quickly once it got going.

As big and as destructive as the fire became, firefighters did manage to contain it to the one building, even though a house sat inches from the north wall and another commercial building was only two or three feet to the west.

County records do not list what year the building was constructed, but the west wall was covered in the same faux-brick metal siding that show up in 150-year-old photos of the former Wiss Hotel in Le Roy (the last building standing that I know of in Genesee County with this siding is in Corfu).

As many as 200 firefighters from Genesee, Livingstone and Wyoming counties responded to the fire. 

While the responding fire trucks can pump at least 1,250 gallons of water per minute, the fire hydrants in Pavilion flow at no more than 450 gallons per minute. At least a dozen tanker trucks responded to the scene to draw water from a nearby creek to provide additional water flow.

At least two firefighters were overcome by smoke and heat and were transported by Mercy EMS to area hospitals for evaluation.

Initially, while the fire was just smoldering, residents of the apartments were able to retrieve some belongings. The residents of the house to the north rescued their cat before the smoke got heavy.

Red Cross was on scene to provide food and beverages for firefighters.

(Initial Report)

To purchase prints, click here.

Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Alleged one-eyed bandit accused of stealing gas clerk's prescription glasses

post by Billie Owens in batavia, crime

The clerk at the Kwik Fill at the corner of Ellicott and Jackson streets reports that an elderly white male allegedly stole his prescription glasses. The suspect was last seen walking toward Sav-A-Lot and law enforcement is responding. He is described as being 5'10'' with a skinny build, wearing a flannel shirt, suspenders, a cowboy hat and he has one eye.

UPDATE 7:29 p.m.: The glasses are aviator style and the theft is allegedly on the store's film, which an officer is reviewing.

UPDATE 7:33 p.m.: The suspect has been located and police are taking him to the Kwik Fill.

Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Allegedly drunk motorcyclist causes ruckus at Indian Falls Log Cabin

post by Billie Owens in crime, indian falls

An allegedly intoxicated motorcyclist is said to have caused a ruckus at Indian Falls Log Cabin Restaurant. The male allegedly punched an employee's car. He was last seen riding a Harley-Davidson toward Route 77. Law enforcement is responding.

UPDATE 5:04 p.m.: The bike is black. A female employee was also allegedly punched. City police are notified as the license returns to a city street.

Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 3:09 pm

100 Years Ago: Referendum on Proposed City Charter

post by Larry Barnes in batavia, Batavia Centennial, history

Batavia officially became a city on January 1, 1915 after having been an incorporated village since 1823.  The transition involved a progression through several steps during 1914.  During 2014, I will be acknowledging each of these events 100 years after their occurrence.

On this date 100 years ago, June 9, 1914, Batavians went to the polls to vote in a referendum on the proposed charter that would make Batavia a city.  Earlier in the year, there had been two different proposals before the State legislature with one providing for a city government run by a city manager and five non-partisan councilmen elected at large.  That proposal failed to gain sufficient support from assemblymen and senators.  So, the proposal now before voters in Batavia was a second one which had passed the Assembly and Senate and had been signed by the Governor.  This second proposal featured a mayor, six city wards, and a council person from each ward, all with party affiliations.

Earlier in the year, a straw vote had been taken among Batavians on this second proposal, but many questions had been raised about the voting procedure.  While the second proposal seemed to have voter support at that time, there was enough doubt about the matter to warrant voting again.  Consequently, when the second proposal was passed by the Assembly and Senate, it had been amended to require a referendum on June 9th.  If voters failed to again support the proposal at that time, Batavia would not become a city despite approval by the State legislature.

And so, on June 9th, Batavians once more went to the polls.  The turnout was not very high, resulting in only a little more than half of the ballots normally cast in village elections. It was not clear what that might signify and it made some supporfters of the second proposal a little nervous.

As it turned out, no one needed to worry.  One-thousand and seven ballots were cast, with 795 yeas and 212 nays.  Thus, after several years of discussion and debate, Batavia was finally going to become a city.  All that remained was to elect the new government in upcoming December elections.  Who would be elected to serve?  In six months, I will let you know.

 

 

 

Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Main Street spiff-up planned this Thursday in Le Roy, all hands welcome

post by Billie Owens in announcements, Le Roy

This week Le Roy plans to spiff up Main Street. Although Earth Day was April 22, anytime is good for the "Earth Day Clean-up."

This civic project takes place from 3 p.m. "until done" on Thursday, June 5 (or Friday, June 6 if it rains).

  • Plans include: Cleaning windows inside and out.
  • Window decorating of vacant building with a Spring theme (which can include Knights, HCNY and MSR logos). This is a suitable activity for older kids.
  • Chalking drawings on the sidewalks made by little kids.
  • Sweep outside
  • Pull weeds

Contact is Jennifer Keys at [email protected]

Check out the Le Roy Healthy Community and Le Roy Main Street Revitalization pages on Facebook.

Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Little mulch fire in front of Tops in Batavia

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

A small mulch fire is reported outside Tops Market in Batavia near Lewiston Road. City firefighters are responding.

Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Possible fire in apartment above bakery and deli in Pavilion

post by Billie Owens in batavia, fire

A possible fire is reported at 6946 Ellicott Street Road in an apartment above the Heavenly Sweets Bakery & Deli. Pavilion Fire Department is responding along with mutual aid from Le Roy. The caller is a resident who came home and found the smell of something burning inside the building and a light haze.

UPDATE 2:28 p.m.: The first responder on scene reports nothing showing.

UPDATE 3 p.m.: This is now a working structure fire. Bethany and Stafford fire departments are called to the scene and Stafford is also requested to provide a fill-in engine and crew for the Pavilion Fire Hall.

UPDATE 3:06 p.m.: A Mercy medic unit is requested to come in non-emergency in case needed.

UPDATE 3:09 p.m.: The city's Fast Team is requested to respond.

UPDATE 3:14 p.m.: The city's first platoon is called to stand by in its headquarters.

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: Heavy smoke is reported in the attic.

UPDATE 3:33 p.m.: Firefighters are informed that the attic runs the length of the entire building, which is quite large.

UPDATE 3:34 p.m.: The roof has been opened up but only light haze is coming out. Bergen is asked to fill in at Le Roy Fire Station.

UPDATE 3:41 p.m.: Confirmed that all occupants are out of the building.

UPDATE 3:45 p.m.: Calendonia fire is on scene to provide mutual aid.

UPDATE 3:58 p.m.: More smoke is filling the second floor. They are going to draw water from Hanson's crick.

UPDATE 4:01 p.m.: Although there are no flames visible, command is still concerned about the potential for combustion. The building's sprayed insulation is smoldering and causing much of the smoke, which makes it difficult for firefighters to see inside.

UPDATE 4:08 p.m.: York firefighters are on scene and establishing a draft site.

UPDATE 4:10 p.m.: A Sheriff's deputy is called to the scene to secure firearms.

UPDATE 4:44 p.m.: Town of Batavia's fill-in crew is requested to the scene. Heavy black smoke is pouring from the roof where they opened it up.

UPDATE 4:47 p.m.: All interior firefighters are told to get out. Now they're going to open up the side of the building.

UPDATE 4:52 p.m.: The color of the smoke spewing out the windows is changing color, reports a firefighter. South Byron fire is asked to stage in their quarters.

UPDATE 4:52 p.m.: Darien, East Pembroke and Elba firefighters are asked to man their ladder tanker trucks and stand by in their own quarters in case needed at the scene or anywhere in Genesee County.

UPDATE 5 p.m.: Firefighters are ordered off the roof. Another Bethany crew is asked to stand by in their hall.

UPDATE 5:06 p.m.: Interior firefighters from Alexander are asked to stage in their quarters. Flames are said to be visible.

UPDATE 5:09 p.m.: National Grid has shut off power to the burning building and the one next to it.

UPDATE 5:14 p.m.: National Fuel reps are on scene and are asked to shut off the gas lines(s) to the buildings at the street.

UPDATE 5:17 p.m.: A second Mercy rig is asked to stand by at the fire scene.

UPDATE 5:33 p.m.: Some standby tankers are called in, plus another South Byron crew is told to report to their hall. All staging for fire crews is being moved to the front of the bank. Barre fire is asked to stand by in Barre's hall.

UPDATE 5:37: Town of Batavia's Rescue 20 and all available interior manpower called in.

UPDATE 7:23 p.m.: The second story is completely gutted and the building is a total loss. Heavy equipment is en route to raze the structure. A crew from Wyoming Correctional Facility is on scene to help with clean-up. A pet cat was rescued.

Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 12:49 pm

GC Dairy Maid tells why dairy products are important to your diet

post by Billie Owens in agriculture, dairy, elba

Genesee County Dairy Maid for 2014 is 9-year-old Georgia Luft, of Elba. She wrote this article to kick off National Dairy Month.

June is National Dairy Month. What greater time to make sure your have at least three dairy products in your daily diet than now! Research recommends that everyone should consume three dairy products daily to be healthy.

Dairy products have many health benefits, especially for your bones and teeth. Dairy foods provide vital nutrients that include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin B12, magnesium, zinc, riboflavin and protein. Dairy products provide a powerhouse of nutrients!

Eating dairy products may reduce the risk of osteoporosis in older adults, while helping children and adolescence build bone mass. Dairy products have also been associated with reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and lowering blood pressure in adults. Recently research has suggested that by enjoying three servings of dairy products a day, part of a nutrient-rich and balanced diet, dairy products may help in maintaining a healthy weight. Keep in mind that choosing low-fat or fat-free forms of dairy products provide little or no solid fat while providing many other health benefits.

Keep the “3-A-Day” theme in mind as you plan your daily meals. Experts recommend three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy food every day. Many of us could use to add one additional daily serving of nutrient-rich dairy products to help meet recommendations. One dairy serving is equal to: An 8-ounce glass of milk, a 6- or 8-ounce container of yogurt, or 1½ ounces of cheese.

It’s easy to get your 3-A-Day in when you start with some yogurt for breakfast with fruit, some cheese with lunch and a big glass of milk with dinner. Enjoy a cool glass of milk during the summer months, as it does the body good!

Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 10:16 am

Wood carving class with Vince Pagliaroli offered at GC Nature Center - registration required

post by Billie Owens in announcements

Wood Carving wth Vince Pagliaroli

Saturday, June 7, 2014

10am-12pm

Cost: $5/person. Registration Required.

Vince Pagliaroli will be showcasing his fine works of art. Vince's creations are made from his own patterns. Duck decoys, birds, and fish are carved from a variety of natural materials. He will be demonstrating the techniques he uses to make his carvings. For more information and to register, call #585-344-1122 or email [email protected]. The program will be held at Genesee County Park & Forest Interpretive Nature Center, 11095 Bethany Center Rd., E. Bethany. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 10:08 am

Beginner's guide to meditation class offered at Woodward library - registration required

post by Billie Owens in announcements

Thursday, June 12, 6:30 - 8 p.m. This class is designed for those wishing to add more peace and serenity into their lives. We will discuss what meditation is, the benefits of doing it, and how to do it.  You will learn several simple but effective meditations and we will try a few during class.  Learning to meditate is one of the simplest and rewarding things you can do for your well-being.

Registration is required. Register at www.woodwardmemoriallibrary or call 585-768-8300.

Led by Tracy Martorana, nutrition and wellness consultant.

Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 10:01 am

Two-car crash at North Byron and Transit roads, minor injuries

post by Billie Owens in accidents, byron

A two-car accident is reported at North Byron and Transit roads. Four people sustained minor injuries. Byron and South Byron firefighters are responding. Mercy medics are on scene.

UPDATE 11:02 a.m.: A second ambulance is called in.

UPDATE 11:07 a.m.: Elba Fire Police are called in.

UPDATE 11:33 a.m.: At least two people have been transported to UMMC.

Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7:49 am

Photos: Notre Dame HS graduation

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, education, Notre Dame, schools

Notre Dame High School held its graduation service Saturday evening outside on the north side of the campus. Bishop Richard Malone spoke at the commencement ceremony.

To purchase prints, click here.

Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 5:52 am

Power outage in at least a portion of Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

A transformer apparently blew somewhere in the area of Jackson Street.

National Grid has confirmed a power outage in the area, but was unable to provide any further information at this time.

It's unknown how many customers are without power.

UPDATE 7:32 a.m.: It was a small outage in the area of Jackson and Morton and power has been restored.

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 2:24 pm

At least three people sickened by natural gas fumes at house on Ross Street

post by Billie Owens in batavia

At least three people are sick from natural gas fumes inside the residence at 101 Ross St. City fire and Mercy medics are responding. The call to dispatch was made by National Fuel.

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 1:30 pm

After fish kill in Chapin Lagoon, O-AT-KA Milk notified by DEC to improve spill prevention

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, environment, O-AT-KA Milk Products

O-AT-KA Milk Products was issued a notice of violation by the DEC on April 24 for chemicals and waste materials being spilled into a lagoon south of Ellicott Street.

The company is complying with all DEC demands and requirements for dealing with spills from its dairy processing plant at the corner of Cedar and Ellicott streets, said David Crisp, director of business development for O-AT-KA.

The spills were brought to the attention of the DEC by Attica resident John Volpe (pictured above), a Native American well known locally for his environmental work.

Volpe said he's concerned about the health and well being of the fish, turtles, frogs and other wildlife in the lagoon, which is part of a 110-acre wildlife refuge owned by Chapin Manufacturing. The creatures, Volpe said, are part of the chain of life.

"This is how we look at our own life," Volpe said. "These are our teachers. All of our relations means just that. They’re all of our relations. You don’t leave out a worm or an eagle or whatever. We’re supposed to watch it and we’re supposed to protect it. That’s one of our jobs as among the people who walk this earth. It should be everybody’s job."

Volpe shared documents he said show serious environmental damage to the lagoon, including photos of more than 100 dead fish and dissection photos taken of dead animals -- such as turtles, frogs and fish -- showing medical issues (Volpe emphasized several times that he and his helpers never killed any animals, but merely took for samples and evidence animals they found dead).

The DEC letter accuses O-AT-KA of violating its SPDES (State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit and three sections of environmental law.

The letter specifically accuses O-AT-KA of causing a drop in water quality standards for pH, solids and water color from spills on at least six separate occasions. The spills, according to the DEC, contained milk and/or cleaning solutions.

The letter also specifically cites a fish kill of various species April 15.

O-AT-KA was accused of discharging water that causes or contributes to conditions in violation of state code; discharging industrial waste in violation of state code; and discharging pollutants at a frequency or volume in excess of permitted standards.

The company was given until May 7 a turn over a document called "Best Management Practices" as well as a summary of response actions, investigations and corrective measures taken for each reported spill since August 2013. 

By yesterday, O-AT-KA was required to complete a facility review and submit a corrective action plan designed to prevent or minimize potential damage from future spills.

The DEC also required O-AT-KA to install a continuous recording pH meter.

Crisp said O-AT-KA has been fully compliant with the DEC's requirements, an assertion confirmed by Linda Vera, spokeswoman for the DEC in WNY. 

"O-AT-KA has taken a number of actions to mitigate and prevent additional discharges," Vera said.

Crisp said a DEC official was on hand one day recently when an alarm sounded from the new system indicating there was an increase in pH in the outflow line to the discharge pipe and the officials saw firsthand that plant workers responded immediately to correct the problem.

"It really comes down to how dedicated O-AT-KA is to the highest level of environmental protection," Crisp said. "That's why we're working with the DEC to assure O-AT-KA is in compliance with the SPDES permit."

There were two spills of milk, Vera said. One in August and another in October. She said steps were taken to prevent future spills and there have been no similar discharges since October.

"The remaining incidents were related to cleaning solution discharges," Vera said. "Action was taken after each incident to determine the source, and O-AT-KA added monitoring equipment and changed practices to mitigate the issue. During DEC's early May inspection, the probable source was identified. A deteriorated flooring in one of production areas allowed cleaning/disinfection solution to seep into a deteriorated pipe beneath floor. O-AT-KA is taking necessary actions to repair piping and floor."

It's still possible O-AT-KA could be fined for the spills, but the DEC has made no determination yet on further enforcement actions, Vera said.

One source we spoke to for this story suggested we look at the notice of violation delivered to O-AT-KA in context of how many DEC violation notices are handed out locally in a year, suggesting that there's nothing remarkable about a company getting a letter of violation.

According to the DEC's database of spills, there have been 76 incidents reported in the past 12 months in Genesee County. Eight of those have been tied to O-AT-KA, which more than any other source in the county. Only three of those spills -- where the size of the spill is known -- involve 100 gallons or more, and two of those involve O-AT-KA. Those are a spill of 125 gallons of milk product in August 2013 and 3,000 gallons of sodium hydroxide in January.

There were 48 incidents countywide reported in the prior 12 months, none involving O-AT-KA.

The series of spills has been a concern to Chapin, CEO Jim Campbell said, and company officials have met several times with O-AT-KA officials to review the measures taken to prevent future problems.

The 110-acre preserve includes nature trails available to employees and the area is teaming with wildlife, Campbell said. Andris Chapin, a family owner and chairman of the board, is keenly aware of environment issues, Campbell said, and once a year takes interested employees on a nature trail walk through the preserve. 

The company also has an environmental manager. He is Mark Volpe, who is also the plant manager and is John Volpe's brother.

Campbell said Chapin is confident O-AT-KA is responding appropriately. It's his understanding, he said, that O-AT-KA has spent more than $100,000 on preventative measures. He said O-AT-KA has recently brought in new executives with a good deal of technical experience in environmental issues.

"They've done a great job and have a great solution in place," Campbell said.

John and Mark Volpe started monitoring and measuring the Chapin's 110-acre habitat in 2008, acquiring and maintaining detailed records on the species and quality of life in the preserve.

It was through that process that John Volpe became increasingly concerned about spills from the O-AT-KA plant, which he said go back further than the August 2013 date covered by the DEC letter.

As he saw more and more environmental damage to the lagoon, he began raising concerns to the DEC, to the point, he believes, that some officials at the DEC started trying to avoid his phone calls.

In his workshop at his home in Attica, Volpe showed dozens of presentation boards displaying charts and tables documenting discharge dates, water temperatures, pH readings and photos of dissected animals and dead fish.

When Volpe found dead fish, he and his helpers photographed where each fish was found, collected them, brought them back to Attica, weighed and identified the species of each fish and photographed each one individually.

The dead fish included sunfish, bullhead and bass.

The DEC was slow to act on contamination issues at the lagoon, contends Volpe.

"Why didn’t the DEC do this and cite them sooner so maybe these fish would still be alive?" Volpe said. "This is not the first fish kill. We’ve had other fish kills."

Volpe's wife caught in a net one bass near death. It was blind, had lost all its slime and was emaciated. The Volpes have nursed it back to health. It's eating again and its eyes have cleared of the haze that covered the pupils. The fish has become more active in its tank.

The blindness and loss of slime is a result of a high pH in the water as well as sodium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide reaching the lagoon.

Volpe is also concerned about the water temperature in the lagoon, which he said was above 60 degrees in March (he takes the water temperature every day) and the turtles and frogs need the water below at least 50 degrees to hibernate.

There is also evidence of frogs "toxing out," Volpe said. The toxins in the water cause their legs to shoot straight out, become rigid and they can't jump. Eventually, they die.

Volpe was arrested in February and accused of illegal possession of protected turtles and birds of prey. 

The DEC had known for years and years about Volpe's conservation efforts involving wildlife, his friend and supporter Mike Bastine said during a meeting at Volpe's house. It was only after Volpe started making waves about O-AT-KA that the DEC decided to come down hard on Volpe.

"If you look at the implications from the spills that he has documented, that has a much greater impact on the environment than the violations they subjected him to," Bastine said. "Is the issue really about protecting the environment and the animals and the life around us? No, not really.

"They think if they can shut that part of his work down, he's going to go away and say, 'they beat me,' that he'll have to throw in the towel because he can't defend himself. They're hounding us saying we need a permit to hold a feather or care for turtles, but that's our responsibility and that's our custom. It's our job. It's our duty to step in an assist."

In her e-mail response to a series of questions, Vera did not respond to the accusation that Volpe has been targeted for enforcement because of his O-TA-KA complaints.

She said the DEC had been monitoring O-AT-KA independently of Volpe, but found his work helpful. 

"DEC's actions have been ongoing, and are not dependent on Mr. Volpe's findings," Vera said. "However, some of the discharges discovered by Mr. Volpe, have provided assistance in mitigating the discharges and investigating potential sources."

Volpe said he's also concerned because the lagoon sits over the Batavia's aquifer. All of the city's water is pumped from wells in the area. He thinks the contaminants could seep into the aquifer.

City Manager Jason Molino said that really isn't a concern. Even if any contaminants reached the aquifer, the city treats all of its water before it's distributed.

Molino's confident, he said, the DEC has things under control.

"We've spoken with O-AT-KA and the DEC," Molino said. "I think the DEC is aware of the situation and has responded to it and are in constant communication with O-AT-KA. Otherwise, it's outside our jurisdiction."

This photo is from Genesee County's GIS map. The photographs that comprise the map were taken in April 2013. The Chapin Lagoon is in the lower left. O-AT-KA's plant is in the upper right. There is a dirt road that Hanson Aggregates uses running from Ellicott Street. Beside it is a drainage ditch, which apparently is how runoff from O-AT-KA reaches the lagoon. We have no confirmation of what the milky white substance is in the lagoon, but there is no spill around that time period reported in the DEC database.

Sign by drainage pipe that runs under Ellicott Street to a stream that runs to the Chapin Lagoon.

One of the no trespassing signs marking the property line of Chapin's 110-acre wildlife refuge.

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Today's Deals: Oliver's Candies, Larry's Steakhouse, Bohn's, Settler's, and more!

post by Billie Owens in Deal of the Day

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 $12.

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 $10 gift certificate for $6.

Dave's Ice Cream, 3872 W. Main Street Road, Batavia, NY: Dave's offers only locally purchased products, including Perry's hard ice cream in a wide variety of yummy flavors, with a wonderful assortment of toppings and homemade waffle cones. Different soft-serve flavors are offered weekly. We have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

$$$  The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Whether you need just the right gift or a memorial or just want to brighten your own home or workplace, The Enchanted Florist can put together just the right floral arrangement for you. We have a $20 gift certificate for $5.

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 $12.

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 $12.

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.)

Sweetland Pines Golf Course, 5795 Sweetland Road, Stafford, NY: Sweetland Pines is a par 3 golf course, great for beginners and experienced golfers working on the short game. Relaxed golf game, average play is about 1 hour and 20 minutes, leaving the golfer time to enjoy rest of the day. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

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 $15.

The Mane Attraction Salon and Spa99 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 a $20 gift certificate for $10.

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 $15.

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 $12.

Larry's Steakhouse, 60 Main St., Batavia, NY: The name says it all -- Larry's is a great place for steak. Larry's has a fine dining atmosphere with a great menu and outstanding service. We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Sweet Ecstasy Bakery & Bistro, 201 E. Main St., Batavia, NY. A retail and special-order bakery and cafe located in Downtown Batavia inside Seymour Place. Offering a wide variety of items such as cookies, filled cupcakes, quick breads, pies, breakfast pastries, daily. On Fridays, it 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 $6.

$$$  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 $8.

$$$  Casa Del Taco, 234 Ellicott St., Batavia, NY: Mexican food lovers will delight in this new eatery that makes tacos and burritos "the way you want 'em" plus it offers other items like taco salads, burrito bowls, loaded nachos, and churros. Choose from a variety of toppings, including jalapenos, black beans, cilantro and guacamole. There are also several varieties of salsa to select from, such as corn, mango, verde, and sweet Thai ranch. Hours are: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday thru Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday thru Saturday; closed Sunday. We have a $10 gift certificate for $5.

Sammy Hill's, 7 Mill St., Le Roy, NY: This new restaurant has good, fresh food, including hand-pressed burgers, and a friendly atmosphere. Choose a house specialty burger or make your own with a variety of toppings, cheeses and sauces to select from. The menu also includes flatbread sliders, garbage plates, shredded beef or marinated chicken tacos, sandwiches like the Cuban, bruschetta chicken, or deep-fried pork loin. Friday fish fry -- battered, broiled or blackened. Dine in or take out. "Come Get Some!" Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., closed Monday. We have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

Oliver's Candies, 211 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Oliver's, a Batavia landmark, offers the finest chocolate and confections in the area. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Daphne's Restaurant & Lounge, 241 Swan St., (Off Rt. 63/Ellicott St.) Batavia, NY. Daphne's is destined to become a favorite for any who enjoy something special in a dining experience. Formerly the old St. Nick's Social Club, now unrecognizable to those who used to frequent the club, Daphne's provides you with a warm, inviting atmosphere and decor, which complements the array of wonderful dishes. We offer homemade seafood and pasta dishes, meatballs that are addicting as well as large salads, hot sandwiches & homemade potato chips. Fresh desserts are prepared in our own kitchen (tiramisu has been the top seller so far). We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Santino's Pizza, 2 Main St., Oakfield, NY: We're pizza and a whole lot more! Voted #1 pizza in Genesee County in blind taste test! Santino's features pizza, wings, subs, wraps, ice cream, and more! We have a $20 gift certificate for $12.

Clor's Meat Market, Catering & BBQ, 4169 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: For the best, most flavorful, juiciest chicken or hamburger in town, hands down, stop by Clor's. Oh, and the steaks are great, too. And the sausage. Clor's is under new ownership and now offers baked goods, pizza, wings, delivery service, and catering. Clor's also serves lunch and dinners from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. We have a $10 gift certificate for $6.

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 $12.

$$$  Scooter's Restaurant in Le Roy, 140 W. Main Street Road (Route 5), Le Roy, NY: Come see us at Scooter's family restaurant with our friendly atmosphere and homestyle cooking! We offer classic American food with breakfast, lunch and dinner served all day. We also offer a full take-out menu anytime. We have a $10 gift certificate for $4.

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.

Blue Pearl Yoga, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Stretch your body and soul with yoga. This offer is a $20 gift certificate off instruction. For new students only. Not good with any other discounts or offers. Use before October 2014.

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 $12.

$$$  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 $8.

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