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Howard B. Owens's blog

Friday, April 30, 2010 at 7:34 am

Today's Deals: Margarita's, Alex's, Carlson's, Delavan's and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

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.

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.

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.

Carlson's Studio, 39 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Weddings, new babies, family portraits, pet portraits and group events -- preserve those memories with professional photographs. We have a $100 gift card for $50 (+$2 PayPal Service fee).

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.

The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Mother's Day is just around the corner! We have a $20 gift certificate for $9.50.

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.

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.

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

Carlson's Studio

Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 5:38 pm

City announces new temporary fire chief

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire department

Captain Craig Williams will serve as City of Batavia fire chief for the next four to six weeks, City Manager Jason Molino announced late this afternoon.

captain_craig_williams.jpgWilliams replaces Chief Ralph Hyde, who has been acting chief since last fall, when the previous chief had to step down because of a conflict over his retirement benefits and ability to draw a city salary.

Hyde was on his second tour of duty as the city's chief, and decided it was time to go back into retirement.

Molino said the search for a new, permanent chief is progressing, but didn't want to discuss details of the search, including the number of candidates who have applied for the job.

At the city's fire hall this afternoon, firefighters were in a good mood and Williams said he stepped into the role because it seemed like the right thing to do.

"With Chief Hyde leaving tomorrow and the city needing an interim chief for the next month, month-and-a-half, I decided to step in and help the city out," Williams said.

Williams said he will handle the chief's typical day-to-day duties until a new chief is appointed.

Meanwhile, the city's other vacant position of note, the plumbing inspector, has been filled with an interim appointment. Replacing the retiring Barb Toal is her cousin, Ron Toal of Elba.

Plumbing inspectors in New York's cities must pass a local plumbing board test and cannot work as a plumber in the city once appointed.

The city has three candidates for a permanent position, Molino said. They have taken the test and Molino said he believes the tests will be graded next month.

The plumbing board has three tests to grade, Molino said.  He expects they will be graded next month.

Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Stafford resident dies after being struck by car near his home

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

emt_cpr.jpg

(UPDATE: 9:30 p.m.: Pedestrian Vaughn Hahn, 87, died at UMMC late this afternoon, according to State Police. The driver is identified as David Johnston, 55, of 96 W. Main St. , Le Roy. No charges have been filed, but there is a criminal investigation in progress. The State Police ask any witnesses to come forward and call 344-6200.)

A Stafford man who was struck by a car while standing on the shoulder of Main Street Road has a chance to live after emergency medical personnel began CPR as soon as they arrived at the accident scene.

When Mercy EMS first arrived, the man was reportedly not breathing and did not have a pulse. Mercy Flight was canceled, but moments later requested to return to the scene.

accident_hat.jpgThe victim's name has not been released, but State Police say he is in serious condition at UMMC.

"We're in the process of reconstructing the accident, but it appears at this time that the operator of the vehicle drifted onto the shoulder and struck the pedestrian who was standing on the shoulder for an unknown reason," said Sgt. Sam Taglienti.

The driver has not been identified. He was taken two hours after the accident to Stafford Town Court for further questioning, where a Trooper said no arraignment was planned at that time.

Neighbors said the victim lives alone and doesn't drive. He often waits on the shoulder of Route 5 for the bus. He is also described as a beekeeper.

Taglienti said it appeared the pedestrian was hit by the side of the car.

"It was more of a glancing rather than head-on type of collision with the pedestrian," Taglienti said.

The victim was likely transported by ground ambulance to UMMC rather than Mercy Flight because patients cannot be taken by air during active CPR procedures.

Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 11:17 am

Downtown Spring Carnival opens today

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, downtown

carnival_today.jpg

Yelps of joy and the whiff of popcorn and cotton candy will radiate from Jackson Street starting at 6 p.m. today as the annual Downtown Batavia Spring Carnival opens.

The carnival runs today and tomorrow from 6 to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 10 p.m.  and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.

Bring the whole family, have some fun and visit some of the great downtown shops and restaurants.

Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 9:57 am

Police looking for tips in Le Roy burglaries

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy

Le Roy Police are looking for leads in two residential burglaries on East Main Street in the village over the weekend.

In the first, case a burglar broke into a house while the residents were sleeping. He apparently fled the scene when the residents awoke, but did manage to grab a purse before leaving.

In the second break-in, on Sunday night, the owners were not home. The burglar stole paintings, sports cards and jerseys.

The Le Roy Police are investigating a possible link between these burglaries and a burglary in the town of Williamson in Wayne County and are coordinating with the New York State Police in Wayne County. Evidence and manner of the crimes have led law enforcement to link the burglaries.

Two vehicles were seen in the area that may have been involved. They are a black pickup truck with a cap and a gray minivan seen sitting in the area earlier in the week with two occupants.

Witnesses who have information to share should contact the Le Roy Police Department.

Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 8:30 am

Today's Deals: Enchanted Florist, Adam Miller, Carlson's, Adam Miller and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

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 five weeks of yoga, a $50 value, for $25.

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.

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.

Carlson's Studio, 39 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Weddings, new babies, family portraits, pet portraits and group events -- preserve those memories with professional photographs. We have a $100 gift card for $50 (+$2 PayPal Service fee).

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 Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, NY: Mother's Day is just around the corner! We have a $20 gift certificate for $9.50.

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.

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

Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 12:57 am

Photos: Talent Show at BHS

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

bhstalent11a.jpg

Students, faculty and staff of Batavia High gathered in the auditorium Wednesday night to show what they could do entertainment-wise to an appreciative and enthusiastic audience.

Here are a few photos of some of the performers.

bhstalent08.jpg

bhstalent09a.jpg

More photos after the jump:

Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 12:37 am

Town of Batavia residents urged to get on public water

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, e-coli, health, water

watermeeting.jpg

The exact words may not have been spoken, but the message was clear for Town of Batavia residents Wednesday evening: Get on public water.

No matter how much you like your well water, there's no way to guarantee it will remain safe.

"We want to be sure people understand that those are three tests and those are three bad contaminates (e-coli, coliform and nitrates), but there is a concern you should have on other items possibly getting in (your water)," said town engineer Steve Mountain.

The tests for e-coli, coliform and nitrates are quick and easy, but Mountain's message was, if those containments can reach well water, so can other contaminates.

Once a well is shown to be susceptible to contamination from surface water -- which the tests for those three substances prove -- then the well should really be considered unsafe.

Tests of wells around the town found that containments from manure as well as human waste is getting into the ground water, and when members of the 100-person audience at Wednesday's meeting wanted information on how to trace the source to agriculture, Town Supervisor Greg Post suggested, gently, they were looking in the wrong direction.

“If there’s a blend of both (human and agricutlure), it really doesn’t matter," Post said. "The water’s not safe.”

Of the 38 wells tested in the Bank Street Road, State Street Road, Batavia-Elba Townline Road area, 14 tested positive for bacteria and 11 of 13 tested positive for unsafe levels of nitrates.

In the rest of the town, 11 of 52 tested positive for bacteria and 28 of 47 for nitrates.

The results show that Town of Batavia wells are susceptible to contamination from surface water.

Illustrating the point from the audience Wednesday night was Harlo Towner, a Batavia-Elba Townline Road resident who said his well water is completely unusable. He showers at the YMCA or his daughter's house in West Batavia, and when he comes in from gardening, he goes through a regime of anti-bacterial hand washing.

It's been that way for years.

He blames, in part, pesticide planes from the airport.

He said growing up his daughters had stomach problems and rashes that went away when they left for college.

For the past five years, he's been battling cancer. He doesn't think it's a coincidence.

"It's a really bad situation," he said. "We really need water bad. I think everybody on the road signed up for it."

Part of tonight's presentation included Mountain explaining how residents can get on public water, which consists of creating water districts.

There are grants available to help pay for the creation of water districts, but residents can expect to pay in the neighborhood of $700 per year for public water once a district is created, Mountain said.

Photo: Towner is in the center of the picture.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 11:35 pm

GCASA director reports significant drop in alcohol and marijuana use among students

post by Howard B. Owens in GCASA

Marijuana and alcohol use among Genesee County's 11th graders has dropped significantly since 2000, GCASA Director David Markham reports on his blog, GCASA cares.

In 2000, 25.7 percent of the 11th graders surveyed reported using marijuana in the previous 30 days. By 2008, that number dropped to 15.9 percent. (post)

In 2000, 51.9 percent reported drinking in the previous 30 days. In 2008, the number dropped to 38.2 percent. (post)

He said the data comes from a survey administered by GCASA every two years to the county's 6th through 12th graders.

Apparently, the 2010 data is not yet available since Markham does not share those numbers.

Markham concludes his post with a question: How do you account for the change?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Landmark Society announces annual preservation awards

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

Five Genesee County homeowners and their architecturally significant homes will be honored Saturday by the Landmark Society with a dinner at St. James Episcopal Church in Batavia.

The awards range from praise for restoration work to just doing a good job of maintaining a beautiful, older house.

“Looking around Genesee County for buildings to recognize, we were pleased to find an abundance of candidates for recognition. Our committee had a tough time narrowing down the initial list of nominees," said Lucine Kauffman, awards committee chairwoman, in a statement. "Ultimately, we chose a group of homes that is varied in styles of architecture, geographic location, age, and building materials."

Kauffman said with most of the committee members owning older homes, they had a real appreciation for what the home owners did to turn their homes into gems.

"We know that you really have to be devoted and patient to endure the endless maintenance that an old home requires," Kauffman said. "This group of honorees serves as wonderful inspiration to their neighbors and our community.”  

Laurie Oltremari, president of the Landmark Society of Genesee County, said preservation isn't just about maintaining a nice looking house. It's also the green thing to do.

“Many of our award winners have used salvaged, old house parts in combination with new materials that are made from renewable natural sources such as bricks, wood and stone,"  Oltremari said. "Preservation techniques such as these fit into the growing ‘Green’ building movement.”   

By publicly thanking local historic building owners for their preservation accomplishments, the Landmark Society hopes to raise public awareness of the architectural gems we have right here in our backyard, Kauffman said.

The Landmark Society of Genesee County is a nonprofit, volunteer-operated organization. Since 1965, the Landmark Society has encouraged local communities and individuals to work together to preserve our architectural heritage. Preservation, protection and improvement of the landmarks located throughout Genesee County are the objectives of this organization.

On Saturday, there is a reception dinner at 6 p.m., immediately followed by dinner at 7 p.m. the presentation of awards.

After the jump are pictures and descriptions of the winners provided by the Landmark Society.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Counties across the state struggling with nursing home issues, NYSAC says

post by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, nursing home, NYSAC

Genesee County isn't the only county in New York struggling with what to do with its nursing home in an era of skyrocketing costs and dwindling resources.

All 36 counties in the state with nursing homes are facing the same issues, according to a press release from the New York State Association of Counties.

“We need to address following questions. Should counties be in the long-term care business? If the answer to that question is yes, then we need to develop funding formulas or financing mechanisms that do not require annual property tax increases to keep them open,” said NYSAC President Tom Santulli.

The NYSAC statement says:

Counties are in a crisis and are confronted with unique challenges with the health and fiscal stability of public nursing homes. Those challenges include complying with the unfunded mandates such as Wicks Law and contributing to growing public employee pension rates and healthcare costs.

To help counties address the issues, NYSAC is hosting a nursing home summit May 25 in Ulster County. The summit will address:

  • Long term care reimbursement and the NYS budget crisis,
  • The current fiscal health of county nursing homes in New York State,
  • Challenges of operating a county-owned nursing facility,
  • Analysis of the state’s population demographics, relative to housing needs, and
  • Alternatives to institutional long-term care including home/community-based alternatives.

The press release concludes:

“County-owned nursing homes are in state of transition. The state’s indecisiveness about the role of counties in long-term care, and their temporary fixes are not solving the problems we are facing. They are Band-Aids but they are not addressing the structural deficiencies,” said Stephen J. Acquario, executive director of NYSAC.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Holley man accused of using force to steal guns from Byron resident

post by Howard B. Owens in byron, crime, holley

mug_darrell_reid.jpgA 45-year-old Holley man is accused of assaulting and robbing a Byron resident of three long guns while in his home at 3:30 a.m., Saturday.

Taken into custody yesterday was Darrell Bruce Reid, of 4 N. Main St., Holley.

Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster said the victim had met Reid a short time before Saturday and the two men were talking in the victim's apartment when Reid allegedly assaulted the victim.

The victim suffered a broken nose and cut above his eye that required stitches.

While the victim had met Reid, he didn't know his full name, which led to the Sheriff's Office taking a couple of days to track down the suspect, Brewster said.

Reid, who was jailed without bail, is charged with robbery, 2nd, assault, 2nd, and three counts of grand larceny.

He is scheduled to return to Byron Town Court at 5 p.m., May 17.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Splendor in the Grass: Annual bloom of forget-me-nots brightens Batavia garden

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, flowers, gardens

forgetmenots01.jpg

Drive west on Route 5 and just after you pass Wortendyke Road, glance right -- a carpet of blue will capture your eye.

Dennis Wood, a watercolor artist and retired GCC instructor, lets his large piece of property bloom every year in forget-me-nots, the delicate little flower that grows in fields no taller than six inches.

The Wood residence has become well known for its yards full of little blue flowers.

Dennis said the previous owner, Jerry Wallace, who used the property as a base for his landscaping business, let the forget-me-nots start to cover the ground, and then Dennis's late wife Jane continued the spring tradition.

"I wait until they go to seed and then I mow, which spreads them even more," said Wood, who has lived on the property for 19 years.

He still teaches drawing classes at the INS station, which makes this his 45th year of teaching.

Photographers from all over the area head to the Wood place each spring, he said -- most ask permission to come on the property and take pictures, which he prefers, but he said he welcomes anybody who wants to enjoy the splendor in the grass.

A pair of Pembroke musicians, he said, had their picture taken last year in his yard for the cover of their CD.

The landscape has also proven popular with the Batavia Art Society, of which he's a member. He said he's been meaning to invite the local photography club to his garden, as well.

He told me I was actually a little early -- the full glory of the bloom, he said, probably won't be until about mid-May.

forgetmenots02.jpg

forgetmenots03.jpg

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 8:40 am

Arrest made in connection with nine burglaries in Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Le Roy

mug-michael_hilton.jpgA 19-year-old man is being accused of participating in nine burglaries in Le Roy over the past two months.

Michael J. Hilton, who reportedly has no permanent residence, is charged with one count of burglary, 2nd, two counts of petit larceny, three counts of burglary, 3rd, criminal mischief and attempted petit larceny

The alleged break-ins occurred on Myrtle Street and in two apartment complexes on West Main Street.

The investigation by Det. John Condidorio began in March after a computer, game system and military clothing were reported stolen.

The break-ins apparently took place in the basements of buildings.

Several items have been recovered, according to village police, and the investigation is ongoing. Police are attempting to match the recovered items with the proper owners.

Hilton was jailed on $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 8:14 am

UMMC returns to pre-H1N1 patient visit rules

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, h1n1, health, UMMC

UMMC has rescinded visitor guidelines put in effect in October 2009, during the height of concern over H1N1, that banned children from visiting patients.

Starting yesterday, visitors over 14 are allowed to visit patients, with the exception of the Maternity Ward, where siblings of newborns are permited to visit with a responsible guardian.

The Hope Haven unit allows visitors of all ages.

Only two visitors per patient are allowed. Visiting hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Full press release after the jump:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 7:40 am

Le Roy doctor temporarily relocates office to Brockport

post by Howard B. Owens in announcements, Le Roy

An item in the D&C says that the office of Dr. Vladimir Gaspar, 8745 Lake Street Road, Le Roy, suffered severe water damage following a water line break over the weekend. His offices have been temporarily relocated to Lakeside Health Systems, 156, West. Ave., Brockport. For more information, call (585) 768-2620.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Photo: Tonawanda Creek rail bridge at sunset

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos

millstreetbridge_sunset.jpg

I've made several attempts at getting a picture of the Tonawanda Creek rail bridge at sunset. This evening, when I got there, I thought at first maybe I got there a few minutes too late. But this is probably my favorite so far (and don't be surprised if I post more of this subject if I like what I get in the future).

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