Busy day for ambulance services in Genesee County

By Howard Owens
Sep 5, 2009, 2:59pm

Mercy EMS is responding to a second call at Area 51 for a compound fracture. The first one was about two hours ago.

There was also a call out there this morning for a partially severed thumb.

At another location this afternoon, somebody had an arrow stuck in his wrist. There was also a call for a concussion at another recreation facility.

And of course, county ambulances have been getting the usual calls for older people with various health problems.

John Pontillo unsure why his offers to reopen family restaurant have been rejected

By Howard Owens
Sep 5, 2009, 2:07pm

John Pontillo says he has tried doing everything he can to save Pontillo's on East Main Street in Batavia.

So far, all of his offers to buy the building and the business have been rejected. He doesn't know why.

"I offered a solution that gave the family business a chance to reopen and keep it in the family," John Pontillo said this afternoon. "It could be open right now. I made an offer that would have allowed us to take care of all our creditors. Bankers looked at it and real estate people looked at it and business people looked at it and all said, 'John, this is a good offer.'

"It's very frustrating. I don't know why it was rejected."

The landmark Pontillo's, which Sam Pontillo founded in 1947, shut down in November, with a sign appearing in the parking lot saying it was closed for remodeling. It turned out, however, that the business owed more than $112,000 in back taxes.

The brothers were soon in court trying to settle estate and debt issues and who would run the business.

And the fate of Pontillo's has been tied up in court since.

"We all grew up in this business," John said. "I would like to keep it in the family."

A for-sale sign appeared on Pontillo's yesterday about 4 p.m., but John is skeptical that the business and building can be sold before creditors foreclose on the property. He fears if his offer isn't accepted before foreclosure, there will be no more Pontillo's in Batavia -- not the family business his parents nutured into a regionally renowned destination for pizza and pasta.

As local restaurateur Sean Valdes noted in a comment yesterday, "This will be a hard building to sell as a restaurant. The overhead will be a challenge."

We have a call into Sam Pontillo seeking his comment on the situation.

Local author writes with and about his muse

By Howard Owens
Sep 5, 2009, 12:58pm

joseph_langen.jpgOnce in a while, a reader stumbles across a morning post by Joesph Langen which he titles "Conversations with Calliope" and asks us what they're about.

Langen is a writer and he uses The Batavian as a morning writing exercise to connect with his muse.

We've never put these posts on the home page. They're just a writer's journal about his writing.

But Langen has been doing it daily since almost the first day The Batavian started publishing. Now he's made a collection of his writings available for free in PDF form. Click here for home info.

He lists these 10 reasons to download the book:

  1. Find out where writers get their ideas.
  2. Hear what a writer does all day.
  3. Listen to what writers say about being a writer.
  4. I want my muse to be more helpful.
  5. See how to get unstuck when you write.
  6. Learn how to talk with a muse.
  7. Explore what else writers need to know besides how to write.
  8. Discover what keeps a writer going page after page.
  9. Determine who supports a writer’s efforts.
  10. Unearth the sources of writers’ inspiration.

Langen says he's now a full-time writer after 35 years as a psychologist. He recently published his first novel, "The Pastor's Inferno." His other books include on one life's lessons, "Commonsense Wisdom for Everyday Life," and a memoir about his nine years in a seminary, "Young Man of the Cloth."

Video for local author's book shot in Batavia

By Howard Owens
Sep 5, 2009, 12:39pm


C.M. Barons is a frequent commenter on The Batavian. Baron's published a novel last year, "In the Midst of."

Last month, Penguin Multimedia, a joint venture of Loren Penman of Batavia and her son, Brant, as well as Brian Gardner, shot a video promo for the novel at vintage clothing store Calista Miakoda on Ellicott Street.

The novel is available at Present Tense Books.

Muckdogs final home game tonight at Dwyer!

By RussSalway
Sep 5, 2009, 10:43am

muckdog_full_house.jpgThe Batavia Muckdogs take on the Jamestown Jammers tonight at 7:05pm. This will be the last home game for the Muckdogs 2009 season.  Its Fan Appreciation Night and also Rock the Park Night at Dwyer! Come on out for a beautiful Saturday night of great baseball action at the best baseball venue in WNY! There isn't a bad seat at all in Dwyer stadium.  The fun starts at 6:05pm with the pregame concert by Papa and Mama Root presented by Tim Horton's of Batavia and New Buffalo Impact. Enjoy great end of summer fun at Dwyer with your Batavia Muckdogs!

25th Annual Oakfield Labor Daze kicks off at Noon

By Howard Owens
Sep 5, 2009, 10:21am

The 25th annual Oakfield Labor Daze gets under way at noon and will feature music, food, games and local arts and crafts.

The weather is expected to be as temparate and clear as a Southern Californian afternoon today and tomorrow (chance of rain on Monday).

Highlights of the weekend:


2 to 3:00 p.m.: Bed Races-Bennett Avenue

6 to 10 p.m.: Battle of the Bands-Triangle Park


Noon to 3 p.m.: Chicken BBQ-Methodist Church

1:45 to 3:45 p.m.: Charlotte Ritchie

6 to p.m. Joey T & The Formula


10:30 a.m.: Labor Daze Parade on Main Street

12:15 to 1 p.m.: O-A Jazz Band at Triangle Park

1 p.m.: Pie & Ice Cream at Oakfield United Methodist Church

2:45 to 4:45 p.m.: Craig Wilkins performs Johnny Cash Music

5:30 to to 9:30 p.m.: The Trolls

The weekend closes with a fireworks show at the school after the last performance.

For a complete schedule of events, click here.

Civil Debate via the NYT

By Chelsea D
Sep 5, 2009, 8:34am

There are a lot of problems posed in this well-written article about the problems with the proposed health care reforms

“There are serious questions that are associated with policy aspects of the health care reform bills that we’re seeing,” said Gail Wilensky, a veteran health care expert

Dr. Scott Gottlieb...his critique is based on related fears that the plans being discussed would inevitably lead to increased government involvement in personal medical decisions and eventually affect vital services.

But, starting out with a general distrust of government solutions, even conservatives who agree that tens of billions of dollars are wasted annually are dubious about the government’s ability to find significant savings without eventually affecting care negatively.

In the meantime, Mr. Goodman said he hoped his side could do a better job at making clear it had genuine misgivings about Mr. Obama’s proposals.

“I think the critics have approached this in the wrong way; saying there’s going to be a death panel is not the right way,” he said. “The right way to approach it is to put the burden of proof on the administration — tell us how you’re going to do that without denying care to people who are really in need.”

So someone explain to me how problems will cease to exist when the government takes over? Money needs to come from somewhere and then choices need to be made on whom and what to spend that money on. That means some people will not get the medications and treatment that they need, and may end up dying because the government chooses to not fund their treatment. In the current proposed reforms this question is not and has not been answered.

Batavia Blue Devils drop opening game 33-11

By Howard Owens
Sep 4, 2009, 11:34pm




Miscues and mistakes sent the Batavia Blue Devils to an opening season defeat tonight.

Batavia dropped the game to Greece Arcadia 33 to 11.

After grabbing a quick 3-0 lead on a field goal by Renee Glafenhein (an exchange student from Germany), the Blue Devils quickly let the game slip away with turn overs.

The long snapper twice sent the ball sailing over the punter's head. One of the missed snaps led to a safety.

QB Joe Canzoneri lead the Blue Devils to the team's first score with a key play. He had the ball knocked from his hands, but was able to scoop it up and find a wide open Joe Pedro for a critical first down.

But the Blue Devil's defense couldn't overcome the powerful running of Greece Arcadia's Joe Britton, who carried the ball 26 times for 166 yards. He scored two touchdowns.

For the Blue Devils, senior Spencer Byrne and junior Fred Gemp each had eight tackles and combined for four sacks.

Scoring summary:
Batavia - FG Rene Glafenhein 29
Greece Arcadia - Joe Britton 24 run (Kyle Reilly kick)
Greece Arcadia - Coty Paige 9 pass Josh Hotchkiss (Reilly kick)
Greece Arcadia - FG Reilly 24
Greece Arcadia - Britton 2 run (Reilly kick)
Greece Arcadia - Safety (Forced punt)
Greece Arcadia - Hotchkiss 14 run (Reilly kick)
Batavia - Mitch Francis 39 pass Joe Canzoneri (Vin Pedro run)

Thanks to a reader for the info.


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