Batavia city schools prepare for tech tour

Submitted by philip.anselmo on Fri, 05/02/2008 - 15:04

From Kathie Scott, public information coordinator for the Batavia City School District:

Small City in Spotlight for Big Technology

Behind the scenes, The Batavia City School District has been preparing diligently for the national spotlight.

On May 4-6, the District will host a National School Boards Association (NSBA) Technology Tour. Approximately 75 participants from around the United State and Canada have signed up so far to spend a few days in Batavia to see first-hand why the District has dubbed this tour, Small City/Big Technology.

The event will include some “history” and current overviews of how technology is utilized for student learning throughout the District, information outlining the hardware and software installed or accessed, as well as tours of all the schools. During the tours, participants will be able go into our learner-centered classrooms to see the various technological tools in use by teachers and students in diverse subject areas, K-12.

Except for the visitors, it will be a fairly typical day in the District. Some students, for example, will be collecting data, analyzing and converting it into meaningful statistics and then creating circle graphs. Others will work independently on skill-building in subjects from reading to math. Partners will research topics on the internet to help them better prepare for their arguments in a debate. Groups will interact with students from across the District (or in other cases, from across the country) to discuss and critique literature.  One class will take digital photos and then edit as part of creating a multi-media presentation for the entire school.

To conclude each school’s tour, small instructional focus groups for the participants will enable District staff to share more specific information and answer questions about how technology fits in with instructional programs, age groups, and subject matter. A small sampling of those topics includes Using the Interactive Whiteboard, The Use of Technology in Data Mining, Educational Games, Technology and Special Education, Videoconferencing in the elementary Class, Technology to Enhance Foreign Language Instruction, Blog It!, Geochaching, and Technology in the Primary Classroom.

Another highlight of the visit will be a technology-on-stage performance, Cinemagic. For Cinemagic, students from all three elementary school choruses will perform a choral revue consisting of 38 songs from well-known movies. This particular multi-media performance was chosen for the NSBA Technology Tour participants because of its integration of technology with music. The schools' three music teachers began holding rehearsals with the 150 students several months ago in preparation for the production, which also was performed for District families, and for students at the three elementary schools. As part of their preparation, students were given rehearsal CD’s, produced with music software, so they could practice at home. In addition to lighting and staging techniques, the performance is notable for incorporating the use of PowerPoint and Moviemaker software.

Friday afternoon news roundup

Submitted by philip.anselmo on Fri, 05/02/2008 - 12:43

From the Daily News (Friday):

• Rochester teen Andrew Figgins was sentenced to 25-years-to-life for shooting and killing Desean Gooch in a robbery attempt in 2006. Gooch was an Ohio native attending Genesee Community College.

• Head down to Hairitage Salon at 103 Jackson St. for a chicken barbecue to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society starting at 1:00pm Saturday — until the food is gone. Tickets can be purchased at the salon for $8.

• A Super 8 Motel and Days Inn on Oak Street will "split," according to reporter Roger Muehlig, and the Genesee County Economic Development Agency will give them a sales tax exemption to do so. Both motels are owned by the same company, Batavia Hospitality. Can someone explain how two motels can split? Are they connected right now? They must be. But if they're connected, how are they two motels? Muehlig writes: "The two motel corporations involved wanted to split the building, a former Holiday Inn, to improve its appearance." But wait! I thought the two motels were owned by a single corporation. I'm lost. Anyone else?

• "United Memorial Medical Center honored its volunteers at a dinner Wednesday at Bohn's Restaurant."

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

Batavia.... My own response to our frozen tundra

Submitted by burk_patrick on Fri, 05/02/2008 - 12:26

How do most people spend the early spring in Batavia? Why they spruce up thier yards, plant bulbs and make a general, post haste rush to the out of doors and into the reasonably seasonal breath of warmth. This is a result of the more than tedious length of cold, numbing weather with grey skies, dirty snow and piles on delivered but unread Pennysavers that lay on our lawns, long lost by the ever increasing cover of snow and ice. Until a couple of weeks ago that was the description of my yard in Batavia at least. An environment that is more connected to Siberia than most would want to think. It appears our favorite and most prevalent plant, the dandelion, is the one successful thing that stays bright green year round. Before the snow was totally gone, we had bright yellow flowers popping up all over..... and we poison them with weed killers because they dot our ever perfect, blade precisioned lawns. I welcome them. In fact, yellow is my favorite color and it is so good to see them and the other assorted flowers bud away and bloom as soon as the warmer breezes grace our tundra. You know this place, my favorite little city in the whole world, Batavia, is where I call home. My wife and I chose to move here to raise our children and to be in a wonderful safe and caring community. We have great schools, interesting things to do and wonderful neighbors. We could use a few more small specialty stores, maybe a nice department store and oh least one more pizzeria. But this is my home and I love it. Call me wierd, but keep the rest of the world, little old Batavia suits me just fine. Recently on a short trip over the border to Canada, or as my wife and I think of it as, The Mother Land (Both or our mother's were Canadian), I realized once again how wonderful it is to travel so near and see so many wonders. As many times as I have peered at Niagara Falls or watched the birds and the black swans in Stratford, Ontario, I still love to get off the Thruway at our exit that says home...or in our case Batavia. It is with purpose that I write this today. First, it is my first BLOG in the Batavian and it certainly will not be my last, BUT...perhaps my second reason is more succint. My second reason is this....When you find yourself getting blue and grey over the snow and the cold. When you see the mounds and piles of dirt covered hills in our plaza parking lots. Even when the local Pennysavers are piled at the end of your driveway like they conveniently know where they are supposed to end up anyway in that little blue box, I remember one thing. It is the people here that are beautiful... It is the friends and the opportunities and the families. Give me my little predictable slice of the Siberian Tundra of Western New York anyday...Bright Blooming Dandelions and the smiles of my friends and neighbors are all that matters and BATAVIA is bursting with them. So a quick smile to a friend, a nod of the head and a wave to a person jogging and walking make my day. Oh and I lay off the weed killer and let the dandelions get big, yellow and bright.... it is the least I can do...

Friday morning news roundup

Submitted by philip.anselmo on Fri, 05/02/2008 - 08:53

Check out WBTA for these and other stories:

• City police officer Ed Mileham was among four area lawmen from Genesee County honored at the Law Day Law Enforcement Awards, sponsored by the Batavia Kiwanis Club and the Genesee County Bar Association.

• A United Auto Workers strike in Detroit could have major repercussions in Western New York as a potential "solution" could mean closing an American Axle forge plant in Tonawanda. An article from the Associated Press on the happenings can be found here. It does not say how many workers would lose their jobs. Are there any Batavians who work at that plant? What do you think of this possible outcome? More of the same? Terrible and unexpected?

• Michael Merrill has been named interim Medical Director at United Memorial Medical Center. He "takes over for Louis Green, who died unexpectedly earlier this year."

Oakfield Youth Group plans benefit for 9th grader

Submitted by baxter on Fri, 05/02/2008 - 08:22

Oakfield Community Youth Group hosts a benefit for Carl Bish Jr. Carl is a 9th grader at OACS that has recently been diagnosed with cancer. Carl and his family are active in many activities at school - Carl was on the JV football team this year. Our local youth have decided to have a spaghetti dinner - chinese auction for Carl and the Bish family. May 17th 4:30 - 7:30 Oakfield Fire Hall $7.00 adults $5.00 kids 12 and under Menu: spaghetti with meatballs tossed salad dinner roll beverage dessert For tickets or donations please call 948-5120. Thanks.

Now you can blog on The Batavian

Submitted by Howard Owens on Thu, 05/01/2008 - 17:13

Earlier today, I told you that soon you, too, could blog on The Batavian.

Our crack programming staff made it happen sooner than expected.  You can blog now.

How's that for soon?

All registered users have a blog by default.  To submit a post, once you're logged in, look for the "Create Content" link on the left of the page.  Click it.  The next page will have a link for "Blog Post." Click that link.  You'll then have a page that asks you to type a headline, some keywords related to your post (called "tags"), and then a text-entry area with some buttons that will remind you of Microsoft Word.

Write your post.

Scroll to the bottom where you will find "Save" and "Preview" buttons. Preview allows you to review your post before it goes live (though you still have an option to edit after it is live). When you click "Save" the post will be posted live to the site.

Your post will not appear on the home page automatically. 

At every opportunity, Philip and I will review blog posts and publish to the home page any we find of sufficiently broad interest or newsworthiness. 

Since only selected posts appear on the home page, this gives you the option to create a purely personal blog, if you like (it will still be public, but not as prominent).

Right now, your blog will have something of an ugly URL (like mine here), but eventually we'll fix the URLs so that your blog's URL identifies your username.

Have fun blogging!

All about me getting to know you

Submitted by philip.anselmo on Thu, 05/01/2008 - 16:34

Well, folks, we've "officially" launched The Batavian. You can find out all about what that means and why you should be interested by following this convenient hyperlink. In the meantime, please allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Philip.

I'm about five-foot-ten (unless you count my hair which puts me up over six feet, I'm sure). I come from prime Italian immigrant stock with a little Welsh and German thrown in for good measure. I speak French, eat Japanese, and I'm as thin as a stick and maybe as tough. I grew up in Greece, the Rochester suburb that's more crowded and less personable than the city, which is where I live now with my girl, our two cats and many shelves of books — a few of which I've read. I would count Saul Bellow and Henry David Thoreau as two fine specimens of the American race. In the dozen years since I graduated high school, I've washed dishes, studied philosophy, produced short films, taught English, moved pianos and wrote (for newspapers, magazines and other media).


Let us on to the business at hand... I'll be doing my best to manage the content here at The Batavian. That means I look for news, for stories, happenings, events and whatever else can be squeezed into a blog post, a short video, an audio podcast, a photograph or just summarized, linked to and let be. What it really means, though, is I want to hear from you, so Batavia can hear about you.

Maybe your organization is hosting a tea party to benefit a rare disease. Maybe you juggle knives. Maybe you are a member of City Council and you have more to say than what makes it into a bi-monthly meeting. Whatever it is, call me. Come by and see me. Send me an instant message. Send me an e-mail. We'll talk. Or... you'll talk. I'll listen. (Please see all my contact information below.)

Just as important, I should mention that I'm here to find my replacement. I need someone who has a love of writing and producing mutlimedia content that matches his or her love for Batavia. Someone who wants to do what I do, full-time, with the skills to do it.

So, let's start talking:

• My number: (585) 802-3032.

• My e-mail: philip (at) thebatavian (dot) com.

• My AOL Instant Message name: thebatavian.

• My office: Main Street Coffee (for the moment).

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday afternoon news roundup

Submitted by philip.anselmo on Thu, 05/01/2008 - 15:49

From the Daily News (Thursday):

• Republican Christopher J. Lee announced his bid for the 26th Congressional District seat Wednesday. Reporter Roger Muehlig writes: "Lee, 44, is a Clarence resident and a Western New York native who is seeking elected office for the first time."

• Underage drinkers beware! The Genesee County STOP-DWI program is passing out a handheld device that can detect if a driver's license has been altered. The device will go to restaurants, bars and retail stores in the county and costs about $10 a pop. Questions: How many sales could this potentially prevent? Are most underage sales of alcohol procured via a "fake" ID? Or are they got by "alternate" IDs — supplied by a look-alike friend — or even someone over the age of 21 who buys the alcohol for those who are too young?

• The Batavia Society of Artists opens the first of two 2008 exhibitions with a reception at the Richmond Memorial Library Wednesday from 7:00 to 8:30pm in the library's Gallery Room. More than 30 works — including oils, watercolors, acrylics and mixed media — will be on display through May 29.

• The Genesee Chorale will hold its "From Prose to Song" concerts this Friday at 7:00pm at New Hope Ministries, 8052 Bank Road, Batavia; and Sunday at 3:00pm at St. Peter's Catholic Church, 44 Lake St., LeRoy. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and student, and $14 for a family (no mention of how large the family can be). No number is given to call for more information.

• An exhibit of multimedia photographs by artist Melissa Newcomb is now on display in the lobby gallery of Genesee Center for the Arts at Genesee Community College. "A Fragment in Time" will run through August 15. Call (585) 345-6814 for more information.

Genesee Community College will host a symposium titled Creating Smart & Good Schools: Integrating Ethics & Excellence. The talk will be held Tuesday from 7:00 to 9:00pm in Room T102 of the college. Registration is required in advance. Call Christine Belongia at (585) 343-0055 ext.6278 to register or for more information.

Richmond Memorial Library will host a slide show and talk titled "Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin House Complex" from 7:00 to 8:00pm May 8. There is no charge to attend. Call (585) 343-9550 ext.8 for more information.

• The Batavia office of Brighton Securities received thanks from the U.S. Army in the form of a certificate and an American flag that was "flown on a combat reconnaissance mission with Task Force Odin over Baghdad, Iraq, on December 9, 2007." Brighton Securities sponsored phone cards and sent care packages to different units serving in Iraq.

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

Some Perry residents oppose wind farm, but we don't know why

Submitted by Howard Owens on Thu, 05/01/2008 - 13:39

Wind power seems like a good thing -- clean, natural, a renewable energy source.

These days, who can be opposed to such benefits?

So why are people in Perry blocking -- and have been blocking for three years -- the construction of a wind farm in their town? Matt Suretl's story in today's Daily News doesn't tell us.

Surtell writes:"It often appears there's little middle ground between the most adamant supporters and opponents," yet he never gives much information on the pros and cons, as Perry residents see them.

This leave the impression that the opponents are nothing more than unapologetic NIMBYs.

My only experience with wind turbines comes from often driving past the majestic, earth-saving machines in Tehachapi. From everything I heard while a resident of nearby Bakersfield, the people of Tehachapi consider the wind farm an asset -- but then it's a bit of a tourist attraction. There's no guarantee the people of Perry would be as fortunate.

Here's some related links:

What do you think? Should there be a wind farm in Perry?  Why or why not?

Note: Today's Daily News is available on new stands now. If you're not a subscriber, you can subscribe at


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