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Howard B. Owens's blog

Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Photo Essay: The pilfering squirrel

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

squirrel01.jpg

This afternoon I set up a chair in the shade of a backyard tree, brought along my laptop and camera, thinking I'd get some work done and maybe snap a bird picture or two.

It wasn't long before this ne'er-do-well trespassed (notice, no allegedlies here -- sue me, Mr. Squirrel) onto our property and committed the crime of petit larceny, stealing bird feed.

Methinks this isn't his first such thievery, the scoundrel.

Even as he seemed quite aware at times of my presence with my camera, he brazenly continued to thumb his nose, so to speak, at my attempts to keep him from his dastardly deeds.

More after the jump:

Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Scott Doll being held at prison in Dutchess County

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, crime, pembroke, scott doll

mug_scott_doll.jpgScott F. Doll, 48, convicted by a jury of his peers of murdering his friend, 66-year-old Joseph Benaquist, has been transferred to the maximum security prison in Fishkill, Dutchess County.

The Downstate Correctional Facility, 320 miles from Corfu, is a transfer facility. Doll will likely be held there for a few weeks before being transferred to the prison where he will likely serve out his 15-years-to-life term.

Doll arrived at Downstate on July 7.

Officials told me after Doll's conviction that he would be sent to a prison a good distance from Attica and Wende, two facilities Doll worked at during his nearly 25-year career in corrections.

Prison officials would not want Doll mingling with either former co-workers or the men he guarded, so they would want to get him out of Western New York.

Doll's Department Identification Number is 10B1993.

He is eligible for parole April 17, 2024.

Doll is scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court again on July 27 for a hearing related to a charge of promoting prison contraband. His attorney says he plans to challenge the charge.

Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Pavilion Fire dealing with unknown odor at residence on Big Tree Road

post by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion

Pavilion Fire has responded to a residence on Big Tree Road to deal with an unknown odor in the home.

Le Roy Fire is on standby.

Multiple law enforcement units initially responded to the house to deal with a man reportedly with a shotgun.  One person has been taken into custody.

UPDATE 2:05 p.m.: Pavilion and Le Roy units back in service. No word on what the odor might have been.


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Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 10:21 am

Today's Deals: Oliver's, Stafford Trading Post, Clor's, Margarita's and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

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

Stafford Trading Post, 6173 Main Road, Stafford, NY: Lunch or dinner, Stafford Trading Post offers a variety of fresh, homemade meals, as well as snacks and drinks. Now in a new, expanded location. We have a $25 gift card for $12.50.

Clor's Meat Market, 4169 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: For the best, most flavorful, juiciest chicken or hamburger in town, hands down, stop by Clor's. Oh, and the steaks are great, too. And the sausage. Clor's also serves lunch and dinners from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Margarita's Mexican Restaurant, 15 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: When you're looking for an authentic Mexican meal, Margarita's is the place to go. The food and atmosphere are perfect and the service is always outstanding. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Settler's Restaurant, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts,lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Sallome's Italian Deli, 40 Oak St., Batavia, NY: Wraps, subs, paninis and pasta as well as pizzas -- Sallome's offers a tasty variety of Italian deli items for eat-in or take-out. We have $10 gift certificates for $5 each.

Matty's Pizzeria, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Matty's is another Batavia favorite for pizza and wings. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

T.F. Brown's, at 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's." We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Kravings, Valu Plaza, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Kraving's offers soups, salads and sandwiches, fresh and flavorful; Monday through Saturday. We have $10 gift certificates for $5.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, NY: People come from all over the region for a fine dining experience at Alex's. It's best known for its ribs, of course, but Alex's seafood is also a favorite of the restaurant's diners. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Larry's Steakhouse, 60 Main St., Batavia, NY: The name says it all -- Larry's is a great place for steak. Larry's has a fine dining atmosphere with a great menu and outstanding service. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Delavan's Restaurant and Tavern, 107 Evans St., Batavia, NY: To me, Delavan's is one of those restaurants where you want to eat frequently until you try everything on the menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

NOTE: If you've never bought Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and process, click here.

SOLD OUT

Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Photos: Oakta Festival Parade

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Oatka Festival, parade, photos

oaktaparade27a.jpg

Another summer weekend, another parade in Genesee County. This one in the photogenic setting of the Village of Le Roy for the Oatka Festival.

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More pictures after the jump:

Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Photos: Batavia Youth Football clinic at Kibbe Park

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, football, Kibbe Park, sports, youth

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This morning, Batavia Youth Football conducted a football clinic for area children at Kibbe Park. The boys were instructed in how to play the defensive line, how to be a running back, how to be a receiver and how to be a quarterback.

More pictures after the jump:

Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Motorcyclist hits parked car on Naramore Drive

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A motorcyclist has reportedly hit a parked car in the area of 3 Naramore Drive, Batavia.

The rider is reportedly up and walking around, but has a minor injury.

Batavia Fire and Mercy EMS are in route.


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Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 9:28 am

Today's Deals: Herbly Wonderful, Enchanted Florist, Adam Miller, Pudgie's and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

Herbly Wonderful, 3701 Pearl St., Batavia, NY: Unique specialties for your home and garden, from floral arrangements, to heirloom vegetables, herbs, teas and spices. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Give yourself the gift of flowers, or give to a friend. We have a $20 gift certificate for $9.50.

Adam Miller Toy & Bicycles, 8 Center St., Batavia, NY: Feel like a kid in a toy store again, or treat your kids to the greatest toy store they will ever see. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Pudgie's Lawn and Garden Center, 3646 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Get started on your spring gardening projects. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

South Main Country Gifts, 3356 Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Handcrafted items, gifts with a regional flair, candles, teas and spices -- South Main has a wide selection to please most any interest. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10. A great Valentine's gift!

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

The Daily Grind, 85 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: For Batavia's finest coffee, smoothies, as well as fast and convenient breakfasts and lunches, stop into The Daily Grind. We have a $10 gift card for $5.

Stafford Trading Post, 6173 Main Road, Stafford, NY: Lunch or dinner, Stafford Trading Post offers a variety of fresh, homemade meals, as well as snacks and drinks. Now in a new, expanded location. We have a $25 gift card for $12.50.

Clor's Meat Market, 4169 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: For the best, most flavorful, juiciest chicken or hamburger in town, hands down, stop by Clor's. Oh, and the steaks are great, too. And the sausage. Clor's also serves lunch and dinners from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, NY: People come from all over the region for a fine dining experience at Alex's. It's best known for its ribs, of course, but Alex's seafood is also a favorite of the restaurant's diners. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

NOTE: If you've never bought Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and process, click here.

Friday, July 16, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Fall from ladder reported in Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Le Roy

A man has fallen from a 15-foot ladder at 29 Lincoln Ave., Le Roy.

He is conscious. The only reported injury is "some bleeding."

Le Roy Ambulance is being dispatched.

Friday, July 16, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Property owner hiring pest control company to look at the gull issue at Latina's

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown, Latina's

Tom Lewin, one of the owners of the former Latina's Market location on Ellicott Street will have a pest control company on site Monday. It will evaluate the gull problem that city residents and business owners have been complaining about for months.

"Hopefully by Tuesday, I'll have their recommendation," Lewin said.

Asked about DEC involvement -- the city was required to get a permit before dealing with the gull issue atop City Centre a couple of years ago -- Lewin said he didn't know anything about that.

"I'm not a gull expert," he said. "Are you?"

Earlier today, Lewin was quoted on the WGRZ website as saying he was cooperating with the city on the issue.

"We are working diligently and cooperatively with the City of Batavia to find a solution," Lewin reportedly said.

Reached this morning, City Manager Jason Molino said he had spoken with Lewin, but also said he would like to see some action before he would call it cooperation.

"If there’s a move over on that property, then I guess you could say that’s true," Molino said.

The city issued a condemnation notice on the building, which could provide a path for the city to take steps on its own to deal with the gull infestation; however, the County Health Board has ruled the gulls are not a public health hazard.

Lewin, principal in LKLWL Properties, has also been summoned to City Court to respond to allegations of code violations at the vacant site.

Friday, July 16, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Muckdogs blow past Red Sox, 16-2

post by Howard B. Owens in baseball, Batavia Muckdogs, sports

The Batavia Muckdogs showed up at Dwyer Stadium last night with their hitting shoes on, slapping around 15 hits and scoring 16 runs to drop the Lowell Red Sox 16-2.

The victory moved the Muckdogs to 13-13 for the year.

Nick Longmire hit his fifth home run of the season and he had, along with Joey Bergman and Colin Walsh, three RBIs.

Rainel Rosario had three hits and drove in a pair of runs.

Justin Edwards went seven innings and surrendered two runs to pick up his second win and lower his ERA to 2.93.

Tonight is fireworks night as the Muckdogs play one more home game against the Boston Red Sox farm team. On Saturday, longtime NY-Penn League rivals Jamestown open a three-game series at Dwyer.

Friday, July 16, 2010 at 10:07 am

Reported pole on fire, North Street, Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in fire, Le Roy

A pole is reportedly on fire in the area of 36 North St., Le Roy.

Le Roy Fire and EMS being dispatched.

UPDATE 10:16 a.m.: It's a very small fire at the top of the pole. National Grid has been notified. Engine 63 is clearing the scene.


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Friday, July 16, 2010 at 9:21 am

Today's Deals: New today, The Daily Grind

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

New TodayThe Daily Grind, 85 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: For Batavia's finest coffee, smoothies, as well as fast and convenient breakfasts and lunches, stop into The Daily Grind. We have a $10 gift card for $5.

Settler's Restaurant, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Settler's has a 25-year history of serving great, affordable breakfasts,lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Delavan's Restaurant and Tavern, 107 Evans St., Batavia, NY: To me, Delavan's is one of those restaurants where you want to eat frequently until you try everything on the menu. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

Main St. Pizza Company, 206 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Pizza, wings, subs and even hamburgers and hot dogs, Main St. Pizza makes everything deliciously. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Stafford Trading Post, 6173 Main Road, Stafford, NY: Lunch or dinner, Stafford Trading Post offers a variety of fresh, homemade meals, as well as snacks and drinks. Now in a new, expanded location. We have a $25 gift card for $12.50.

Clor's Meat Market, 4169 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: For the best, most flavorful, juiciest chicken or hamburger in town, hands down, stop by Clor's. Oh, and the steaks are great, too. And the sausage. Clor's also serves lunch and dinners from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Sallome's Italian Deli, 40 Oak St., Batavia, NY: Wraps, subs, paninis and pasta as well as pizzas -- Sallome's offers a tasty variety of Italian deli items for eat-in or take-out. We have $10 gift certificates for $5 each.

Matty's Pizzeria, 4152 W. Main St., Batavia, NY: Matty's is another Batavia favorite for pizza and wings. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

T.F. Brown's, at 214 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: T.F. Brown's is a great place for a good meal, good friends and to catch up on what's going on in the sports world. "If it happens in sports, it happens at Brown's." We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, NY: People come from all over the region for a fine dining experience at Alex's. It's best known for its ribs, of course, but Alex's seafood is also a favorite of the restaurant's diners. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, NY: Authentic Southern BBQ, from ribs to brisket with all the fixin's. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Larry's Steakhouse, 60 Main St., Batavia, NY: The name says it all -- Larry's is a great place for steak. Larry's has a fine dining atmosphere with a great menu and outstanding service. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

NOTE: If you've never bought Deal of the Day before, or are otherwise unfamiliar with the rules and process, click here.

SOLD OUT

Friday, July 16, 2010 at 12:56 am

Photos: Experimenting with night photography at Main and Ellicott

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Ellicott Street, main street, photos, Upton Monument

ellicott_upton_motorcycle.jpg

Arriving back in Batavia from Geneseo at dusk, I remembered that one of the pictures I've been thinking about trying to get, is the front of Batavia Police Station at night because of the funky green lights on the front of the building. That led to a general playing around with night photography at the intersection of Main and Ellicott streets. These are the four photos from that session.

policestation.jpg

oldfirehouse.jpg

ellicott_main_signs.jpg

Friday, July 16, 2010 at 12:41 am

Batavia All Stars drop district championship in Geneseo

post by Howard B. Owens in baseball, batavia, little league, sports

bataviall01a.jpg

Batavia's Little League All Stars put up a heck of a fight in a seesaw battle that hung in the balance until the final out, but the District Championship victory still went to Geneseo, 9-8.

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More pictures after the jump:

Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Motions denied in Pontillo's lawsuit

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Pontillo's

A series of motions filed by the estate of Elizabeth Pontillo seeking money and property from Sam and Paul Pontillo was dismissed by County Court Judge Robert C. Noonan on June 30.

pontillos_corner.jpg"Nonetheless, the instant motion will be denied in its entirety for want of a clear and convincing demonstration of either a likelihood of ultimate success on the merits, the prospect of irreparable injury or a balancing of the equities in a plaintiff's favor," Noonan wrote in his decision. "Accordingly, the Plaintiff's Motion is hereby denied, and the temporary restraining order previously granted is hereby vacated."

It's unclear how this ruling impacts the lawsuit filed against the Sam and Paul by the estate.

Brian Degnan, attorney for the estate, could not be reached this afternoon, and Sam Pontillo's attorney, Reid Whiting, refused to come to the phone.

Degnan filed motions in June requesting Sam Pontillo not be allowed to remove equipment or enter the property of the Pontillo's in Le Roy, that he return all business equipment taken, and that he pay back rents, taxes and profits associated with the Le Roy location.

The estate, being administered by John Forsyth, also sought back rent from Paul Pontillo for the time he was living at 64 Vernon Ave., Batavia, the former residence of his parents, and an accounting of various items believed to be in the house at one time.

In his answer to the motion, Whiting accused Forsyth of a conflict of interest and a lack of good faith in dealing with Sam Pontillo.

In an answering affidavit, Sam Pontillo says that as accountant for the various Pontillo's businesses in Genesee County, he had access to financial information and other company secrets, "many of which he is now using in a selective manner to the detriment of defendants. As such, he has an obvious conflict of interest as a litigant."

Sam also notes, to his "amazement," John Pontillo was not sued by the estate, despite being involved in the business operations at one time.

He accuses John and Paul of mismanaging the "'goose that laid the golden egg' to the point of insolvency and desperate need for a subprime mortgage."

"He (John) was personally and highly involved in the demise of the Batavia store and its foreclosure," Sam writes.  

He accused John of removing a seven-ton HVAC unit from the Batavia location.

"John was an officer and manager of the Batavia store for a substantial time during which it failed to pay sales tax, payroll taxes and real property taxes and numerous suppliers," according to Sam.

One of the chief financial decisions that led to loss of the Batavia store, based The Batavian's previous reporting of this story, was taking out a mortgage on the property in November 2008. Sam Pontillo states that he "adamantly opposed" his mother's execution of the mortgage, "particularly at the exorbitant rate of 16 percent."

"Paul and John, not just Paul, have a lot to explain about the demise of that business," Sam writes.

As for the property Forsyth claimed belonged to the estate, Sam Pontillo provide copies of checks showing that he spent about $20,000 on the equipment, out of his own business entity, Le Roy Dough Boys, Inc.

Sam Pontillo also accuses John Forsyth of not answering his offers to buy the Le Roy Store or a proposed lease on the property.

As part of the lawsuit, the estate has sought some $50,000 in back rent from San Pontillo for the Le Roy location. The back rent is calculated at $2,500 per month. An affidavit from Daniel K. O'Shea, who says he's a lifelong resident of Le Roy, and an owner of downtown village property, says there is no property in the village worth more than $1,000 per month and the total estimated value of the Le Roy location is $100,000.

Sam states that even though he was never associated with Sam's Tomato Pies, either as employee, shareholder or director, the IRS has placed a lien on the home owned solely by his wife in Albany in an attempt to collect back taxes from the corporation.

"Plaintiffs and my brothers are lashing out at me without any factual or legal justification," Sam writes. "I suspect they are solely motivated by the base emotion of envy as a result of the position I secured with the new owners of the Batavia store

"As manager of the Batavia pizzeria, opened on April 6, 2010, I am not in competition with the Pontillo Family Partnership or the estate. I am merely earning a just living to support my wife and three sons, despite the shabby obstacles plaintiffs and my brothers have tried to place in my path."

Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 10:09 am

Police Beat: Driver accused of driving under influence of drugs and alcohol

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Alabama, crime, Pavilion

Joseph S. Martaus, 26, of 14 Overlook Drive, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving under the influence of drugs, controlled substance not in original container, possession of a hypodermic instrument, disobeying pavement markings. At 6:48 p.m., Wednesday,  Batavia Police responded to a report of an individual who appeared either drunk or ill getting behind the wheel of a car. The caller provided the license plate number of the car and a vehicle description. The vehicle was located and stopped on Ellicott Street. Martaus was allegedly unable to pass a field sobriety test. An officer who is an expert in recognizing the influence of drugs responded to the scene and determined Martaus was allegedly also driving under the influence of drugs. He was jailed on $500 bail. Officers Mark Lawrence, Eric Hill and Jason Davis were involved in the arrest.

Daniel D. Reese, 55, of 97 Abbott St., Rochester, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater, and following too close. Reese was reportedly involved in a rear-end accident in the area of 210 E. Main St., Batavia, at 4:51 p.m., Wednesday. Officer Chris Camp conducted a field sobriety test and found Reese was allegedly driving drunk. Reese was booked and released on an appearance ticket.

Christopher Lawrence Bauld, 21, of Kinmont Drive, Rochester, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, no front license plate. Bauld was stopped at 8:22 p.m., Wednesday, on Route 77 in Alabama by Deputy James Diehl for allegedly having no front license plate.

Kelsey Anne Sanders, 23, of E. Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Sanders is accused of shoplifting from Kmart.

Louis Alfredo Mercado, 22, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Mercado is accused of shoplifting from Kmart.

Jacob John McCowen, 26, of Oak Street, Warsaw, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd. McCowen is accused of visiting the residence of, and calling a person in Pavilion whom he'd been ordered not to contact.

Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 8:57 am

Buffalo station covers ducks on Oak Street

post by Howard B. Owens in Oak Street

WIVB sent a reporter to 172 Oak Street yesterday to talk with Ron Graziaplena and his neighbors about his ducks and all the stuff in his front yard.

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