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Howard B. Owens's blog

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 11:30 pm

Serviceman returns from Middle East to big hometown welcome in Le Roy

post by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy

Le Roy resident Mike Risewick, returning from his second deployment to the Middle East, got a grand welcome home tonight, including a shuttle pick-up with friends and family at the Rochester Airport courtesy S&S Limousine. The Le Roy Fire Department provided a lights and siren escort from the I-490 into the village.

It's the kind of welcome, Risewick noted, that only happens in a small town. And only in a small town do friends and neighbors look out for the families of men and women deployed overseas.

"It's incredible," Risewick said of the welcome. "I certainly didn't expect it. It's easy for me to go do this, but all the time in the back of your mind, you're always worried about how the family back home is making out. Le Roy, the town, has just been great. The friends, all the carpooling rides, everybody coming together to make sure my wife and kids were taken care of. I couldn't ask for any more than that."

Risewick, who is with Bravo Company 6442 ASB (helicopter maintenance) has been in the military for 32 years, including three years active duty and the rest of the time attached to the National Guard. He was previously deployed to Iraq. This latest deployment -- which started in October with a trip to Ft. Hood in Killeen, Texas -- was to Kuwait.

Risewick with wife Linda and sons Eric and Adam.

Sign outside Spirit's on Lake Street this evening.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Frost Ridge case attorneys wrangle with witnesses over what they knew and when they knew it

post by Howard B. Owens in business, frost ride, Le Roy, zoning

Marney Cleere, one of the co-plaintiffs in the pair of lawsuits filed against Frost Ridge over alleged zoning violations and live music at the venue, spent a lot of time on the witness stand today.

Cleere was called to testify in a hearing aimed at establishing when the statute of limitations' clock started ticking on a Le Roy Zoning of Board of Appeals determination that all activities at Frost Ridge are "grandfathered in," and whether that ZBA determination was made properly.

David Roach, the attorney Frost Ridge, and the campground's owners, Greg and David Luetticke-Archbell, called Cleere to try and establish what the Oatka Trails Road resident knew about the Sept. 25 ZBA decision and the day she knew it.

If she knew about it before April 8, it could mean there is evidence to establish that her and her co-plaintiffs did not file their complaint in a timely fashion. Depending on how Noonan interprets the law and case law, that could mean at least a portion of their suit against Frost Ridge could be thrown out of court.

Cleere testified today that she received a copy of the minutes from the Sept. 25, 2013 ZBA meeting on March 26, 2014.

Getting that admission from Cleere took dozens and dozens of questions from Roach and attorney Karl Essler, representing the ZBA, which is a co-defendant in the Cleere/Collins lawsuit.

Frost Ridge is also being sued by the Town of Le Roy.

Roach started his questioning by establishing that Cleere had an e-mail address with a username and password that only she could access.

He then showed her an e-mail from Patty Canfield, the Le Roy town clerk, to her e-mail address.  

Cleere never admitted to having previously seen the e-mail, but said she couldn't say that her e-mail account was hacked or that the e-mail could be fraudulent.

Once, when asked by Roach if the e-mail was sent to her, she responded: "It has my e-mail address on it, yes."

The e-mail is from early October.

It appears to have had three attachments (not included with the printed e-mail used as evidence). Those attachments were supposedly the ZBA minutes from June 11, July 23 and Aug. 27.

Roach quoted Canfield as writing, "I believe they will approve Sept. 25. minutes at next meeting."

Asked if the e-mail from Canfield was in response from Cleere for a copy of the Sept. 25 meeting minutes, Cleere said she would have to review her e-mails to answer the question.

She had no recollection of requesting those specific minutes from the town.

Later in her testimony, Cleere said she didn't request them until March because she didn't know that the minutes existed nor that Frost Ridge was discussed at the Sept. 25 ZBA meeting. Her request was prompted by communications with attorneys from both sides of the dispute, according to her testimony.

Asked several times in different ways if she took any action between October and March to obtain a copy of the Sept. 25 meeting minutes, Cleere responded, "I didn't know of that meeting, so what would have caused me to request those minutes?"

She obtained the copy of the Sept. 25 minutes from Code Enforcement Officer Jeff Steinbrenner, who, according to testimony by himself and other prior witnesses, kept all the minutes in a file in his office.

Cleere also testified -- while being questioned by her attorney Mindy Zoghlin -- that she became angry when she learned about the Sept. 25 meeting in March.

"Obviously, we were furious that we weren't made aware of this meeting," Cleere said. "We didn't understand why we weren't made aware of this, why it took six months."

Cleere said the package of material she received from Steinbrenner contained no application from Frost Ridge, no supporting documents and no notice of public hearing.

Part of what Zoghlin is trying to establish is that the ZBA's determination lacked jurisdictional validity. 

If she can show that the ZBA acted outside the scope of the law, the Sept. 25 determination would be meaningless and, potentially, the statute of limitations question becomes moot.

Zoghlin spent a lot of time today questioning David Luetticke-Archbell about his interpretation of communications from the town, what they meant, what he understood and what he believed, all in an effort to draw a distinction between the campsite zoning issues at Frost Ridge and the issue of live music.

Zoghlin argued that the zoning issues and the music issue are completely separate issues. The zoning issues, according to her, require a zoning variance, while the live music issue requires an area variance, a use variance or a special-use permit.  

If the ZBA wasn't considering live music at its Sept. 25 meeting (and Board Chair Debbie Jackett testified clearly that it did), then the ZBA determination is reduced to only a consideration of campsite placement and use.

As Zoghlin repeatedly asked questions to try and get Luetticke-Archbell to discuss these topics as separate issues, often with objections from Roach, the parade of objections eventually flared up, resulting in both attorneys making lengthy arguments to Noonan about why, or why not, the line of questioning was relevant.

"We can't just pull out of thin air the separation of the two issues because the record already states they're one issue," Roach said.

"The record" being a reference to a couple of documents already in evidence, including a letter from Steinbrenner to Frost Ridge that treats live music as just one in many alleged zoning violations.

"The communication that triggered the ZBA hearing didn't come directly from code enforcement (a reference to a supposed copy-and-paste by Steinbrenner of a message from Town Supervisor Steve Barbeau)," Zoghlin said. "That communication, while inartfully drawn, had the effect of mixing up and confusing two issues. ... 

"When we get to the jurisdictional issue," Zoghlin continued a statement or two later, "NYS town law and Town of Le Roy zoning code requires an application so we can avoid this kind of problem, so when the ZBA considers something, they have some type of idea exactly what they are being asked to rule on.

"There's no application here," she said. "To say the documents speak for themselves doesn't really help. To compound the problem, nothing was published anywhere so that anybody in town had any inkling the ZBA might consider a determination. The entire procedure is flawed from beginning to end so that it doesn't determine anything. I don't understand the thought process that says they're not asking for two things that are totally different in a way that makes any sense."

Noonan overruled Roach's objection, but also expressed skepticism about Zoghlin's line of questioning. 

"Maybe I'm missing something," Noonan said. "I realize zoning is a highly technical issue conducted by lay people who sometimes make mistakes in the process, but I don't see how going through the thought process of people gives us any enlightenment that will help me to decide this case when the case is based on documents."

With the hearing completed today, now we wait.

The attorneys will draft memos of facts and case law for Noonan to consider prior to issuing his ruling. Those documents are due Sept. 29. Noonan didn't indicate how long it would be after that before he issues a ruling on these motions.

Without a complete dismissal of the case, there will be more court appearances before the lawsuits are decided.

In the meantime, the Marshall Tucker Band is scheduled to play The Ridge on Sept. 6.

Noonan continued his order lifting the ban on live music at Frost Ridge, which allows the Sept. 6 concert to go forward as planned.

Two shows that were previously postponed because of the restraining order. John Michael Montgomery and Jason Michael Carroll have been rescheduled to dates near the end of October. The fate of those shows may depend on the status of the legal case at that time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Rotary learns about how the National Weather Service in Buffalo works

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Rotary, weather

Jason Franklin, head meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo, spoke today at the Batavia Rotary Club meeting. He shared information about the technology the NWS uses to help it measure weather and forecast what might be coming.  

Asked how the Weather Channel gets its forecast compared to the NWS, Franklin said, "We work in partnership with them, provide a lot of information to them, like other media, and they provide us information. We work together because our primary mission is to make sure you're safe. To make sure that the companies are getting the information that they need in order for them to do the best that they can. We're all in this together."

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Lack of posts today

post by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian

Sorry for the slow flow of news on our homepage today.  I was not expecting to be tied up in court just about all day for a Frost Ridge hearing (and it's a pretty good bet, based on his comments, that Judge Noonan wasn't expecting it to take as much time as it did).

So there's a story coming on that, and I have at least one other post to write.

Monday, August 25, 2014 at 7:18 pm

Onion crop looking good for 2014

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, mucklands, onions

There's some big onions growing in the muck of Genesee and Orleans counties.

A photographer lining up his focus on a particularly bulbous specimen observes, "I don't remember seeing any onions this big last year."

"I haven't seen onions this big in 15 years," responds Paul Mortellaro, co-owner of Mortellaro Brothers in Elba.

On the one hand, the heavy rains of spring created near optimal growing conditions, especially for the onions that were started as transplants. On the other, heavy rain caused some flooding and damaged portions of some fields.

"You're not going to get 100 percent of your crop on 100 percent of your land, but I haven't seen a crop like this in 10 years," Mortellaro said.

Over the next few weeks, local onion farmers will be reaping that harvest. Already, several hundred acres of onions have been crated and bagged.

Much of the success so far of the onion crop is really the near ideal growing conditions of the middle of summer, where enough rain fell to feed the onions, but cool weather and enough dry days allowed perfect growing conditions.

The muckland farmers still have potential weather problems to worry about before the growing and harvest season is over. Mortellaro recalled one year when a severe hail storm came through and heavily damaged the crops of a couple of farms unlucky enough to have their fields right in the line of the main part of the storm.

But if conditions remain good, 2014 will go down as an excellent year for local onions.

A Mortellaro field. Once onions are ready for harvest, a machine pulls them from the ground and sets them back on the soil so the onions can dry before being harvested.

A big onion in a Torrey Farms field.

Mortellaro onions ready for harvest. As part of processing, the dry outer skins are removed, so they'll have a nice shine on store shelves.

Dried onions in a Torrey field being harvested.

Workers at Torrey Farms crate harvested onions. At the Torrey plant, workers arrange three rows of 20 crates each, with enough space between to drive a truck through. Trucks come in only minutes apart, giving workers very little time between loads to get the trucks empty. Mortellaro said it's a difficult job, hot and dusty and constant motion.

Crates full of onions at Mortellaro's processing facility.

Torrey Onions

Not onions. Beets. MY-T Acres land at Transit and Chapell roads, Byron.

Monday, August 25, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Jacquetta Simmons seeks modification of restitution order

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Jacquetta Simmons

Out of jail and out of work, Jacquetta Simmons, the young woman who punched an employee at Walmart on Christmas Eve 2011, is seeking a modification to the restitution order levied against her.

Her victim, Grace Suozzi, is entitled to reimbursement on $2,000 in medical expenses, Judge Robert C. Noonan has said. Simmons has been ordered to make monthly payments of $100.

According to statements made by Noonan from the bench today, Simmons is seeking a suspension of restitution payments.

While Simmons appeared in County Court today, she did so without her attorney.

She had written Noonan asking for the hearing, but her attorney, Earl Key, wasn't notified of today's court appearance in time for him to be in Genesee County Court.

Noonan rescheduled the appearance for Sept. 10.

Asked if she was looking for work, Simmons told Noonan she has applied for jobs.

Noonan told her that when she appears Sept. 10, she should have prepared an affidavit on her financial standing and outlining steps she's taken to find work.

For previous coverage of Jacquetta Simmons by The Batavian, click here.

Monday, August 25, 2014 at 11:39 am

Law and Order: Man accused of stealing knife at Walmart, using it as tool to steal other stuff

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

Christopher James Clark, 34, of Pearl Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Clark allegedly stole a knife at Walmart and then while inside the store allegedly used it to try and open packages containing drill bits. He tried to abandon the alleged stolen property under the vehicle in the parking lot when police arrived.

Carrie M. Capizzi, 30, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with felony DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation, 1st, driving without an interlock device and open container. Capizzi was stopped at 10:01 p.m. Thursday at 12 City Centre, Batavia, by Officer Chad Richards.

Kathleen E. Gonzalez, 52, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Gonzalez is accused of stealing three packages of steak from Save-A-Lot in Batavia.

Lizbet D. Cramer, 37, of Lewis Place, Batavia, is charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Cramer allegedly left her 4- and her 15-year-olds unattended. The 4-year-old was allegedly abandoned at Austin Park for at least one hour before police were notified.

DaShawn A. Butler, 34, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Butler allegedly issued a verbal threat of harm to another person.

Brandon N. Benz, 19, of Clinton Street, Batavia, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and forcible touching. Benz allegedly had inappropriate contact with a person under age 17 while at a playground at Jackson School at 4:33 p.m. on Aug. 11.

Nefetiria L. Turner, 32, of South Main Street, Batavia, was arrested on three warrants for alleged failure to appear on charges of unreasonable noise charge, aggravated unlicensed operation and harassment, 2nd. Turner posted cash bail and was released.

Deavin Herman, 20, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Herman allegedly stole a bicycle from a location on Walnut Street.

Shane Zimblis, 43, of Hutchins Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Zimblis was allegedly found in possession of marijuana during a warrant arrest.

Scott Allen Cratsley, 43, of Oak Street, Batavia, is charged with dog running at large. Cratsley's dog was allegedly seen running at large by Officer James Defreze and Sgt. Dan Coffey. That breed of dog, a St. Bernard, has allegedly been seen running at large several times previously.

Alexander L. Jordan, 19, of Pine Terrace, Macedon, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a third-degree menacing charge. Jordan posted $500 police bail and was released.

Michael S. Garrett, 23, of Washington Avenue, Batavia, turned himself in on a warrant for alleged failure to appear on a parking on city streets ticket issued March 18.

Forrest Ansel, 24, of Cone Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny and criminal contempt. Ansel allegedly went to the residence of a protected person. He allegedly stole property of that person.

Lawrence William Worsley, 34, of Presbyterian Street, Knowlesville, is charged with disorderly conduct. Worsley allegedly became verbally and physically abusive while at the Viper ride at Darien Lake Theme Park at 6:20 p.m., Sunday.

Jared Lewis Long, 44, of Clinton Street Road, Stafford, is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Long allegedly took the Chevrolet Equinox of his girlfriend without her permission. The vehicle was returned to the residence and Long was ordered to stay away from the residence. He was later found by Sheriff's K-9 in a field behind the residence. 

Jessica Lynn Hill, 29, of Leonard Street, Mattydale, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to yield right of way and license restriction violation. Hill was stopped at 10:45 p.m. Thursday on West Main Road, Batavia, by Deputy James Diehl.

William Allen Roll, 54, of Clinton Street, Attica, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Roll allegedly punched another person in the face at 3:54 a.m. Saturday while at an apartment on West Main Street Road, Batavia. Roll was jailed on $500 bail.

Karen A. Lemaster, 54, of Batavia, is charged with driving while impaired by drugs, 1st. Lemaster was stopped at 4:30 p.m. Saturday on Ohio Street, Village of Medina, by State Police.

Rhonda L. Reisman, 42, of Batavia, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or higher. Reisman was stopped at 2:35 a.m. Sunday on Route 33, Stafford, by State Police.

Brian C. Reynolds, 33, of Rochester, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Reynolds was stopped at 11:32 p.m. Thursday on Route 20, Alexander, by State Police.

Erica A. Cook, 26, of Webster, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08 or greater. Cook was stopped at 11:45 p.m. Thursday on Route 20, Alexander, by State Police.

Zachary W. Plath, 21, of Le Roy, is charged with DWI and driving with a BAC of .08. Plath was stopped at 12:20 a.m. Friday on Route 20, Alexander, by State Police.

Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 10:44 pm

Brinkley wins 2014 Wiener Dog race at Batavia Downs

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, sports, Wiener Dog Race

Photographer Amanda Earl covered the wiener dog race at Batavia Downs. 

Press release from Batavia Downs:

Kristy Drabek’s 2-year-old dachshund named Brinkley stormed down the stretch of America’s oldest lighted harness racetrack to win the championship final of the 2014 Genesee Feeds wiener dog races on Sunday afternoon at Batavia Downs Gaming.

The official margin of victory was a half a (dog) length.

Six-year Pablo Penders, owned by Adrienne Penders, surged at the wire to nip another 5-year-old, early leader Ruby, owned by Sarah Farley, for second.

Over 70 fleet-footed wiener dogs participated in the annual races that act as the final piece of Family Fun Day at the races.

Brinkey’s win was worth $100 in gaming free for his happy owners while second and third paid off $50 and $25 in free play, respectively.

Reigning champion Gordon, who has won the last three years, did not enter.

“It was a great crowd and a great day,” Todd Haight, Director/GM of live racing, said. “Our marketing department put together a plethora of activities and it certainly brought a huge crowd.

Batavia Downs video:

 

Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 10:14 pm

Photo: Barn on Upton Road

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Upton Road

I've taken pictures of this barn on Upton Road before, but today, the golden rod, blue sky and clouds made for a much better scene.

Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Photos: Darien Day in Darien

post by Howard B. Owens in Darien

In Darien today, it was Darien Day, with music, food, entertainment, vendors and a basket auction.

Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Photos: Firefighters practice confined space rescues

Genesee County Emergency Services and the Town of Batavia Fire Department conducted a confined spaces drill yesterday at the Muller Quaker Dairy plant.

Nationally, from 80 to 100 people die every year in confined space accidents and even rescues can be difficult and dangerous.

Photos submitted by a reader.

Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Photos: Relay for Life at Van Detta Stadium

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, American Cancer Society, relay for life

Photographer Amanda Earl attended the Relay for Life at Van Detta Stadium on Saturday. The annual event is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and brings together the families of those who have lost loved ones to cancer as well as cancer survivors.

Nicole Voltura has survived nine cancer surgeries and was the "Survivor of Honor" for the event. Her initial diagnosis was in 2011. It was chondroma sarcoma, stage one. She is now fighting a rare autoimmune disease that is caused by her past medical situations. It's terminal. She is a mom, and credits her husband for pulling their family through, keeping the kids strong, and being her constant caregiver.

Different colored beads were handed out at the completion of each lap around the track. Each color represents a different type of cancer.

These signs, signed my local people, will be used in Washington, D.C., at a rally to raise funds and awareness for cancer research.

Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Sheriff's Office reports 19 arrests at Zac Brown concert

The following people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office during the Zac Brown Band concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Saturday:

Andrew R. Witzel, 18, of Rochester Road, Lakeville, is charged with criminal trespass and trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return both times. Witzel was arraigned in Darien Town Court and remanded to jail in lieu of $1,500 bail. 

Bart M. Bartlett, 29, of East 2nd Street, Jamestown, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, after allegedly entering the VIP area of the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.  Bartlett was arraigned in Darien Court and remanded to jail in lieu of $250 bail.

Alexandra H. Mitchell, 20, of Lamont Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, is charged with trespass, harassment, 2nd, and resisting arrest after allegedly entering the Employee Road Exit after being told several times not to enter the area. Mitchell also allegedly pushed a deputy and then resisted arrest.

Nicholas A. Cummings, 18, of Lori Lane, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

Joseph P. Fedele, 20, of Harvest Drive, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

Taylor J. Greean, 19, of Holley Byron Road, Holley, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th, after allegedly being found in possession of brass knuckles.

Jacob S. Vail, 24, of Nicole Lane, Angola, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, after allegedly jumping a fence into the concert venue.

Joshua A. Kuminski, 25, of Briarcliff Road, Cheektowaga, is charged with harassment, 2nd, and disorderly conduct after allegedly punching a PAC security officer in the face after being asked to leave the venue and then fighting with PAC security while being ejected.

Daniel M. Regan, 22, of Greenwood Place, Buffalo, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly slapping a PAC security officer in the face.

William Dormann Jr., 32, of Bennett Road, Cheektowaga, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly punching and twisting the hand of a Darien Lake security officer.

Gary R. McTarnaghan, 27, of Route 408, Nunda, is charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly participating in a large fight in the lawn area of the concert venue.

Joseph S. Tonque, 30, of Main Street, Corning, is charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly fighting with PAC security.

John P. Mahoney, 44, of Seib Road, Girard, Pa., is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue without a ticket.

Braydon B. Wolfe, 25, of Victor Lane, Hamlin, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Brian D. Adams, 24, of Robbins Nest Court, Lancaster, is charged with trespass after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Bradley T. Willis, 24, of Allens Hill Road, Honeoye, is charged with criminal trespass, 3rd, after allegedly reentering the concert venue after being ejected and told not to return.

Christopher P. Colby II, 35, of Linwood Avenue, Tonawanda, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana.

Margaret M. Hout, 54, of Griffon Avenue, Niagara Falls, is charged with three counts of harassment, 2nd, after allegedly punching a patron in the face, striking two other patrons in the face and pulling one's hair. 

Brittany E. Hout, 24, of Griffon Avenue, Niagara Falls, is charged with harassment, 2nd, after allegedly pulling another patron's hair and pulling her to the ground.

Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Phil Vassar: Happy to be back at Frost Ridge to play music and have fun with friends

post by Howard B. Owens in entertainment, Frost Ridge, Le Roy, music, Phil Vassar

He said it last year. Frost Ridge is a special place. Phil Vassar, a singer-songwriter with more than 10 Top 10 hits to his credit, said it again this year.

"It's very homey," Vassar said in an interview before his show Saturday night. "Everybody is so nice. You're just hanging out. We talk, even during the year, we look forward to seeing you guys come back, we talk and text each other. So it's fun. You get to hang out with your friends and play music.  There's nothing better than that. It's not like going to some venue where you just go in. It's got real character and real people. I love it."

Vassar loves it so much, he asked to come back this year.

Just a month ago, it didn't seem like Vassar's show this year would even be possible. Frost Ridge was locked down as a live music venue by a court order stemming from lawsuits filed by the Town of Le Roy and a pair of neighboring property owners.

As the lawsuits wind through the hearing process, taking longer than expected, Judge Robert C. Noonan lifted his ban on live music for a show last week and Saturday's Vassar concert.

The suits allege live music isn't allowed at the campground -- and even question the legality of the campsites themselves, while owners Greg and David Luetticke-Archbell and their lawyer contend that all of the current activities are grandfathered in, or are "prior, nonconforming uses."

Vassar takes a pretty straightforward view for the lawsuits, calling the controversy, "very silly."

"You have a lot of people who really want something and just a small number of people who don't," Vassar said. "I don't know about government, but it seems like to me it's by the people, for the people, all right. It's pretty simple. It seems like if you've got a majority who want something and it's a great thing. I don't understand it.  

"It's not like it's an every night deal," Vassar added. "It's a real special place. It's a special place to play music. You just kind of hope that everybody just kind of lets it go and has some fun. You know, people are stiff. I hate it. I hate it. I'm over it. People just need to get a life."

Through three sets of music -- the Kentucky Moonshiners, the Morgan Twins and Vassar -- several hundred music fans did have a life. And it was a party, especially with Vassar on stage making sure everybody had a good time.

The Morgan Twins are from Rochester and have appeared on such shows as The Voice and American Idol.

While Vassar was still on stage performing, a check of the sound level at Oatka Trail and Conlon Road, near the homes of plaintiffs -- the Cleere and Collins families -- found that once again, the crickets were louder than the music.

The next scheduled show at The Ridge, if it's allowed to proceed, is the Marshall Tucker Band, Sept. 6.

A fan brought in a homemade cake during the meet and greet with VIP patrons before the show.

Bottom photo: by Peggy Barringer. David, in red, and Greg, joined Vasar, along with the Morgan Twins, on stage for the show's final number, a sing-along of "Piano Man."

Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Photos: Elba Pig Roast 2014

post by Howard B. Owens in elba

The Elba Betterment Committee is hosting a pig roast in the village park today. The event goes until 8 p.m.

Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Photo: Refuse 2 Lose Martial Arts hosts chicken BBQ dinner sale

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Refuse 2 Lose Martial Arts

Instructors, parents and students of Refuse 2 Lose Martial Arts on Liberty Street hosted a BBQ chicken dinner sale today along with a basket raffle.

Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 10:36 am

Photos: Goo Goo Dolls perform at Darien Lake

Photographer Amanda Earl attended last night's Goo Goo Dolls concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. Here are four of her shots from the show.

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