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Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 6:52 pm

'Fix my yard' says sign on Walnut

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Walnut Street

fixmyyard_sign.jpg

The resident at 135 Walnut Street didn't want to discuss tonight the background behind this sign, but she's in a dispute with the city after Walnut was resurfaced, the front edge of her lawn was raised two or three feet. She wants a level yard again. The sign reads "Fix My Yard Right! Make it Flat Again."

UPDATE: I ran into Jason Molino at an event this morning.  He said this is a home owner issue. "It's restored to what it was before," Molino said. "We worked with her to improve the property and she doesn't seem happy with it."  Sally Kuzon was with Molino and they asked me how he street looked. I said, "It looks great."  Kuzon smiled and said, "Will you put that in, too."  So, Sally, there you go.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 9:15 am

WBTA and The Batavian partner on candidate forums

post by Howard B. Owens in Elections, politics, thebatavian, wbta

WBTA and The Batavian will bring you a series of candidate forums over the next couple of days.

Starting tonight, Dan Fischer and I will host a series of Q&A sessions with the City Council candidates and the candidates for competitive County Legislature seats at the WBTA studios.

We will interview the candidates in pairs. 

These sessions are not debates, but rather an opportunity to have a discussion about the important issues in the city and the county.

Tonight and tomorrow night, we will interview the candidates and the interviews will be broadcast unedited tomorrow and Friday. We've also hired Ethan Thompson to videotape the interviews, and the video will be available on The Batavian as soon as the tapes are properly processed for downloading on the web (as always, via YouTube).

Here's the schedule of interviews:

Wednesday, Oct. 14:
7:00 p.m.: Sara Burk-Balbi and Marianne Clattenburg
8:00 p.m: Frank Ferrando and Phil Ricci
These two interviews will air on Thursday, Oct. 15 at 10 a.m. on WBTA.
 
Thursday, Oct. 15:
7:00 p.m.: Julie Wallace and Tim Buckley
7:30 p.m.: Chris Charvella and Hollis Upson
8:00 p.m.: Rose Mary Christian and Robert Radley
These three interviews will air on Friday, Oct. 16 at 10 a.m. on WBTA.

If there are questions you think I should ask, please submit them in comments below.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 8:57 am

Ferrando calls for more tickets to be issued to overweight vehicles on Law Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Frank Ferrando, Law Street

Trucks weighing more than five tons are supposed to drive down Law Street, but according to City Councilman Frank Ferrando, over the past eight years complaints from Law Street residents have continued, and he's skeptical that enough is being done to correct the situation.

It's time to get tough, he said at the end of last night's council meeting.

"If there are police there and there is an overweight vehicle, my feeling is, that overweight vehicle ought to be ticketed. Period," Ferrando said. "It ought to be ticketed and ticketed until word gets around that you better stay off the street or you’re going to get a ticket."

According to Chief of Police Randy Baker, however, that's the job his department has been doing.

"There have been numerous special details and zone cars assigned to the area," Baker said in an email this morning. "Several tickets have been issued."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 8:15 am

Today's Deals: Clor's, Pudgie's, Delavan's, Alex's, Center Street Smoke House

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

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 $15 gift card for $7.50.

Pudgie's Lawn and Garden Center, 3646 W. Main St. Road, Batavia, NY: Fall colors are here, and with Pudgie's you an cozy-fy your home with a range of decoration ideas. 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.

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.

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, click here.

SOLD OUT

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 12:40 am

Byron teen with two previous arrests this summer accused of stealing a car

post by Howard B. Owens in byron, crime

Those who pay close attention to the arrest reports on The Batavian will recognize the name Nicholas Jacob Ridge Adkins, 18, of 6954 Swamp Road, Byron.

Adkins has made two previous appearances in our crime reports. First in July when he was accused of burglary for entering a neighbor's house and allegedly stealing stuff, and again in August when he was arrested along with four other young men and charged with criminal mischief for allegedly causing $3,500 in damage to a rental property.

He was scheduled to appear in court today for a sentencing.  I don't know what happened in court. I couldn't make it because of prior appointments.

I do know that Adkins was arrested again last night for allegedly taking the vehicle of another person without permission.

Adkins was arrested by Investigator Weis and Sgt. Brian Frieday. No further details of the case are available.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 12:21 am

Mallow: City Council killing consolidation with town

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, city council, consolidation

Is consolidation a dead issue?

City Council President Charlie Mallow thinks so.

He thinks so after, for a second time, the council tabled "indefiniately" a resolution to hold a public hearing on a proposed joint charter review commission.

“It’s a political maneuver to kill something permanently without actually going on the record and voting against it," Mallow said after the meeting. "We’ve had things in the past, you know, we’ve had all this controversy about that slumlord act that was tabled indefinitely. It’s killed. It means you voted against it but you don’t want the public to recognize it. That’s what happened here tonight.”

The resolution, while moving forward the idea of consolidation of the city and town of Batavia, would hardly have committed either community to joining forces in a single municipal body. It would have simply allowed a joint committee to come up with a plan of what a consolidated Batavia might look like as a legal entity.

It was clear from the motion of of Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian that at least some of the council members who voted to table the motion did so as a maneuver to block further consolidation talk.

"I have a problem with it simply because once it takes effect, there’s no turning back," Christian said. "The fact is that consolidation is good, but, I don’t see why we can’t have shared services. We can share facilities. We can share equipment. Why do we need consolidation?"

Councilwoman Kathy Briggs said after the meeting, however, that most of the council was focused on language in the resolution that would have had the city council president sitting on the committee, and many council members think that job should go to the new council president, whomever that might be, once Mallow is out of office and a new council is seated among a group of people who would appoint committee members. They want the new council president, whomever that might be, be part of that process.

City Manager Jason Molino told the council that Town of Batavia officials are interested in revising the resolution anyway to clarify some of the language and add a little more substance.

"They want to add more specifics on the parameters of what committee with do," Molino said.

Councilman Frank Ferrando didn't sound hopeful that consolidation would move forward.

“I hope that there’s support, because that’s an important move that this community has to make," Ferrando said. "Right now, it’s hard to read."

It was Ferrando who requested the resolution be placed back on the council agenda after it was tabled two business meetings ago.

"When you table something, you don’t table it into perpetuity. It has to come back again," Ferrando said. "I haven’t heard a good reason yet as to why we’re not moving forward."

Ferrando indicated that he'll take the next opportunity -- the next conference meeting -- to get the issue before the council again.

Councilman Bob Bialkowski raised the first procedural question after Ferrando finished speaking. He seemed to think that tabling it previously killed it. City Attorney George Van Nest said there was no procedural reason -- nothing in Roberts Rules of Order or prior council practice -- to prevent the council from taking action on the resolution.

Councilman Bill Cox also raised procedural objections.

Mallow was having none of it and accused his fellow council members of being cowards for not taking a yes or no vote on the resolution.  He said killing consolidation without a vote was a waste of state taxpayers money (a state grant paid for the consolidation study) and that council members owed it to citizens to give them at least a chance to discuss the idea.

"If you don’t want this, vote against it," Mallow said. "Vote against it. We owe that at least to the members of the public, but you don’t even want to give the members of the public and the people in this city the right to even talk about this issue?  That’s stealing the state’s money. That’s stealing taxpayers money. Let them talk about it. Let them come up with a proposal.

"Fear of change," Mallow added. "We all have little seats here on council. Maybe they don’t like us. Maybe they don’t like the idea that we have a city council. Maybe they’ll change it. Maybe they’ll give us a mayor. Who knows what they’ll do? That's the fear. That’s the fear of the unknown."

Christian's motion to table, passed 6-3, with only Mallow, Ferrando and Councilwoman Marianne Clattenburg voting to keep the issue alive.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 10:47 pm

YWCA honored by City Council for domestic violence work

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, YWCA

ywca_hale.jpg

Barbara Hale, executive director of the YWCA, receives a City Council Resolution from Councilwoman Marianne Clattenburg. Hale and the YWCA were honored for the Y's work on behalf of victims of domestic violence. The Y's program has been in place for 15 years and is the only local provider of domestic violence services such as counseling and advocacy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Mother's location goes up for sale

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business

mothers_chicken_forsale.jpg

Well, I guess we could all see this coming, and within the past couple of months it seemed pretty inevitable as work crews stripped the building of pretty much all equipment and furniture, but the former Mother's Chicken-N-Fish location is for sale.

It's too bad. At one time, it was a great place to eat.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 6:48 pm

Bicyclist struck by car at Summit and North in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

A bicyclist has reportedly been injured -- no word on how seriously -- after being struck by a car at Summit and North streets.

Mercy EMS and Batavia PD are in route.


View Larger Map

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Gillibrand pushing for more inspections and regulations on food

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, food, kirsten gillibrand

Food safety has been in the news recently, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who sits on the Senate Agriculture Committee, has a plan to improve food inspections, recall response and public education.

Gillibrand said she is calling for:

  • Improving testing of ground beef
  • Improving regulation of all other food, with a focus on prevention, more oversight and higher quality lab testing
  • Increasing FDA resources
  • Improving the safety of imported food
  • Making recalls of contaminated food mandatory
  • Improving public education

“In America, in 2009, it is unconscionable that food is still going straight to our kitchens, school cafeterias and restaurants without being properly tested to ensure its safety,” Sen. Gillibrand said. “It’s spreading too many diseases and costing too many lives. We need to do a better job of catching contaminated food before it ever comes close to a kitchen table. My plan addresses the gaps in the inspection process and improves recalls and public education, so parents have access to the information to keep their families safe.”

The New York Times recently ran an interesting investigative piece about ongoing issues with E. coli in ground beef.

Full press release after the jump:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Today's Deals: Herbly Wonderful, South Main, Adam Miller, Clor's and more

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

Herbly Wonderful, 3701 Pearl St., Batavia, NY: Winter teas, spices and fall colors for your home in stunning floral arrangements and seasonal wreaths are now available at Herbly Wonderful. We have a $25 gift certificate for $11.

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 $9.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 $15 gift card for $7.50.

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

SOLD OUT

 

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Mallow plans to deal with complaint letter privately; future closed sessions likely

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, city council

There's no executive session scheduled for tonight's City Council meeting.

That's not usually noteworthy, except the last time the council met, several members were upset. A citizen complaint about City Manager Jason Molino, including a copy of the letter and the citizen's name, had been leaked to the Daily News.

The leaker has not yet been identified, and some council members have expressed a reluctance to meet in closed session so long as one of their own appears to be untrustworthy.

So, we emailed City Council President Charlie Mallow, who previously vowed "no closed sessions during the remainder of his term" and asked him where he stood on closed sessions now, and the status of the complaint issue.

Here's his response:

I will deal privately with the letter, the review and the citizen complaint. The issue will be closed out by the end of the week. I will not be issuing a press release or discussing this issue further.
 
As I have stated before, a majority of Council is unwilling to speak about these issues in a group setting. Individual Council people have the right to speak to the city manager at any time and I have asked them to do so privately about any matter they wish. If we have need for an executive session about another issue, it will be scheduled. If there are updates in the future of a sensitive nature, that can be done one-on-one. There are no votes that take place in executive session; all decisions are made in public.

Here's what's on the council agenda tonight at 7 o'clock in City Hall:

  • A resolution to schedule a public hearing on forming a joint charter commission with the Town of Batavia as a prerequisite to consolidation.
  • A resolution to declare three DPW vehicles as surplus.
  • A resolution to accept a $20,000 grant appropriated by Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer.
  • A resolution to schedule public hearings on CDBG (Community Development Block Grants).
Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 9:33 am

Dog struck by car gets prompt treatment, thanks to deputy and animal control officer

post by Howard B. Owens in animal rescue, animals, accident, corfu, Darien, pets, Sheriff's Office

A dog was hit by a car yesterday at 1:30 p.m. and Deputy Brian Thompson, a K-9 officer, and Animal Control Officer Bill Taylor responded to the scene.

The accident occurred at Route 77 and Reynolds Road, where a stray boxer-mix darted into the road, according to Deputy Chief Gordon Dibble.

The dog was struck by a car driven by a person from Florida.

Thompson and Taylor first took the dog to an animal hospital, which recommended treatment at Corfu Vet Clinic, so Taylor and Thompson transported it there.

From what I heard on the scanner, the dog didn't sound seriously injured. Dibble said there's no information on how the pooch did after being transported.

I spoke with Shannon at the vet, who was off that day, and she said the dog was transferred to another facility, although she doesn't know where.

But it was good to hear on the scanner Monday about the extra effort Thompson and Taylor went to to care for the stricken animal.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 9:17 am

Today's Poll: Should marijuana be legalized?

post by Howard B. Owens in polls
Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 9:13 am

Police Beat: Man charged with DWI with children in car

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

Manuel Zuniga Perez, 28, of 10248 Brookville Road, Alexander, is charged with DWI, unlicensed operation of a vehicle, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Perez was stopped in the City of Batavia by Officer Chris Camp after a domestic dispute was reported at his home in Alexander. Perez reportedly had two children in the car with him at the time he was stopped. He was jailed on $2,000 bail.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 9:01 am

Unique jacket not significant in capturing alleged bank robber

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, Five Star bank robbery, Pavilion

mug-nick-hawkins.jpgAfter a long weekend off, Deputy Chief Jerome Brewster got back to us on some questions we had about the arrest of Nick A. Hawkins for allegedly robbing the Five Star Bank branch in Pavilion.

He referred most of the questions to the district attorney's office, but did say: "...the jacket did not play as significant (a) role as we thought it would. "

The bank robber wore a light blue and black jacket with "Husqvarna" lettering on the left sleeve. 

Brewster said, "The arrest was the culmination of a thorough, cooperative investigation conducted by the Sheriff's Office and State Police."

He also provided this mug shot of Hawkins.

Previously:

Monday, October 12, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Police Beat: Officer finds man sleeping in his car on Main Street, charges him with DWI

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

Brian M. Raphael, 21, of 4 Noonan Drive, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and criminal possession of a weapon. Police Officer E.E. Bolles reports that he found Raphael sleeping in his car with the engine running Saturday at 3:10 a.m. at 419 E. Main St., Batavia. Upon his arrest, Raphael was allegedly found in possession of a collapsible billy club.

Michael D. Snyder, 37, of 679 E. Main St., Apt. 4a, is accused of criminal contempt and harassment. Snyder allegedly violated the terms of an order of protection by shoving his girlfriend. He was jailed without bail.

Timothy P. Tucker, 35, of 12 Ellicott St., is charged with DWI, refusal to take breath test, failure to stop for a stop sign, speed not reasonable and prudent, improper turn and leaving the scene of an injury accident. On Sunday at 1:48 a.m., Tucker allegedly ran a stop sign from northbound Union Street at Oak Street. His vehicle reportedly continued through the intersection until it hit a tree. Officer Dan Coffey reports that Tucker allegedly fled the scene on foot. His female passenger suffered minor injuries in the accident. Tucker was found a short time later at his residence, according to Officer Coffey.

James Frank Webb, 27, of 10215 Colby Road, Darien, is charged with criminal contempt and harassment. Webb is accused of violating an order of protection that barred him from contacting a particular person. He allegedly called that person on the phone.

Shaundalee M. Hill, 20, of 81 Lyncourt Park, Greece, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Hill was arrested by Deputy Tim Wescott after Hill was reportedly involved in a one-car accident Fisher Road in Oakfield at 6:46 p.m. on Friday. Hill was also charged with unlicensed operation of a vehicle and having an open container.

Adam M. Ganzhorn, 25, of Town of Batavia, is charged with obstruction of governmental administration and filing a false report of an incident. He was arrested at 4346 Batavia-Elba Townline Road by State Police and jailed on $2,000 bail. No further details available.

Christopher A. Saddler, 25, of Albion, is charged with petit larceny. Saddler was arrested in the Town of Batavia by State Police. No further details available.

Monday, October 12, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Garage and all its contents, including two vehicles, destroyed in Corfu

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, fire

garage_fire_corfu.jpg

A garage fire that destroyed a car, a truck, a lawn tractor and an ATV last night was sparked by a short in an electrical outlet, according to a Sheriff's Office investigation.

The fire was first reported at 12:47 a.m. at 8880 Allegheny Road in Corfu and well before the first fire units could arrive, the garage was fully engulfed in flames.

No residents of the Swiatowy home were injured, nor were any firefighter injuries reported.

The garage was unoccupied at the time.

Destroyed were a 1984 Olds Delta 88, a 2003 Ford F150 pickup truck, an ATV and a lawn tractor. A tractor parked outside of the garage was also damaged.

The home is insured.

Sgt. Brian Frieday investigated the incident.

UPDATE 10:29 p.m.: Above is a reader-submitted photo of the fire we received a little while ago.

Previously: Garage fire reported in Corfu

Monday, October 12, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Improper use of extension cord likely cause of Judge Road fire

post by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, fire

An electrical extension cord running through a basement window to a detached garage is the likely cause of a fire this morning at 2320 Judge Road, Alabama.

All five family members at the home escaped safely, and firefighters rescued the family's dog and cat.

Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Yaeger called the use of the extension cord "improper."

The fire caused $60,000 to $70,000 damage to the structure and contents of the home.

The extension cord ignited the window frame, and the fire climbed up the outside wall, crawling into second-floor bedroom, into the eaves and eventually into the attic. It also was just beginning to ignite a first-floor living room couch when the fire was suppressed.

It took units from Alabama and Oakfield an hour to fight the fire.

The home, owned by Jim Venzey and rented by Dave Kinney, was insured, Yaeger said.

Previously: House fire reported on Judge Road in Alabama

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