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Howard B. Owens's blog

Sunday, July 13, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Photos: A bit of Oakfield in USAF museum in Ohio

post by Howard B. Owens in history, Oakfield

Master Sgt. Jason Earle (retired), a former Genesee County resident, was visiting the U.S. Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio when the word "Oakfield" caught his eye.

A bag of beans labeled "George W. Haxton & Son, Inc., Oakfield, N.Y." was in a display showcasing the USAF's efforts during the Berlin Airlift following World War II.

Earle said, "I'm quite sure there was a lot of war effort going on with the numerous factories the county had at the time, but nobody really thinks of what effect our local farmers had as well."

Sunday, July 13, 2014 at 12:30 am

Photos: Third annual 3-on-3 tournament at Williams Park

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, batavia, 3-on-3, sports, Williams Park

Dozens of teams across the spectrum of age groups competed today in the 3rd annual 3-on-3 tournament at Williams Park.

Here are pictures from two of the afternoon games.

The tournament was sponored this year, for the first time, by The Batavian.

To purchase prints of photos click here.

Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 11:54 pm

Photos: 'Ride to Remember' honoring veterans

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Stan's Harley-Davidson, veterans

The Genesee Veterans Support Group hosted the "Ride to Remember" today. The event included a chicken BBQ at Stan's Harley-Davidson followed by a ride to the Geneseo Air Show.

Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 11:20 pm

Deputy Frank Bordonaro answers his final call

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Sheriff's Office

In his homily during the funeral service for Deputy Frank Bordonaro, Father Michael Donovan addressed Frank's sons directly.

The one thing he wanted them to remember, what should be part of the stories they tell of their dad someday, Donovan said, was the outpouring of respect, love and support of the friends, family and colleagues gathered in St. Peter's today.

Bordonaro, 44, a 19-year veteran of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office died July 8 of an apparent heart attack.

He leaves behind a wife, Robin, and two young sons, Bryce and Chase.

In a memorial letter read by funeral director Vern Falcone, Robin thanked Frank for raising his sons right and setting them on a good path.

Nearly every member of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office (all but those required to be on duty) was at the funeral. Several members of the Batavia Police Department, the Le Roy Police Department and the State Police were part of the honor guard that lined up in front of the church before and after the service.

Bordonaro's casket was carried to and from the church in his pickup truck.

The service centered around Matthew 25:34-40.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ "

Father Donovan noted that most people think of a police officer as just somebody who arrests people, but an officer of the law does so much more than that for his community. Deputy Frank Bordonaro, he said, was that kind of professional.

Deputy Bordonaro provided help to those he found hungry, or thirsty, or lonely and in need, or homeless, or sick. He provided help to those who needed it, and thereby lived the life Christ bade his disciples to follow.

That is the memory, Father Donovan said, that Bryce and Chase should hold of their father.

After the service, after the casket of Deputy Frank Bordonaro was driven away in his truck, the radios on the hips of emergency responders among those gathered on Lake Street, could be heard with the final dispatch for Deputy Frank Bordonaro. It was the only sound on the street until a Mercy Flight helicopter paid Deputy Bordonaro one last tribute with a pass over the church.

Listen (mp3).

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Below: The funeral procession passes under a flag on Route 19 that was lifted by ladder trucks from Le Roy and Bergen fire departments. Photo submitted by George Henry.

Friday, July 11, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Veterans group sponsors 'Ride to Remember'

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Motorcycle Riders are invited tomorrow to join in the "Ride to Remember," sponsored by the Genesee Veterans Support Group.

Registration starts at 10 a.m. at Stan's Harley-Davidson, West Saile Drive, Batavia. The ride starts at 1 p.m. and will conclude in Geneseo at the Geneseo Air Show. Free admission to the air show is included and the ride includes the opportunity to participate in a "Pass and Review" down the runway in front of the grandstand.

A chicken BBQ is available at Stan's for $10.

Participation in the ride is $45 for a single rider and $55 for a rider and passenger.

Friday, July 11, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Riders raise more than $1,400 for Crossroads House

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, charity, crossroads house

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Crossroads House received a $1,445 donation today, the result of the 4th Annual Jerry "Rat" Cone Memorial Run, held July 5 in Genesee County.

Fifty-two riders participated in the charity trek over local roads.

The donation was delivered this evening.

Pictured are, from left, Scott Bliss, Jim Andrews, Kelli Bliss, Vanessa Andrews, Paul Ohlson, Anthony "Smokey" LoCastro, Stephen Worthington, Pastor Timothy Young, and on the porch are Charlotte Puccio, Mary Ann Shuler and Kathleen Pentepento.

Friday, July 11, 2014 at 4:47 pm

No decision yet on future of live music at Frost Ridge

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Frost Ridge, land use, Le Roy

Judge Rorbert C. Noonan wants more information before he decides whether to dismiss one or both of the lawsuits against Frost Ridge Campground in Le Roy.

In a written decision this afternoon, Noonan held off making a decision on the motion to dismiss the suits as well as on the motion to lift the temporary injunction against amplified music at Frost Ridge.

He's ordered a hearing as soon as possible on the assertion by attorney David Roach that the statute of limitations has expired for challenging the Zoning Board of Appeal's determination in the Fall of 2013.

"While Frost Ridge and the ZBA submitted that such minutes were filed with the Town Clerk 'within a matter of days' after the October 22, 2013 meeting," Noonan wrote, "the Town Clerk submits that she 'cannot pinpoint the date (the clerk of the ZBA) delivered the minutes of the Sept. 25, 2013 meeting to her," and that they are customarily filed only 'sporadically.' Therefore, on the existing record, Frost Ridge and the ZBA have failed to carry their burden of proof on the issue."

The ZBA clerk is currently involved with medical issues, Roach told Noonan during today's hearing, and is therefore unavailable to provide an affidavit on when she filed the minutes.

She is expected to be available in a week, he said.

Frost Ridge is fighting twin lawsuits: One filed by the Cleere and Collins families, who own adjoining property, and one filed by the Town of Le Roy asserting Frost Ridge not only is barred by the zoning ordinance from hosting amplified music concerts, but has grown beyond what was grandfathered in when the current zoning ordinance was adopted.

Under NYS law, any party challenging the ZBA's determination would have 30 days from the time the decision is filed to legally seek to overturn the decision. If it can be proved by the defendants that minutes were filed with the Town Clerk in the Fall of 2013, that would be much more than 30 days and could therefore provide grounds for the lawsuit by Cleere/Collins to be dismissed.

What happens with the Town of Le Roy's lawsuit against Frost Ridge is a little more complicated.

"Nor will the Town's action be dismissed for failure to join the ZBA as a defendant," Noonan wrote. "Although the ZBA may wish to intervene in this case, it is not a necessary party to the Town's action to enforce its zoning laws; and, it is questionable whether the Town is collaterally estopped by the ZBA's determination."

Noonan's ruling seems to back the assertion by the defense that the ZBA made a valid determination that land use at Frost Ridge in 2013 was a legal, preexisting, nonconforming use.

"Thus," he writes, "contrary to the Town's contention, the minutes of the meeting permitting the noncomforming use are sufficient for a proper determination."

No date for a follow-up hearing has been released yet.

Friday, July 11, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Previously reported police activity on Jackson Street turns out to be part of planned law enforcement detail

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia PD, crime

We now know that all the police activity on Jackson Street the evening of June 26 was more than just a response to an individual seen running behind backyards between Maple Street and Morton Avenue. It was part of law enforcement detail in the area aimed at identifying issues in the neighborhood. 

Earlier this week, the City of Batavia announced the results of the detail.

Police made contact with numerous individuals, some were on parole or probation.

The person seen running through yards was on parole, but not wanted, according to local law enforcement. He was released after none of the property owners who initially called about him wanted to file a trespass charge. Police are unsure why he decided to run and try to hide from law enforcement, if that is indeed what he was doing.

There have been complaints from citizens on The Batavian and on Facebook that they had their vehicles stopped for no or flimsy reasons, but Chief Shawn Heubusch said all traffic stops were made in accordance with guidelines related to probable cause. 

"Each traffic stop was conducted legally and with probable cause," Heubusch said in an e-mail response to our questions. "As for the probable cause for each I do not have that information. We do not generally keep track of that information unless an arrest is made (DWI for example)."

We asked about the probable cause for the 59 "data runs" reported in the press release.

Heubusch said, "As for the "data runs," these are done routinely when checking license plates or driver's license info, for any wanted-person info, or stolen vehicle, for example. New York State does not require probable cause to run a license plate attached to vehicle."

We asked for the arrest reports/press releases on each of the three arrests reported during the sweep and Heubusch said he would think those arrests would have been reported previously by each of the agencies making the arrests, but he would have to research that further.  

The detail is part of a plan announced earlier this year in keeping with the city's strategic plan, which calls for revitalizing neighborhoods. The effort is designed to identify problems and deal with them before they grow into something bigger.

Friday, July 11, 2014 at 2:03 pm

County planning board votes against proposed 55-and-older complex on West Main Road, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, land use, planning

Concerns about adequate parking and emergency vehicle access led the Genesee County Planning Board on Thursday night to recommend against approval for a senior housing apartment complex off Route 5 in the Town of Batavia.

The board's vote is not binding, but it does require the Town of Batavia Planning Board to vote with a +1 margin to approve the project.

The site for the project is 3833 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. It is 33.4 acres and would contain 110 apartment units that would be marketed to middle-income residents age 55 and older.

There's currently no senior housing in the area designed for middle-income residents, said Ben Gustafson, a civil engineer with Hunt Engineers/Architects/Surveyors, and representing the developer, Calamar.

The project calls for 1.5 parking spaces per unit, which is a variance from the town's 2-per unit ordinance. 

Gustafson explained that two per unit is excessive by modern planning standards, the county's own planning goals and what Calamar's studies of its own 15 similar complexes shows is necessary.

In some Calamar locations, the local ordinance requires only one parking space, but even there, because of Calamar's own experience, they put in 1.5.

"What we're proposing is in keeping with sustainable development throughout this country by not providing more parking than is required," Gustafson said. "Our studies show we need far less than two spaces per unit."

Multiple board members expressed concern about 1.5 parking spaces, even so.

"The 1.5 parking per unit is unrealistic," said Mel Wentland, board chairman. "For 55 and older, both members of the family usually have cars. You're under-populating parking spaces. There should be two per unit. There are also people coming to visit, nurses aides, various kinds of help. I don't think the parking (the plan) provides is adequate to meet all the needs of such a community."

Gustafson said it's common for residents in these communities to not even have cars, but if the parking proved inadequate, there's plenty of space on the property that could later be converted to parking if needed.

Another issue is the single driveway for the complex off Route 5.

The main concern of the board is access for emergency vehicles -- what if traffic is tying up the driveway, or there's an accident in front of it?

According to Gustafson, there are fewer than 30 cars an hour that will pass through the driveway, far less than similar-sized units serving younger families. The traffic impact will be minimal and the wide driveway will provide ample room for emergency vehicles.

Board Member Lucine Kauffman said no one on the board is arguing against the need for the project, but that these issues should be addressed before it's approved for development.

Friday, July 11, 2014 at 11:55 am

Photos: Taste of Stafford 2014

post by Howard B. Owens in Stafford, Taste of Stafford

Beautiful weather. Good food. Lots of friendly people. Fun, old-time music. What's not to love about Taste of Stafford each year.

Friday, July 11, 2014 at 11:32 am

Attorney for Frost Ridge asks Noonan to reverse his preliminary injunction against amplified music

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Frost Ridge, Le Roy

The owners of Frost Ridge are expecting to find out this afternoon whether their 2014 concert series will be held at the campground this year, or whether they must continue to hunt for alternative venues.

This morning, attorney David Roach asked Judge Robert C. Noonan to vacate his preliminary injunction of May 24 that barred amplified music and alcohol service while a pair of lawsuits are pending against Frost Ridge.

Roach based his motion on the fact that the Le Roy's Zoning Board of Appeals wasn't represented at May's hearing and now that the ZBA is represented in the case, new information has been presented to Noonan that shows the ZBA determined that Frost Ridge was being operated in 2013 within the bounds of its status of a nonconforming, preexisting use.

At the May hearing, Town of Le Roy attorney Reid Whiting said the ZBA declined to be represented in the suit (ZBA members didn't even know about the suit at the time) and he presented what's known as a "verified answer" by Supervisor Steve Barbeau that stated the ZBA determination was invalid.

Today, Roach filed an amended verified answer (the answer is in response to the lawsuit by the Cleere and Collins families) from the ZBA itself that states that live music and food service are grandfathered in at the campground.

On the basis of that change, Roach argued that Noonan's injunction was granted without the proper factual information and should therefore be vacated.

"It is no longer clear -- as the court preliminary held -- that my clients have committed a zoning violation," Roach said. "With the ZBA's amended verified answer, the weight of the evidence has shifted such that it is now clear my clients are in compliance with the zoning code as a prior, nonconforming use."

Mindy Zoghlin, attorney for the Cleeres and Collins, argued that the ZBA's minutes don't help Frost Ridge.

"The ZBA minutes say they were asked to review the need for a special-use permit," Zoghlin said. "Dave outlined the history of the campground, and just the campground, as established prior to the zoning law being passed. After his presentation, the ZBA board discussed the issue of the campground, and just the campground and whether it is grandfathered in. It's not clear from the minutes what they're talking about."

Zoghlin said her clients have no issue with the existence of the campground or music at the campground. They are against it being used as a live music venue.

"We're not challenging the decision that the campground is a preexisting use," Zoghlin said. "That's a mischaracterization of the argument and a misunderstanding of what the court ruled the first time around. What we're saying is they can't legally expand the campground unless they go to the ZBA and apply for and receive a special-use permit for expansion."

Whiting made only a brief statement to Noonan and said the defendant's reliance on the ZBA determinations are puzzling to him because he thinks the ZBA rulings produce very unfavorable results for Frost Ridge.

"In 1998, the ZBA ruled clearly there can be no expansion of any structure and can be no change in use whatsoever. On both measures, the campground has aggressively and significantly sought to expand both uses and structures on the campground."

Roach countered later that the ZBA's positions clear that in 2013 they knew what was going on at Frost Ridge and that based on testimony and personal knowledge of board members, the use in 2013 (which included concerts and food service) was grandfathered in.

Noonan could decide, Roach suggested, to kick the issue back to the ZBA to hold a hearing and define exactly what it meant by campground and what it considers to be a prior, nonconforming use.

Both lawsuits -- the one filed by Cleere and Collins and the one filed by the town -- against Frost Ridge should be dismissed, Roach said, because the statute of limitation (in this case, 30 days) long ago expired for challenging the ZBA decision.

Zoghlin told Noonan that the defendants have failed to provide proof of when the determination was filed with the Town Clerk, and without that proof, there is no evidence that the statute of limitations has expired.  

She also said the record is incomplete because for the 2013 determination, there was no application filed by Frost Ridge for a decision.

"There's no forms filled out," she said. "There's nothing in writing."

Roach said Frost Ridge owners Greg and David Luetticke-Archbell relied on the ZBA's 2013 determination to go ahead and book concerts for the summer of 2014. They could potentially be out of tens of thousands of dollars if the preliminary injunction isn't lifted.

Noonan said he will issue a written decision at 3 p.m. today.

Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 11:58 pm

Third annual 3-on-3 tournament at Williams Park set for Saturday

post by Howard B. Owens in basketball, batavia, 3-on-3 tournament, sports, Williams Park

Davon St. John drives for a layup during a bit of a practice session today at Williams Park in advance of Saturday's third annual 3-on-3 Tournament organized by Jerry Smith.

The tournament this year is sponsored for the first time by The Batavian.

Registration opens at 10 a.m. First game is at 11 a.m.

The cost is $50 per four-player team. Each team is guaranteed at least four games.

There are boys and girls divisions grades 5 through 12, an 18-19 year-old division, and a 30 and over division.

The winners will receive champion T-shirts.

Event supporters include Venue Entertainment, Big Pauly's Pizza, Southside Deli, Extreme Streetwear, Direct TV, Showtime Player Development, Buffalo 716ers, Erie Hurricanes, Ficarella's Pizzeria, and Genesee Clean-Out.

Thanks to Davon and his father, David, for the fun game of 21. It's the first time I've played basketball in at least 25 years.

Davon is entering his junior year at Bennett High School in Buffalo. He was part of the Pembroke program. His father hopes there might be a way he can return to Genesee County -- Batavia or Pembroke -- before the start of the high school basketball season.

Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Former nurse convicted for second time of stealing $14K from employer

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, bergen, crime

It took a jury all of 30 minutes to return a guilty verdict against former Bergen resident Michele Ann Case of grand larceny in the third degree.

This is the second time a jury in Genesee County has found Case guilty of stealing more than $14,000 from her former employer, HomeCare & Hospice.

The first conviction, in March 2012, was overturned on appeal because state justices found that summations of her thefts were improperly prepared and presented to the jury.

Case, 47, was represented in this trial by attorney Larry Koss, who argued before the jury in closing statements this afternoon that the extra compensation received was all just a big misunderstanding.

"The fact that there are discrepancies doesn't mean anything was done intentionally," Koss told the jury. "People make mistakes. I submit to you, if you're in the profession she's in, your primary concern has to be your patients. If you want to be a good nurse, you want to care for your patients. They have to be your primary concern. They have to be what you pay attention to."

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman told the jury that the evidence was clear: Case submitted claims for "call outs" (patient visits supposedly outside of regularly scheduled hours) during her normal work shift; that she submitted claims for call outs that she didn't make; and that she claimed mileage that was greatly exaggerated.

Koss said it was a lack of proper training and clear policies that caused Case to submit inaccurate claims for compensation.

There's nothing in the polices that define what allowable mileage is (to which Friedman responded during his close, "I think the answer is you're expected to record mileage truthfully."

During her employment with HCH, Case submitted 61 mileage claims. Of those, Friedman said, 60 of them contained wildly inflated mileage, up to 100, 200 and 300 more miles than Case possibly could have driven.

For a trip to Crossroads House on Liberty Street from the HCH office on East Main Street, Batavia, Case claimed 30 miles.

When confronted by Det. Charles Dudek (now retired) about the discrepancy, Case claimed at one point her trip that day originated in Warsaw, but even those miles -- combined with the side trips she claimed -- didn't add up, Friedman said.

When she went to Delavan for training, Case claimed mileage that was nearly double the actual trip, even using the longest possible route offered by MapQuest for the drive, Friedman said.

That didn't happen just once, but twice.

Case told Dudek that she forgot to reset her trip counter on her odometer and didn't realize her mistake when submitting her mileage reports.

Friedman said the pattern of Case's inflated claims made it quite clear she was trying to increase her compensation illegally.

On 69 occasions, Friedman said, Case claimed compensation for call-outs during what should have been her normal, salaried working hours. Those claims alone totaled $5,300 in extra compensation.

"There is one common scheme to illegitimately and illegally increase what she saw as her insufficient income," Friedman said.

To Koss's argument that HomeCare & Hospice neglected to spot and correct Case's false claims for two and a half years, Friedman said such fraudulent claims went undetected because they were unexpected.

"The defendant was a registered nurse," Friedman said. "She's a professional and they expected her to be professional and honest when she documented her claims, and it turned out, they couldn't count on that."

At the start of his summation, Koss quoted Oscar Wilde.“The truth is rarely plain and never simple.”*

The case against his client, he said, was complicated and obscured by poorly written policies and inadequate training.

Friedman said at the close of his summation, that actually, the facts of the case were pretty straightforward.

"The plain and simple truth is this defendant stole more than $14K by falsifying time vouchers and mileage records," Friedman said.

With uncommon speed, the jury reached the same conclusion.

NOTE: Wilde's correct quote is, “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”

Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 10:26 pm

Batavia PD investigating report of disturbance at State and Lewis

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Batavia PD is responding to State Street and Lewis Place for a report of a disturbance.

The initial call was for a group of people making a lot of noise. Minutes later, a follow-up call said people were fighting.

When the first patrol arrived on scene, the officer said members of the group fled. Some headed toward Bank Street, some are said to be heading north on State Street.

Multiple police units responding.

UPDATE 10:29 p.m.: An officer reports he's out with several individuals at State and Lewis.

Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Photo: New utility pole on Center Street, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Center Street

Workers with National Grid installed a new utility pole on Center Street. The road was closed for a portion of the morning during the installation. The pole will help accommodate power upgrades for the new call center for the Tompkins Insurance Company going in at that location.

Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Photos: Basketball camp at John Kennedy School

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

Here are some pictures from today's basketball camp at John Kennedy School. This portion of the camp is for boys and girls going into the 7th and 8th grade.

From the small portion of the camp I watched, high school coaches in the county can anticipate getting some skillful young athletes with a lot of heart in a couple of years.

Coaching at John Kennedy were Tom Redband and Matt Shay.

Yesterday: Photos: Summer basketball camp under way in Batavia

Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 9:01 am

Landmark Society announces annual house and garden tour

post by Howard B. Owens in Landmark Society of Genesee County

Press release:

The Landmark Society of Genesee County will hold its 4th Annual House and Garden Tour on Saturday, August 2, 2014, from 12—4:30 p.m.  Each year the Landmark Society donates proceeds from the tour to support a local preservation effort.  This year the proceeds will go to the Batavia Cemetery Association to assist with its efforts to restore the Richmond Mausoleum.  Specifically, the stained glass window in the mausoleum is in need of extensive repairs.  The Historic Batavia Cemetery on Harvester Avenue will be one of the stops on the tour, and stationed at the mausoleum, Connie Boyd will portray Mary Richmond.

The tour will showcase notable homes and gardens in the City of Batavia.  Vibrant Batavia has collaborated with the Landmark Society to organize and plan the event.  The Sun Catchers Garden Club has pitched in to help staff the cemetery tour stop and decorate the Richmond Mausoleum exterior with flower pots that its members design.  The Youth Bureau Community Garden and the Peace Garden will also be open and staffed with volunteers to provide information and answer questions.

House and Garden Tour Chairperson Marcia Gann’s home will be one of the stops on the tour.  “The Landmark Society is so pleased to have partnered with Vibrant Batavia this year.  Leanna Di Risio has worked with our committee and given us the benefit of her enthusiasm, event planning experience, and contacts in the city.   She’s gone above and beyond by opening her beautiful home for one of the tour stops, too.  We have an interesting mixture of old and new homes; public and private gardens; and both new and established gardens.   We even have a Fairy Garden on the tour this year!”

The private homes on the tour are:

  • RaeAnn Engler and Richard Beatty* (home also open for tour)
    • 123 Summit Street
    • C. 1870 National/Vernacular Style
    • When RaeAnn and Richard moved into 123 Summit in 2000, they gutted the interior down to the old studs. Over the next few years virtually everything was replaced except for the framing and oak wood floors. Remarkably, RaeAnn and Richard are only the second family to live here.  In 2005 they were named Homeowners of the Year by the City of Batavia.  In the gardens they salvaged peonies, tulips, some raspberries, and perennial springtime star flowers.  Over the years a variety of perennials and more raspberries have been added. This year the raised vegetable beds were revamped. 
  • Georgene  and Rocco Della Penna
    • 19 Richmond Avenue
    • C. 1930 Colonial Revival Style
    • “I started buying bulbs and progressed to perennial flowers.  Two of my favorites are Chinese Tree Peony and Lime Light Hydrangea.  I have been gardening for 25 years; it is my favorite past time.  The garden looks the best in June, but we enjoy it throughout the growing season. ”
  • Dave and Marcia Gann* (home open for tour)
    • 268 East Avenue
    • C. 1935 Cape Cod
    • Dave and Marcia have resided in their Cape Cod home with Arts and Crafts influences for 25 years.  The gardens encircling the house were designed and landscaped by Tim Richley and Holly Dougherty.  The gardens feature several varieties of hydrangea.
  • Paula Miller* (home open for tour)
    • 15 Pearl Street
    • C. 1927 Folk Victorian Style
    • Paula has used Small Space Gardening techniques to create an outdoor living and entertaining room.   Her newly planted garden features annuals, perennials, and vegetables arranged around a large backyard patio.
  • Debbie and Mike Barone
    • 3919 West Main Street Road
    • C. 1948  Ranch Style
    • “I love to add unique things to my gardens such as antique pieces.  We supplement the perennial selection with annuals to add further color and appeal.  The arbor covered with climbing clematis serves as the gateway from our sunroom to our peaceful backyard.”
  • Leanna and Dan Di Risio* (home open for tour)
    • 60 Edgewood Drive
    • C. 2012  Craftsman Style
    • “Our simple landscape blooms from spring to fall, and during the summer months we display flower planters to add bursts of color throughout the front and back yard.  We recently installed a back patio to give us additional entertaining space to be enjoyed by family and friends!”
  • Lou and Millie Moretto
    • 65 Edgewood Drive
    • C. 2010 Ranch Style
    • Several specimen plants make Lou’s yard unique.  In only four years, a vacant field has been transformed into a beautiful landscape with the help of Tony and Michele Moretto Slominski (LANDVISION). Lou’s young garden is designed to have something in bloom throughout the season.  Be sure to see the “Fairy Garden.”
  • Rose Mary Christian
    • 29 Williams Street
    • C. 1958 Ranch Style
    • “I have lived here for over twelve years and my flower bed garden just keeps on growing!  My favorite two flowers are from Poland and I will tell you about them when you visit on the tour.”
  • Tim and Lisa Stoddard
    • 20 Ellicott Avenue
    • C. 1880  Queen Anne Style
    • Victorian gardens featuring period plants complement this fairy tale home with a large circular front porch and ornate decorative trim.  The Stoddards are Landmark Society of Genesee County Preservation Award recipients for their historically appropriate, meticulous restoration of this Batavia gem.
  • Kathy Owen and Jim Owen
    • 2 Redfield Parkway
    • C. 1930 Colonial Revival Style
    • A long-established garden hidden from the bustle of Main Street in a park-like setting. This yard features a variety of Hosta plants, an informal perennial garden, and a small pond.
  • Judith Hale
    • 14 Jackson Avenue
    • C. 1951 Cape Cod Style
    • Showcasing a beautiful collection of Hosta plant varieties, Judith’s gardens flow from the front to the back of the property.  Each flower bed is painstakingly cared for.

Refreshments will be served at each tour stop.  

Door prize drawings will be held at the Historic Batavia Cemetery at 4:30.  Completed tour surveys will serve as the door prize entries.  You must be present to win.  Prizes were generously donated by: Delre’s Greenhouse and Garden Center; Floral Fantasies; Harvester 56 Theatre; Pudgie’s Greenhouse; The Landmark Society of Genesee County; and Vibrant Batavia.

Tickets are $20 per person and are available for presale at Harrington’s Produce (Batavia), GOART!, and Valle Jewelers.   Tickets will also be available the day of the tour at the Batavia Cemetery starting at 11:30 a.m.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 11:17 pm

Photo: Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weather

After the Tigers Under 6 soccer game this evening, members of the team posed for a picture with a rainbow behind them. Shannon Whitcombe, who took the picture, titled it, "Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow."

Submitted by Jeff Whitcombe.

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