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Monday, August 10, 2009 at 10:34 am

Today's Poll: Do you lock your car at night?

post by Howard B. Owens in polls
Monday, August 10, 2009 at 10:28 am

More heavy rain, possible flash floods concern

post by Howard B. Owens in weather

Heavy rain showers and thunderstorms could develop over Genesee County this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

The rain, after the big storm of last night, could lead to flash floods in low-lying areas as well as creeks and streams.

The flash flood watch is in effect until late tonight.

Should the danger of flash flood be detected, people should seek higher ground.

Monday, August 10, 2009 at 10:14 am

People, lock your cars!

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime

Apparently the message isn't getting through.  The police are once again asking local media to get the message out: Lock your cars.

A thief or thieves continue to prey on people who leave valuables in unlocked vehicles.

The latest spate of break ins occurred recently on East Avenue, Vine Street, Summit Street and Farwell Drive.

Among the items stolen recently were an iPod and a computer along with small change.

Anybody with information that might lead to the arrest of the thieves are encouraged to call 345-6350. If you see a crime in progress, call 9-1-1.

Monday, August 10, 2009 at 10:02 am

Jan. 25 fire under investigation as possible arson

post by Howard B. Owens in arson, batavia, fire

Police detectives are investigating a case of possible arson stemming from a Jan. 25 fire at 12 Elm St. in Batavia.

Confirming a reader tip, Det. Chuck Dudek said this morning that the investigation is ongoing.

The initial Fire Department press release from that fire:

The first alarm came in for 12 Elm Street with report of a possible explosion and flames showing. Within three minutes, city firefighters arrived on scene and quickly extinguished a fire that was found in the side stairwell of the three-story apartment house. Four residents were alerted by smoke detectors and were safely outside the structure when the firefighters arrived.

Monday, August 10, 2009 at 9:49 am

Storm knocks down tree on Warren Street, damaging home and car

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Warrent Street, weather


Last night. Allison Watson said in the midst of a wind, rain and lightning storm she heard a boom and then the front of her house filled with brown smoke.  When she walked to the side of her house, she wasn't surprised at what she found.

Part of a giant tree in her neighbor's yard had fallen into her home at 14 Warren St.

"I called it," Watson said. "I knew it was going to fall on my house. It was only a matter of time."

Watson said she believes the tree was diseased.

Watson, a 15-year-resident of Warren Street, said it's the second time a branch fell on her property. The first time was a couple of years ago during an ice storm and the branch destroyed her garage.

This time, her car was damaged, but she doesn't know how extensively.

Work crews were on their way this morning to remove the debris.

There were no injuries, Watson said, not even to her pet bird, whose feathers were a little ruffled when its cage was damaged, but is otherwise OK.

Monday, August 10, 2009 at 8:49 am

Police Beat: Batavia man faces three charges of harassment for allegedly fighting

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, corfu, crime, Darien, Pavilion

Eric C. Smith, 21, of 15 Edwards St., Batavia, is charged with three counts of harassment and one count of disorderly conduct. Smith was allegedly involved in a fight in which he allegedly pushed and punched three individuals. Further, Smith is accused of urinating on the floor and walls at police headquarters while being processed. He was jailed on $2,500 bail.

Kevin Q. Thomas, Jr., 20, of 193 S. Main St., Batavia, is charged with harassment. Thomas was allegedly involved in the same fight as Smith, above, and allegedly pushed another person. He was jailed on $500 bail.

Thomas K. Lee, 14 Highland Park, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Lee allegedly stole items from the Kwik-Fill store in Batavia. He was jailed on $250 bail.

James S. Gibbs, 33, of 34 Vernon Ave., Batavia, is charged with criminal contempt. Gibbs allegedly sent numerous text messages to a woman he was barred from contacting. He was jailed on $5,000 bail.

David J. Alvarado, 27, of 2103 S. 9th St., Lafayette, Ind., is charged with DWI. Officer Dan Coffey suspected Alvarado of driving drunk after a traffic stop for allegedly driving without headlights. He is also accused of having a BAC of .08 or greater.

Robert Michael Browne, 48, of 282 Route 20 Road, Room #3, Darien, is charged with two counts of criminal contempt. Browne allegedly violated a court order by going to a residence in the Town of Darien which he had been ordered to avoid.

Charles J. Fetterman, 37, of Lockport, is charged with DWI. Fetterman was stopped by a state trooper after allegedly failing to keep right on Route 20 in Darien. He is accused of driving with a BAC of .10 percent.

Bryan P. Falictico, 20, of Batavia, is charged with DWI. Falictico allegedly failed to keep right on Route 5 in Batavia, which led to a traffic stop by a state trooper. Falictico allegedly registered a BAC of .16 pecent.

William V. Mattucci, 53, of 414 Schenk St., North Tonawanda, is charged with DWI, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle and driving left of pavement markings. Mattucci was arrested in Corfu by village police.

Cynthia L. Carlo, 44, of 10 Gaslite Lane, Batavia, is charged with DWI, with a BAC of .08 or greater and moving from a lane unsafely. Carlo was stopped on Route 98 by Deputy H.J. Carlson early Sunday morning.

Jeffrey J. Klar, 29, 7178 Lovers Lane Road, Cattaraugus, is charged with DWI, aggravated DWI with a BAC of .18 or greater, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. Klar allegedly drove his car off a grass parking area on Sumner Road in Darien when he reportedly hit another car. He was stopped by a Sheriff's deputy on Sumner Road after allegedly trying to leave the scene.

Victor Trejo, 21, of 4238 West Ave., Elba, is charged with DWI and unlawful possession of marijuana. Trejo was stopped for allegedly speeding on Bank Street Road in Elba.

Luke W. Ritzenthaler, 26, of Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Ritzenthaler was allegedly found in possession of a pipe containing marijuana residue. He is also charged with operation a motor vehicle on a revoked license.

Patrick J. Lamendola, 48, of Rochester is charged with DWI. Lamendola was stopped by a state trooper for allegedly driving down the shoulder of Route 19 in Pavilion. Lamendola's BAC was reportedly .09 percent.

Monday, August 10, 2009 at 6:53 am

About 410 homes without power around Genesee County

post by Howard B. Owens in National Grid, power outages, weather

At this hour, National Grid reported about 410 homes are without power in Genesee County.

The areas most widely struck:

  • Town of Batavia: 260
  • Town of Bergen: 25
  • Town of Pavilion: 53
  • Town of Stafford: 56

There is no ETA  listed for power to be restored in those locations.

UPDATE: Most of this power -- all except Bergen -- has been restored.

Sunday, August 9, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Wind and lightning causing nighttime damage in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia

A tree has fallen on a house at 21 Warren St. in Batavia, causing significant damage to the roof.  No injuries are reported.

Meanwhile, a power or telephone poll at 99 Jackson has been struck by ligtning. (UPDATE: Not sure if related, but also a poll on Center Street has been struck, but no lines down.)

Also, a tree is down and blocking Ellicott Street Road.

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UPDATE: Here's the radar map at 10:25 p.m.


Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 7:36 pm

Support the businesses who support The Batavian

post by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian

It's exceptionally gratifying to meet people who love The Batavian. It's common for me to attend a public event and meet people who say, "I love your site. I visit it several times a day to find out what's going on."

So I have a request for all the readers who love The Batavian: Support our sponsors. Without them -- 51 of them now -- there is no local news site like The Batavian.

Please patronize The Batavian sponsors first, and when you do, it is exceptionally important that the owners or managers know that you saw their ad on The Batavian. Please tell them, "Thank you."

Here is a list of our sponsors:

Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle
Affordable Floor Covering
Alex's Place
Amelia's Antiques and Collectibles
Angelican Community Church
Barrett's Batavia Marine and Sporting Supplies
Batavia Cycle Center
Batavia Downs Casino
Batavia Muckdogs
Blue Pearl Yoga
Bonarigo & McCutcheon
Carlson's Studio
Cedar St. Sales and Rentals
Center of Attention Auto Spa
Center Street Smokehouse
Charles Men's Shop
D'n'R Fireplaces and Stoves
Delavan's Restaurant and Tavern
Diegelman Plumbing
Eclectic Creations
The Enchanted Florist
Fastec Automotive
Genesee County Red Cross
Genesee Feeds
Godfrey's Pond
Herbly Wonderful
Holland Land Office Museum
Jackson St. Grill/Belladessa's
The Insurance Center
Larry's Steakhouse
Lewis and Lewis
Main St. Pizza Company
The Mane Attraction
The Manor House
Max Pies
O'Lacy's Irish Pub
Oliver's Candies
Pellegrino Auto Sales
Picasso's Pizza
Present Tense Books
Pudgie's Lawn and Garden Center
Reeb Family Moving
Roxy's Music Store
Settler's Family Restaurant
South Main Country Store
Southside Deli
Sport of Kings
T.F. Brown's
Total Image Hair Salon
T-Shirts Etc.
Valle Jewelers

Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Noblehurst Farms in Pavilion turning methane into energy

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, Noblehurst, Pavilion

Nobelhurst Farms in Pavilion runs enough cows to produce 5,000 gallons of milk a day. That many cows also produce a heck of a lot of manure.

Manure means methane and methane can be a pollutant, or it can be a source of power generation.

At Noblehurst, reports the D&C, the manure is being fed into a contraption that turns the methane into electricity.

Over the years, Noblehurst has had to work out some bugs with its digester, but now it is running smoothly and pumping out about 788,400 kilowatt-hours of power a year. On a typical day, manure is moved from 1,700 dairy cows toward the center of the main barn, where it is pushed into underground tubes that feed into a 28,000-gallon pit. The manure is mixed with effluent and pumped into a large digester tank. At the top of the tank, gas accumulates and powers a generator that produces electricity and gives off water and carbon dioxide. Every half hour or so, new manure feeds bacteria that produce the gas. A spout releases gas if too much pressure accumulates.

"That way we don't have a mess," said farm president John Noble.

Nationaly, about 100 suggest manure-to-electricity machines are in use, and 17 or so in New York. Noblehurst received a $250,000 state grant to help pay for the $1 million machine.

Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Jack Sparrow best in feature race at Batavia Downs

post by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, sports


Photo: Copyright 2009 Paul White. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Press Release:

BATAVIA, NY – Tonight marked the second Friday of Live Racing here at America’s Oldest Lighted Harness Track.  Patrons enjoyed a fine evening and an excellent card with two feature races of the best trotters in Western New York.  The first event was the ninth race on the card and open handicap trot, with the 3-1 morning line favorite and Yonkers invader Light Headed among the field.  The ninth had a purse of $9,000.  The second feature was the eleventh race, the open handicap II trot with a purse of $7,500.

Racing to victory in this evening’s first feature contest was Jack Sparrow with driver-trainer Jim McNeight at the controls, trotting to the mile in 1:59.2.  Behind for the place was Australian Shock and Kevin Cummings.  Zapphappy Kash with Clint Galbraith rounded out the money for the open trot.  Jack Sparrow took the early lead and only gave it up briefly just after the ¼ pole but gained back control quickly in time to do the ½ in 1:00.1.  Jack Sparrow led the way to the wire and held off Australian Shock after a late surge from the pocket coming down the final stretch to give Jim McNeight a driving double.  Michael Callmeri of Falconer, NY, owns this 6-year-old chestnut gelding by Humorous Harry.  The winning mutuel price was $6.00.

Taking tonight’s open II trot at the wire was Manfromnantucket with Jack Flanigen in the sulky.  The duo trotted the mile in 2:01.2, with Ima Cricket Also and Kevin Cummings in for the place.  Roy and Steven Lindell completed the generous $887.00 trifecta.  Ima Cricket Also led the way and began to see a surging Manfromnantucket after the ¾ pole and Kevin Cummings could not hold off the fast closing Manfromnantucket at the wire.  Manfromnantucket is a 4year-old gelding by Giant Hit.  He is owned by trainer Allan McCarty of Hamburg owns him.  Tonight’s winning mutuel price for the eleventh race was $36.20.

The 2009 meet at Batavia Downs Casino will continue this Saturday evening.  Be sure to come out this as we celebrate the career of famed double-gaited gelding and world record setter Excalibur by rolling back prices on Zweigles hot dogs and soda to just 50 cents each!  These special prices are valid anytime between 5:30 and 10:30 PM in the Paddock Room. Thrilling harness racing action gets underway 7:05p.m. 

Jeff Rizzo, Marketing Intern
[email protected]

Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Space Camp rocket adorns local front yard

post by Howard B. Owens in elba, Scouts


Driving back from the Elba Onion Festival, I happened down Weathermax Road and spotted this rocket pointed toward the stars in somebody's front yard. Nobody was home, so I couldn't get more information, but the rocket reads "Pack #17 Space Camp" and on the tail fin, "09 Ethan Austin Holden."  It looks like Ethan constructed himself a nice rocket.  Look for him to join the team at NASA soon.

Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Pictures: The Elba Onion Festival, 2009

post by Howard B. Owens in elba, Elba Onion Festival






Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 2:01 pm

The search for great localist songs

post by Howard B. Owens in localism, music

Bill Kauffman has a post over at Front Porch Republic about finding great localist/regionalist songs, songs that celebrate place and home.

He leads off with this wonderful piece by Iris DeMent.

Which I'd never heard before.

He includes this classic by The Pretenders.

What a simple, angry song about paving over of our cities and rural lands by chain retailers, destroying the heritage of communities all across the country.  Chrissie Hynde sings about Ohio, but I always associate this song with my former hometown, El Cajon, Calif., which has something in common with Batavia -- a downtown pretty well damaged by urban renewal, though El Cajon was left in much worse shape.

The other classic anti-urban renewal song comes from a Brit, Ray Davies, and The Kinks.

But not all great localist songs lament what used to be. Some great ones celebrate home, like CCR's "Looking Out My Backdoor."

The first week I moved to New York from California, one of my favorite music artists, and there's no pretense in calling him an artist, Dave Alvin released a new CD of songs by California songwriters writing about California.  The first time I heard "California Bloodlines," I couldn't help but tear up.

The song was written by John Stewart and you can see him perform his version here.

I could do a whole post of Dave Alvin "California" songs, going back to his early days with The Blasters.

The last place in California I lived was Bakersfield, which is the subject the classic, "Streets of Bakersfield."  You know that song was written by somebody who lived in Bakersfield for a long time, as it opens up with the perfect conundrum that describes Bako: "You don't know me, but you don't like me / You say you care less how I feel ..."

Bakersfield got slammed pretty good by this local rap due in "Armpit of the State."

The last song to share is another classic picking on Bakersfield's less positive attributes, "Kern River."  That river claims five or six lives every year. 

OK, one more Merle Haggard song, because it takes me back to a time when I lived in a big city and longed to move to a small town ... and I finally made it when I arrived in Batavia.

Do you have any favorite localist songs, songs of place?

To post a video in your comment, use a bracket "[" and then the word "video" followed by a colon ":" then the URL to the YouTube video, then close bracket "]"

Like this (but with no spaces) [ video : http : //www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_q0WJJKFxA ]

Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 11:03 am

Paterson creates committee tasked with getting rid of regulations

post by Howard B. Owens in Gov. David Paterson, new york, regulations

If there's a state regulation that you find burdensome or unnecessary, here's your chance to complain about it and possibly get rid of it.

Gov. David Patterson has signed an executive order forming a committee of top advisers to review state regulations and eliminate any that are outdated or overly burdensome to business.

Agencies are already required to conduct lengthy reviews of new procedures and regulations before they become final. But under the new order, they will also be required to review such rules after they are put into effect.

Officials will be required to invite public comment on whether any existing rules and regulations — no matter when they were enacted — are “unnecessary, unbalanced, unwise, duplicative or unduly burdensome.” The committee would then reconsider rules that have generated the most criticism.

The first round of review will involve seven departments and agencies, including those responsible for environmental, health, liquor and labor regulations.

Some groups, such as labor unions, have previously opposed the governor's office taking on such sweeping power.

Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 10:47 am

Three-car accident partially blocks Oak Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Oak Street

Three people were reportedly injured in a three-car accident at Oak Street and Richmond Avenue.

Traffic is blocked at this time and two cars will need to be towed.

Emergency crews are on scene now.

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Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 10:41 am

Government preparing for more H1N1 cases

post by Howard B. Owens in h1n1, new york

The state Department of Health and federal officials are girding for more cases of the H1N1 flu strain, from talking about quarantines to issuing guidelines for schools.

The state has also allocated more financial aid for county health departments dealing with H1N1 outbreaks.

Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 7:01 am

Today's Deals: Great bargains to start a Saturday morning

post by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day

We didn't have a deal of the day on Wednesday, plus just to mix up the times a bit and give more people a chance to win -- here's a Saturday morning deal of the day!

Valle Jewelers, 21 Jackson St., Batavia, N.Y.: Gifts, jewelry, expert cleaning and jewelry repair - $50 can go a long way in Valle Jewelers. We have a $50 gift certificate for $25.

Alex's Place, 8322 Park Road, Batavia, N.Y.: One of the region's premier restaurants and a favorite place for business lunches. We have a $25 gift certificate for $12.50.

Center Street Smoke House, 20 Center St., Batavia, N.Y.: Ribs, brisket, steak, prime rib -- Center Street is a meat lovers' paradise. We have a $25 gift card for $12.50.

Delavan's Restaurant and Tavern, 107 Evans St., Batavia, N.Y.: Have you tried the homemade Italian sausage yet? You should. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

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. When you need to book your next party, think T.F. Brown's. See the ad on the right side of the page for contact information. We have a $20 gift card for $10.

Jackson St. Grill/Belladessa's Pizzeria, 9 Jackson St., Batavia: From homemade soups, desserts to pizza, the Grill and Pizzeria offers a fully menu of great meals. Today, we have a Family Deal (value $25), which includes a large one-topping pizza, 24 wings and 2 liter soft drink for $12.50.

Settler's Restaurant, 353 W. Main St., Batavia, N.Y.: Settler's has a 25-year history in Batavia of serving great, affordable breakfasts, lunches and dinners to Batavians. We have a $20 gift certificate for $10.

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. Only one gift certificate per-merchant per-person every six months. 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. Individuals buying gift certificates must use their own personal PayPal account for the 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. Unless other arrangements are made immediately after purchase, the gift certificate will mailed to the winner at his or her PayPal-provided postal address within two or three days of purchase.

Valle Jewelers




Alex's Place


Center Street Smoke House


T.F. Brown's






Friday, August 7, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Amelia's Antiques and Gifts, 5213 E. Main St., Batavia, N.Y. 14020

post by Howard B. Owens in Antiques, batavia, Amelia's, collectibles, gifts

Amelia's Antiques and Collectibles

5213 E. Main St. (Rte. 5)
Batavia, N.Y. 14020
(585) 343-2839


Tuesday - Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed Mondays.

WIN: $75 in merchandise!  Click here for entry form.

amelias_floater_120x240.gifA unique collection of old and new at Amelia's. Antiques, country primitives, candles and collectibles.

Amelia's offers fine antique glass, including Fenton, Northwood, Hobbs, vaseline, opalescent, coindot, hobnail and depression.

Collectibel flow blue, Wedgewood, Hummels, perfume bottles, antique cookie jars, photos and antique frames, enamelware and many other quality antiques.

Amelia's also has a large variety of country primitive gifts and decor, Americana, Folk art, needful things, garden decor, stars, rusty tin, pip berry wreaths, garland and candle rings. Country and primitive signs, framed art and stitcheries, scented rosehips, roosters, crows, sheep, geese, primitive dolls, nesting boxes, tart warmers, handmade soap, Yankee Candle assortment, soy and beeswax tarts.

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Friday, August 7, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Batavia fire dept. responding to fire alarm on Summit Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire

A fire alarm has sounded at 229 Summit St., Batavia. Batavia Fire trucks are responding.

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