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Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 1:23 pm

Former flight school owner returning to Batavia to teach flying again

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Genesee County Airport, P&L Air

Pete Lockner has decided retirement is for the birds. He'd rather get back to doing what he loves: teaching people to fly.

Next week, the County Legislature will be asked to sign off on a new one-year lease for Lockner to open -- we should say, reopen -- P&L Air, a flight school, at the Genesee County Airport.

Lockner and a partner (hence P&L) first opened a flight school in Batavia in 1986. Lockner bought out his partner when he took an early retirement from Kodak and grew the school into an operation with 10 aircraft for students to rent and learn in.

"I taught people how to have fun for 17 years and it was great," Lockner said.

After 17 years of fun, Lockner sold the business, but that operator eventually closed up shop and moved to Florida.

A second flight school opened, but was forced out of business 18 months ago in a tax dispute with the State of New York.

While taking in the dry heat of Albuquerque, N.M., Lockner heard of the vacancy at his old airport and saw it as an opportunity to get back to doing what he truly enjoys.

P&L will be a small enterprise to start, with only one single-engine plane, but Lockner is ambitious. He hopes to have a second plane in a year or so and add on from there.

"In a couple of years, I'm hopeful the business grow like it did before," Lockner said.

Lockner's interest in aviation goes back to his college days, but didn't start flying until his wife bought him a gift certificate for ground school for Christmas when he was 40.

Bit by the bug, Lockner is licensed to fly everything from a single-engine plane up to a commercial airliner. 

P&L will provide pilot training for beginners and beyond.

The basic single-engine pilot license without an instrument rating is pretty much all anybody needs to fly to any destination in the world, Lockner said.

He used to fly all over the country on such a license. 

"The private pilot license is most useful because as long you don't worry about bad weather, you can fly anywhere you want," Lockner said.

County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens said Lockner returning is welcome news.

The one-year lease will expire about the time the airport will get a new terminal, and P&L, if successful, could be a nice anchor tenant.

"It's nice to have him back because he knows the airport and he knows the market, so I think he will be successful," Hens said. "He's a good pilot."

Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 8:01 am

Athletes looking to improve performance can get an edge at new facility in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, sports

Getting young athletes ready to compete at a higher level is one of the primary missions of Athletes Edge, a new training facility on East Main Street, co-owned and operated by Ben Buchholz.

Buchholz is a coach with Batavia High's football and baseball programs and he said what he's seeing today is local schools squaring off against Monroe County schools, and those athletes have taken on more challenging training routines during the off-season.

It's no longer enough just to show up on the first day of practice and expect to be ready to go. Young athletes need to train during the off-season.

"We're falling behind what we have to do to help us get better in every aspect of sports," Buchholz said. "We need to do more off-season stuff and this gives kids a chance to really get in here and do it. Now a lot of kids are doing a lot more off-season work and it shows in season. To compete, you've got to do it because everybody else is doing it."

The Blue Devils' deep run in post-season football is an example of how good off-season training can pay off, Buchholz said.

When you walk into Athletes Edge, if you're expecting a gym, you'll be struck by what you don't see. There are no weight benches, universal machines, dumbbells or barbells.

Modern athlete training is no longer about just pushing around heavy slabs of cast iron.

It's about speed, agility and stamina, and that's where Buchholz puts the emphasis.

The training tools at Athletes Edge involve boxes and stretch bands, but much of what is taught and trained is about body weight.

Plyometric workouts, which involve body weight and explosive movements, are a big part now of even the most elite athlete's daily routine.

"It's getting away from lifting huge heavy weights and getting into more athletic movement with strength," Buchholz said.

The facility's batting cage and pitcher's mound might leave the impression on a visitor that there is an emphasis at Athletes Edge on baseball, and that wouldn't be an incorrect perception, but the facility and training is open to all athletes and all sports. Notre Dame hockey, for example, is considering a team training session, Buchholz said.

Le Roy and Alexander's baseball teams have both already been in for a session since the business opened a month ago.

There's training available, also, for younger athletes. Athletes Edge is sponsoring travel baseball teams for youths from 8 and under to 12 years old.

Buchholz also hosts group events, such as birthday parties for youths. Those events might involve activities such as dodgeball or kickball or other activities.

"Whatever parents want to do, we set it up and just roll with it," Buchholz said.

Athletes Edge is located at 214 E. Main St., Suite #3, Batavia. The phone number is (585) 356-5995. The business is co-owned by Sam Antinore.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 2:43 pm

Bob Harris Realty acquired by Buffalo-based firm

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business

After 29 years of Gerace family ownership, Bob Harris Realty, has been sold to RealtyUSA, a company with 2,100 agents in offices from Albany to Buffalo.

The merger was announced at the Bob Harris offices on Ellicott Avenue this morning by Merle Whitehead, president, CEO and sole owner of RealtyUSA, with Joe and Lois Gerace at his side and their sons John and Robert standing nearby.  

"We acquired the assets of Bob Harris Realty, but more importantly, we acquired a household name in Batavia in realty," Whitehead said. "What a great asset for RealtyUSA to enter this market with such a strong family name and reputation, so we're really excited."

Founded in Williamsville in 1959, RealtyUSA grew to be the market leader in the Buffalo area and has expanded over the years through acquisition, Whitehead said, to become the market leader in Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Corning and Elmira.

Last year the company handled $3.6 billion in transactions.

Lois Gerace said she will remain active in the business and doesn't plan to retire just yet. 

"I'm looking forward to at least another five years, easily," Gerace said.

John Gerace will be the manager of the RealtyUSA office.

Whitehead said his company will be able to bring resources to Bob Harris that the company didn't have on its own, such as training and the ability to hire more agents. The corporate office will also take on many tasks involved in running a real estate business, including marketing.

Lois Gerace said the new technology RealtyUSA is able to provide will benefit the business.

"We think we're going to provide better service to our customers, and we're excited," Gerace said.

While recognizing that the Bob Harris brand is well established in Genesee County, Whitehead said given the strong market presence RealtyUSA has to the east and to the west, changing the local name of the business only makes sense.

"We have an incredible Web site," Whitehead said. "It's been named the fourth best real estate Web site in America, so we want to use realtyusa.com to market in this area."

The acquisition is effective today.

Monday, January 12, 2015 at 8:00 am

Get inked for charity this weekend

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, High Voltage Tattoo

High Voltage Tattoo and Piercing is hosting its annual tattoo and piercing event to benefit local charities Friday and Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. on both days.

Tattoos, based on available selections, are $35 each and piercings are $15 each.

Proceeds benefit Volunteers for Animals, HomeCare & Hospice, and Justice for Children.

The event always draws a big crowd, so you want to arrive early.

High Voltage is at the corner of West Main Street and Thomas Avenue in Batavia.

Pictured are James Gommenginger, Jeremy Fridman and Mark Fanara.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 10:44 am

UMMC's affiliation with Rochester General completed

post by Howard B. Owens in business, UMMC

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia has joined Rochester Regional Health System, becoming a full affiliate effective January 1, 2015. Rochester Regional is the newly formed health system that combined Rochester General and Unity Health Systems in July 2014.

The Genesee County hospital announced its intention to join Rochester Regional in February 2014. While United Memorial is very strong financially, hospital leaders recognized that changes in health care threatened the long-term outlook for independent rural health care providers. Joining the large regional system will enable continued and even enhanced local services for Batavia-area patients. United Memorial will maintain its name and a local board, and will continue its longstanding tradition of providing a wide range of medical and acute care services in Batavia.

“The full affiliation of United Memorial is another example of how Rochester Regional is creating a model health care system that helps communities get healthy and stay healthy,” said Eric J. Bieber, MD, President & CEO, Rochester Regional Health System. “Our model will maintain access and control cost by keeping care within the local community with seamless access to the highest quality specialty acute care for patients throughout the region, no matter where you live or through which system-wide door you enter.”

The partnership mirrors a trend among successful hospitals and health care systems nationwide. These system affiliations address the economic realities that community hospitals face with health care reform, enabling them to continue to offer a full range of primary and secondary services locally, while providing a gateway to the best clinical care available when more highly specialized care and technology – like cardiac surgery, stroke services, neurosurgery, and other complex services – are required.

“Joining Rochester Regional Health System secures our ability to provide quality health care to our community for the long-term,” said Dan Ireland, President, United Memorial Medical Center.

“Though most patients won’t notice any difference at the hospital, they will benefit from greater access to specialized services and technology available through the Rochester Regional network.”
The two health care institutions are no strangers to each other, having collaborated in the areas of Cardiology, Pathology, Surgery, Urology and Gastroenterology since 2008, and most recently partnered to open a Cancer & Infusion Center at United Memorial.

In making its decision to affiliate with Rochester Regional in early 2014, the United Memorial board cited the system’s longstanding focus on high-quality patient care and safety, its expertise in clinical integration, its comprehensive medical and surgical specialties that will enhance existing services available in the Batavia community, and its successful track record of collaboration with smaller acute care hospitals and physicians. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 10:38 am

Chamber announces series of small business workshops

post by Howard B. Owens in business, chamber of commerce

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce has announced a series of business workshops for 2015 in conjunction with the United States Small Business Administration. 

The workshops are open to all Chamber and non-Chamber businesses and their employees and will offer expert advice from experienced business professionals designed to help small businesses succeed and grow.

“We’re excited to introduce this series of workshops this year,” said Tom Turnbull, president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.  “The Chamber’s mission has always been to create an environment for business success and we believe these workshops fit right in with our mission.  Each workshop will give business owners and their employees valuable insights on a specific business subject.”

The 20l5 workshop schedule is as follows:

  • February 11 “Marketing Your Small Business”
  • March 11 “Financing Your Venture”
  • April 8  “Home-Based Business Strategies For Success”
  • May 13 “Selling and Succession Planning”
  • June 10 “Women-Owned Small Business Workshop”
  • September 9 “Holiday Campaigning For Your Small Business”
  • October 14 “Profit Improvement Strategies – Increasing Your Cash Flow Now”
  • November 18 “Customer Service That Wins Sales”

All workshops will be held at the Chamber of Commerce office, 210 East Main St., Batavia.  The sessions will run from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Businesses may attend any one or all of the workshops.  Cost for non-Chamber members is $10 for each attendee.  Chamber members may attend all sessions free of charge but must make reservations to insure space for their employees. 
To reserve a seat in any workshop or for more information, contact Kelly Bermingham at 585-343-7440 or by email at  [email protected]

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Renovations complete, Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia opens on Bank Street

post by Billie Owens in announcements, business

Press release:

Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia, formerly Batavia Radiation Oncology Associates, has opened its offices at 262 Bank St. after several weeks of construction.

With the renovated and expanded space, the clinic now features an outpatient blood draw laboratory, and larger clinical examination rooms. As part of Wilmot Cancer Institute, the Batavia clinic will give patients in Genesee and surrounding counties access to precision diagnostics, targeted therapies, clinical trials and the UR Medicine e-record system.

In addition to providing radiation therapy, the clinic will provide chemotherapy and infusion services, which are expected to be available in Batavia by Spring.

Kevin J. Mudd, M.D., who served as medical director for Batavia Radiation Oncology for 14 years, continues to see patients at Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia as a member of the University of Rochester Medical Center faculty. Mudd and other providers who see patients at the Batavia clinic will be able to participate in weekly tumor board sessions and other consultations to provide a truly multidisciplinary approach to cancer care.

"I am excited to resume our practice of high-quality cancer care here in this community and to see our services growing with our integration with URMC and Wilmot Cancer Institute,” Mudd said.

Jonathan W. Friedberg M.D., M.M.Sc., director of Wilmot Cancer Institute said "Cancer care has become so complex, and it requires an entire team to address every aspect of the disease. It starts with the diagnostic process and continues through treatment decisions, follow-up care, and survivorship or palliative care, if needed. Our Institute brings that comprehensive level of service every step of the way, in a setting that’s convenient no matter where you live.”

The Wilmot Cancer Institute is the Finger Lakes region’s leader for cancer care and research. As part of UR Medicine, Wilmot provides specialty cancer services at the University of Rochester Medical Center and at a network of satellite locations. Wilmot Cancer Institute is a component of Strong Memorial Hospital. The Institute also includes a team of scientists who investigate many aspects of cancer, with an emphasis on how best to provide precision cancer care.

Friday, January 2, 2015 at 1:05 pm

UMMC announces first newborn of 2015

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Pavilion, UMMC

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center is pleased to welcome the Genesee County New Year’s Baby for 2015. Kynlee Lynne Holland, a baby girl, was born to Jonathon and Danielle Holland of Pavilion, NY on Thursday, January 1st at 1:25 a.m. at United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia. She was delivered by certified midwife, Kim Danser, CNM. Baby Kynlee weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces and was 19-inches long. She is the second daughter for the new parents. She has a sister, Makenna, age 6, waiting anxiously for her at home.

Both parents work in shipping and receiving. Mrs. Holland is employed at Walmart in Batavia, NY and Mr. Holland works for Quaker Muller Dairy in Batavia, NY.

As the New Year’s baby, Kynlee and her parents received a $200 gift card to Target, an engraved feeding spoon, books and a touchless thermometer from United Memorial Medical Center.

In 2014, there were 646 babies delivered at United Memorial.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at 3:59 pm

ILGR workshop teach how to request 'reasonable accommodations' in the workplace

post by Billie Owens in announcements, business

Press release:

Independent Living of Genesee Region, in conjunction with the Genesee County Career Center, will be holding a one-hour workshop for prospective employees and working individuals with disabilities. The workshop is designed to inform individuals of their right to request and use "reasonable accommodations” within the workplace.

Examples of reasonable accommodations may include: better lighting for individuals with visually impairment; an extra 10-minute break during the work shift to check insulin levels for people living with diabetes; an extended start time to travel to work and/or additional preparation time for individuals with mobility challenges.

The workshop is being offered on two separate dates: Thursday, Jan. 15th and Thursday, Feb.12th from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Genesee County Career Center, 587 Main St., Suite 100, Batavia.

These sessions are FREE and pre-registration is suggested.

Have questions? Interested in registering? Call Donna Becker at (585) 815-8501, ext. 411, today to reserve your spot! Seats fill up quickly so do not delay.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Photo: Memorial to former owner of Caito's Liquors

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, The Yngodess Shop

The family of Samuel J. Caito placed a memorial today to the former liquor store owner in front of the YNGodess Shop on Main Street, Downtown Batavia, the location of his former shop.

His father, Augustino, opened the store right after the end of Prohibition in 1933. It was the first post-prohibition liquor store in Batavia.

Samuel owned the store until 1985.

He was also a teacher at Notre Dame and Batavia Middle School.

Click here for his full obituary.

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