Batavia Area Jaycees lauded for community efforts

Submitted by Howard Owens on Wed, 05/07/2008 - 15:41

It looks like the local Jaycees swept up quite a few awards on Saturday, according to Scott's JCI Blog.

Scott Kinglsey of Saratoga Springs doesn't give any details on the awards banquet, but he runs down a complete list of honorees.

For Batavia, this included:

  • Jaycee Debate Batavia Area Jaycees (Pam Warren, Amy Robinson, Catherine Colby)
  • Master's Speak Up, Mel Robinson - President Batavia Area Jaycees
  • Stan Malkinsk Memorial Speak Up, Amy Robinson - Batavia Area Jaycees
  • Outstanding Local President, Mel Robinson - Batavia Area Jaycees
  • Outstanding Local Publication, The IMPACT - Batavia Area Jaycees
  • Outstanding Local Project, 55th Annual Home, Garden, and Trade Show - Batavia Area Jaycees
  • Blue Chip Parade of Chapters: Batavia Area Jaycees (tie)
    JCI Saratoga Springs (tie)
  • Outstanding Local Organization, Batavia Area Jaycees - led by President Mel Robinson

Congratulations to all the winners.  It sounds like Batavia is fortunate to have a strong Jaycee chapter.

Wednesday afternoon news roundup

Submitted by philip.anselmo on Wed, 05/07/2008 - 14:37

From the Daily News (Wednesday):

• Congressional candidate Jack Davis stopped by Batavia yesterday, his "first 2008 public campaign appearance in Genesee County," according to reporter Roger Muehlig. Davis said he is for "protecting" Social Security, "protecting" jobs and "fixing" the economy, which he called a "simple solution." No mention in the article of how Davis would "fix" the economy. Might be an interesting question to ask him the next time he's in town.

• No one showed up to the Batavia City School District budget hearing last night. A proposed "$39.4 million spending plan includes a tax decrease of about 2 percent," writes reporter Joanne Beck. Residents of the school district can vote on the budget from noon to 9:00pm May 20. Beck's article covers all the details — except where to vote.

• A pair of articles on the front page detail the Richmond Memorial Library budget vote and the Genesee Country Farmers Market move to Batavia Downs, both of which were covered on The Batavian yesterday.

• A Rainbow Preschool teacher returns to work after an investigation into allegations that he "inappropriately touched students" was discovered to be unfounded. "We have concluded with certainty that the allegations were unfounded," Kellie Spychalski, acting director of Arc of Orleans, operators of the school, told reporter Scott DeSmit.

• The Batavia Youth Bureau will be running a summer recreation program for kids (6-14 years old) from July 7 to August 15 at several city parks. Call (585) 345-6420 for more information. Or stop by an open house June 26 at Lambert Park on Richmond Avenue to register your child.

• Four students from Genesee Community College were honored with the State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence. Congratulations Robin Whittington, Kevin Nadrowski, Velicia Steward and Michelle Nichols.

• Batavia High School senior Sabrina Twardowski won this year's Congressional Art Competition for the 26th Congressional district. Her pencil drawing — "Hands Holding Globe" — will be displayed in the Cannon House Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol.

For the complete stories, the Daily News is available on local newsstands, or you can subscribe on BataviaNews.com.

Two Plays.....Two Directors....One Weekend....One Family.... A Dad's Pride and Congratulations

Submitted by burk_patrick on Wed, 05/07/2008 - 14:12

Well what can I say....more than one person  has brought it to my attention that this weekend there are two theater offerings in Batavia.....  The Batavia High School Drama Club's Production of "Our Town" by Thorton Wilder is sure to be wonderful.  It runs Friday, May 9th and Saturday, May 10th at John Kennedy Elementary.  Tickets are avaialble at the door and it begins at 7:30.  "Our Town" has always been a favorite of mine and it is expertly Directed by Caryn Leigh Burk with Assistant Directed by Malloryann Burk.... one could say the apple does not fall far from the tree....or apples as in this case.  I couldn't be more proud to see them both working to share theater with our BHS Students.  Caryn and Malloryann are hard working young people that value the children of Batavia.  Please go see this wonderful piece of Americana.  It will be worth the trip.  Congratulations Caryn on a job well done.....

During this same weekend, the Batavia Players will be presenting "Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean".  It is another slice of Americana that takes place in 1955 Texas during the filming of the movie "Giant" and again in 1975.  A beautifully scripted play with an incredible story line and fresh and exciting characters.   It is no wonder that the likes of Kathy Bates, Karen Black, Sandy Dennis, Sudie Bond and Cher were featured in the Broadway version and that the movie Directed by Robert Altman became a cult classic.  I am fortunate to be directing nine incredible local actors who shine in this production.   Valeria Antonetty, Shawnie Euren, Lynda Hodgins, Peggy Marone, Nikole Marone, Joan Meyer, Patti Michalak and Rachel Oshlag perform thier roles with familiarity and grace.  Working on these colorful and complex characters is  not easy.....IT is exhausting and you will be very impressed by thier efforts.  Oh...we can not forget the great job the one male in the cast.....Jake Bortle, a freshman from LeRoy Central School, is doing.  I was so lucky to find these 9 gracious actors to be in this production.

Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean is this Thursday, May 8th through Saturday, May 10th at the Stuart Steiner Theater, Genesee Community College....7:30PM.  Tickets are $10 General Admission and $8 Seniors/Students.  I guarantee you will enjoy this show.  The Batavia Players are reminding everyone that it is PG-13 in nature and may not be suitable for younger audiences.

So what can I say???  How great is it that we live in this small city with Classic Theater offerings like we have this weekend.  How wonderful for those of us in the arts,  that we have the support of our community and residents.  How proud can I be as a Dad when my daughters and I both have shows on the same weekend.  Make this a special week and see both shows.... We appreciate your support.

 

Batavia company stakes claim to first 'naturally fat-free' chip

Submitted by Howard Owens on Wed, 05/07/2008 - 10:21

Batavia-based Brothers International Food Corp. has hit the national wires today because of a new potato chip that is supposedly tasty, addictive and fat-free.

The chips are made by peeling, slicing and cooking the potatoes, then freezedrying them.

The latter half of the process removes the moisture from the potato, leaving it crispy, light and satisfying.

More information available on BrothersAllNatural.com.

It sounds like a taste-test is in order.

Schools News Round Up

Submitted by Howard Owens on Wed, 05/07/2008 - 09:58

Genesee Community College is hosting a conference on instructional technology.

“It is with great pleasure that Genesee welcomes CIT 2008 attendees,” said Dr. Stuart Steiner, President of Genesee Community College. “We are honored to be the first community college ever to host this event and are looking forward to the wealth of ideas and information that are sure to come out of the experience.”

Notre Dame High School holds its annual 500 Club Dinner and Roast on May 29 at the Holiday in.  More information on this PDF.

From the City Schools Web site:

Coffee With The New Principal @BHS
Saturday, May 10th @ 9:00 a.m. - Cafeteria Stop by to Meet & Chat with our new high school principal, Mr. Christopher Dailey. All parents are welcome and there is no special agenda.

While looking for school news, this picture of the 1925-26 Batavia High School basketball team popped up in Google search.

Your news is news if you want it to be

Submitted by philip.anselmo on Wed, 05/07/2008 - 08:59

Not much Batavia news out on the Internet this morning. Not in Rochester sources, not in Buffalo sources, not on WBTA Batavia radio — which has a brief about the library budget (we posted results last night), plus a few out-of-area briefs and the vows of a Congressional candidate not to be greedy. So yeah, not much.

That means it's a great opportunity for you to make the news. I will not be hanging at Main Street Coffee until later today, in the afternoon. But that doesn't mean you can't just write a blog post about what's going on in your life, neighborhood, city, home, school... Or give me a call (585) 802-3032, and tell me the story and I'll do all the grunt work for you.

That's about it for now. Look for some video later tonight and hopefully some more in the morning. In the meantime, hone your own journalistic skills and file a report. If it's news to you, it's likely news to the rest of us, too.

Library budget passed

Submitted by philip.anselmo on Tue, 05/06/2008 - 21:36

Voters passed the Richmond Memorial Library budget tonight. The results were: 245 votes in favor, 54 against. The total budget is about $1.15 million — about $40,000 more than last year. Also, library Board member Tracy Stokes was elected to a five-year term with a total of 284 votes.

In search of decline — can't find it

Submitted by philip.anselmo on Tue, 05/06/2008 - 15:48

After a chat with City Councilman Bob Bialkowski this morning, I went in search of the "pockets of decline" that he mentioned. Bob said to check out the southside of the city around Jackson, Maple and Thorpe streets, if I wanted to find the "problem" neighborhoods.

That was where I thought to find the trash and debris, the buckled-under homes and general malaise. Not so. At least not by this city boy's estimation. I've seen streets in Rochester, streets in Buffalo, New York, Chicago, even some in Canandaigua that would make those Batavia blocks look like paradise on high, like a stroll through Green Acres.

At the very worst, I spotted some peeling paint, a couple (maybe) ramshackle porches, a stray tricycle or two, a leaf-swollen gutter — maybe. But really, what I saw as I drove down Dawson Place, Ganson Avenue and Thorpe Street were people. What I saw were people outside, sitting on their stoops, walking their sidewalks, talking to each other, mowing their lawns. I saw a community. I saw regal, Victorian-looking homes, a little bruised, sure, but not broken, not even bent.

So, maybe I wasn't looking in the right place. Maybe I wasn't looking with enough intent — I should say I was driving my car. Maybe those homes are rotten and rotting from the inside, really putrid and crumbling, which could explain why everyone was outside, hanging out. Or maybe — and this may be closer to the truth — maybe some Batavians have unusually high standards, higher standards than I have ever cultivated myself.

What do you think of these (and other) neighborhoods in the city? Are they in decline? Are they run down? Do you live there? Is that how you see it? Is Councilman Bialkowski on the ball? Or is he over the top?

Tuesday afternoon news roundup

Submitted by philip.anselmo on Tue, 05/06/2008 - 12:34

From the Daily News (Tuesday):

• Reporter Tom Rivers works in the field — literally — as part of a series of articles on farm labor that kicked off today. His first stop: Triple G Farms in Barre. It doesn't take long for Rivers to realize he can't quite keep up with the crew of Mexican laborers. "I couldn't help but rub my back, shake my arms and legs loose, grit my teeth, and pray for rain, especially after a five-hour stint Wednesday." A fine article, worth checking out.

• Seventy school representatives from across the country have been touring Batavia's city schools over the past few days as part of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) Technology Tour.

• A story on page three covers the city cleanup effort initiated by Helping Hands this past Saturday. Charlie Mallow covered the event for The Batavian three days ago. Go here for his post.

• The Genesee County Agricultural Society is looking for ways to boost attendance to the county fair — July 15-19 this year. Some of the ideas: move midway rides closer to the center of the fair and include more in the ticket price (so that $5 can get you access Tuesday and Wednesday, for example). What would get you to the fair?

For the complete stories, the Daily News is available on local newsstands, or you can subscribe on BataviaNews.com.

At Peace Again

Submitted by burk_patrick on Tue, 05/06/2008 - 12:29

My thoughts came to rest the other day....Sunday, the day that the lawn people showed up. I would like to say finally, but that would mean I was sensing some sort of impatience...and I wasn't. It is always a great sign of spring and nice weather when I stop worrying how to get all the winter sludge and branches out of the yard and the lawn raked and the grass seed spread before the neighbors and my wife start to complain. She had already made a foray into the yard to pick up sticks, the proverbial "hidden under the snow garbage" and other messes that winter covers. I did a cursory once around as well....but when the lawn people show up.... I feel a certain sense of ease and comfort. It is then that I know that I am freed from my cares and woes. I never mow or rake...I let the experienced men do that. I let the lawn people do it. Just think, what other profession do we do ourselves that entitles pushing a heavy machine around while giant blades spin inches away from your appendages.

There are none. Why I day dream so much that the neighbors indeed should be frightened if they ever see me pushing a lawn mower.... I would become public enemy number one. Safety of pets and animals would be in jeopardy. Could you imagine if I had the chance to drive one? There could be a whole series of horror movies written about my exploits...I can see it now "Lawnmower Man's Revenge", Lawnmower Man's Revenge II"....just keep going and going...and.... Now to make matters even more difficult are the neighbors who mow thier lawn a certain way so that it looks nice and green and groomed. If I want nice and green and groomed I'll take up that game with pockets and balls played on a table or just continue to play golf badly and more often. I can't compete with green and groomed? I am just lucky it does not look like cow pasture. My lawn people take care of that. We have had the same lawn people for quite some time. They are two local kids....I actually have known them since birth. Now I trust them with powerful machines with whirling razor blades and wheels because they are the professionals....they have the knowledge...they have been doing this thier whole life. It is a family business.... green and groomed is in thier family....cow pastures are in mine. So they showed up and started to work. I made my appearance outside and pointed to a couple of areas of my concern (just so that they don't think I am totally detached and uncaring) and smiled, shook thier hands and thanked them once again for bringing to me that certain peace of mind. Lawn worries can go away. ....Yawn.... Time for a long summer's nap.... AND THEN IT HAPPENS.... "You know Patrick", she says as my eyes are almost to a thin slit of slumber...."We need to paint the house this year!" DANG....More worries....... the mind starts to whirl...paint...I hate to paint...I don't paint.... I sit and read and have fun and....and...... Well who knows. Hey.... Maybe the lawn people paint? There....that is better...Time for a nap....Eyes shut..... Ah peace again.

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