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Howard B. Owens's blog

Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Photos: Spring means baseball

post by Howard B. Owens in baseball, batavia, photos, sports

baseball02a.jpg

When I drove past Batavia High today, I saw the JV baseball team getting ready for a game. Coach Buddy Brasky told me the varsity team was getting ready for a game at Dwyer, so I went over there and snapped a couple of photos, too.

More pictures after the jump:

Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Photos: St. Joe's annual Mammoth Sale

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, st. joseph school

man_sale07a.jpg

A big crowd and lots of great bargains this morning at St. Joe's annual Mammoth Sale.

The sale covered three floors, for the first time, this year.

More photo after the jump:

Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 2:53 pm

PennySaver relocates office to Main Street, Downtown Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, PennySaver

pennysaver_staff.jpg

The Genesee Valley PennySaver's Batavia office has moved from Ellicott Street to a corner location and Liberty and East Main, Downtown Batavia. The staff was in the office this morning getting the new location set up.  Pictured are Brittany Walker, left, Drew Muehlig, Leanna DiRisio, Becky Michalak, Ethan Biscaro, Chris Harrison (back) and owner Steve Harrison.

Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Horse rescue group from Pavilion hosts event in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, batavia, horse rescue, Pavilion

horses.jpg

Pavilion's H.O.R.S.E Rescue group hosted an event at Tractor Supply, Batavia, today to help raise money for the organization. There were live horses and demonstrations along with horse rides, face painting and a prize drawing.

Pictured are Victoria Gooch and Deb Nanni with their horses. 

Gooch said the group currently has 25 horses up for adoption.

With the recent economic downturn, Gooch said, a lot of people have been giving up their horses because they can't afford to feed them and keep them in good health.

"You can go onto Craigslist and horses are very cheap or free," Gooch said.

Recently, a ranch in Rochester had 75 horses taken away from it and all of those horses now need homes, Gooch said.

Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Today's Deals: Carlson's Studio, Delavan's, Olivers, Main St. Pizza and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

Carlson's Studio, 39 Jackson St., Batavia, NY: Now is the time to start planning your spring portraits. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Carlson's Studio

Friday, April 9, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Young entreprenuers open clothing shop on East Main Street, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, entreprenuers

timwalton.jpg

Too many times, says Tim Walton, people would call him about a possible T-shirt order, ask about bringing something by his place of business, and when they found out he was working out of his garage, he'd never hear from them again.

"People thought, 'oh, he's just a teenager, so it's just a hobby for him," Walton said.

That's why Tim decided to open a shop on Main Street -- he figures it will help potential customers take Topline Shirt Company more seriously. In just a week since opening, Walton said, his walk-in traffic has increased.

The front of the retail shop -- in the former space of Millenium Computers (214 E. Main St.) -- will be a retail retro clothing shop operated by Rob Credi. The shop will be called Retro Reserve. Credi and Walton hope that by combining efforts now, it will help both of their businesses grow.

Tomorrow, Saturday, Walton and Credi will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for their two businesses.

Friday, April 9, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Photo: Old tree on State Street Road

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, State Street Road

oldtree_statestreetroad.jpg

Coming back from the accident this afternoon, I spotted this old twisted tree on State Street Road near Batavia-Elba Townline Road and thought with the overcast sky it would make an interesting picture.

Friday, April 9, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Photo: Bake sale in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Genesee Christian Academy

gcabakesale.jpg

A patron picks up her baked goods from the bake sale table of the Genesee Christian Academy in the foyer of Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union and Lawley Genesee Insurance. From left are Anthony Conlin, Kenny Cheeseman, Amy Colopy, Allissa Bischoff, holding son Taylor, and Stephen Conlin. The customer left before we got her name.

Friday, April 9, 2010 at 12:53 pm

No state budget yet, and Paterson says he'll withhold union raises

post by Howard B. Owens in budget, new york

Gov. David Paterson plans to withhold funding for union raises in his next emergency budget act, which effectively suspends a 4-percent raise for the state's union workers.

The raise was part of a contract negotiated in 2007, but with a $9 billion budget deficit, Paterson says the state can't afford the extra expense.

“I am just shocked and amazed that every time you ask the special interests or the unions for some kind of sacrifice that the answer is either ‘no’ or ‘I’m going to sue you,’” Paterson said Thursday after a private meeting with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. “The state has run out of money twice, for the first time in its history, in the last four months. We’re doing everything to keep the ship afloat. And some people are just very reticent or unable to recognize the gravity of the crisis.”

Meanwhile, Albany has yet to approve a new budget. Assemblyman Steve Hawley issued the following statement on the situation:

After another week of inaction, and seven days past the due date, the 2010-2011 State Budget has not passed. Instead, the Majority continues to meet behind closed doors, which will likely lead to new taxes, increased government spending, and worst of all, more state borrowing, while sending the rank-and-file members of the Assembly trivial legislation to vote on. With New York State nearly bankrupt, this kind of inaction is unacceptable. We should have been in session last week, and not passing the budget this week only wasted more taxpayer money at a cost of more than $100,000. I am willing to stay in Albany until the budget crisis is solved. Unfortunately, it appears that my colleagues in the Majority are not, and despite the ensuing fiscal crisis, would rather put the budget off until next week, if not next month. Clearly, this year’s budget process shows how broken New York state government really is.

Friday, April 9, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Photo: Tulips at St. Mary's

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, St. Mary's Catholic Church

stmarys_tulips.jpg

There are now pots of yellow tulips surrounding the statue of the Virgin Mary and infant Jesus in front of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church on Ellicott Street, Batavia.

Friday, April 9, 2010 at 11:59 am

Chris Lee says it's time to stop wasteful printing of proposed legislation

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Chris Lee

chris_lee_paper.jpg

BATAVIA, NY -- Congress is behind the times, according to Rep. Chris Lee (NY-26). While society is moving to an increasingly paperless existence, the congressional printing office still delivers five printed copies of every bill to the staff of each bill's co-sponsors.

Those can be pretty hefty tomes -- hundreds of pages long -- to dozens of congressional offices.

And they are bills that usually just get tossed in the garbage or recycling bin, because most legislators and their staff members read and track bills on computers.

At the Genesee ARC recycling center today, Lee announced legislation he hopes will pass to end the practice of printing these copies of bills. He called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has talked before about the "greening of DC" to support the bill, which already has nine Democratic co-sponsors.

"We don't practice what we preach," Lee said.

If passed, Lee said he estimates that the bill would save taxpayers $2.5 million per year.

"This is a win-win," Lee said. "It takes care of our environment and it shows that we’re looking after every penny that comes into our treasury."

As an example, Lee held up all five copies of a recent bill that was 153 pages long and was delivered to the offices of 80 co-sponsors. 

The freshman congressman is concerned that the bill won't be taken seriously in the House, because in an environment were most legislation is dealing with billions or trillions of dollars, $2.5 million is practically "spare change."

"To me, $2.5 million is a lot of money," Lee said. "Unfortunately, there’s this premise that unless it has a “B” or a “T” after it, in Washington, most of the people don’t care."

Friday, April 9, 2010 at 11:11 am

The latest census participation rates

post by Howard B. Owens in census, genesee county

With an 82-percent return rate, Pavilion is leading Genesee County in census participation, according to figures put out today by the County Planning Department.

All told, the participation rate for Genesee County is 75 percent. That's far ahead of the State of New York, which is at 58 percent, and ahead of the rest of the nation, at 64 percent.

Right behind Pavilion in participation is Alabama, 81 percent, and the Town of Elba at 80 percent. 

The City of Batavia lags the rest of the county at 70 percent, with Ward 5 being the most behind at 61 percent. The top ward for the city is Ward 1 at 77 percent.

Friday, April 9, 2010 at 10:04 am

No charges in dog shooting case

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, Alabama

There will be no charges filed against an Alabama man who reportedly shot two dogs April 3.

A State Police investigation concluded the dogs may have been ill, as the man claimed.  The dogs belonged to him and his wife, and there is no law against killing your own dogs if you believe they are ill, said Rebecca Gibbons, spokeswoman for the State Police.

On April 3, a woman on Bloomingdale Road called police after she came home and found her dogs shot.  The woman's husband reportedly told police he was the one who shot them.

The case is closed, Gibbons said.

Friday, April 9, 2010 at 9:51 am

Police Beat: Rochester man accused of carrying crack cocaine in the city

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

Joshua K. Williams, 18, of 4 Laura St., Rochester, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Williams was reportedly a passenger in a car stopped for alleged traffic violations at 12:50 a.m., Thursday, by Officers Daniel Coffey and Frank Klimjack on Clinton Street. During the stop, it was discovered that Williams allegedly had three outstanding arrest warrants. During a search, officers say they found crack cocaine and marijuana. Possession of controlled substance in the third degree carries the allegation that there was an intent to sell the substance.

Michael Lynn Bropst, 39, 3 1/2 Tracy Ave., upper, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Bropst was stopped by Deputy Brian Thompson at 12:45 p.m. on March 26 on Route 33 for alleged tailgating. Bropst was allegedly found in possession of marijuana during the traffic stop.

Thomas F. Rudolph, 18, of Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession marijuana. Rudolph was arrested at 4:36 p.m., Wednesday, by State Police in the Town of Batavia. No further details were released.

Billy J. Johnson, 32, of Oakfield, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Johnson was arrested at 8:37 p.m., Wednesday, in the Village of Oakfield by State Police. No further details available.

Friday, April 9, 2010 at 8:07 am

Today's Deals: Margarita's, Enchanted Florist, Mane Attraction 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

SOLD OUT

Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 11:08 pm

Wind Tamers starting to sprout in Genesee County

post by Howard B. Owens in conservation, energy, Le Roy, Pavilion, Wind Tamer

Wind Tamers -- the bright white and blue, jet-engine looking wind energy devices -- are catching on in Genesee County.

wilsonfarm02.jpgThere's already one installed in Le Roy (the picture on this post is of the one we mentioned in March), and Thursday evening, the Genesee County Planning Board recommended approval of two more and a company representative said a fourth unit was recently sold in Pavilion.

In all, Wind Tamer, Inc., has sold 40 of the turbine wind machines in New York, Ontario, Canada, and Pennsylvania since the company started selling them last year, according to Glenn Steed, installation coordinator.

"We’re trying to bring wind energy to people, to areas that might not be able to support large towers or open rotor designs or anything with noise and really bring a kinder energy to wind," said Steed following Thursday's meeting.

Approved were applications from Wayne and Jane Smith at 10744 South Street Road, Pavilion, and Joseph Falcone at 10213 Perry Road, Le Roy.

The Wind Tamer was designed by Jerry Brock and it achieves greater efficiency and produces more energy than traditional windmills because of its jet-engine like design.

The design is also quieter and can be mounted at lower heights for less visibility.

These advantages, Steed said, are proving very attractive for small businesses, agricultural uses and rural residents.

"Thre’s no noise at all," Steed said. "We just had a noise study done and the results are on our Web site. They’re just really quite. There’s really no increase in the ambient noise from the surrounding area."

Prices start in the $15,000 range, but Steed said the return on investment, because of the greater energy production, is much faster than traditional windmills.

Wind Tamer is based in Geneseo and Steed said most of the materials and all of the labor so far comes from New York.

“It’s a lot of good dollars in New York State," Steed Said. "It’s a good, growing business in New York.”

Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Batavia Tops notified of weight issue on one brand of fish fillets

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, agriculture, business, food

NOTE: This is an updated version of the story that corrects the implication from the Albany Times-Union story that the Batavia Kmart was involved, and the error in the TU story that warning letters were sent to the stores.

-----

Six grocery stores in New York -- including one in Batavia -- were notified by the state that some fish products the were selling were apparently overpriced.

The allegation is that the stores were selling seafood packed in ice, and the ice was being weighed so that consumers were paying not just for filets and shrimp, but ice as well.

The Batavia Tops was one of the six stores asked to remove products from its selves and either re-label the packaging or return it to the distributor, a company out of New Jersey, according to Jessica Ziehm, spokeswoman for the state Department of Agriculture and Markets.

Tops reportedly sold fish fillets packed in ice that was counted as part of the weight.

Press release available here.

Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 3:43 pm

CORRECTED: City appears to have reached agreement with employees union

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, CSEA, unions

The City of Batavia and the union representing many its workers have apparently reached a tentative contract agreement.

Details of the agreement with the Civil Service Employees Association have not been released.

The new five-year contract, which will run from April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2015, will give union workers graduated raises (no raise in the first year, but a $1,000 bonus and compensation instead), and 2-percent raises in the fourth and fifth year.

The total impact of the raises over the next five years will be $79,000 in additional expense.

New hires will not be able to accrue sick leave to use to purchase health care upon retirement. They will not be able to purchase health care from the city when they retire.

Health care contributions for current workers will increase, with the first-year contribution being 10 percent, then 12.5, then 15, then 17.5, then 20 percent. There are cash incentives, up to $1,000 per employee and spouse, for participation in wellness programs.

New hires will contribute 30 percent to health care, an amount that can be reduced if they participate in wellness programs. If both spouse and employee participate, the total health care contribution by the employee would be reduced by 25 percent.

Information on the settlement is contained in the Batavia City Council's agenda for Monday night. The council will be asked to approve the agreement.

The council meets Monday at 7 p.m.

The Batavian apologizes for the incorrect information in the original version of the story.

Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Today's Deals: Center Street, T.F. Brown's, South Main, Adam Miller 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 $25 gift card for $12.50.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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