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Howard B. Owens's blog

Thursday, July 16, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Jelly Belly RV Tour rolls into Oliver's Candies in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Oliver's Candies

olivers_jellybelly.jpg

It's been non-stop kids since 11 a.m. at Oliver's Candies, where the Jelly Belly RV made a stop today.  The RV will be at Oliver's until 3 p.m.

Audio:

Thursday, July 16, 2009 at 9:24 am

Chief Dibble says underage drinking is significant problem at concerts

post by Howard B. Owens in alcohol, darien lake

WBTA interviewed Deputy Chief Gordon Dibble about underage drinking enforcement at Darien Lake concerts.

It's almost as if he's been reading comments on The Batavian, addressing the suggestion by some that being under 21 and having a beer or two isn't a serious issue.

"I think underage drinking is, (but) on its surface people would say, 'it's no big deal kids having a few beers,'" said Dibble. "That's not what we're seeing on the law enforcement side. We're seeing people that are drinking underage for one thing, but drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and it's directly affecting their behavior to the point where they're getting arrested, they're getting injured and at these concerts. They get lost, they get disconnected -- there are too many opportunities to get hurt when they get drunk, especially to the extent that we're seeing." (Listen)

Also, WBTA reports that Joseph Devlin, the 37-year-old bus driver for the Kid Rock tour, was allegedly found to have a BAC of twice the legal limit. He's $10,000 bail has been paid.

Thursday, July 16, 2009 at 9:05 am

Today's Deals: Delavan's, South Main, Enchanted Florist, Jackson St. and Picasso's

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

Delavan's Restaurant & Tavern, 107 Evans St., Batavia, N.Y.: Take a casual but classy atmosphere, some of the best dishes you can order anywhere and a fine choice of beers, and you've got a great place to dine. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

South Main Country Gifts, 3356 Main St. Road, Batavia, N.Y.: From cozy to contemporary is what you'll find at this well-stocked gift store. We have a $20 gift certificate for $9.

The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: Brighten up your home or office with flowers! We have a $20 gift certificate for $8.50.

Jackson St. Grill and Belladessa's Pizzeria, 9 Jackson St., Batavia., N.Y.: Ever try to eat one of their giant cheeseburgers? Can you beat the champ -- Mark's record time of 7 minutes, 13 seconds. We have TWO $10 gift certificates for $5 each (two separate winners).

Picasso's Pizza, 419 W. Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: A great variety of pizza, subs and salads -- and try the wings, too. We have three $5 booklets of $1 gift certificates ($15 value) for $7.50. The gift certificates can be used collectively or individually).

Note: We're changing pick-up/mail policy. Please read.

A $1 PayPal service fee applies on items more than $10. The fee is 50 cents on items below $10.

Rules: The gift certificate must be used by within 30 days of purchase. It is not valid with other offers and has no cash value. People who have won a certificate in the past 30 days are not eligible to win a certificate from the same business as before. Gift certificates cannot be combined with other offers without prior approval of the merchant. Gift certificates bought separately cannot be combined for a single purchase. By state law, gift certificates cannot be used for alcohol purchase.

How to Win: Purchase using the PayPal "Buy Now" button below. After the first person to hit the "buy now" button completes the purchase, PayPal will let you know that the item has been sold. The winner has up to 48 hours to make arrangements to pick up the gift certificate at The Batavian office in Downtown Batavia, or, unless other arrangements are made, the gift certificate will be mailed to the address associated with the PayPal account.

Delavan's

SOLD

The Enchanted Florist

South Main

SOLD

Jackson St.

SOLD

Picasso's

SOLD

 

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 9:00 pm

There's no excuses in Darien's town court on a concert night

post by Howard B. Owens in Darien, gary graber, Kid Rock

My press pass is more valuable than I thought. Until last night, I didn't realize it could also act as a "get out of jail free" card.

This, I learned from Peter H. Scrooby, who admitted last night he isn't paid for his internet writing, but he did think his credentials -- which,  unfortunately, he wasn't carrying -- entitled him to avoid a night in jail on a disorderly conduct charge.

scrooby.JPGScrooby, who said he went to the Kid Rock concert to cover it for Los Angeles-based American Chronicle, carried no ID whatsoever (his girlfriend had his wallet, he said), which presented a puzzle for Darien Town Court Justice Gary Graber.

How could Graber release a defendant on his own recognizance who couldn't even prove his identity?

As Graber and Scrooby bantered about Scrooby's suitability for a no-bail release, I checked out American Chronicle on my laptop. Sure enough, Scrooby is listed as an author (picture borrowed from Scrooby's profile page). So are 5,000 other people.

Apparently, to become a corespondent for American Chronicle, all you need to do is create an account.

At least Scrooby has written some articles for the site. A couple of them even seem to be based on some original reporting.

hunter-s-thompson.jpgThis budding Hunter S. Thompson was one of three people I saw marched or dragged into the Darien courtroom during my two hours observing the proceedings and chatting with Graber -- when no wayward concert-goers demanded his attention.

Graber earns a living dispatching trucks out of Buffalo, but he's also spent more than 30 years on the Darien bench. A music fan himself -- he's seen such varied acts as Elvis Presley (twice -- young and older), Jeff Beck and the Beach Boys -- he said the Darien Lake shows keep him plenty busy during the summer.

"We're happy when the snow starts to fly," Graber said, noting the signal that the Darien concert season is over.

The backlog of cases and paperwork created over the summer won't be cleared from his desk until late February or March.

A naturally jocular and affable man with a face warmed by laugh lines and framed by graying hair, Graber seems temperamentally inclined to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. He clearly wishes no ill will toward any of the defendents who are brought before his bench, even when they try his patience.

Even so, let's not be fooled by that benevolent exterior: nobody is getting off easy.

Kenneth Koban of North Chili found that out after being brought in by Deputy Brian Thompson on a trespass charge.

Kid_Rock.jpgCobin, sporting a black leather vest with "Eagle Spirit" emblazoned on the back above a picture of an eagle's head, didn't understand why he was charged with trespass after he paid $100 for a ticket.

Koban allegedly refused to leave the concert venue after being ordered to do so by security officers. What precipitated him drawing the ire of Darien security wasn't discussed.

As he stood unsteadily before the justice, Koban repeatedly interrupted Graber either trying to explain his innocence, offering to display the $100 ticket in his pocket, or asking Graber if he could ask questions.

"I'm asking the questions," Graber said.

"I've got a couple of things to say," Koban said.

"This isn't the time for that," Graber said. "This is an arraignment. After you talk with your attorney, then you can explain about your $100 ticket."

"I would like a public defender," said Koban, who previously said he earned more than $100,000 a year and owned 10 homes.

Graber said Koban likely wouldn't qualify for a public defender.

"You do make $100,000?"

"Yes, I make $100,000," said Koban, raising his voice.

"There's no need to get agitated."

"I didn't even do nothing," Koban said. "I'm here in handcuffs right now, but I'm not agitated. I respect you and I respect the court, for what it's worth."

Koban was remanded to Genesee County Jail on $200 bail.

While Cobin stood before Graber, another defended was escorted into the courtroom, shackled at her ankles and handcuffed. She initially raised a ruckus, crying loudly and babbling.  Within minutes, Sgt. Brian Frieday  got her settled and calm, so Graber could proceed with Cobin's arraignment.

While Graber left the courtroom to finish up Cobin's paperwork, Cobin acted like he knew the young woman, telling her to stop crying and shut up, and saying, "Just tell the judge your boyfriend is a piece of shit."

When the woman tried to lay down on a "Darien"-engraved wooden bench, Sgt. Frieday made her sit up.

"Don't touch me," she yelled, then adding more softly. "I'm not trying to hurt you and don't want to hurt any one, so you can't touch me."

Jamie E. Otto-Trott, a 24-year-old, high-school pool supervisor from Rochester, appeared before Graber on two counts of harassment in the 2nd degree.

Otto-Trott, who made repeated requests of both Sgt. Frieday and the justice to have strands of her long, black hair swept from her face, allegedly pushed a Darien security guard and then allegedly kicked a Sheriff's deputy in the leg.

After being told about the charges by Graber, Otto-Trott said she just wanted to go home.

"My boyfriend took my car and left," she said. "I live an hour-and-half away."

Even though at one time Otto-Trott said she could afford to pay for her own attorney on her $200-a-week salary, she later said, "I don't think I can make that decision right now," so Graber said he would send her case to the Public Defender's office. He entered a not guilty plea for her and remanded her to Genesee County Jail on $300 bail.

After Graber left the room, Otto-Trott sat on a chair in the front row of the orderly, clean and well-lit courtroom and started asking Sgt. Parker questions, trying to find out his age. She thought he looked pretty young for 37.

With the age question settled, her mood changed again. The young lady, who minutes earlier told Graber she is returning to SUNY Brockport this fall to finish her degree in psychology after taking time off because her mother died last year, started sobbing again.

"I don't really like Kid Rock," she told Frieday, "but my boyfriend loves Kid Rock and wanted to go to this concert, and then I had to leave the concert. I just ruined the whole thing. We never go out. I just ruined the whole evening. Now he will want to break up with me."

Parker told her that he heard on the police radio earlier that her boyfriend was waiting for her at Genesee County Jail.

It was a tough case. While Graber can't discuss specific defendents, after Otto-Trott was escorted away, he looked out on the empty chamber with low-cast eyes, his face betraying an obvious compassion for the young lady.

As we talked about the kind of cases he's seen over the years, he said he has faced many tough decisions.

"These are never easy decisions," he said. "If you want a job with easy decisions, you shouldn't do this, you shouldn't be here. You have to take each case one at a time."

For all his his tender exterior, Graber seems completely immune to excuses.

None of last night's defendants were able to convince Graber that they deserved special treatment, either because the arrest was seemingly unfair, or because not everything was right with their lives.

Even our intrepid, aspiring gonzo journalist, Peter H. Scrooby couldn't justify avoiding a night in lock up. He was sent off to the pokey on $200 bail and ordered to reappear in two weeks.

Hopefully, he'll at least get a good story out of the experience.

AFTER MATTER: 

Mr. Scrooby sends along the following note:

Hi Howard,
Just a couple things I would like you to clarify in your article if you could sir. It was not my girlfriend that had my ID it was a friend of my mom's that attended the event with me. I also would like to note that yes anyone can become an author and sign up for free at American Chronicle, but the articles have to be approved and can be denied by the editors. I do not want it to sound as anyone can submit anything that they would like and have it published. Well take care and thanks, I enjoyed your article and have bookmarked your site as I also enjoyed your writing style. I take the Hunter S. Thompson  comment as a compliment and only hope that one day I could reach such great journalistic standards as the late Hunter S. Thompson achieved.

Regards,
Peter H. Scrooby
American Chronicle

UPDATE: In my desire to be as non-intrusive as possible with the lawmen, I relied on what I thought I was hearing in court for names.  Yesterday morning I tried to confirm the names with Chief Dibble, but he had already left on vacation. Late yesterday, I spoke with the Darien Court clerk, who helped clarify the names, and the story has been changed accordingly.  Sgt. Brian Frieday was with Otto-Trott. Deputy Brian Thompson was with Cobin, and though not mentioned in the story, Deputy Chris Parker was with Scrooby. Now, I hope that's all correct.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Accident this afternoon on Route 77 in Alabama

post by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alabama

Reader Bruce Ross  submitted this photo from earlier today of an accident on Route 77 in Alabama. We don't have the accident report from the Sheriff's Office yet.

He sent this message with the photo:

There was another two car MVA that occurred about 30 minutes ago at route 77 and Ledge Rd Alabama Fire Dept responded for a report of one minor injury.   The accident was called in by the Indian Falls Fire Dept Assistant Chief.   One car was about 3 feet from hitting the house on the NE corner of that  intersection.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Volunteer firefighters trained in building evacuation at county facility

post by Howard B. Owens in firefighters, tim yaeger

fire_training_building.jpg

Contrary to Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian's adamant and repeated point Monday night that volunteer firefighters aren't trained or qualified to evacuate buildings, especially such large structures as 400 Towers, the VA and UMMC, volunteers get extensive evacuation training according to Genesee County Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Yaeger.

Yaeger gave me a tour of the building last night where it's done (pictured above). We walked around inside and out. He showed me how interior rooms are configured and used, and the room where temperatures can reach as high as 900 degrees while trainees learn how to rescue people.

"The volunteer training is the exact same training as the career firefighters get," Yaeger said. "The main difference is that the volunteer's training might be spread over months if not a year where the career firefighter goes through an academy and is trained in three months."

In every jurisdiction, Yaeger said, whether covered by a career department or a volunteer department, all firefighters receive specialized training and pre-planned rescue schemes are developed on the exact large structures in their jurisdictions.

In other words, there's no reason a volunteer couldn't be just as qualified as a career firefighter to evacuate 400 Towers in an emergency.

"400 Towers is in my ward, and we have hospitals in the other wards," Christian said during Monday's council meeting. "When you can prove to me that they have the training, then I can agree with it. Until then, I can't."

Asked to comment this afternoon, Christian said he gets her information from her two nephews, who are volunteer firefighters, and Batavia Fire Chief Ralph Hyde. She said her nephews told her they've never been trained to evacuate a building.

"I'd like them to prove it to me (that volunteers get the same training) and give me the facts," Christian said. "If you can't believe in our own fire chief, who can you believe?"

She invited Yaeger to call her and explain the training to her, or she will take to him the next time she sees him at a county meeting.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 2:31 pm

State Police increased DWI enforcement on night of Kid Rock concert and report 11 arrests

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, Darien, darien lake, Kid Rock, pembroke

Kid Rock sure kept the cops busy last night.

We already told you about the more than 100 people busted by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office, including the bus driver for Rock's entourage.

Now comes word from the New York State Police that troopers also arrested nearly a dozen people, plus wrote more than 50 tickets at two check points in Genesee County.

There was a traffic safety roadcheck on Route 77 in Pembroke, a DWI saturation detail in the Darien and a fixed DWI sobriety checkpoint on Route 33 and Colby Road in Corfu..

During the traffic safety roadcheck a total of 46 tickets were issued to motorists for a variety of charges including 8 tickets for violations of New York State’s Child Safety Seat Laws.  One arrest for unlawful possession of Marihuana was also made during the roadcheck.

Jennifer R Anderson, 29, of Allegany, NY was arrested for allegedly driving while ability impaired by alcohol.

John M. Caden, 38, of Roulette, PA was arrested for  alleged DWI.

James M. Carney, 22, of Batavia, was arrested for alleged DWI.

Jeffrey S. Hindle, 21, of Welland, ON was arrested for  alleged DWI.

Daniel R. Holahan, 21, of Rochester, was arrested for alleged driving while ability impaired by drugs.

Darra L. Lichy, 24, of Salamanca,  was arrested for alleged DWI.

Darrel W. Newark, 43, of Buffalo,  was arrested for alleged DWI.

James R. Soccio, 28, of Batavia, was arrested for alleged DWI.

Lani G. Stevens, 20, of Lawtons,  was arrested for alleged DWI.

Jessica A. Warner, 19, of Campbell, was arrested for alleged DWI.

Joshua A. Wheeler, 21, Mt. Morris,  was arrested for alleged driving with ability impaired by drugs and alleged unlawful possession of marihuana.
 

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 2:04 pm

New York Alert system can text you in an emergency

post by Howard B. Owens in genesee county

Tim Yaeger, emergency management coordinator would like you to know about the New York Alert system. He mentioned this to me last night.  In case you don't know about it, follow the link.  The system can alert you to any emergency conditions in Genesee County.

Of course, here at The Batavian, we try to get news to you as quickly as possible, but there are times when we may not be able to get to a computer and update the site in a timely manner.  Being able to get your own alerts could save your life or that of friends and family members.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 1:34 pm

New York senator now chairs an agriculture subcommittee

post by Howard B. Owens in Kirtsen Gillibrand

kirsten_gillibrand.jpgKirsten Gillibrand, New York's junior senator, was named chair of an agriculture subcommittee today, according to a press release.

Gillibrand is the first senator from New York to sit on the Agriculture and Nutrition Committee in nearly 40 years.

Now she also chairs the Subcommittee on Domestic and Foreign Marketing, Inspection, and Plant & Animal Health.

“As a mother of two young children, I am focused on improving the health and well-being of our children,” said Senator Gillibrand.  “As a member of the Agriculture Committee, I will focus on updating our nutritional standards and addressing child obesity. It is imperative that we take aggressive action to improve the food we serve to our families."

Full press release after the jump:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 1:11 pm

Driver hurt in single-car rollover accident on Route 63 Monday night

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

P7130242.JPG

The driver of a 1996 Pontiac was injured Monday night in a single-car rollover accident on Route 63 near Galloway Road in Batavia.

C.J. Friesma, 24, of 27 S. Pearl St., Apt. 3, Oakfield, reportedly told Deputy C.A. Parker that he lost control of the car for reasons unknown. He was driving southbound on 63 when the car began a counter-clockwise rotation. The car traveled across the northbound lane and down an embankment, where it overturned.

Friesma reportedly suffered a shoulder injury and was transported to UMMC.

The Pontiac's owner, Nicole E. Friesma, of Oakfield, told Parker that she called Friesma about 11:15 p.m. to pick her up from work, and he was asleep.

The accident occurred about 11:25 p.m.

(Picture submitted by Chief Robert Hunt, Town of Batavia Fire Department)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Police Beat: Three DWI arrests this morning

post by Howard B. Owens in corfu, crime, Darien, darien lake

James H. Payne, 21, of 7017 E. Quaker St., Orchard Park, was charged with DWI and with driving with a BAC of .08 or greater following a traffic stop for allegedly failing to dim his headlights on Route 98 in the Town of Batavia at 2:34 a.m..

Wanda J. Jimerson, 32, of Irving (no address given) was arrested by Corfu Police early this morning following a traffic stop and charged with DWI. Jimerson was also issued a ticket for allegedly avoiding a traffic-control device.

Brian S. Weissinger, 39, of 88 Williston Road, Rochester, was reportedly observed in the VIP parking lot of Darien Lake Theme Park and Resort and was advised not to drive. Moments later he was allegedly observed driving his 2001 Dodge Intrepid. Weissinger was charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 10:02 am

More than 100 people arrested at Kid Rock concert at Darien Lake

post by Howard B. Owens in crime, darien lake

While Lynyrd Skynyrd and Kid Rock rocked the house at Darien Lake Theme Park last night, law enforcement officials were kept hopping, busting more than 100 people on a variety of charges.

Ninety-six of the arrests were made for under-age drinking in a parking lot known as "The Hill," where there have been previous complaints of teen-age boozing. Deputy Chief Gordon Dibble said it will continue to be an area of increased enforcement at future concerts.

Other arrests:

Michael J. Morrison, 30, of 5753 Sunny Lea Crescent, Niagara Falls, charged with trespass for allegedly entering the back stage area.

Patrick E. S. Churchill, 20, of 32 Vacleef St., Seneca Falls, was charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly urinating in the concert venue. He was released on $100 bail.

Adam S. Hamilton, 23, of 68 Curwood Drive, Tonawanda, was charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly burning debris inside the concert venue.

Michael E. Broccolo, 42, of 480 Pinnacle Road, Rochester, was charged with trespass after allegedly refusing to leave the parking lot after being told to leave the premises.

Daniel D. Dangelantonio, 26, of 302 Barrington St., Apt. 1, Rochester, was charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly shoving and punching a security guard while being removed from the concert area.

Ryan J. Deneka, 24, of 177 Heritage Farm Road, W. Seneca, was charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly climbing a fence inside the venue.

Peter H. Scrooby, 33, of 210 Pattenwood Drive, Irondequoit, was charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly fighting with security while being escorted from the concert venue. He was held on $200 bail.

Anthony F. Pero, 39, of 1 Sahara Drive, Rochester, was charged with harassment after allegedly fighting with a security guard in the VIP area. He was held on $200 bail.

Arlin J. Reyes, 26, of 1735 Townsend Ave., Apt. C3, Bronx, was charged with harassment after allegedly pushing a security guard. He was held on $300 bail.

Jamie E. Otto-Trott, 24, of 153 Park Ave., Apt. 2, Rochester, was charged with two counts of harassment after allegedly striking a security guard and then, after that arrest, kicking a Sheriff's deputy in the leg. She was held on $300 bail.

NOTE: I hung out in the Darien Court for a couple of hours last night and observed three arraignments. I'll have a report on that later today.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 9:33 am

Driver of Kid Rock crew busted for alleged DWI

post by Howard B. Owens in darien lake, Kid Rock, pembroke

mug-devlin.jpgA driver carrying members of the band and crew of Kid Rock was charged with DWI last night following a traffic stop on Route 77 in Pembroke.

Joseph S. Devlin, 37, of 447 Arricola Ave., St. Augustine, Fla., was allegedly observed failing to keep right while driving a tour vehicle.

Deputy Kevin R. McCarthy initiated a traffic stop at 1:58 a.m. this morning and found Devlin allegedly intoxicated.

Devlin was locked up in Genesee County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Kid Rock performed at Darien Lake Theme Park last night.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 8:54 am

County gets good news in Q2 on sales tax revenue

post by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, sales tax

Genesee County Treasurer Scott D. German said today that he got a pleasant surprise this week: Sales tax revenue for the 2nd quarter was up 6.74 percent.

"I thought sales tax would be down due to the economic conditions across the country," German said.

Plus, the monthly payments throughout Q2 were down as much as 19 percent. The shortfall, and then some, was made up in the July 14th payment.

Only Genesee and Niagara counties saw sales tax revenues increase in New York, German said.

For the year, the county is up 3.55% compared to last year, or $544,000 before distribution.

The county retains 50 percent of local sales tax revenue, while the City of Batavia gets 16 percent and the towns and villages share the remaining 34 percent.

Yesterday, when asked about the good news, County Manager Jay Gsell said caution is in order.

"The rest of the state is still seeing negative dollars from 2008 and 2009 and our economy has usually been delayed in experiencing spending downturns that the rest of the state is facing," Gsell said in an e-mail. "This is just a snapshot of a wait and see 'game' with shoppers and NYS and its own cash flow/performance."

Batavia City Manager Jason Molino is also taking a cautious look at current disbursements.

"Considering sales tax payments fluctuate drastically from payment to payment and quarter to quarter, it is best to wait and see what the next quarter's results are," Molino said. "The current status of sales tax could change with one NYS adjustment, as it has done in the past."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 8:03 am

Mercy Flight CEO tells local leaders he expects excellance in new ground service

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, ambulance, genesee county, Mercy Flight

Employees of Mercy Flight's ground ambulance service in Genesee County can expect to be held to high standards, CEO Douglas H. Baker told a gathering of local leaders last night in a meeting the Fire Training Center.

"I'll probably be in Genesee County more than you want to see me," Baker said. "I'll be here nearly every day. I'm going to make sure that this is either done my way, or it's not going to be done at all. We're not going to be embarrassed."

Baker made it clear that Mercy Flight employees will be expected to be professional, compassionate, courteous and enthusiastic. He said while the job is hard at times and enthusiasm can wane, he expects employees to reflect his enthusiasm for the profession.

"When our crews respond, they will be kind and responsive," Baker said. "If they're not, I don't care how good of an EMT they are, they're not going to work for us."

Baker said he expects the level of service in the county to be the same or better under Mercy Flight.

The organization has ordered four new ambulances that are in production now.

While it remains Mercy Flight's goal to retain as many city ambulance service personnel as possible, all potential employees will need to pass a background check and make it through an interview process.

"We're not going to hire somebody just because they're working now," Baker said.

But he also assured leaders that the new service will seem very familiar to them because they will see a lot of familiar faces and many of the same policies and practices that current personnel are using will remain in place.

"In general we will keep doing what you've been doing for all these years, unless you want us to change," Baker said. "We intend not to change, not even the people."

Indicating that Mercy Flight's goal is to be responsive to community concerns, Baker said that if officials aren't happy with anything that Mercy Flight is doing, it's their responsibility to make sure Mercy Flight managers or executives know about the problems so they can be addressed.

Ambulances will be based at UMMC North Street, UMMC Bank Street and at the airport, with another kept on standby. If it proves that that configuration isn't working for the community, and the statistics back up any issues identified, Mercy Flight will move ambulances to new bases as needed. And if necessary, Mercy Flight will add a fourth, or even a fifth crew, if it turns out more resources are needed to meet guaranteed response times.

"I don't want to be making decisions about where the ambulances should be," Baker said. "I want the community to decide where the ambulances should be."

Each municipality is being asked to sign a contract with Mercy Flight, but if officials from a particular town or city don't sign, Mercy Flight will still respond to emergencies in those communities. The only difference is the local leaders will not be able to hold Mercy Flight to guaranteed response times.

"I'm thrilled for an opportunity for a contract," said Town of Batavia Supervisor Greg Post after the meeting.  "I think they carry the greatest degree of professionalism. And I'm pleased there's another step in getting government out of the ambulance business."

Batavia City Councilman Sam Baron also said he feels good about Mercy Flight coming into Batavia. He said city residents can feel confident that the level of ambulance service under Mercy Flight will be just the same as what they've had in the past.

AUDIO: After the meeting, I recorded a separate interview with Mr. Baker.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 6:40 am

Today's Deals: Shop and Dine in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

New Today: Carlson's Studio, 39 Jackson Street, Batavia, N.Y.  Family photos are more than just photographs. When you need photos for that special occasion, Carlson's is a great choice in Genesee County. We have a $100 gift card for $50 (with $2 PayPal fee).

Sport of Kings Family Restaurant, 419 W Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: A favorite locally owned family restaurant that is open 24 hours per day, seven days a week. We have a $15 gift certificates for $7.50.

T.F. Brown's, at 214 E. Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: 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. The patio is open. It's also a great place to host group events.  See the ad on the right side of the page for contact information. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Jackson St. Grill and Belladessa's Pizzeria, 9 Jackson St., Batavia., N.Y.: Ever try to eat one of their giant cheeseburgers? Can you beat the champ, Mark's record time of 7 minutes, 13 seconds? We have TWO $10 gift certificates for $5 each (two separate winners).

Picasso's Pizza, 419 W. Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: A great variety of pizza, subs and salads -- and try the wings, too. We have three $5 booklets of $1 gift certificates ($15 value) for $7.50. The gift certificates can be used collectively or individually.

Delavan's Restaurant and Tavern, 107 Evans St., Batavia, N.Y.: If you're looking to try a perfect neighborhood eatery, check out Delavan's. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Present Tense Books, 101 Washington Ave., Batavia, N.Y.: Present Tense is a great independent bookseller which sponsors a variety of book-related events and sells some great gifts. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Note: We're changing pick-up/mail policy. Please read.

A $1 PayPal service fee applies on items more than $10. The fee is 50 cents on items below $10.

Rules: The gift certificate must be used by within 30 days of purchase. It is not valid with other offers and has no cash value. People who have won a certificate in the past 30 days are not eligible to win a certificate from the same business as before. Gift certificates cannot be combined with other offers without prior approval of the merchant. Gift certificates bought separately cannot be combined for a single purchase. By state law, gift certificates cannot be used for alcohol purchase.

How to Win: Purchase using the PayPal "Buy Now" button below. After the first person to hit the "buy now" button completes the purchase, PayPal will let you know that the item has been sold. The winner has up to 48 hours to make arrangements to pick up the gift certificate at The Batavian office in Downtown Batavia, or, unless other arrangements are made, the gift certificate will be mailed to the address associated with the PayPal account.

If you want to be notified via e-mail of future Deals of the Day, sign up for the Deals of the Day e-mail list by clicking here.

Merchants: If you would like your business featured in Deal of the Day, call Howard Owens at 260-6970.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Fire alarm at Dunkin' Donuts on West Main

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

City fire crews are responding to a general fire alarm at 137 W. Main St., the Dunkin' Donuts location.


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