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Howard B. Owens's blog

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 6:33 am

Today's Deals: Sport of Kings, Jackson St., Main St. Pizza, Delavan's

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

Today's Deals:

Main St. Pizza Company, 206 E. Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: One of Batavia's most popular restaurants with a great menu that goes well beyond just pizza. We have four $5 gift certificates ($20 value) that can be used together or separately for $10.

Delavan's Restaurant and Tavern, 107 Evans St., Batavia, N.Y.: When you're looking for a good home town meal in an inviting and comfortable atmosphere, Delavan's is a great spot. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

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 TWO $15 gift certificates for $7.50 each (two separate winners).

Jackson St. Grill and Belladessa's Pizzeria, 9 Jackson St., Batavia., N.Y.: Every 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).

A $1 PayPal service fee applies (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.  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. Ideally, the winner will arrange to stop by my office on Main Street to pick up gift certificate. Mail is an option, but it would be better to hand you the gift certificate. 

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.

Jackson St. Grill

SOLD

Sport of Kings

SOLD

Delavan's

SOLD


Main St. Pizza Company

SOLD


NOTE: I'm putting a morning time stamp on this so the accident story remains at the top of the page.

Monday, June 22, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Online Exclusive: Spider Lamp from Max Pies at a $101 savings

post by Howard B. Owens in advertising, thebatavian

maxpies_spider_lamp_250x250.jpgThrough a special arrangement with Max Pies Furniture, 400 South Jackson St., Batavia, The Batavian is able to extend this special, online-only offer to its readers:

We are able to offer a handsome Spider Lamp through The Batavian at a $101 savings. This lamp normally retails for $199.  You can use the PayPal button below to buy it online now for $98. (Sales tax and a $6 PayPal service fee will be added)

You can't buy this lamp in the store at that price.

The winner of this exclusive item will be able to choose from an in-stock Spider Lamp from World Imports.

Here's a chance to add some contemporary eloquence to your home decor.

There is only one item available at this price and it is exclusive through
The Batavian. The winning purchaser will need to arrange to stop by The Batavian office to pick up a purchase voucher. Final arrangements to take delivery of the lamp are made at the Max Pies location at 400 South Jackson St. This item will be available until it sells and only one at this price is available.

The voucher has no cash value, but can be used toward an upgrade purchase on another item.

Deliver is free in Genesee County.

To purchase this online exclusive from The Batavian and Max Pies Furniture, click the PayPal button below (this is the only way you can make this purchase -- this price is NOT available in the store).

If you're a local business owner and would like to offer The Batavian readers great deals either as part of The Deal of the Day or as an Online Exclusive, call me at 585-260-6970.

Monday, June 22, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Weeds Be Gone: City looks to toughen ordinance for property clean up

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, weeds

Now that I'm a city resident, there are things (though not many) that bug me a little more than they did in the past.

One of these pet peeves is the weeds in the Salvation Army parking lot on Jackson near Ellicott.  Weeds from the curb to the front door, in every crack, and weeds at the base of the light polls, and weeds along the north side of the parking lot. Not to mention the building hasn't been painted in decades and the front sign polls look like they came off a rusted battle ship. 

I drive past this location every day and feel sorry for the owner of Floral Fantasies, who must try to run an elegant business next to this mess.

It's just plain unsightly.

Apparently, I'm not the only city resident who's had enough of the weeds around town. It turns out City Council members get regular constituent complaints, but the current ordinance is proving ineffective at getting property owners to make their land and buildings a little less ugly.

The proposed changes would give property owners 48 hours to clean up weeds, trash or debris once a notice has been posted on the property. If the work isn't done in 48 hours, outside crews will be brought in to clean up the mess and the property owner will be assessed the price of the clean up and fined $250. A second violation in the same calendar year would yield clean-up costs and a $100 fine.

The only controversial point in the proposed changes is that an alternative penalty is 50 days in jail. The council debated this provision for a good 15 or 20 minutes after Councilman Bill Cox raised an objection to the language.

"This is America it’s not Russia," Cox said. "We don’t put people in jail for not cutting their grass.  We can fine them heavily, but even to to threaten them with jail is not what we do."

Councilman Tim Buckley took an opposing view, saying a violation of the law is a violation of the law and the threaten of jail time would encourage people to pay their fines, rather than let them slide (the city can put a lien against the property, but would have no other recourse to collect unpaid fines and bills).

"Deep in our hearts don’t want to send anybody to jail," Buckley said. Later adding, "I understand where Mr. Cox is coming form. This is America, but in America when you break the law, you pay the penalty."

Several council members, City Attorney George Van Nest and Asst. City Manager Sally Kuzon all said that sending people to jail for not cleaning up their property would only be used in extreme cases.

"I think the judges and the police officers involved would have enough discretion to recognize this is an extreme measure," Councilwoman Marianne Clattenburg said.

Removing jail time from the proposed language failed on a 4-5 vote.

Next, the proposed changes will be the subject of a public hearing.  I didn't write down the date and will update this post as soon as I have it. 

BTW: If somebody wants to organize a clean up crew to help out the Salvation Army, I'll set aside a Saturday to pitch in and whack a few weeds.

Monday, June 22, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Consolidation, or new charter, city will need to decide which to put on November ballot

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Charter Review Commission, consolidation

The City of Batavia's two-year effort to amend its charter is running head-on into any idea of consolidating the town and the city into a single government in the near future, according to John Roach, chairman of the Charter Review Commission.

Roach said this evening that City Attorney George Van Nest informed the commission that state law prohibits any other measure from being on the same ballot.

That means city officials will need to choose - new charter or push for consolidation.

"If we thought consolidation would pass, we would pull the charter," Roach said.

The Charter Commission's term expires, under state law, on election day. If there is no vote this November, then the city will need to appoint a new Charter Review Commission and the two-year process will start over.

Roach noted there are some issues in the revised charter that will not controversial, are critical. Among them the need to drop the requirement for the city to employee a City Engineer, a position that is currently vacant and is apparently no longer needed.  Also, under state law each member of the seven-member planning board should serve seven-year terms. The commission is recommending reducing the board to only five members so terms will be only five years (yes, that's the way state law works, according to Roach).

City Council President Charlie Mallow, a strong proponent of consolidation said to him there's no question, consolidation should be on the November ballot, not the charter.

Asked about the risk of the town not passing consolidation and then the city would need to start over on the charter, Mallow said, "That's the risk you have to take. That's something as an area we have to reach for."

City Manager Jason Molino, who serves on the consolidation committee, declined to say which choice he favored.

"It's up to the elected officials," Molino said. "If they feel fit to put it forward to the populace then they will."

Monday, June 22, 2009 at 5:33 pm

Gas line broken at trailer park

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Fire crews are on scene at 14 Shady Lane, Batavia, off Route 33, where a gas was reportedly broken by somebody digging.

The broken line is apparently a main line.

UPDATE 6:40 p.m.: National Fuel on scene.


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Monday, June 22, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Family dog fine following minor fire at Batavia home of assistant D.A.

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire

zickl.jpg

"Bear" is safe, much to the relief of Robert Zickl, the 11-year-old son of Asst. D.A. Will Zickl.

Young Robert was obviously distressed while firefighters were inside his home at 10 Woodcrest Drive, Batavia.  A paramedic said it was all she could do to keep him from from going into the house.

His father paced the driveway, running his fingers through his hair.

"As I came up, my very first thoughts were Robert, but then I saw him and his buddies over there (in the yard across the street), and I thought, 'that's good,'" Zickl said. "Soon it became an issue about Bear. He's very attached to his dog."

It didn't take long, though, for Bear to come running out of the front door and into the arms of Will Zickl.  Bystanders, including, I think, police, paramedics and firefighters, cheered when Bear came bounding out of the front door of the home.

Firefighters said the dog was hiding in a bedroom.

The fire probably started in the laundry room, according to Chief Ralph Hyde. He said the fire was contained to that area, but there is smoke damage throughout the house, and some water damage. Most of the water damage, he said, came from a water hose on the washer melting and spraying water.

The fire was spotted by a neighbor who alerted Zickl's brother Phil, who was in the back mowing the lawn. "You think that's a problem," the neighbor told Phil.

Phil immediately called 9-1-1 and then went to the house, not sure if Will's wife or his children were still inside.  He said he couldn't see in the house because of the smoke.  He touched the basement door and it was warm, so he stood aside as he opened it, and smoke came billowing out.

The fire was extinguished by city fire crews within 10 minutes of the initial 1 p.m. call.

All members of the Zickl household, including Bear, are safe and accounted for.

zickl02.jpg

Top picture: Will Zickl with Bear. Bottom picture, Robert Zickl and Phil Zickl with Bear.

Monday, June 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Smoke reported coming from house on Woodcrest Drive

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

Fire crews are being dispatched to 10 Woodcrest Drive, where a neighbor reports smoke coming from the residence.

UPDATE: At 1:10 p.m. fire crews report Woodcrest Drive blaze is knocked out.

UPDATE: A boy at the scene seemed obviously distressed and when a dog came running out of the residence, everyone there cheered.


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Monday, June 22, 2009 at 9:44 am

Today's Deals: Valle Jewelers, Adam Miller, South Main, Enchanted Florist

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

Four Deals today:

Valle Jewelers, 21 Jackson St., Batavia, N.Y.: An exquisite store with quality merchandise to fit any budget.  At Valle Jewelers you get exceptional customer service from a business that has been serving Batavia for three generations.  We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Adam Miller Toy & Bicycle, 8 Center St., Batavia, N.Y.: Here's a toy store suitable to your own fun, or your children's. From models to bikes, from board games to outdoor games, Adam Miller is just a fun place to shop. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

South Main Country Gifts, 3356 S. Main St. Road, Batavia, N.Y.: Another fun place to shop. There are items for the home and gift items of great variety. The two-level store has everything from incense to garden ornaments. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

The Enchanted Florist, 202 E. Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: Floral arrangements for any occasion with exceptional customer service. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

A $1 PayPal service fee applies.

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.  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. Ideally, the winner will arrange to stop by my office on Main Street to pick up gift certificate. Mail is an option, but it would be better to hand you the gift certificate. 

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.

Valle Jewelers

Adam Miller

SOLD

South Main

SOLD

The Enchanted Florist

SOLD

Monday, June 22, 2009 at 9:32 am

Smoke detector alarm rings at Veteran's Home

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

A smoke detector was triggered in the Liberty Lounge of the Veteran's Home, 200 Richmond Ave.

One crew on scene, so far nothing showing.

UPDATE 10:36: All units back in service.


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Monday, June 22, 2009 at 8:25 am

Elementary student at Byron-Bergen contracts H1N1

post by Howard B. Owens in byron, Byron-Bergen Elementary School, Swine Flu

Parents of Byron-Bergen students were informed late Friday afternoon, according to WBTA, that a student at Byron-Bergen Elementary School contracted H1N1 flu.

A copy of the automated notification was obtained by WBTA, and Superintendent Gregory Geer wrote, “This H1N1 (Swine Flu) strain of flu, although hyped in the media, is a mild form of influenza.”

According to the New York State Health Department Web site, 1,756 people in New York have contracted H1N1.

Monday, June 22, 2009 at 7:03 am

Road closure: Townline Road

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, elba

Townline Road is closed between Fox Fotch Road and Bank St. for culvert replacement.

UPDATE: A reader pointed out that Fox and Townline don't intersect, so we're seeking a clarification.

UPDATE: Townline Road was reopened about 10:45 a.m.

Monday, June 22, 2009 at 6:52 am

Steve Hawley talks about trip to Dominican and work of his step-son there

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, charity, steve hawley

Several weeks ago, Steve Hawley traveled with his wife Crystal to visit his step-son Tim Rimmer in the Dominican Republic, where Rimmer is doing work for the Peace Corps.

It sounded like a fascinating trip, so I asked Steve if he would sit down for a video interview and talk a little bit about the trip and share some pictures.  It took me some time to get the video put together because of our move and everything else going on. 

One of the key projects Tim Rimmer is involved in is building ceramic stoves for families to cook on. The Peace Corps is seeking donations to help with the project. To donate, click here.

Monday, June 22, 2009 at 6:22 am

Police Beat: Man charged with recklessly firing guns in Byron

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, byron, crime, Darien, Le Roy, Stafford

Gary Engle, 24, of 7549 Mechanic St., Byron, is charged with reckless endangerment. Engle is accused of shooting his .22 calibre rifle and 12-gauge shotgun in his backyard on June 13 at 3:15 without properly checking his backstop in the direction he was firing. The bullets reportedly entered the backyard of a neighbor where adults and children were present. No injuries were reported.

Jayson M. Connolly, 35, of 135 S. Main St., Apt. 10, is charged with assault in the third degree and criminal contempt in connection with three alleged incidents over a three-day period. On June 17, at about 7:30 p.m., Connolly allegedly swatted a stick from a bonfire hitting a female acquaintance with the stick and causing burn and blister on her right and left thigh area. On June 18, at about 11:45 p.m., Connolly allegedly phoned the woman in violation of an order of protection. On June 19, at about 11:45 a.m., Connolly allegedly tried to speak to the woman again in violation of the order of protection. Connolly was arrested and placed in Genesee County Jail without bail.

Jon M. Dambra, 21, of 22 Berry Grove Lane, Brockport, is charged with DWI and unlawful possession of marijuana following a traffic stop for allegedly speeding in the City of Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Jason Flansburg, 32, of 139 Woodlands Way, Brockport, was reportedly a guest at the Holiday Inn early yesterday morning when he began cussing and making loud noises at about 3:30 a.m.  Flansburg was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. He was also reportedly had some marijuana and was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.

Cory Jones, 26, of 5965 Main Road, Stafford, was stopped yesterday a little after midnight for an alleged traffic violation. Sheriff's deputies allegedly found him with marijuana and he was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.

Jerad M. Stalker, 25, of 8874 Hartshorn Road, Batavia, was stopped on Lovers Lane Road yesterday morning around 2 a.m.  He was charged with DWI, having a BAC of .08 or greater, improper parking on a road way and consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle. He was issued an appearance ticket.

Toni White, 28, of 14 S. Main St., Batavia, is charged with trespassing. The trespassing charge stems from a previous accusation of shoplifting at Wal-Mart. Following the initial charge, it was discovered that White had reportedly been banned from Wal-Mart, leading to the trespass charged on the date of the alleged shoplifting incident.

Terrance Dolan, 22, of 88 Woodcrest Blvd., Buffalo, and Sean T. Hennessy, of 41 Neuman Parkway, Buffalo, are charged with trespass in relation to events at the No Doubt concert at Darien Lake June 19 at 10:50 p.m. Dolan is accused of trying to enter a private area of the concert area and Hennessy is accused of trying to go backstage.

Andrew Paul Weick, 22, of 116 State St., Tonawanda and Paige Marie Fagan, 23, of 116 State St., Tonawanda, are accused of possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana. Weick and Fagan were reportedly at the No Doubt concert at Darien Lake when they were allegedly found in possession of hydrocodone, cocaine and marijuana.

Scott D. Larnder, 32, of 3 Jerome Place, Batavia, is charged with DWI, speeding and failure to take pre-screen test.  He was reportedly stopped on Route 5 near Sanders Road in Stafford. Larnder was arraigned the morning of June 19 and released.

Caitlin E. Mahoney, 22, of 84 Walter St., Tonawanda, is charged with DWI and a BAC of .08 or more. Mahoney was reportedly stopped at the side of the road on Route 33 in the Town of Batavia when contacted by deputies. Mahoney stated she was looking for the Thruway. Upon investigation, deputies concluded Mahoney was allegedly operating a motorvehicle while intoxicated.

William Briggs, 42, of 15 Savannah St, Apt. 6H, is charged with petty larceny for allegedly shoplifting from Target.

Bridget K. Grayson, 41, 8272 Gully Road, LeRoy, is charged with felony DWI and driving with a BAC of .18 or greater along with driving to the left of pavement markings in a no passing zone, improper turn signal, driving slow and impeding traffic and failure to notify DMV of address change. Grayson was reportedly stopped on Route 237 in Stafford on June 19 just after midnight.

Sunday, June 21, 2009 at 5:59 pm

4th Challenger Baseball season opens with a blast

post by Howard B. Owens in Challenger Baseball, Genesee ARC, YMCA. sports

challenger01.jpg

Carl Jeering connects with a pitch that will sail over the right-center field fence for the first-ever over-the-fence home run in Challenger Baseball history.

The sports program gives children and young people ages 5 to 21 with special needs a chance to play ball. It's a joint effort of the YMCA, Genesee ARC and a group of dedicated volunteers.

More than 60 athletes are in the league, which now has six teams. Games are played at the Batavia Minor League fields at MacArthur Park.

After the game, Batavia Minor League manager Paul Sputore was honored for his support of Challenger Baseball. Shelley Falitico, director of development for Genesee ARC, said "Challenger Baseball wouldn't be possible without Paul."

Jeering, above, is 18 and graduates from Batavia High School this week.

challenger02.jpg

challenger03.jpg

challenger04.jpg

challenger05.jpg

Sunday, June 21, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Horse greeting in Stafford

post by Howard B. Owens in animals, horse, Stafford

horse_stafford.jpg

There was a field with horses by where I parked my truck in Stafford this afternoon. I started snapping some pictures and this horse came over to check me out.

Sunday, June 21, 2009 at 3:40 pm

For second time today, general fire alarm at 400 Towers

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, 400 Towers

For at least the second time today, and at least the third time in the past week, there's a general fire alarm at 400 Towers, 400 E. Main St., Batavia.

Bea, what's going on there?

UPDATE: Burnt food in West Tower.

Sunday, June 21, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Mercy Flight receives donation from Alexander snowmobile group

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander, Mercy Flight

mercy_flight_check.jpg

Mercy Flight received a donation of $7,115 today from the Don Cummings Memorial Antique & Vintage Snowmobile Show, which was held May 9 in Alexander.

The donation will help defray the $300,000 cost of outfitting Mercy Flight with night goggles. The safety measure is expensive, explain Karen Bridge, community event coordinator in Batavia for Mercy Flight, because the goggles require training and modification to the helicopters' cockpits, as well as the goggles themselves.

The goggles will improve vision at night for pilots, so they can better see power lines, telephone polls and even small hills, Bridge said.

"Last year there were a lot of well publicized crashes all over the U.S., so it's a good thing to have," Bridge said.

This is the third year for the snowmobile show, which was originally known as the Alexander Antique and Vintage Snowmobile Show. The show was founded by Don Cummings, but he died shortly after last year's show. This year the show was renamed in his honor.

Pictured are, starting with the front row, left, Howard Mehne, Rita Mehne, Gail Lindsley, Bruce Lindsley, Doug Cummings, Jason Cummings and Karen Bridge; back row: Juliet Wnek, Jarred Czarnick, Dennis Czarniak, Pete Kemp and Joanne Kemp. Not pictured, John Goodridge, Ray Schumacher and Jay Cummings.

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