Margarita's gets more blogger kudos

Submitted by Howard Owens on Mon, 04/28/2008 - 09:25

Recently, we did a post in praise of Margarita's carne sada tacos.

Today, we come across the blog post of a traveler who stopped in Batavia and found herself at Margarita's.

So you look through the list, and you think about a few things. You think about the fact that you're wearing your Patriots jersey still, and whether or not you want to walk into a sports bar in New York. You think about the notion that your husband is from Dublin, and whether or not you want to know what an Upstate Irish Pub might turn out to look like. You think about whether you ever, ever, ever again want to eat at Applebee's.

Then you take a deep breath, and you go to Margarita's.

And do you know where it turns out you can get the best Mexican food north of the Rio Grande?

Batavia, New York.

Who would'a thunk it?

Well, I'm not sure I'd go that far.  There's a lot of land immediately north of the Rio Grande and it's well populated with Mexicans.  Though, Margarita's darn good and we'll probably have our launch party there Thursday.


Monday morning news roundup

Submitted by philip.anselmo on Mon, 04/28/2008 - 08:00

Check out WBTA for these and other news stories:

• The City Council meets tonight at 7:00pm.

• Auditions for the Batavia Muckdogs/WBTA National Anthem Contest will be held at noon on Saturday, May 17 at Dwyer Stadium.

• Several hundred people turned out for the State of the City address.

More news

Submitted by philip.anselmo on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 15:07

Check out WBTA for these and other news stories:

• Batavia City Council President will give the State of the City address at an all-night event in conjunction with the Chamber's Business Showcase.

• Kiwanis Club of Batavia will hold its annual Law Day Dinner Thursday, May 1.

From The Batavian's vaults: Sweet Girl Graduates

Submitted by philip.anselmo on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 14:52

It's June 22, 1895. The front page of The Batavian — a newspaper of the times — tells the simple story of a high school graduation, titled: "Sweet Girl Graduates."

"Radiant as the rosy morn was the graduating maiden of the Batavia Academy Thursday night. In ravishing costume and with brightened eye and blooming cheek she stepped on the rostrum of the opera house and with all the glamour that surrounds the pomp and panoply of war pulsing in her heart she gazed into the proud eyes of parents and friends and an immense concourse of people, and in the midst of showers of beautiful flowers was thrown into a dreamy ecstasy of delight."

It's no surprise the author has eyes only for such maidens. Batavia Academy's graduating class in 1895 consisted of 13 girls and a meager four boys. Where were all the young Batavian men at the turn of the century? Were they too good — or no good — for study? Ravaged by war? Bound by the ox to the farm?

No matter. This article's author had no need for them. Full of that very same poetic excess, he describes a few of the young ladies who especially caught his eye. Such as:

"Miss Flora Van de Venter is a piquant, fair-haired girl, with expressive eyes and a complexion that suggests peaches and cream. Her essay was captioned 'Fun and Philosophy of Mother Goose,' but there was nothing frivolous about it, though nicely spiced with humor."

And let us not forget "Miss Florence Quirk, a tangle-tressed maiden in white, (who) gave a learned essay, which evinced deep research."

Or in an article on the same front page (under "Town Topics: Seen and Heard in the Daily Current of Batavia Life").

"The summer girl is with us again. Arrayed in delicate tissue gown and jaunty straw hat, she rides through the streets in all her glory these pleasant evenings. With fan or parasol in hand she graces the piazza or the streets as she makes her periodical visits to the soda fountain. What would the druggist do without the summer girl? But it befits us all to be duly and honestly grateful for the blessing. For the summer girl is a blessing."

It must have been a long, lonely winter.

R-News catches up with 1950s Batavia football star

Submitted by Howard Owens on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 14:19

R-News has an interesting piece about Don Bosseler today.

Bosseler attended Batavia High School in the 1950s, and in 1957 he was a first-round draft pick of the Washington Redskins.  R-News says that makes him the highest ever NFL draft pick from the Rochester area.

"It was one of the better classes I can remember," says Bosseler of the 1957 draft. The facts back that up.

1957 produced nine Pro Football Hall of Famers. Paul Hornung, Len Dawson, Jim Brown and Jim Parker were taken before Bosseler; Tommy McDonald, Sonny Jurgensen, Henry Jordan, Don Maynard and Gene Hickerson afterwards.


Bosseler was no slouch. He played eight seasons for the Redskins and retired in 1964 as the franchise leader in rushing yards.

Bosseler was on the "70 Greatest Redskins" list celebrating the team's 70th anniversary in 2002. Don knew the game. He had to, rooming with the likes of Don Shula, Joe Walton and Tom Osborne.

According to Pro-Football Reference, Bosseler scored 23 touch downs (22 rushing) in his career.  His best season was probably his rookie year when he scored 7 times and gained 673 yards.


Friday news roundup

Submitted by philip.anselmo on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 12:18

From the Daily News:

• Retired Major Gen. John Batiste will speak at the Batavia VA Medical Center Saturday, May 17 as part of a two-day veterans celebration organized by the Genesee County Veterans Support Network. "His speech will be focused not on the war or politics but on helping veterans," writes reporter Scott DeSmit. Call (585) 344-2611 for more information.

• Volunteers are being sought for a city clean-up Saturday. If you're interested, get to Williams Park on Pearl Street by 9:00am.

• Reporter Paul Mrozek writes that the town of Batavia "will maintain a water main that is owned by the village of Oakfield but runs through Batavia." Meanwhile, Batavia has a contract to buy the water plant where the main originates. Mrozek explains that the "mothballed" plant "has been stripped of its equipment so the building is available for storage." Once acquired, the land will be turned into a park with hiking and nature trails. Holes in the story: the Town Supervisor says the plant "will, at some point, become the property of Batavia." Some point this year? Some point in the next decade? Fifty years from now? Also, if the main originates at this defunct plant, what purpose does it serve? And if it is owned by Oakfield, why will Batavia maintain it?

• From a Letter to the Editor: "Revise, review and proofread; reconsider and repeat. Understand that modern times reward those with a fluency in the spoken word and a facility with the written word." So goes the advice from Donald Weyer to the Daily News and its readers.

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

Joe Mancuso: a Batavian through and through

Submitted by philip.anselmo on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 09:23

In Batavia business lore, there are few who loom as large as Joseph Mancuso, an incurable entrepreneur who bequeathed ambition to his children as if it were a heritage.

Mancuso died Tuesday at the state Veterans Home in Batavia, the Daily News reported. He was 88.

Reporter Roger Muehlig writes: "A son of Italian immigrants, Mancuso grew up during the Great Depression and once picked beans on a farm for $1 per 100 pounds."

From those modest beginnings, Mancuso flourished. He was a star athlete in high school, class president, later became a master sergeant in the Army Signal Corps and, once he returned home from World War II, became the first president of the Batavia Area Chamber of Commerce, Muehlig reported. (And those just a few of his social successes).

But the big fish came a little later:

"In 1956, Massey-Ferguson, the largest industry in Batavia, N.Y., closed down, leaving vacant an 850,000 square foot complex of multi-story buildings and driving unemployment to more than 20 percent. The Mancuso family wanted to reverse the situation. They purchased the complex and charged Joe Mancuso, then a hardware store manager, with filling it, creating jobs and making money.

"He tried to find a single company to rent the behemoth plant riddled with maintenance needs but after a month resolved that was a "crazy" idea. Instead, he decided to divide the building and rent to separate businesses that he would nurture by providing shared office services, assistance with raising capital and business advice. Within a short time he had recruited his first tenants, including a winery, a charitable organization and a chicken company. "We were out on the road a lot of the time, trying to interest investors and attract companies to the center," he told the NBIA Review, "and in a joking way, because of all the chickens, we started calling it 'the incubator.'" The name stuck long after the chicken company left, and Mancuso would forever be known as the man who coined the term business incubator." (From the National Business Incubation Association Web site).

"Joe was a visionary, years ahead of his time," Steven Hyde, president of the Genesee County Economic Development Center, told the Daily News.

Friends may call at the Gilmartin Funeral Home and Cremation Company on Friday, May 2, from 4:00 to 8:00pm. A Memorial Mass will be held Saturday, May 3, at 9:30am in St. Anthony's Roman Catholic Church, 122 Liberty St., Batavia, NY 14020. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the local Boy Scouts, the Batavia Kiwanis Club, the YMCA or the National Incubation Association. Go here for more details.

UDPATE: Buffalo News Obituary.

A new home for the homeless market

Submitted by philip.anselmo on Thu, 04/24/2008 - 15:35

Who needs Kmart when you've got downtown?

Twenty or so vendors of the now homeless Gensee Country Farmers Market may already have a new place to sell their fruits and vegetables: downtown Batavia. An offer to the vendors to join the Batavia Public Market came only a few hours after the Daily News reported that Kmart booted the county farmers from its parking lot after a 10-year commitment.

"We'd love to have them," said Don Burkel, downtown economic developer. More vendors mean more buyers, he said, "and we've got room for more."

Burkel heads up the fledgling downtown market that opens for its second summer season in June at the Center and School streets parking lot (across from O'Lacey's Irish pub).

Any vendors interested in setting up shop downtown should call Burkel at (585) 344-0900 and request space.

The Batavia Public Market will be held every Saturday from 9:00am to 2:00pm starting June 28, and runs through October 11.

Thursday news roundup

Submitted by philip.anselmo on Thu, 04/24/2008 - 13:22

From the Daily News:

• Warm weather means flowers... and hardhats. Construction is underway on the Batavia Towne Center at Park Road and Veterans Memorial Drive. Target is already hiring at an office on Main Street, nearby the WBTA studios. The store should be finished by July, and Lowe's should follow soon after. Other tenants will include: Bed Bath & Beyond, Petco and Michael's, an arts and crafts retail chain.

• A newborn baby abandoned at United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia last month is safe and healthy. And, while the mother has been identified, she cannot be charged. The law apparently allows a child under 5 days old to be abandoned with impunity at a hospital, fire station or police station.

• City HomeCare & Hospice will be working under the radar for a while, before kicking off a public fundraising campaign later this year. The hospice may eventually build a facility on River Street that would include some beds and administrative offices. Reporter Joanne Beck says: "Provisions can include medicine, equipment and physician, nursing, social work, bereavement and spiritual care." Not quite sure what that means. Holes in the story: Is the hospice building new or relocating from somewhere else? If everything is "tentative," nothing is known, and the hospice is not actually doing anything right now — as Beck writes — what is the story? Also, if this is the "next step," what was the first step?

• Kmart in Batavia kicked out the Genesee County Farmers Market after its 10-year residence at the store's parking lot. The now homeless market starts its summer season on June 10 and runs until October 31.

• Reservations must be made by Friday for an annual awards dinner for the Landmark Society of Genesee County. The dinner will be held May 3 at the First Presbyterian Church, 300 East Main St., Batavia, at 6:00pm. Tickets are $10. Call Catherine Roth at (585) 343-3833 or Lucine Kauffman at 757-2455 for more information.

• The Gensee Community College Foundation wants you to think of higher education this Mother's Day and make a donation to its scholarship fund. A minimum donation of $25 is required. Send your check to GCC and the college will send your mother a nice card. Call the college at (585) 345-6809 for more information.

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

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