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Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Photos: 18th Annual Youth Recognition Awards

The Genesee County and City of Batavia youth boards hosted the 18th Annual Youth Recognition Banquet at Terry Hills on Thursday night.

The 2014 Community Pride Award went to the Pembroke Girls Basketball Team (above) for their role in promoting and participating in the schools annual Pink Game, which has raised more than $22,000 over the past three years for Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo.

Paul Berardini, owner of Big Pauly's Pizza, received the Business of the Year Award, for Big Pauly's support of youth-oriented causes in Batavia. The award was presented by Chelsea Dillon.

There were 17 high school students honored for their contributions to the community. They were (not all pictured and not in order): Tyler Barrett, Kayla Casper, Emily Chavez, Nathan Cornell, Chloe Dana, Marilyn Deni, Victoria Gallup, Makaela Kitcho, Alexandra Lacey, Connor Logsdon, Adrien Marzolf, Bryan Moscicki, Andrew Mullen, Elisabeth Pike, Jacob Prospero, Bryce Rogers, Emily Vandenbosch and Bailee Welker.

Donna Lander received the Adult Volunteer Award. She is pictured with her daughter.

Cathy Brown and Frank Baucaglia received Adult Youth Workers awards.

Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Paul Battaglia named honorary chair of centennial celebration

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Centennial, Vibrant Batavia

Press release:

The City of Batavia is turning 100! The City of Batavia along with Vibrant Batavia have announced that they are forming the Centennial Celebration Committee to begin with the planning for the 2015 year birthday celebration.

An outline of events has already started to develop. The Centennial Committee will be the primary lead for an opening ceremony December 2014 and closing ceremony December 2015. In between, we will engage a variety of citizen groups to honor the businesses, people and history of Batavia since 1915. The committee has taken that concept and molded it into a yearlong list of ideas looking for partner organizations to assist. A large birthday cake, banners, Century Club New Year’s Eve party, legacy item installation, memorabilia and more are in the making.

Leadership has also been identified for the Centennial. After hours of deliberations, the Vibrant Batavia Committee identified numerous worthy candidates to lead the festivities as the Honorary Chairperson. The group considered women and men that have family lineage within the City, passion for the history of the community, leadership qualities, respect of the residents, school connections, business relationships, commanding presence and more.

Paul Battaglia, a longtime resident of Batavia, was selected. He is currently the managing director of Freed Maxick’s Batavia practice. Battaglia is involved in many different organizations, from Batavia Rotary to UMMC to the Business Education Alliance and thr Genesee County Economic Development Center. In 2005, Battaglia received the Community Builder’s Award from the Council of Community Services of New York State in recognition of exemplary charitable board leadership with nonprofits. Paul and his wife, Mary, were born, raised and have spent their entire lives in Batavia. They graduated from Batavia High School as did their four children. They live on Ellicott Avenue in the City.

“I was surprised by the request and feel privileged to accept this position as Honorary Chairman of the City’s Centennial celebration,” noted Battaglia. “I am flattered and excited to be a part of celebrating old and new traditions. I’m looking forward to lighting the fireworks in December and cutting the City’s birthday cake next summer!”

Krysia Mager, a City of Batavia resident, has been named as the Centennial Committee chairperson. She is a marketing business partner at Tompkins Bank of Castile and is very active in the community. Mager previously served on the Batavia Business Improvement District committees and board of directors. She is also involved with the Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards ceremony. Krysia and her husband, Jonathan, have two daughters, Emersyn and Evelyn.

“I am very honored to represent our community as the Chairperson for this prestigious event,” Mager said. “I am really looking forward to working with the wonderful volunteers in our community to make this Centennial Celebration something to be remembered for another hundred years.”

The Centennial Committee will meet the first and third Tuesdays of the month at City Hall at 8:30 a.m. All interested participants should fill out a City of Batavia Committee/Board Volunteer Application that can be found on the city Web site (http://www.batavianewyork.com/sites/bataviany/files/file/file/committee_...).

Please complete the application and send any ideas, thoughts and or suggestions for this upcoming event to [email protected].

Vibrant Batavia is a community network organized to celebrate the past, build on the present and to create a more vibrant future. The volunteers work side-by-side with the City of Batavia, NeighborWorks® Rochester and the business community to strategically improve the City's neighborhoods and to promote a livable community of choice.

Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Photos: Ag Teacher of the Year award presented to Christine Bow

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, agriculture, education, Jackson School, schools

At Jackson School today, Christine Bow received her official certificate and recognition for being named 2014 New York Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year from Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Above, Bow shares her bouquet of flowers with some of her students.

Barb Sturm, Cornell Cooperative Extension, handed out seeds to teachers to give to their students. Above, Bill Calandra collects seed packets for his class.

Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Photos: Third Annual Fine Arts Festival at GCC

post by Howard B. Owens in arts, batavia, entertainment, Fine Arts Festival, GCC

GCC hosted its third annual Fine Arts Festival this afternoon, allowing students and area residents to try their hands at various artistic endeavors, including drawing, painting, origami, printmaking, and weaving.

Above, DiDi Martin draws a portrait of Chelsea Burkhartzmeyer.

Betty and Frank McGlaysson learn origami with instructor Kyoko Roszmann.

Jenny Spychalski.

Below, chainsaw sculptors Rick and Dustin Pratt and an owl they created form a tree stump.

While on campus, we also visited the Roz Steiner Gallery and took in the student art show.

Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 4:00 pm

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Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 11:56 am

After 65 years in Batavia, Boyles Motors keeps on trucking

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Boyles Motors, business

Boyles Motors has survived for 65 years because of faith and family, says Eva Fanara.

Fanara, who turns 91 years old next week, still works four days a week as a receptionist in the family business at the corner of Oak Orchard Road and West Saile Drive, Batavia.

"Oh, I'm just baggage now," Fanara said. "I'm just here to make sure they behave."

Her grandson, Jimmy Fanara, said Eva is really the foundation of the trucking parts, service and sales business.

As you would imagine, a lot has changed for Boyles Motors over seven decades, and the times haven't always been easy, but the Fanaras have stayed together and kept the business humming like a well-tuned engine even when the road got rough.

"Our customers know who we are," Eva said. "We've worked hard and we just keep working at it."

Eva's late husband, Vincent, was a regional sales manager for International trucks when the recently married couple moved from Buffalo to Batavia in 1949.

Two successful muck farmers, Roy Rowcliff and Bill Stuart, wanted to buy Boyles Motors after one of the original owners had a nervous breakdown. They asked Vincent Fanara to run the business for them.

At the time, Boyles was located on West Main Street, about where McDonald's is now. The dealership mostly sold light trucks and the International Scout along with some heavy trucks.

After the deaths of Rowcliff and Stuart, Vincent Fanara, a World War II vet, acquired the business.

"We just kept the name, Boyles Motors," Eva said. "We were known as Boyles Motors from here to California, so why change it?"

As the business grew, so did the family. The Fanara's had three boys, James, Paul and John. As the boys grew older, Eva pursued her career in teaching.

In 1971, the dealership moved to its present location, with a bigger emphasis on bigger trucks, though light trucks and Scouts were still part of the sales mix.

Things changed for Boyles Motors in 1973. Paul, then 19 and a student at Genesee Community College, was killed in a car accident.

Paul's death was hard on Vincent, Eva said.

"Vincent Fanara was having a hard time pulling it together here," Eva said. "He wanted to close. He didn't want to stay, but we had two other boys."

Eva decided to give up teaching and enter the business to help keep it going.

"I came in to meet the public," Eva said. "I'm a people person. I was no more an office person than the janitor of the place. I didn't know anything about the business. I was just going to go into permanent teaching at the time."

When Vincent died in 1987, James Fanara took over day-to-day operations.

"He had no choice," Eva said. "He had to do it."

In 1990, the Fanaras opened a second location with the encouragement of International in Jamestown. John Fanara runs that location along with Jimmy's brother Vincent.

Jimmy is in charge of parts and service at the Batavia location. His wife, Brandi, works at the store part time along with their daughter, Jenna. One of John's children helps in Jamestown.

The business also employs about 20 people.

At one time, Boyles employed a lot more people, Jimmy said, but the business has changed.

In the 1980s, International stopped making light trucks and the Scout. Then in the late 1990s, the company was sold to Navistar.

Around 2000, Navistar decided to eliminate many of its dealers across the country, so now Boyles is an affiliate dealership. It facilitates new truck sales still, but the new truck dealer for the region is in Rochester.

Jimmy said Boyles survives on parts and service and used truck sales as well as sales and service for Oshkosh snowplows and military equipment (primarily in Jamestown).

The company continues to thrive because of decades of providing great customer service, Jimmy said.

He recalled two stories about how the company strived to take care of its customers.

"We have a longtime customer in Elba and he told me once he needed an engine but at the time, he didn't have the money to pay for it," Jimmy said. "My grandfather said, 'pay me as you go,' and the farmer told me if not for that, he never would have made it."

Then there was the Elba farmer who sent a big bouquet of flowers to Eva when she was in the hospital once.

"He said when they were nothing, before they became the big farm they are today, he needed some parts, but he didn't have any money," Jimmy said. "She said, 'don't work about it.'  He paid her off, but he said that meant a lot to him at a time he needed it."

The family are members of Ascension Parish and attend St. Joe's. The children have attended, or attend, St. Joe's and Notre Dame. Eva goes to church every day.

She seems to have boundless energy and Jimmy said customers are often amazed to learn she's 90.

"They think she can't be older than 65," Jimmy said.

"Faith, family and work are my mottoes," said Eva, who just retired from delivering for Meals on Wheels after 50 years.

But she expressed no desire to quit her work at Boyle Motors any time soon.

"When you're working, you meet the young people and you know what's going on," Eva said.

Top photo: Brandi, Eva and Jimmy in a 1913 International that the original owners of Boyle Motors had left in one of their barns. It once served as the chariot for the Elba Onion Queen.

Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 8:39 am

Law and Order: BHS student accused of assault at school

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

A 17-year-old resident of Alexander Road, Batavia, is charged with third-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child. The youth allegedly punched another student at Batavia High School. The victim required sutures for a laceration.

Bill Anton Thomas, 54, of State Street, Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant for alleged failure to appear. Thomas was arraigned in City Court and released to a family member after paying the remainder of a fine from the original charge.

Justin David Cotter, 21, of Lehigh Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant. He turned himself in at Batavia PD headquarters. Cotter posted $100 bail and was released.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Photo: Geese in flight at sunset, Oak Orchard Road, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

I've gotten a few messages over the past few days about bevy of swans landing in the area of West Saile Drive and Route 98 in the late afternoon. After the call came again this evening, with clear blue skies, I thought I'd try for a quick look. The swans were much too far out in the field for any lens I own to reach, but while I stood by the side of the road, all the geese took off from the flooded farm field, creating quite a sight.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 6:48 pm

Closure of Five Star branch still doesn't sit well with many in Pavilion

post by Howard B. Owens in business, five star bank, Pavilion

For 85 years Pavilion has had a community bank, but since Five Star closed its branch on Cato Street in October, local residents and merchants have been feeling the pain and the pinch.

"Some merchants make cash deposits on pretty much a daily basis," said Town Supervisor Theron Howard. "Other people bank every week or two and can make other arrangements. If I had to make cash deposits every day, it would be a real inconvenience not to have a local branch."

Town Council Member Linda Thompson said she's heard a lot of complaints around town about the branch closing. She's been a sounding board because she retired as manager of the bank a year ago after working there for 31 years.

"People said, 'oh, you saw the writing on the wall.' Well, no I didn't," Thompson said.

But she does understand why it happened. More people bank online and use ATM machines. Lobby traffic had been declining for years.

"It's not just Pavilion," Thompson said. "All of the branches of banks have seen that. You shoot yourself in the foot because you want them to do online banking, but then they don't come to the branch."

Chuck Guarino, senior VP and director of marketing for Five Star, confirmed there has been "a significant drop in transaction volume over the years" and that's the reason for the closure.

"We have several offices in the surrounding area and all indications are that is where the traffic is heading," Guarino said. "We haven't changed our commitment to the community from a charitable or events or programs standpoint, but we felt it best for us to be able to close that office."

Steven Brooks said he's been banking at the branch from its years as Pavilion State Bank, then Wyoming County Bank and finally Five Star.

He said he's talked to a lot of his friends and neighbors in Pavilion and they're universally unhappy with the branch closure and several of them have switched their banking to the Bank of Castile as a result.

He and others, he said, don't like that banking has now become at least a 20 mile round-trip just to cash a check.

"The bigger impact is on the elderly," Brooks said. "The older folks who walk, they don't want to go to Le Roy, especially during the winter they don't want to go to Le Roy."

That's one of the concerns of Cathy Carlsen, owner Country Hill -- that older customers, who used to combine banking and shopping in one trip are no longer making that trip to Downtown Pavilion.

She said she's definitely seen an impact on her business since the branch closed.

"Often the elderly only go to one area, and if somebody is taking them around, and they only have an hour, they're going to do what they do in that one area," Carlsen said.

Melody Osterman, working with Carlsen, agreed she's seen less foot traffic in Pavilion in the past six months.

"People say 'I don't believe you don't have a bank here any more,' Osterman said. "Or they wanted to come here and do something, but they have to go to Le Roy or Warsaw because there's nothing here. We're missing out on business."

As for making deposits, Carlsen said she's learned to adjust. Her husband will make her deposit for her when he heads to Le Roy on a weekly basis. She does miss, though, having a bank nearby to make change if needed.

People do learn to adapt, said Jim Rudgers, owner of Pavilion's long-standing filling station and garage, Kemp and Rudgers on Route 63.

Some we talked to thought Rudgers would be particularly inconvenienced, but he said, no, not really.

"My wife makes the deposits," he said. "She's on the road anyway."

He's accepts that a bank branch closing is just part of modern life.

"It's a sign of the times," Rudgers said. "People are doing more banking online. There's no need for a lobby anymore. The town can't support a small town bank."

Carlsen would like to see Five Star put its branch building up for sale, so perhaps another bank could open there, but Rudgers said he doesn't think that will happen.

"If they put it for sale they know darn well Bank of Castile would buy it up and put a branch in," Rudgers said.

Five Star is holding onto the building for more practical business reasons, Guarino said. It's the bank's disaster recovery location for the company's computer network and it provides a location for an ATM machine for its Pavilion customers.

The bank has spoken with merchants and is considering options for enhancing the ATM service to better handle their business, but there's little hope of the branch ever reopening.

"The transaction volume isn't there to support a full-service bank," Guarino said.

The spokesman for Bank of Castile wasn't available for comment today.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Pavilion recognizes more than 100 years of combined service from Highway Dept. staff

post by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion

At a recent meeting, members of the Town of Pavilion Board realized the town's Highway Department employees had never been formally recognized for their years of service, so today they did something about it.

The six members of the department were honored with a lunch and a service pin.

Pictured are, from left, Butch Mattice, 12 years, John Strathearn, 29, Doug Elliott, 25, Jamie Cleveland, 13, Peter Green,18, and Dennis Kingsley, 23.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Man indicted on 16 counts involving six children under 17

post by Billie Owens in batavia, bergen, crime, Grand Jury, Le Roy

These are the latest indictments issued by the Genesee County Grand Jury.

Marino M. Marasciulo III is indicted on 16 criminal counts, including third-degree rape, all alleged to have occurred in the Town of Bergen. In late January or early February, 2013, this adult over the age of 21, allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse with a person under 17, a Class E felony. In count two, the defendant is accused of allegedly engaging in oral sexual conduct with a person under 17, also a Class E felony. In count three of the indictment, the defendant is accused of forcible touching, a Class A misdemeanor. In or about July 2012, for intentionally and for no legitimate purpose, Marasciulo allegedly forcibly touched the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person or for the purpose of gratifying the actor's sexual desire. In count four, Marasciulo is accused of a Class A misdemeanor, in or about July 2012, for allegedly knowingly acting in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less that 17 or directed or authorized such child to engage in an occupation involving substantial risk of danger to her life or health. In count five, the defendant is accused of the same conduct as in count four but in April or May 2013 and with a second child under 17. In counts six and seven (Summer of 2012), eight (Summer of 2012 -- May 2013) and nine (late January or early February 2013) the defendant is accused of the same conduct but with a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth child, respectively. The remaining seven counts, all Class A misdemeanors, are for unlawfully dealing with a child for allegedly providing alcohol to a person or persons under 21.

Shadow S. Jonathan is indicted for the crime of second-degree assault, a Class D violent felony, for allegedly intending to cause, and causing, physical injury to another person or a third person by means of a dangerous instrument, a wooden beam, on Sept. 13 in the Town of Alabama. On the same date, the defendant is also accused of attempted assault in the second degree, a Class E felony, for allegedly intending to cause physical injury and attempting to cause such injury by means of a dangerous instrument, a metal stake.

Nicole M. Dellapenna is indicted for second-degree assault, a Class D violent felony, for allegedly intending to cause physical injury to another person, causing injury to the person or a third person by means of a dangerous instrument, a knife, in the Town of Le Roy of Aug. 24. She is accused of criminal possession of a weapon, 4th, a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly knowingly possessing a dagger or dangerous knife or other dangerous instrument or weapon with intent to use the same unlawfully against another.

Matthew A. Beccue is indicted for allegedly driving while intoxicated, a Class E felony. On Nov. 22 in the City of Batavia, he drove a 1994 Chevrolet in the parking lot of a gas station and on Route 63 and on Liberty Street all while allegedly intoxicated. In count two, he is accused of aggravated driving while intoxicated, also a Class E felony, for allegedly have a BAC of .18 or more.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 10:06 am

Car wreck, minor injury, on Alexander Road, Alexander

post by Billie Owens in accidents, alexander

A motor-vehicle accident, with a minor injury, is reported at 11053 Alexander Road. The location is between Stroh Road anf Prospect Street. Alexander fire and ambulance are responding.

UPDATE 10:09 a.m.: A Mercy rig is called to respond.

UPDATE 10:12 a.m.: Alexander fire on scene.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 9:32 am

County's unemployment rate drops year over year for February

post by Howard B. Owens in business, jobs, unemployment

While Genesee County's unemployment rate is lower than a year ago for February, it is slightly higher than January and remains higher than the 12-month low.

The Labor Department reports the county's rate for February was 7.5 percent. A year earlier it was 8.6 percent and a month earlier it was 7.3 percent. The 12-month low is  5.7 percent in August.

The state's rate is 7.7 percent, down from 8.6 percent a year ago.

The rate in Livingston County is 7.2 percent, 10.2 in Orleans and 9.1 in Wyoming.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 9:17 am

Law and Order: Registered sex offender turns himself in on change of address charge

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

Wayne D. Potter, 30, of Batavia, is charged with failure to notify of change of address and offering a false instrument for filing. Potter is a registered level 2 sex offender. He allegedly failed to register a change of address and turned himself in after learning police were looking for him. Potter was jailed without bail.

Stephen A. Lewis II, 33, of 14 Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. Lewis is accused of damaging the door of another tenant at 14 Highland Park, Batavia, with a shovel. Lewis was jailed on $1,000 bail.

James Rocco Soccio, 32, of Ross Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant stemming from an unregistered motor vehicle charge. Soccio posted bail and was released.

James J. Preedom, 29, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, and harassment, 2nd. Preedom is accused of pushing another person during an alleged incident reported at 3:30 a.m., Monday. Preedom also allegedly broke a chair and damaged a wall.

Jeffrey W. Kuyal, 22, of 839 Chili Ave., lot J147, Churchville, is charged with petit larceny; Jazmin L. Kuyal, 25, of 66 Lake Street, Le Roy, is harassment, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration. Jeffrey was arrested by Le Roy PD for allegedly shoplifting from a village business. As he was being led from the store by a police officer, Jazmin allegedly struck Jeffrey in front of police. Police say Jeffrey and Jazmin are cousins. When a police officer attempted to arrest Jazmin, Jazmin allegedly struggled with the officer and became combative, refusing to get into the patrol vehicle. Jazmin was also found to have a warrant out of Orleans County. Jazmin was jailed on $1,000 bail.

Mark Anthony Cicero, 45, of Dolbeer Street, Perry, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle and failure to obey traffic device. Cicero was stopped at 12:20 a.m. on Perry Road, Pavilion, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Randy J. Rowe, 32, of Rochester, was arrested as a fugitive and is also charged with criminal mischief, 3rd. Rowe was arrested in the Town of Batavia on Monday by State Police. No further details released.

NOTE: The Genesee County Sheriff's Office is now posting a list of people with outstanding warrants. The list can be found on the county Web site under NEW Warrants. For the current list, click here (PDF).

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Wally Hinchey named chair of GCEDC board

post by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC

Press release:

Wally Hinchey was elected chairman of the board of directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) at the agency’s March 6 meeting.

“Wally provides the GCEDC a seamless transition as he has a thorough understanding of how business works,” said GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde. “I know I speak on behalf of the GCEDC staff that we look forward to working with Wally in his new role with the agency as we continue to bring new jobs and investment to Genesee County.”

Hinchey currently serves as president of P.W. Minor & Son, Inc., a Batavia-based footwear manufacturer and wholesaler for which he has worked for more than 30 years.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to continue serving the community as a member of the GCEDC board of directors in my new role as chairman,” Hinchey said. “There are a number of exciting opportunities in 2014 to build on our past economic successes.”

Hinchey has served on the GCEDC board for eight years. He has previous experience serving on boards for the YMCA and United Way.

He earned his B.A. at Hobart College and his M.B.A. from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

Hinchey is married and has two daughters. He resides in Le Roy.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Ranzenhofer secures $10 million funding for GCC capital projects

post by Howard B. Owens in GCC, Mike Ranzenhofer

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer announced today that he has secured more than $10 million in matching grants for strategic initiative projects at Genesee Community College as part of the 2014-15 New York State Budget.

Senator Ranzenhofer requested that the funding be added to the Executive Budget proposal.

“I am pleased to announce that I have been able to secure over $10 million in funding for critically needed capital projects at Genesee Community College,” Ranzenhofer said. “Many of these projects will enhance student experience and success. The Student Success Center will upgrade the college’s instructional space with new labs, tutoring areas, and more classrooms for new academic programs, such as health, technology and agribusiness.”

The State Budget provides $6,924,150 for the Genesee Community College Event Center; $2,593,350 for the Genesee Community College Success Center; and $575,303 for conversion and retrofitting of space for new academic program instructional needs.

Genesee Community College President James Sunser started working with Senator Ranzenhofer in early February to secure funding for these projects.

Sunser said:

“The projects funded in the New York State budget for Genesee Community College are among the most important initiatives in the College’s history. The two new Batavia Campus buildings will continue Genesee’s 47-year record of innovation, and transform our College and our region. The new College and Community Event Center will enrich campus life, and will eventually bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to business, professional and community events held there. The Student Success Center will be one of the most unique “one-stop” student service centers in the nation. It will bring together in one place all the services students and community residents need for their academic and career success.

“Together, these two new buildings will free up space in the existing Batavia Campus buildings for new academic programs that will help shape our future, such as agribusiness and emerging high-tech fields. These new programs mean new opportunities for students and new jobs for the region. From the outset, Senator Ranzenhofer understood how these projects would make a powerful difference in the lives of our students and the economic vitality of our communities. We appreciate Senator Ranzenhofer’s commitment to Genesee Community College, his commitment to the long-term growth of jobs and businesses that these projects represent, and his willingness to advocate for inclusion of these projects in a very tight state budget. Senator Ranzenhofer’s efforts will touch future generations.”

The funding is part of $81 million in matching grants in the State Budget for strategic initiative projects on community college campuses across New York.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 9:54 pm

Accident reported on Attica Road, Alexander

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, alexander

A motor-vehicle accident is reported at the intersection of Attica Road and Buffalo Street Road, Alexander.

Alexander fire and ambulance dispatched.

Unknown injuries.

UPDATE 10:24 p.m.: We've heard no further updates on this accident.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 11:17 am

With goal of going paperless, legislators issued iPads

post by Howard B. Owens in county legislature

Amid the piles of papers on the glass-topped conference table in the Old Courthouse yesterday were shiny new iPad Airs.

Each member of the Legislature had one and with varying degrees of success were trying to adjust to reading their agenda and background material on the Gorilla Glass screens. Some members found everything they needed on the tablets. Others still sifted through papers.

It's going to be an adjustment, Chairman Ray Cianfrini said, as the Legislature tries to go paperless. The county won't be able to quit paper cold turkey.

"It's new. We're learning," Cianfrini said. "Everything I'm seeing, though, this is going to transform the way we do business and it will save money. I think it's great. I've been advocating for us to go paperless since I first came on the Legislature when I saw how much paper we generate."

According to Cianfrini, the county spends $35,000 a year on printing agendas and back-up material for the nine members of the Legislature. They go through 1,098 cartons of paper a year, printing on more than five million sheets of paper.

The iPads should eventually eliminate all most all of that paper, Cianfrini said.

Newer members of the Legislature such as Greg Torrey, above with Bob Bausch, and Andrew Young, acted a bit as mentors during the Human Service Committee meeting, helping other members learn how to use their new iPads. Young recommended members change a setting so the iPads wouldn't go to sleep after two minutes of not being touched (requiring a new login to see the screen). Torrey showed Bausch how to access something on the iPad.

"We have an excellent working group," Young said. "From a personal perspective, this is all new to me over the last three months and I've had more than my share of help, so if I can help somebody change the time on their iPad, it's a bit of a payback."

Bausch said there is a learning curve and adjustment, but he also thinks the switch is necessary.

"We don't have any choice," Bausch said. "We have to go this direction just because of the amount of paper we push every week. There's just some fine-tuning to work on managing it."

The one concern Bausch has is the perception of speakers during committee meetings. Will they still feel Legislators are paying attention to them when they've all got computers open in front of them?

"It's one thing when you've got a pile and you glance down and glance back up," Bausch said. "It's a different perception than when you're looking at a computer screen. For our regular visitors who come in only once or twice a year I want to make sure they feel comfortable and make sure we don't look like a bunch of geeks sitting there messing with our computers."

Cianfrini shares that concern and said it's one of the things Legislators will need to learn to manage.

"Remember, this is all new to us," Cianfrini said. "We're just learning as we go. I'm just waiting for the time I can say, 'we made it. We're paperless.' "

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