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Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 10:51 am

Batavia's post-season visit's Little League Muckdogs, involved in mentoring youth

post by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Muckdogs, Jermaine Curtis, sports

Jermaine Curtis MuckdogsPress Release:

More than 2,500 miles separate Claremont, California from Batavia, New York.  But on Tuesday, March 2, Claremont Little Leaguers got a bit of Batavia right in their own ballpark. 

Jermaine Curtis, third baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals minor league team, the Batavia Muckdogs, paid a special visit to Claremont’s Little League Farm team who bears the same name.   Curtis visited with the 13 youngsters and shared stories about his road to being a professional baseball player including his successful career with UCLA baseball.  Curtis stressed the importance of doing well in school, always trying your best and most of all he told the boys to “always have fun.”

The meeting of Muckdogs from opposite sides of the county was no coincidence.  In 2008, Claremont Little League officials decided to assign the younger players to minor league teams. 

Chairman Bernie Bernstein said, “We thought the designs for the minor league teams were fun and that the kids would really be excited about them.  The 50th anniversary of Claremont Little League was the perfect opportunity to roll out the program.” 

Well who would have known that they would have also provided an opportunity for the youngsters to meet the stars of their respective teams?

Claremont Muckdogs’ coach, Brian DeMott, through a mutual friend, found out that Curtis, whom he had seen at many UCLA games, was drafted by the Cardinals and played for their minor league team, the Batavia Muckdogs. 

Curtis, a graduate of A.B. Miller High School in Fontana, happened to be in town with his family when the call came.   Curtis was enthusiastic about the opportunity to visit with the young Muckdogs and applauded the league for making the decision to use minor league team names and logos for the season. 

Curtis responded to the request saying, “I want to give back to the sport I love so much!  My dad and I took the journey to being a professional baseball player all on our own.  We had little guidance and had to learn along the way.  I want to be able to be a mentor and help young kids who are upcoming athletes.”

Curtis’ outreach to young athletes is just beginning.  He is in the process of launching a new website, upcomingpros.com, which will allow upcoming professional athletes to mentor children and their parents on their road to college sports and the pros. 

Curtis plans to keep in touch with the Claremont Muckdogs and other young athletes through a blog on his site and in time, he plans to bring in other top collegiate and semi-pro athletes to the site to do the same. 

One thing is certain; there are a few new fans of the Batavia Muckdogs in Claremont, California today!
   
 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 6:51 am

Police Beat: Batavia woman charged with felony contempt, accused of violating protection order

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Jeanine D. Fuller, 22, of Batavia, is being held on $10,000 bail after an arrest for first degree contempt. Fuller is charged with violating a "stay away" order of protection.  She was previously convicted of second degree criminal contempt.  She was taken into custody Tuesday morning at her Oak Street residence.

Toni M. White, 28, and Shuvon J. Williams, 33, both of Batavia, were taken into custody Tuesday afternoon after allegedly getting into a fight in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Both were charged with disorderly conduct and given appearance tickets.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Lee pushing measure to ensure secret ballot in work place elections

post by Howard B. Owens in business, Chris Lee, unions

From a Press Release:

WASHINGTON – Congressman Chris Lee (NY-26) today called for passage of legislation he has co-sponsored that protects workers’ rights and guarantees a secret ballot in workplace elections. The lawmaker commented on the same day legislation was offered in Congress creating a “card check” system that would effectively strip workers of their right to a secret ballot when determining whether to form a union.

“When an American citizen steps into the voting booth, they are protected by the right to a secret ballot. Elections in the workplace should be held to the same sacred standard,” Congressman Lee said. “Voices from across the political spectrum have opposed this ‘card check’ legislation for one simple reason: the secret ballot and workers’ rights should always be protected.”

Appearing yesterday on CNBC, Warren Buffett stated his opposition to “card check” legislation because the right to a secret ballot is “pretty important.” Also opposing “card check” is former Democratic presidential nominee Sen. George McGovern (D-SD), who told the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill last fall, “I believe in the secret ballot as a very important part of our democracy.”

Congressman Lee is an original co-sponsor of H.R. 1176, the Secret Ballot Protection Act of 2009, which protects the right of workers to have secret ballot elections when determining whether to form a union.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Save the Date for "Recherche" Fashion Show at Genesee Community College

post by Howard B. Owens in announcements, GCC

Press Release:

BATAVIA, NY -- Community members of all ages should save the date for Genesee Community College's 28th Annual Fashion Show. This year's much anticipated show is entitled "Recherche" (pronounced ra-share-shay) and is French for rare, exquisite or lavishly refined.

Due to the overwhelming popularity of the program, the event continues to offer two shows scheduled for Saturday, April 25, 2009 at 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM, in the William W. Stuart Forum of the Batavia Campus. Tickets for the show are available for $5 in advance or $7 at the door and can be purchased by calling 585-345-6830. Advance tickets are strongly recommended.

"Each year it is so exciting to watch the Fashion Merchandising students spend the year blending their ideas, talents and enthusiasm together toward the common goal of producing Western New York's largest professionally produced Fashion Show," said Rick Dudkowski, Genesee Community College's business professor who oversees the entire two-semester capstone project. "This year we've got some fantastic talents coordinating and participating in this project. This event will not disappoint!"

The event combines the interests and academic pursuits of several other College departments as well. The College's Hospitality Management students work under Genesee instructor Amy Bowles to coordinate extensive 'front of house' operations such as refreshments, décor, door prizes, music and light refreshments, and the overall festive ambience. In addition, Genesee's Criminal Justice students will be behind the scenes ensuring safety and security from the moment visitors arrive in the parking lot to the very end of the night, when the show has long been over. Graphic Art students at Genesee, under the direction of Pamela Swarts, have also contributed art work for the posters and programs.

Sponsors for the production are still being accepted. Business donations of $10.00 or personal donations of $5.00 are available. To extend appreciation, the business or personal name will be included in the souvenir program and the fashion show's website. If writing a check please make checks payable to GCCA. To schedule a time for pick up or to make special arrangements for your donation, please contact Alexandrea Biermann at [email protected].

Further information will be forthcoming, but save the date April 25 for Genesee's Annual Fashion Show. Contact Fashion Show student representative Katie Norton at 585-746-8170 for additional information.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Student Sponsored 'Duck Derby' Raises Funds for United Way

post by Howard B. Owens in GCC

Press Release:

BATAVIA, NY -- Genesee Community College students in Rick Dudkowski's Business Problems and Management Class and the Business Forum Club have set their ducks afloat with one goal in mind; raising money for United Way. The students' assignment was to create fundraisers and events to increase College contributions to the 2009 United Way campaign titled, "Live United". Students came up with a Duck Derby Fundraiser on Thursday, March 12 at 1:00 PM. Students will be selling duck tickets until the day of the race.

All of the ticket purchasers will be assigned to a numbered rubber duck. The ducks will then be set free in the Olympic size pool at Genesee Community College in Batavia. With the help of a 'current' created by the College's Swim Team, the first duck to make it to the end of the swimming pool wins. The prize will depend on what each person paid for his or her ticket. Students are selling the tickets in one-dollar increments from $1 to $5. Participants win a percent of all money raised based on how much they buy the ticket for. For example, if a $1 duck wins, the winner will receive 10 percent of the funds raised. If a $2 duck wins, the winner gets 20 percent, and so on, up to 50 percent for a $5 duck.

The students have set a goal of raising over $500, to beat or at least match the amount students raised last year for The United Way. Genesee's United Way Duck Derby is modeled after a similar race that was held a few years ago in the Tonawanda Creek as a fundraiser for youth activities at the old Royal Rink (now Falletti Ice Arena).

"We really hope to reach our goal this year," Tim Walton, Genesee student and a member of the Rubber Duck Promotion Team said. "This event promises to be a lot of fun and most importantly, raise money for a good cause." The duck race is the second of two fundraisers that Genesee students have planned, the other being a carnation sale where over $150 was raised, which was put on during the fall semester.

Ducks will be available for purchase at the Batavia campus in the Forum, up until the start of the race. For further information or to purchase a duck, please contact Rick Dudkowski, Business Faculty member, at 585-343-0055 x6390 or at [email protected].

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Genesee Community College Features Immense Student Art Exhibit in Lobby Art Gallery

post by Howard B. Owens in announcements, GCC

Press Release:

BATAVIA, NY - The talents of many Genesee student artists take center stage with the Genesee Community College Fine Arts Student Exhibition. This exhibit will be on display in the lobby art gallery of the Stuart Steiner Theatre at the Batavia campus from February 24 until March 24, 2009. This massive exhibit features over 100 pieces of sculpture, ceramics, paintings, drawings, photography and design projects, highlighting student works (both art and non-art majors) at Genesee.

There is a wide arrangement of works of art from 10 different art classes taught by four different faculty members. Included in the exhibit are works from: Drawing I and II, Painting I and II, and Digital Photography all taught by Heather Jones; 2D Design taught by Melissa Newcomb; Ceramics I and II and 3D Design taught by Moi Dugan; and Photography taught by Robert Cooper.

Art work submitted from Drawing I and II display various pencil drawings, portraits, and negative and positive space projects. The 2D Design classes offer pieces detailing elements such as texture, balance, color, line and emphasis. Plaster, paper and cardboard sculptures adorn the gallery from the 3D design class. The glass display cases are filled with unique and intricate ceramic pieces from the Ceramics I and II classes. Rounding out the immense student exhibit is an assortment of photographs from the photography classes depicting people, places and artistic interpretations.

"We really have some talented students at Genesee," Heather Jones, instructor of Fine Arts at Genesee said. "The students have really shown the depths of their creativity and ability. This year's student exhibit is also one of largest showings we've had. Both art and non-art majors have brought their best works to be displayed."

Students involved in the Fine Arts Exhibit are: Abrianna Adler, Susan Alessi, Alyssa Almete, Janet Arney, Peter Badami, Stacie Ball, Adaline Ballord, Christina Barnes, Rebecca Batt, Corey Bennett, Philip Berggren, Sierra Biegasiewioz, Krystal Skye Brisson, Karen Bryant, Jennifer Byrgett, Justin Calmes, Emille Carducci, Hoemi Chin, Grant Claypool, Briana Coogan-Bassett, Carrie Crawford, Joan Dalba, McKenzie D'Angelo, Megan Dembinski, Alicia Derefinko, Marcus Dixon, Chris Douglas, Mary Dukes, Holly Gardner, Jessica Gates, Andy Gibbs, Heather Gleason, Erin R. Guest, Markus Hall, Brittney Helsdon, Heather Hildebrant, Nate Hillabush, Dawn Holbrook, Danielle Hoskins, Jillian Hunt, Haruka Inove, Jamila Jordan, Annalis Kaminski, Casandra Kelsey, Brittany Kessler, Gary King, Ashley Kingsley, Susan Kinney, Heather Klimeck, Weiling Lazik, Heather Magrid, Jeanette Menzie, Carl Militello, Phil Mordenga, Lori Mould, Michael Moultrup, Mariko Nomura, Julie O'Connor, Gustavo Otera, Calvin Patrick, Nicole Pierce, Megan Reckahn, Libby Rennard, Amanda Ripton, Carrie Riter, William Rupp, Ellen Saile, Lynette Schunacher, Greg Scoins, Samantha Seewaldt, Maria Seewaldt, Kaely Shepard, Gwendolen Shepard, Julie Shuaffer, Timothy Sisson, Howen Smart, Haven Smart, Aquantis Smith, Leslie Statt, Lori Stellrecht, Kelly Stone, Carolyn Stroka, Michelle Taylor, Cory Thomas, Kelsey Trybushyn, Anne Vandenbosch, Rachel Wall, Kevin Wallace, Natalie Welch, Mary Jo Whitman, Elizabeth Woodruff, Martha Zuber, and Lydia Zwierzynski.

The Fine Arts Student Exhibit is free and open to the public. For further information, please contact Heather Jones at 585-343-0055 x6448 or at [email protected].

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Police Beat: Two arrests Monday

post by Howard B. Owens in crime

Christopher L. Oliver, 27, of Rochester, was arrested in Byron Monday for possession of marijuana as well as unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and driving with a suspended registration.

Timothy Corke, 21, of Batavia, was arrested Monday on a warrant for a previous DWI arrest.

Monday, March 9, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Record Setting Number of Classes Using 'A Tale For Three Counties' Book in Classrooms at Genesee

post by Howard B. Owens in announcements, GCC

Press release:

BATAVIA, NY -- Genesee Community College is proud to announce that 19 classes have integrated A Tale for Three Counties reading initiative program into their classrooms. The 2009 program features the novel, Separate from the World: An Ohio Amish Mystery by P.L. Gaus and has been read by over 300 Genesee students. A 'Meet the Author' presentation and book signing is scheduled for Thursday, March 12 at 1:00 PM in Room T102 at Genesee's Batavia campus.

A Tale for Three Counties community reading initiative was organized in 2003 by librarians in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties, as well as with other interested partners, including Genesee Valley BOCES School Library System and the Daily News. The goal of A Tale for Three Counties is to encourage reading among area adults and teenagers and to develop interest and discussion groups for works of fiction that focus on rural family themes, local history, or other related topics and issues.

A wide range of subjects have incorporated the book into their lesson plans at the College. Six subject areas are represented, including: Reading, English, Sociology, Human Relations, Biology and The First Year Experience (FYE). Students at the Batavia Campus, many Campus Centers, and high school students in Genesee's ACE program are taking part in this collaborative reading initiative. Students participating in the reading program were given the book free of charge with funding from a grant through Genesee's Foundation and Student Activities.

Separate from the World is a story of a rift between two Amish factions, one that favors the use of medicine and that participates in a college study of genetic traits particular to the Amish community, and the other that rejects any outside influence. P. L. Gaus takes the reader inside a separate culture and, in a manner both gentle and grim, highlights the complex relationship of the Amish and the "English" as they live inside or outside each other's orbits.

Students, faculty and community members are invited to participate in various book discussions preceding the 'Meet the Author' presentation, on Monday, March 9 at 7:00 PM in the Library at Genesee and Tuesday, March 10 at 12:30 PM in room S103 in the Student Union. The book discussions and author presentation are part of 18 different discussions held at 15 community libraries through A Tale for Three Counties area-wide reading program. Amish inspired refreshments will be available at discussions, and at the author's presentation and book signing.

"This really is a record- setting year for this reading initiative at Genesee," Sue Chiddy, co-chair of the Genesee committee said. "This novel is an excellent piece for discussion in an academic setting because it touches on so many compelling topics. From bio-genetic issues to sociological dialogue on communal living, the students here are engaging in interesting and thought-provoking discussion."

For more information on A Tale for Three Counties community reading program, visit www.taleforthreecounties.org or contact committee chair person Leslie Delooze at 585-343-9550 Ext.8.

The 'Meet the Author' presentation, book sale and signing event at Genesee are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Genesee Community College's A Tale for Three Counties co-chairpersons Michele Asmus or Sue Chiddy at 585-343-0055 Ext. 6256.

Monday, March 9, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Police beat: Two local woman charged with hosting separate under-age drinking parties

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Laura A. Olcott, 19, of Batavia was arrested for allegedly hosting an under-age drinking party Sunday at 3:46 a.m.  Olcott was charged with second degree criminal negligence and unlawful possession of alcohol. Police responded to the residence after a noise complaint.

Leanne M. Wood, 21, of Batavia, is also accused of hosting an under-age drinking party. Wood was arrested after police responded to a noise complaint. She is charged with second degree criminal nuisance and unnecessary noise.

Jeffery Cole, 43, of Batavia, was arrested Sunday after allegedly grabbing two steaks from Tops Market and fleeing the store.

Elizabeth Roman, 37, of Rochester, is facing a grand larceny charge after allegedly renting items from Rent-A-Center and then selling the items to acquaintances. She is being held without bail.

Julio C. Morales, Jr., 23, of Batavia was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Morales was allegedly involved in a motor vehicle accident Saturday. He reportedly left the scene, came back, and was found to have a pipe in his pocket with marijuana residue as well as marijuana.

John N. Robinson, 24, of Batavia is charged with DWI after being stopped Sunday for allegedly speeding on Route 20 in Alexander.  Robinson is accused of having a BAT of .08 or more.

Daniel J. Schepperley, 23, of Tonawanda, is charged with DWI after being stopped in Batavia for alleged erratic driving.

Kimberley A. Showler, 43, of Batavia, is accused of shoplifting at Target. She is charged with petty larceny and possession of burglar tools.

Amber N. Wallace, 19, of Batavia, was arrested for allegedly violating a standing order baring her from Wal-Mart. Wallace is charged with second degree criminal attempt. She was released on her own recognance

Monday, March 9, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Batavia area one of nation's fastest growing 'micropolitians' again, according GCEDC

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

The "micropolitian" area of Batavia is one of the nation's fastest growing regions according to Site Selection Magazine.

This is the fifth straight year Batavia has received the designation.

On its Web site, Site Selection describes itself this way:

Site Selection's editorial mission is to publish information for expansion planning decision-makers -- CEOs, corporate real estate executives and facility planners, human resource managers and consultants to corporations. Our goal is to help the expansion planner do a better job.

Here's the full press release from the Genesee County Economic Develoment Committee

Batavia, NY…Genesee County and the Batavia Micropolitan Area has been named one of the country’s 10 fastest growing regions by Site Selection Magazine for a fifth consecutive year.  A Micropolitan Area is a census definition that describes a city of less than 50,000 people that serves as the seat of a larger geographical area like Genesee County.  There are roughly 600 Micropolitans nationwide.

The Batavia Micropolitan was first recognized in 2004 and ranked 7th in the nation.  In 2005, the region was named the 3rd fastest growing Micropolitan in the nation and the number 1 location in the Northeast.  Batavia made the list again in 2006 and 2007.  In 2008 the Batavia Micropolitan ranked fourth nationwide. 

Statesville-Mooresville, North Carolina was tops in the category, participating in 17 qualifying projects.  Daphne-Fairhope, Alaska tied with Tupelo, Mississippi for second with both completing 12 projects.  Batavia participated in 11 qualifying projects tying with Ottawa-Streator, Illinois for fourth.  The results were published in Site Selection’s March issue.

“Despite a changing economic and political climate in the state and nationwide, we were able to participate in 11 qualifying projects and again earn honors as a Top Micropolitan.” said CEO Steve Hyde.  “It’s an accomplishment we are extremely proud of and over the years the recognition has brought us national exposure and helped us increase our project volume.  It is an honor that we share with the entire community, including our local and regional partners and elected officials.”

Monday, March 9, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Stafford Town Board meeting agenda for March 9

post by Howard B. Owens in announcements, Stafford

OLD BUSINESS                

1.   Resolution 02-2009:
Rescind Resolution 02-2009 of Feb. 9, 2009
Approve a Retail Water supply Agreement with the
Town of Batavia  -- Revised Resolution 02-2009    
Recreation Program Director appointment
Teamsters Contract Status --  R. Pacer

NEW BUSINESS:              

1.  Thompkins Ins. Update  --  David Boyce

2.   Water Districts State Comptroller Applications
Resolution 09-2009 – Water District #5
Resolution 10-2009 – Water District #7
Resolution 11-2009 – Water District #8

3.   Water districts Negative Declarations
Resolution 07-2009 – Water district 7
Resolution 08-2009 – Water district 8

4.   Tax collector’s Report --  Walt Kershenski

5.   GAM Meeting:
Michelle Mouery report Feb. 19th meeting
Next Meeting March 19, 2009  
           Town of ????????– R. Pacer

6.  Highway Dept  – Steve Boldt
Highway Shared Services Agreement                       
Resolution on Standardization
 

Monday, March 9, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Weather service issues third flood warning

post by Howard B. Owens in flooding, weather

The National Weather Service has issued a third flood warning for the Batavia and LeRoy areas.

THE FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES FOR THE OATKA CREEK AT GARBUTT * UNTIL WEDNESDAY MORNING. * AT 11 AM MONDAY THE STAGE WAS 6.5 FEET AND RISING. * MINOR FLOODING IS OCCURRING AND MODERATE FLOODING IS FORECAST. * FLOOD STAGE IS 6.0 FEET. * FORECAST... THE RIVER WILL CONTINUE TO RISE AND CREST NEAR 7.1 FEET LATE TONIGHT. * IMPACT... AT 7.0 FEET... MODERATE FLOOD... WIDESPREAD FLOODING OF AGRICULTURAL LANDS BELOW LEROY. SIGNIFICANT RESIDENTIAL FLOODING ALONG CREEK, ESPECIALLY IN MUMFORD, WHEATLAND, AND SCOTTSVILLE. ROADWAY FLOODING BEGINS. SOME BACKWATER EFFECTS POSSIBLE FROM GENESEE RIVER NEAR SCOTTSVILLE.

The warning also issues the following warnings:

BLACK CREEK AT CHURCHVILLE ALLEGHENY RIVER AT OLEAN ALLEGHENY RIVER AT SALAMANCA TONAWANDA CREEK AT BATAVIA

Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 10:37 am

Last performance tonight at BHS of 'Little Shop of Horrors'

post by Howard B. Owens in announcements, batavia, theater

We received this via e-mail:

Last chance tonight to see the Batavia High School Musical "Little Shop of Horrors". This years production is fantastic! Production value for a High School play is the best to date and the actors/actresses are fantastic in thier respective roles. Please spread the word.....Last performance is tonight March 7th. Show starts at 7pm at the BHS.

Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 9:24 am

NPR reports Obama apparently backing away from promise for rural summit

post by Howard B. Owens in Barack Obama, rural

Early in his campaign for president, Barack Obama promised to call Republican and Democratic leaders together within his first 100 days for a rural summit.

NPR's Howard Berkes reports that the Obama White House seems to be backing away from that promise.

Inouye then cited rural initiatives in the stimulus bill and Obama's proposed budget. "His administration is taking affirmative steps to help strengthen rural America."

As to the pledge of a rural summit in the first 100 days, Inouye said, "[Obama] is working with his Cabinet, advisers and congressional allies to form a comprehensive rural agenda, and is planning on hosting a forum to discuss those ideas."

That's a commitment to do something, but not in the first 100 days, and not in the form of a summit in Iowa.

Yes, a lot has changed since Obama made his pledge, and it doesn't appear that Obama's administration is completely forgetting rural towns.  And I'm not even sure, frankly, what a rural summit would accomplish.

But it's good that reporters like Berkes are out there looking after rural America's interest.

Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 8:42 am

Ambulance service: Would the union renegotiate? Would the city?

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, ambulance

Part 2 of the Daily's FAQ on ambulance service is up.

I'm posing about it only because I get a little bugged when I see people not answering questions.  In this case, it's Greg Ireland:

To fire department union President Greg Ireland, would the union renegotiate its current contract to lessen the cost to the city?

Mallow and the union signed a contract on Sept. 4, 2007, that ran through March 2010, Ireland said, noting that at the time, Mallow was quoted as saying "every single thing that was brought up previously by council, we addressed with them."


"We have an agreement with the city to establish a labor-management committee to discuss concerns ... and the city has not approached the union to discuss any concerns they have with our current contract," Ireland said.

Notice that Ireland doesn't answer a very simple yes or no question. He obfuscates by pushing it back on the city, saying the city never asked.  But the question wasn't, "Did the city ask you?" It was, "would you?"

There's logical question back for Charlie Mallow: If the union were willing to renegotiate, would the city reconsider its position?

And is it simply too late to even consider such questions?

Friday, March 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Hilly steps up big to help The Batavian next week

post by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian

I have a pre-arranged trip to the West Coast I'm taking. I fly out in the morning and won't be back for a week.  I figure I should take the trip while I can and see my parents, as well as take care of a little business (there might even be a positive development or two for The Batavian as a result).

While I'll be able to check on the site and even post here and there, Brian Hillabush has volunteered to stay on top of things, too, and help keep the site updated.

Friday, March 6, 2009 at 4:35 pm

LeRoy removing 'outdated' fire boxes from village streets

post by Howard B. Owens in LeRoy

"They've been around forever. It's just another sign of things in the past," (Police Chief Christopher) Hayward said.

Hayward was talking about the once bright red fire alarm boxes along LeRoy village streets that will soon be removed by an electrician.

Must everything old eventually be replaced, or might preserving the past be a community value worth keeping?

Daily News staff writer Scott DeSmit includes these interesting details:

The first boxes were made in 1852 and used the telegraph system. When the box was triggered, a spring-loaded wheel spun and tapped out a signal, which was telegraphed to a fire station.

Eventually, the boxes were linked to fire stations or dispatch centers using phone lines, about the only advance in technology the boxes ever underwent.

Of course, in these tight times, saving money is a virtue.

Each box has its own phone line, meaning the village will cut its phone bill by almost half by discontinuing the lines, Hayward said. The nine boxes, plus two fire sirens, accounted for $239 of the village's $650 monthly bill. The two sirens will remain.

DeSmit reports that none of the boxes have been used for a real incident in two years.

Friday, March 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Accident at routes 33 and 237 causes minor injury

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident

One person reported chest pains following a two-vehicle collision at the intersection of routes 33 and  in Stafford at about 2:30 p.m.

A state trooper on scene said the investigation was not yet completed and would not release the names of the drivers. He said a Chevy SUV was west bound on 33 when a pick up truck traveling on Route 327 apparently failed to stop.

We'll provide more details later as we're able to get them.

Friday, March 6, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Paper's FAQ on ambulance services gives both sides a say

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, ambulance

The Daily News has posted the first of a two-part FAQ on the ambulance service controversy.

It's well done and should be pretty informative to anybody (is there anybody?) who hasn't been following the issue.

There's been much discussion on The Batavian over an allegation that the city transferred money from ambulance funds to the city treasury. City Manager addresses the question:

In past years, money has been transferred from the ambulance fund to meet personnel costs associated with running the city ambulance service. Eliminating the ambulance service allows the city to cut those positions, which will end the city's need to take money from another fund.

On the issue of "scare tactics," as City Council President Charlie Mallow has characterized the union's lobbying effort, Mallow and union president Greg Ireland each get their say.

Mallow:

"The union's literature, signs and words imply that the city will somehow not have ambulance service after Sept. 1 and that no one will come to help when you call 911," Mallow said. "The county has made it clear that they have a process in place ... there is no reason to believe the hysteria being asserted by the union that there will be no one to provide ambulance service after Sept. 1."

Ireland:

"Our campaign is in NO way negative," Ireland said. "We simply want the public to be aware of the decision that council has made to eliminate their ambulance service, and City Council has no definitive plan for the future needs of their citizens. Passing the buck to someone else is not a responsible way to govern the people that elected you, and I am one of them."

Read the whole thing.

Friday, March 6, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Genesee County Assisted Living Center closes doors pending state funding

post by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Assisted Living Center

The Genesee County Assisted Living Center posted a sign on its front door yesterday informing patrons that the facility closed "until further notice."

Paster Charlie Piscitello, chairman of the board of directors, said the center has not received from Albany more than $53,000 needed to cover operational expenses for the first quarter. The state also owes more than $40,000 for the final quarter of 2008.

"Our funds were frozen that we need to keep the doors open," Piscitello said. "It got to the point where with no money you can't pay anybody. You can't even pay their health insurance."

The center employs 11 people and serves more than 1,100 clients.

"This is a money crunch in Albany," Piscitello said. "This isn't a case of mismanagement."

Piscitello said the center expects its funding by Tuesday, but WBTA quotes the executive director as saying the center won't open again until a week from Monday.

Meanwhile, the center's employees are on furlough.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley told WBTA that some paperwork had not been completed and that he's working with the Albany agency taking care of the reimbursements. Listen his audio quote from WBTA.

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