Quantcast
Skip to main content

Howard B. Owens's blog

Saturday, September 18, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Batavia's personal bookstore celebrates fifth anniversay

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Present Tense Books

erica_presenttense.jpg

For the literary-minded of Genesee County, Present Tense Books and Gifts at 101 Washington Ave., Batavia, has become an important community hub.

Owner Erica Caldwell opened the shop five years ago, on Sept. 17, 2005, because she thought Batavia needed a bookstore.

Today, the store officially celebrated its fifth anniversary and Caldwell said its success has exceeded her expectations.

"I’m thrilled that we made it five years," Caldwell said. "That’s a great milestone and I’m thrilled that we’ve gotten so much support from the community."

In an era of mega-chains, and now e-readers, there's plenty of competitive threats, but Caldwell said Present Tense has done well filling a quite little niche for the customer who prefers the bookstore experience and doesn't want to drive to Buffalo or Rochester to get it.

"You have no idea of the number of people who came in and thank us for saving them a trip," Caldwell said.

While it's a small shop, so there isn't the massive selection you might find in one of the mega-chains, there isn't anything Caldwell said she can't get for customers, often the next day and without any shipping costs.

For Caldwell, running the store isn't just about business success. She said one of the greatest joys is getting to know her customers.

"I enjoy talking with people about books," Caldwell said. "It's great to see all the people who love to read. People come in and I know what they’re reading and they know what I’m reading."

Saturday, September 18, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Youngsters at Genesee County Airport given chance for flight of a lifetime

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Genesee County Airport

flightrangers.jpg

Michael Dorobilala, a student at Robert Morris, thought his time in a plane flying over Genesee County today was "awesome."

The best part?

"Going down because it gives you a swoosh of excitement and you’re like tingly."

Michael was one of 60 kids to show up at the Genesee County Airport today to get a first-hand experience flying a small airplane. The Young Eagles event was sponsored by Experimental Aircraft Association chapters out of Buffalo and Rochester.

The EAA has been running the Young Eagles worldwide since 1992, when the idea was launched with the goal of getting one million children at the throttles of a small plane by the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight. To date, more than 1.6 million kids from 90 countries have been through the program.

Rochester Chapter President Norm Isler said the EAA wants to not only expose kids to aviation, but to show them a practical use for math and science.

Pilot Mary "Willie" Mattocks said, to her, being able to fly is a privilege, so a program like Young Eagles is a chance to give back.

The flight is more than a tag-along ride. The children actually are given a chance to fly the plane.

"It's a fantastic event for children," said Mattocks, who owns her own Piper Cherokee and has been flying for 20 years. "It gives them an introduction to flying and I think it stays with them for the rest of their lives. They get just such a lot of pleasure out of it."

As for Mattock's assessment of Michael, she wrote in his log book, "Michael will be an awesome pilot. Keep going with the math and science. Straight and level at 2,500 feet. Executed turn at Darien Lake."

Saturday, September 18, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Photo: Fire Department deals with leaking propane

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

propaneleak.jpg

Batavia Police were investigating a fender bender in the parking lot of Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union when a woman pulled up and said there was a propane tank in her car that was leaking. Batavia Fire was dispatched to the scene to deal with the situation.

Saturday, September 18, 2010 at 7:52 am

Today's Deals: Present Tense, Adam Miller, Terry Hills, Mane Attraction and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

Present Tense Books and Gifts, 101 Washington Ave., Batavia, NY: Whether your taste runs to local authors, the finest in fiction or nonfiction or you're looking for a unique and special gift, this charming store in a cozy Victorian house on the edge of downtown is a great place to stop and shop. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50. (NOTE: Be sure to stop by Present Tense today for the store's 5th Anniversary celebration, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

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.

Blue Pearl Yoga, 200 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Exercise your soul as well as your body in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. We have a gift certificate for seven weeks of yoga, a $70 value, for $35. Next session starts Sept. 27.

Terry Hills, 5122 Clinton Street Road, Batavia, NY: Terry Hills features a championship 27-hole public golf course that has been consistently ranked as one of the best in the area and an all new clubhouse, boasting both a restaurant and banquet facility that offer panoramic views of the golf course. We have a pair of gift cards for 18 holes of golf with a value of $46 available for $23.

The Mane Attraction, 99 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: The Mane Attraction is a spa and salon offering pedicures, manicures, hair styling and massage. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Red Osier, Route 5, Stafford, NY: Truly, one of the landmark restaurants of the area. Red Osier features prime rib carved table side. We have $25 gift certificates for $12.50.

South Beach, 59 Main St., Batavia, NY: Only recently reopened, a fine/casual dining atmosphere, offering steaks and seafood and daily specials. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50 (must be used by Nov. 30, 2010).

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, September 17, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Photo: 'The Barn'

post by Howard B. Owens in BARNS, pembroke, photos

thebarn_route77.jpg

If I'm going to take pictures of barns, I need to take a picture of "The Barn" on Route 77 in Pembroke, right?

When I drove by today, the sky and the yellow wildflowers seemed like a good setting.

Friday, September 17, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Today's Deals: Center Street, Red Osier, South Beach, Main St., and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

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.

Red Osier, Route 5, Stafford, NY: Truly, one of the landmark restaurants of the area. Red Osier features prime rib carved table side. We have $25 gift certificates for $12.50.

South Beach, 59 Main St., Batavia, NY: Only recently reopened, a fine/casual dining atmosphere, offering steaks and seafood and daily specials. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50 (must be used by Nov. 30, 2010).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Friday, September 17, 2010 at 11:40 am

Search teams return to Darien to look for missing Sumner Road resident

post by Howard B. Owens in Darien

dibble_mullen_search.jpg

The search for Jeffrey G. Fredericks resumed at nine o'clock this morning after going until 1:30 a.m.

The search for the 66-year-old man centers around his home at 1177 Sumner Road, Darien. This morning, the command post was relocated to that location.

The search continues to involve local law enforcement and volunteer firefighters.

Last night's search and rescue team was comprised of members from Cattaraugus, Niagara and Livingston counties.

So far, the search has covered about 200 acres.

Chief Gordon Dibble (pictured above, left, with Sgt. Steve Mullen) said search teams identified another "hot spot" and were about halfway through searching that area.

Friday, September 17, 2010 at 9:03 am

Police Beat: Driver involved in head-on accident on Route 98 charged with DWAI

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

David P. Neibert, 23, of Albion, is charged with DWAI-Drugs, two counts of criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument, criminal possesion of a controlled substance and several vehicle infractions. Neibert was charged following a head-on collision on Route 98 near West Saile Drive on Wednesday. Neibert's pickup truck hit a Thruway maintenance truck driven by Nick Ciccarelli, 42, of Lancaster. Ciccarelli was uninjured in the accident. A passenger in the Thruway truck, Kevin Thompson, 40, of West Seneca, transported himself to Mercy Hospital for a possible neck injury.

Thomas John Bressinger, 42, of Countyline Road, Darien, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, and harassment, 2nd. After coming home from work on Thursday, Bressinger is accused of breaking a computer monitor, punching holes in the wall next to his wife's head, kicking her and threatening to kill her.

Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Unknown type fire reported off Sumner Road, Darien

post by Howard B. Owens in Darien, fire

An unknown type fire has been reported off Sumner Road, between Fargo and Countyline roads.

The caller reports seeing flames and a glow in the sky.

Darien Fire is being dispatched.

UPDATE 9:59 p.m.: It's sounding like a controlled burn. Law enforcement requested to the scene. A chief said, "I explained to him the other day he can't just burn anything."

Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 5:57 pm

ID of missing Darien man released

post by Howard B. Owens in Darien

jeffery_frederick.jpgThe Sheriff's Office has released the identity of a man missing for more than a day from his home in Darien.

He is Jeffrey G. Fredericks, 66, of 1177 Sumner Road. He is 5'11" and 180 lbs. with blue eyes and "salt and pepper" hair.

Anybody with information that might help locate Fredericks is asked to call the Sheriff's Office 585-343-3000.

UPDATE 8:23 p.m.: Photo added. The command center has been moved to the Darien fire hall. Erie County's search and rescue team is on scene. Pending Fredericks being found, the search will continue until midnight. By midnight, teams will have meticulously searched about 200 acres of woods, marsh, streams and fields.

Previously:

Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Victims of possible paving scams asked to come forward

post by Howard B. Owens in crime

It can be hard to admit you might have been scammed, but if you think you've been caught up in a paving scam, Investigator Leo Hunter of the New York State Police needs to hear from you.

JStanley.jpgA family of Gypsies by the last name of Stanley, who have a record of arrests and lawsuits in other jurisdictions, may be operating in the area.

As The Batavian reported yesterday, one Corfu couple complained to the State Police this week about an apparent scam. A man identified as J. Stanley told a couple that he had extra asphalt left over from another job, and that he could pave their driveway for $3,000. But the couple wound up paying $7,500 once the job was completed.

From California to New Hampshire, the Stanleys are accused of tricking residents into paying high prices for shoddy paving jobs.

But proving an actual crime was committed locally could be difficult unless other alleged victims can be found.

The group of workers is described as driving shiny and spotlessly clean bright red trucks.

Hunter said the Stanley's normal mode of operating is to pull up to a house in like-new trucks and talk a good game about an inexpensive paving job. Then when the job is about half way through, start arguing among themselves -- to create an environment of confusion -- with the boss saying it's more work than expected and more asphalt is needed. They threaten to leave, with an incomplete paving job, unless the homeowner agrees to pay more.

According to Hunter, the Office of Homeland Security provided information on the Stanleys. They are believed to operate under a number of business names, including Century Paving and Driveways, Road One Paving, Patriot Paving, Verizon Paving and Premier Paving.

There are pending lawsuits involving the Stanleys in Vermont and Washington, Hunter said.

"They're bilking people out of money to the tune of millions," Hunter said.

One problem that makes them difficult to prosecute, Hunter said, is that just enough of the job is done to make the issue more of a civil matter than a criminal matter.

To contact Investigator Hunter call 344-6200, ext. 6212. If Hunter isn't available, ask for a supervisor.

Previously: Traveling pavement crews may be running asphalt scam in region

Google: "Stanley Paving Scams."

Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Photo: Roadwork in the rain on Ellicott Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Ellicott Street, photos

 ellicott_pave.jpg

Even in this morning's downpour, contractors were out on Ellicott Street milling the intersections in preparation for resurfacing.

Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Search for missing man in Darien is continuing

post by Howard B. Owens in Darien

dariensearch02a.jpg

Search teams remain on scene in the Sumner Road of Darien at this hour looking for a man missing since yesterday afternoon, and according to Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Yaeger, the search may continue into the night and into tomorrow, if necessary.

Yaeger said searchers will take a break shortly and then the search may be taken up by fresh teams from Erie County.

The missing man is described as 66 years old, but since nobody saw him leave his house, there's no description of clothing available.

His family reported him missing at about 9 p.m. yesterday after spending close to seven hours themselves looking for him.

There is some concern that he may have been suicidal, but that isn't clear, according to Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble.

"We just don't know," Dibble said.

Family members became concerned when they came home at 2 p.m. and all of his vehicles were still at the house. He was scheduled to report to work at 1 p.m., but there was a message on the answering machine indicating he never showed up. 

Family members searched the immediate surrounding area but couldn't locate him.

The multi-agency search began last night and included a State Police helicopter using infrared technology. 

What was described as  a "hot spot" by Dibble was found not far from the house, but nothing was found when search teams scoured the area just before midnight.

The search was halted for the rest of the night and resumed about 8:30 a.m. today. Personnel from the Sheriff's Office, State Police, the Darien Lake Park Police, the Erie County Sheriff's Office, the Darien Fire Department and Monroe County K-9 units have participated in the search.

Genesee County Emergency Management Services have provided scene support and a command post on Sumner Road just west of Route 77.

dariensearch01.jpg

Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 11:03 am

Multi-agency search under way in Darien for missing man

post by Howard B. Owens in Darien

sumnersearch.jpg

UPDATED 12:28 p.m.

Several law enforcement agencies have converged in the Sumner Road area of Darien in search for a man who didn't show up for work yesterday and hasn't been seen since yesterday afternoon.

The search began last night about 9 p.m., was suspended for a while overnight, and began again this morning.

There is some concern the man may be suicidal, but Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble said, "We just don't know." He could be out in the woods, he could have been picked up by a friend.

The State Police helicopter was used last night and this morning before weather grounded it. The search is also being conducted on the ground with ATVs, on foot, with K-9 and a cell phone tracking truck has been deployed.

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office as well as State Police, the park police, Erie County law enforcement and the Genesee County Office of Emergency Management are on scene.

The man is not believed to be a danger to the public.

MORE TK

sumnersearch02.jpg

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Funeral services set for woman who died following Oak Street accident

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

Funeral services have been set for Jacquelyn Dawson, the 65-year-old retiree of the Genesee County Court, who died Tuesday following a two-car accident at 9:15 a.m. on Oak Street, Batavia.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at noon Saturday at Resurrection Parish (St. Mary’s site), 18 Ellicott St. Calling hours at Gilmartin, 329-333 West Main St., are from 4 to 8 p.m., Friday.

Full obituary.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Reader Photos: Yesterday's sunset

post by Howard B. Owens in photos

Today we received two photos from readers of yesterday's sunset. The top photo was submitted by Frank Capuano; the second, by Kevin Rathod.

sunset01.jpg

sunset02.jpg

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Driver transported by Mercy Flight after his pickup hits Thruway truck on Route 98

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

route98thrutruck01.jpg

The driver of a white pickup truck needed to be extricated from his vehicle after he apparently swerved into oncoming traffic on Route 98 and nearly hit a Thruway maintenance truck head on.

The driver, whose identity is not available, was transported to an area hospital by Mercy Flight.

There were no injuries reported in the Thruway truck.

Witnesses and State Police say the pickup truck driver was southbound when he crossed into the northbound lane. His small truck caught the left front fender of the Thruway truck and nearly sheared off the front wheel.

The pickup truck came to rest about 100 yards down the road, rolling down (but apparently not rolling over) an embankment.

Route 98 was closed in both directions between Park Road and West Saile Drive.

route98thrutruck02.jpg

route98thrutruck03.jpg

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 11:41 am

Traveling pavement crews may be running asphalt scam in region

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, crime, scams

asphaltscam.jpg

A Corfu couple is feeling burned and they want to warn other area residents not to fall for the same scam a traveling pavement company pulled on them.

The couple -- who asked not to be identified -- paid $7,500 to have an asphalt driveway installed, which was more than the original $3-per-square-foot quote the contractor gave when he arrived at their door saying he had some asphalt left over from a previous job.

While the two-day-old driveway looks beautiful and black right now, the couple has since learned it won't even last a year.

The husband first became suspicious when, after the job was done, the contractor insisted on getting a check immediately because he said he needed to pay for the asphalt. The man thought, "why does he need to pay for asphalt if it was extra?"

About that time, the wife called her parents and her father said he had read about asphalt driveway scams on the Internet.

That's when they decided to call police and contact local media. The couple claim the out-of-state contractor -- whom we're not identifying because the case remains under investigation -- is listed on a website that warns of just such scams. They say crew boss is wanted for the same alleged scam in other states. (We didn't find the same site, but search "driveway paving scams" in Google and you'll find thousands of articles on the topic.)

After the asphalt was down and the check was cashed, the homeowners had another local contractor look at the work. He said, according to the couple, that the workers who put down the asphalt didn't prepare the bed properly and the asphalt needs to be about three times thicker than it is.

We called Tim Hens, county highway superintendent, for his expert opinion and Hens said a well-installed asphalt driveway would have a sealing coat over a crushed rock bed and about three inches of asphalt laid.

The Corfu couple's driveway is an inch or less thick.

"It's not uncommon for contractors to have extra asphalt after a job," Hens said. "But I've never heard of them going around door-to-door trying to peddle it for another job. It's just not how it's done."

State Police Investigator Leo Hunter is looking into the Corfu case, but his investigation began only yesterday. He said it's not clear yet that a crime has been committed. If it's just a matter of alleged shoddy work, it could be a civil matter. However, if there are other local victims of the same firm, that could indicate deliberate fraud taking place.

The Los Angeles Times offers these seven signs that you're being scammed:

• Unsolicited offers to do painting, roofing or paving work
• Claims of leftover materials
• High-pressure or scare tactics
• Reluctance to sign a written contract
• Demand for payment in cash
• New vehicles and out-of-state license plates
• Toll-free telephone contact numbers instead of a local number

Or as Hens put it, "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is."

"You get what you pay for," he added.

As for the Corfu couple, they're feeling both angry and embarrassed.

"It's almost as if you're naive if you believe people these days," said the husband.

Premium Drupal Themes