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Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 9:33 am

Photos: Annual Taste of the Holidays in Downtown Batavia

post by Howard Owens in batavia, BID, business, downtown, taste of the holidays

Friday night was the first night of Taste of the Holidays. The festivities included a chance for visitors to the tent on Jackson Street to sample food from area restaurants and visit with other vendors. Bus rides to the Holland Land Museum Office to see the Wonderland of Trees were also part of the event.

The event continues today from noon to 3 p.m. and will include carriage rides and a scavenger hunt.

Children can also visit Santa today in City Centre.

Monday, December 2, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Photo: Repairs on water line break on Center Street

post by Howard Owens in batavia, business, Center Street, downtown, infrastructure

A private contractor is working on a water line on Center Street today. The line broke Saturday afternoon. The line runs into Center Street Smoke House and for most of the day, the city has been able to provide water to the restaurant. The restaurant is expected to be open for business this evening.

UPDATE: Water service was fully restored at 5:30 p.m.

Monday, December 2, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Alpina introdcues new flavors of Greek yogurt

post by Howard Owens in batavia, Alpina Foods, business

Press release:

Alpina is expanding their two popular Greek yogurt lines with the addition of new flavor varieties. The new flavors enhance the company’s line of all-natural yogurts that are created using an authentic straining process, and are the combination of the simplest ingredients: milk, active bacteria cultures, and fruit.

Alpina Greek yogurt line will now offer three new flavor varieties: Pineapple, Raspberry, and Key Lime Pie. The Alpina Greek with Artisan Granola line welcomes Pineapple with Tropical Chia Granola, Raspberry with Super Foods Granola, and Black Cherry with Super Foods Granola.

All new flavor varieties for both Alpina Greek and Alpina Greek with Artisan Granola lines will be available in select stores beginning December 2013.

Alpina Foods’ Alpina Greek is an all-natural, authentically strained Greek yogurt made entirely from natural ingredients with no artificial thickeners or flavoring and up to one third less sugar than leading competitors. Alpina Greek is a fruit-on-the-bottom style yogurt available in nine flavors: blueberry, strawberry, vanilla bean, mango, peach, and now available in key lime pie, pineapple, and raspberry.

Alpina Foods’ Alpina Greek with Artisan Granola yogurt line is the same all-natural, authentically strained Greek yogurt but comes paired with certified gluten-free granola mix-ins. The granolas are a unique, proprietary blend of nuts, grains, and seeds created by a health and wellness chef and prepared by Udi’s Gluten Free.

Alpina Greek with Artisan Granolas is available in nine flavors: blueberry with almond berry granola, strawberry with almond berry granola, vanilla bean with chai spices granola, honey with chai spices granola, mango with tropical chia granola, peach with tropical chia granola, plain with superfoods granola, and now available in pineapple with tropical chia granola, raspberry with super foods granola, and black cherry with super foods granola.

“Expanding our Greek yogurt lines allows us to continue satisfying the consumers growing demand for healthy and wholesome, all-natural yogurt options,” says Gustavo Badino, Alpina Foods’ General Manager. “The holiday season is the perfect time for us to be adding several new and exciting flavor varieties to our already extensive product line as consumers are seeking out snacks that are fulfilling and indulgent without the guilt.”

Alpina brand yogurts are currently available in a wide variety of retailers throughout the U.S., including Wegmans Food Markets; Duane Reade; Delhaize Group stores Hannaford and Food Lion; as well as ShopRite and other national and regional food retailers. Alpina yogurts are distributed by KeHE Distributors, Lipari Foods in the Midwest and Dora’s Naturals in New York. For a full list of retailers, visit www.alpina.com.

Friday, November 29, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Be of good cheer: Shop locally for the holidays

post by Howard Owens in business, shop local first, shop locally

Here's a great alternative to Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Shop locally.

There are any number of local businesses that help you meet your gift-giving needs -- even gift certificates from local restaurants can make a great stocking stuff, not to mention the great locally owned retail outlets in town.

When you shop local, more of your dollars stay locally to help boost the local economy and you're supporting businesses that do so much more than out-of-state-based chains to support local civic groups and schools.

On this page are ads for more than 130 local businesses. Check out what they have to offer. 

Adam Miller Toy & Bicycles
Alabama Hotel
Alberty Drug Store
Alex's Place
Alli's Cones and Dogs
Baker's Frontier Kitchens
Barrett's Batavia Marine and Sporting Supplies
Batavia Downs
Batavia Eats
Batavia Gold Rush
Batavia Tailors & Cleaners
Bill Fox and Son Construction & Remodeling
Beds 'n' Bones Pet Lodge
Belhaven Kennels
Ben's Kitchens, Baths, & Appliances
Blue Pearl Yoga
Bohn's Restaurant
Bontrager's Real Estate
Bourbon & Burger Co.
Brighton Securities
B-Town Yellow Taxi
Bubba's Landscaping
Casa Del Taco
CB Beach Mortuary
Cedar St. Sales and Rentals
Center Street Smokehouse
Chesley's Auto
Clor's Meat Market, BBQ & Catering
The Color Salon
Continental School of Beauty
Council Opticians
Crazy Cheap Cars
D'Tangles
D&R Depot Restaurant
Dan's Tire
Daphne's Restaurant & Lounge
Darien Auto Parts
Deep Blue Pool & Spa
Derrick Monument Company
Detail Shop (Pellegrino's)
Empire Tractor
The Enchanted Florist
Falcone Family Funeral & Cremation Service, Inc.
Falleti Motors
Fastec Automotive
Ficarella's Pizzeria
Ficarella's Backflow Testing
Foxprowl Collectibles
Foxy Construction
Floral Fantasies
Frankly Design
Genesee County Emergency Services
Genesee Dental Group
Genesee Graphics
Genesee Orthopaedics
Gilmartin
Godfrey's Pond
Greens of LeRoy
Greg'ry's Bakery
H.E. Turner & Co.
Hair Studio 25
Hardcor Audio
Harrington's Produce
Haul-4-Less
High Voltage Tattoo
Hot Shots Caffe
Housing Council at Pathstone
Hot Heads
Humphrey's Electric & Security
Insource Urgent Care
I.R. Systems
The Insurance Center
J. Leonard McAndrew
Jagged Edges Salon
John's Service Station
Karen's Yarn Paper Scissors
Kelly's Mowing
Ken Barrett
KleenAll
Kreative Design Kitchen & Bath
L&L Transmission, Inc.
L.C. Mosman
Lamb Family Medicine
Lambert's Design Jewelers
Lathan Tree Service
LeRoy Counseling
Louis Andolora - Tax Advisor
Main St. Pizza Company
Making Memories of Travel
The Mane Attraction
The Manor House
Matteo & Mullen, CPA
Max Pies
Millennium Computer
Next Level Fitness
Oakfield Fitness
O'Lacy's Irish Pub
Oliver's Candies
Optique
Palm Island Indoor Waterpark
Pellegrino Auto Sales
Pembroke Family Medicine
Personalized By Santa
Picasso's Pizza
Precision Lawn Care
Pudgie's Lawn & Garden
R&D Outlet
RW Vapors
Sallome Heating & Cooling
Sammy Hill's
Santino's Pizza
Scooter's Restaurant (Le Roy)
S.C.O.P.E. of Genesee County
Select Collision
Settler's Restaurant
Sloat's Tire
Southside Deli
Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew
Spirits
Stan's Harley-Davidson
T.F. Brown's
The Finishing Line
Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel
Trash Away
Turnbull Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration
UB Neurosurgery
Upstate Chrysler Dodge Jeep
Valle Jewelers
Viking Valhalla/Rose Garden Bowl
Vinyl Sticks
West Main Wine & Spirits
Western Regional Off Track
William Kent, Inc.
WNY Fireplace Outlet
Woody's Deli
Yasses Construction
Yngodess Shop
YWCA
Zoom N Groom Dog Grooming

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Genesee County's unemployment rate dips slightly from last month

post by Howard Owens in business, economy, jobs

Genesee County's jobs picture weakened slightly month-over-month for September to October, but is still better than a year ago.

The unemployment rate stands at 6.1 percent for October, compared to 6 percent for September and 7.2 percent for October 2012.

There were 29,400 non-farm jobs reported in the county for October, down from 29,200 in September, but still higher than the 29,100 jobs reported in October 2013.

The unemployment rate in Orleans County is 7.7 percent, and 6.4 in Livingston and 6.5 in Wyoming.

The state's rate is 7.5 percent and the nation's rate is 7 percent.

Ten counties around New York have reported unemployment rates of 6 percent or lower. Yates has the lowest rate in WNY at 5.2 percent. Rochester is 6.7 percent and Buffalo-Niagara is 7 percent.

Monday, November 25, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Installation of solar array atop Stan's Harley-Davidson nearly complete

post by Howard Owens in batavia, business, Stan's Harley-Davidson

Workers are expected to complete the installation today of a solar panel array atop the westside roof of Stan's Harley Davidson on West Saile Drive.

The total cost of the project, which covers more than 10,000 square feet of roof, is $574,000 with the cost partially financed by state and federal tax credits.

The panels will product enough electricity to run all of Stan's operations. The power generated from the panels is first shipped to National Grid. NG then sells the power back to Stan's at a reduced rate.

That should mean about a 50-percent cost savings each month for the Harley dealership.

"We won't know, probably, until the first of the year and it's up and going what it's actually doing," said owner Darryl Horzempa.

Horzempa decided to pursue the project after attending a Solarize Genesee County workshop in January hosted by the Genesee County Economic Development Center (though GCEDC was not involved in the project otherwise).

"I'm interested in recycling and things like that, so it was a natural thing to me to help take care of the environment," Horzempa said.

Rochester-based Arista Power won the contract for the solar panel installation.

Friday, November 22, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Hungry tonight: Order ahead with Batavia Eats

We have more menus online ready to receive your meal orders from great local restaurants.

Here are the menus available now:

The developers have also added a new feature -- you can order your meals in advance. Let's say you're in Rochester at 4 p.m. and know you won't be back in Batavia until 6:15 p.m., you can specify 6:15 as your pick-up time.

Be sure to bookmark BataviaEats.com to keep up with new restaurants as we add them and for future online ordering from local restaurants.

Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Rare cadre experienced with widespread disaster and death brought real-life experience to training in Albany

post by Billie Owens in announcements, batavia, business

Responding to tragedy involving widespread disaster and death is something Randy McIntire has done on several occasions and last week he attended training with other veteran emergency responders in Albany.

He is a funeral director at H.E. Turner and former chief of the Town of Batavia Volunteer Fire Department who brought a lot of experience to share with peers taking part in the "Mass Fatality Incident Response Course" presented by the NYS Office of Emergency Management.

As a member of the New York State Funeral Directors Association's Family Assistance Commission (FAC), a nonprofit, volunteer group of licensed funeral directors, he attended the Albany workshop.

"The whole premise is to train for the dignified return of victims to their families, and to learn how different agencies work together to accomplish that goal," McIntire said.

FAC members are prepared to assist local governments in the event of a disaster occurring within their borders and they work in tandem with others tasked with the recovery, handling, identification, and return of remains following a mass fatality incident.

His extensive background in emergency training began in the mid-1970s. And he was at the scene of Egypt Air flight 990 in 1999, the World Trade Center bombing, Hurricane Katrina (made worse by Hurricane Rita), and the crash of Continental Airlines' flight 3407.

Whether the catastrophe is a plane crash or a hurricane, the process varies little. FAC members help recover the dead, protect their dignity, take them to a morgue, where a coroner conducts scientific tests for identification, and through that process the victims are returned to their families.

A myriad of skills must be employed quickly, smoothly and under intense stress -- interviewing survivors/next-of-kin, processing paperwork to assist in identifying and facilitating the release of remains to the next-of-kin or other representatives, and more -- all vital services during a time of extreme confusion and grief.

The training is not new -- McIntire took the course in 1997 -- but he says over the years the state had pretty much done away with it and is now rekindling its efforts.

"It was unique training (last Thursday and Friday) because a high number of participants were mass fatality responders," McIntire said.

Their broad experience added some boots-on-the-ground pragmatism that was useful, especially for other responders, each with different responsibilities.

“Trainings such as this allow us to ... properly care for the dead as well as the living,” said Douglas R. Brueggemann, FAC committee chair.

Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Judge will consider whether to overturn denial of permit for rooming house on East Main

Local landlord Terry Platt has brought an Article 78 action against the City of Batavia over a planning committee's denial of his application to open a rooming home on East Main Street, and the Erie County judge presiding over the case indicated in court today he leans in favor of Platt's side of the case.

When Larry O'Connor, representing the city's insurance company, told Judge John Curran that he thought the case was straightforward, Curran responded, "I think it is straightforward and you're running up hill."

O'Connor said he got that feeling after listening to Curran pepper Platt's attorney, Michael Perley, with questions about how the case should be decided.

Platt sought approval from the city in May for a rooming house at 316 E. Main St. and several neighbors came to a meeting of the Batavia Planning and Development Committee and objected to the plan.

The committee voted to deny Platt the necessary approval for the project.

In the Article 78 action, Platt's attorney argues that the proposed use is both allowed by existing zoning, fits the mixed use nature of the neighborhood and could not be denied on any legal basis.

O'Connor said the committee had the authority to deny the application based on the city's Comprehensive Master Plan.

That, however, raises what Perley characterized as a "fatal defect" in the city's case -- there's no proof on the record that the city ever formally approved its master plan.

O'Connor did not provide proof of plan approval prior to arguments in the case and Curran said the record is now closed. O'Connor said, however, he could provide proof of an approval. (Outside of court, O'Connor said Curran could "take judicial notice" of the approval, even if it's not part of the record).

Perley said the city couldn't produce a copy of the master plan when Platt issued a FOIL request for the document earlier this year.

A copy was found and it is now part of the case.

City Manager Jason Molino confirmed later in the day that the City Council did ratify the master plan Feb. 25, 1997. Molino could not comment further on the case.

According to the discussion in the Erie County courtroom of Curran today, Curran must weight the role of the master plan in the committee's decision, whether the master plan gives the committee the authority to reject Platt's application, and whether he should take the extreme step of overturning the decision of a group of community volunteers over a zoning issue.

Curran spent a lot of time asking the attorneys questions about how they propose he decide the case.

"The property is properly zoned?" Curran asked.

"Correct," said Perley.

"There's no defect in the application?"

"Correct."

"There's no request for a variance?"

"There's no need for a variance."

"There's no request for a change in zoning?"

"No."

"There's is no need for a special-use permit?"

"No."

"Both you and Mr. O'Connor have experience in municipal law," Curran said. "You and I both know a lot of municipal law. If I run a (report) for special-use permit legal cases to come up with standards or if I run it for variances to come up with a standard, we know what I'll find. What do I run for this one?"

"The standard you apply is whether or not this decision was arbitrary and capricious," Perley said. "How does the committee deny an application that is proper for the property before it without misapplying the zoning law?"

O'Connor argued that the denial was consistent with the master plan, and Curran honed in on the section that says the permitted uses of buildings on that section of East Main Street (zoned C1, which is mixed use) includes professional offices, small restaurants and other small businesses, but says nothing about single-family residences, so how can the city argue that it wants to preserve the historic nature of the single-family residences?

The master plan as a whole is about preserving and enhancing current single-family residences, O'Connor told Curran.

"This is an area of single-family homes along with limited commercial use," O'Connor said. "The city wants to preserve the integrity and character of that area."

Then Curran laid out his underlying frustration: Neither attorney had filed a memorandum of law.

Such memorandums are often filed by attorneys to provide a judge with their views of how the law and prior legal precedents apply to a particular case.

Perley said he wrote such a memorandum and was surprised it hadn't been filed with the case. Since O'Connor hadn't received such a memo, he hadn't written a response.

Curran agreed to give both attorneys time to file such memos and continued the case to Jan. 30.

The options before Curran include: upholding the committee's decision; overturning the decision and permitting Platt to open the rooming house; or overturning the committee's ruling but ordering the committee to reconsider its decision.

Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Chamber announces 2013 award winners

The 42nd Annual Chamber of Commerce Awards are getting a bit of a makeover this year with no general Business of the Year honoree and a complete skip of Innovative Enterprise of the Year -- even with a qualified nominee in the mix.

Much like last year, there are two winners for Geneseean of the Year, with awards going to Laurie Mastin, of Pavilion, and Timothy Michael Adams, of Stafford.

Rather than Business of Year, the chamber is honoring a Service Business of the Year, Alex's Place, and Retail Business of the Year, Adam Miller Toy & Bicycles.

The Agricultural Business of the Year is Bonduelle USA, Inc., of Bergen and Oakfield.

The Bergen Business and Civic Association is receiving special recognition with a Special Service award.

Nominated by The Batavian for Innovative Enterprise of the Year was Insource Urgent Care, but no award was given in that category for 2013.

While Insource has transformed the urgent care business through innovative use of telemedicine and cooperative arrangements with doctors and specialists from throughout the region, greatly reducing the cost of care for patients, the Batavia-based company was bypassed by the awards committee. 

It's not unprecedented for the chamber to hand out awards with different titles than previous years or what was on nomination forms.

The awards dinner is Feb. 22 at the Clarion Hotel, Park Road, Batavia. Tickets are $50 or a table of 10 for $450. Hors d'oeuvres are at 5:30 p.m. followed by entree tables (no formal sit down dinner). There is a cash bar. The awards program starts at 7 p.m., which will include coffee and dessert.

Call Kelly Bermingham at 343-7440, ext. 26, to make reservations.

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