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Lisa Ace Wed, 01/13/2021 - 15:00

With lease expiring, Girl Scouts local service center closing until new location can be found after pandemic

Submitted by Howard Owens on Wed, 01/13/2021 - 14:43

The Girl Scouts branch office on Jackson Street in Batavia closed its doors at the start of the coronavirus pandemic with services to members being provided virtually, by mail, and by other service center locations.

Now that location is closing, said Callie Johnson, VP of Marketing for Girl Scouts in WNY, but the organization hopes to find another service center site in Batavia once it's safe to reopen.

"Our Batavia office lease expires February 1, 2021," Johnson said. "We had originally planned to identify a new location and relocate to a new space in Batavia that better fit our needs, but due to COVID-19, we are postponing the move.

"To use our resources wisely, we will not renew our lease at this time, and we will wait to move to a new location until after the pandemic and at a time when we can safely reopen. Our goal is to maintain a physical presence in Batavia. In the meantime, we are surveying our members on their input on a new Batavia Office space."

Alabama Hotel's new mural

Submitted by J Burns on Wed, 01/13/2021 - 14:38

 

A new mural was commissioned for the dining room of the Alabama Hotel, located at routes 77 and 63 in Basom.

Owner Bonnie Woodward says, the mural in the main dining room was painted as a display of gratitude for all the hotel’s guests, and it encompasses many the highlights of the local area. The theme of the mural is “All Roads Lead to the Alabama Hotel.”

Bonnie explains the elements in the mural:

  • The Alabama Hotel -- The painting of the hotel is a depiction of the structure dating back to the 1840s when it was first built. The entire section of the wall is a time capsule originating from the inception of the building, moving forward into the 1950s when the Woodward Family bought the Hotel, then forward to 2019 when Bonnie Woodward purchased it, and then finally to you -- the viewer at present.
  • 1957 Buick Convertible – Bonnie wanted to embody the time period when the Hotel was acquired by the Woodward Family – 1956.
  • Gas Pump – The building across from the Hotel, on the southwest corner, was at one point in time a gas station. The gas pump is from the 1950s and indicates the price of gas for that time period ($0.29/gallon).

  • Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge – A very short drive west is this habitat which supports approximately 266 species of birds, 42 species of mammals, as well as fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects;
  • Giant Wheel – Representing Six Flags Darien Lake in the Town of Darien. The real Giant Wheel propels riders 165 feet in the air.
  • Darien Lake Amphitheater – Hosting performances from all your favorites with a capacity of 21,600 people.
  • Steam Engine Tractor – The steam engine is a great way to represent the nearby Town of Alexander, which has hosted the Western New York Gas and Steam Engine Association and their respective annual rally since 1967.

  • Old Lockport Locks – Running 524 miles with 57 locks, 17 lift bridges, and 13 movable dams, the Erie Canal is yet another designated National Historic Landmark. The Canal was fully operational in 1825. There is an elevation change from Albany to Buffalo of 571 feet. Although the mural depicts the Lockport locks from their historical perspective, the locks have been reconstructed and now are the only double set on The Erie Canal. They raise boats 50 feet using three million gallons of water.

  • Buffalo City Hall – Just a short distance from here is Buffalo – the second largest city in New York State. Buffalo City Hall is a historical Art Deco masterpiece that is at the center of what's happening in Buffalo today.
  • McKinley Monument – The obelisk painted in front of City Hall is the McKinley Monument. This 96-foot tall structure defines the center of Buffalo where all the main roads converge. The monument was dedicated to the memory of President William McKinley who was fatally shot in Buffalo. On Sept. 14, 1901, following McKinley’s death, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was inaugurated at the Ansley Wilcox House in Buffalo. He became the 26th President of the United States.

  • Niagara Falls – Niagara Falls is considered the Eighth Wonder of the World. This major tourist destination is the result of Lake Erie dumping into Lake Ontario and it straddles part of the border between New York and Canada. You may find it interesting to know that the rate of water traversing the falls is controlled by employing a weir with movable gates upstream from the Horseshoe Falls. Peak tourist season as well as hydroelectric facilities are determinants of such control measures, as well as the extreme importance of erosion control. Niagara Falls, with its hydropower, is the largest electricity producer in New York State.
  • Wine Barrel – Since 1850 more than 5,000 people have either intentionally or accidently gone over the falls. The first person, in 1901, to survive was 63-year old school teacher, Annie Edson Taylor. She successfully performed the stunt in an oak barrel. Of the thousands of subsequent attempts, only 16 others have reportedly survived. Stunting at Niagara Falls has been illegal since 1951 and surviving such a feat could still cost a daredevil up to $25,000 (USD) in fines. 

  • Fresh Produce – Agriculture is a major component of the local economy. The Hotel is positioned in Genesee County, which is part of the Finger Lakes Agricultural Region -- the center of NY agriculture. This region hosts the largest amount of farmland in the State and ranks first in total amount of farm sales. The neighboring Western New York Region comprises of 5,100 farms and 870,000 acres of farmland (2012 U.S. Census Report).
  • Maple Tree – The maple leaf is the chosen emblem of Canada. We are grateful to our friends to the north who have always contributed to the culture and tradition of the Alabama Hotel.
  • Apples – At one point Western New York was the leading apple producing area in the country. Today, NY State farmers grow 40 varieties of apples – more than any other state. The state is currently the second-largest apple producing state in the nation (USDA). 
  • Onions – Neighboring Elba is known as the Onion Capital of the World in large part to the fertile mucklands. This title is upheld by the town’s annual Onion Festival and the crowning of its Onion Queen.
  • Cary Seminary – Consistent with the theme of the other landmark structures, the artist captured the historic essence of the Cary Collegiate Seminary in neighboring Oakfield. The Seminary was opened in 1844 as a select boarding school and later became Oakfield High School. The building is now School House Manor – 27 apartments for the elderly.
  • Milk Can – This is a symbolic homage to the local dairy industry; which is a major part of the economy. “The state has more than 4,000 dairy farms, is the fourth largest producer of milk [in the Nation], and is the largest producer of yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream. The dairy community includes both large dairy operations and small, family-run farms. It also boasts processing of various types and sizes, from major global processing companies to small artisanal dairy product makers.” 
  • Holding Lantern – Homage to the Underground Railroad. The entire area of Western New York was filled with stops or stations with major stations in Buffalo and Rochester. At the stations, weary slaves were given food, rest and a change of clothing before continuing the last leg of the journey to freedom in Canada.

  • Holland Land Office – Located in Batavia, the image is of the third and last office of The Holland Land Company. In 1960, the building was declared a National Historic Landmark, the first one in Western New York. If you’re keeping track, that is the third National Historic Landmark on the mural tour. 
  • Kodak Building – Nearby Rochester is known for the cultural icon of Eastman Kodak. With the slogan "you press the button, we do the rest" George Eastman put the first simple camera into the hands of a world of consumers in 1888. In so doing he made a cumbersome and complicated process easy to use and accessible to nearly everyone. Eastman’s Company has been at the center of most milestones in photography and digital imaging ever since.” 

Signatures of artists Susan Weber from Alden and Daniel Riggs originally from Elba

At UMMC Tuesday: a selfless act of coworkers' charity to benefit 'a selfless soul'

Submitted by Press Release on Wed, 01/13/2021 - 14:20

Submitted image and press release:

There wasn’t a dry eye in the parking lot of the hospital on Tuesday, Jan. 12, as one hardworking United Memorial Medical Center employee received a life-changing gift.

Catherine Weatherbee has worked as a secretary at the hospital for 20 years. She thought she was going out to lunch for her 60th birthday, until she was greeted by six cameras in the hospital parking lot. Next thing she knew a 2016 Subaru Legacy with a big red bow on top was pulling up beside her.

Dr. Nicholas Loffredo, Orthopedic surgeon at United Memorial, got out and yelled “Surprise!” as he walked toward her to hand her the car keys. Weatherbee’s astonished response, “No, you didn’t?!”

Ever since her car broke down two years ago, Weatherbee has been receiving rides to work by a friend or taking a cab. Her caring nature prompted Dr. Loffredo to start a GoFundMe for the United Memorial staff to donate money toward this gift. That goal was reached in mere days. 

Excitement grew as the big day approached, but there was a setback. A week before her birthday, Weatherbee got COVID-19.

“We were going to give this to her as soon as she got back and we’re just happy she’s back with us," Dr. Loffredo said. "She’s such a selfless soul and gives to everyone around her, you can’t help but love her."

Weatherbee said “I’m numb. I have no words to describe this. This is my family. I don’t have a family out in the public, but I have a family here."

She may have arrived to work in a taxicab Tuesday morning, but she went home in style.

Water main installation work starts tomorrow in Pavilion

Submitted by Press Release on Wed, 01/13/2021 - 13:59

From Laura A. Wadhams, P.E., assistant county engineer:

Fineline Pipeline is going to close Perry Road, between York Road and Dillion Road in Pavilion tomorrow. Jan. 14, between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. for water main installation. The road will be accessible to local traffic and emergency vehicles only.

The contractor will also close York Road between Perry Road and South Street Road in Pavilion starting tomorrow, Jan. 14th, for two to three weeks. The closures are expected Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The road will be accessible to local traffic and emergency vehicles only.

The contractor will not be on site any days where weather conditions would make for unsafe work or travel conditions.

STOP-DWI Poster Contest and Top Cop winners announced

Submitted by Press Release on Wed, 01/13/2021 - 13:28

Submitted image and press release:

Genesee County honored their annual STOP-DWI Poster Contest and Top Cop winners a little differently this year. In years past, a luncheon would take place and all award recipients would be honored for their service and artwork.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, we had to think of a way to still celebrate these students and officers for their hard work. Members of the STOP-DWI Board and Youth Bureau staff decided to have banners made in the winners’ honor and had the banners placed in front of their school or police agency.

In addition to the banners, each first-place winner, along with the Grand Prize winner, had their artwork displayed on brown paper bags that were donated to Tops Markets in Batavia to distribute to shoppers.

The Poster Contest award recipients are youth throughout Genesee County in grades sixth-12th who submitted a STOP-DWI poster focused on the 2020 theme.

The idea was to spark creativity and come up with their own slogan of two things that do not go together. The example provided was “Drinking and Driving Go Together like Peas and Guacamole, Don’t Drink and Drive."

There are three categories: sixth through eighth grade; ninth through 12th grade, and Computer Generated Art. There is also an overall Grand Prize Winner.

All award winners will receive commendations from the Genesee County Legislature, a gift card to Target, and a T-shirt with the Grand Prize Winner’s artwork on it. They will also be able to keep their banner that was displayed at their school. The Grand Prize Winner’s artwork will also be displayed on a billboard on Route 5 in Batavia.

The sixth through eighth grade winners are:

  • Third Place -- Logan Dryja; Logan is a sixth-grade student at St. Joseph Regional School
  • Second Place -- Clayton Conrad; Clayton is a sixth-grade student at St. Joseph Regional School
  • First Place -- Evianna Marts; Evianna is a seventh-grade student at Byron-Bergen Central School

Congratulations to our sixth through eighth grade winners!

The ninth- through 12th-grade winners are:

  • Third Place -- Sarah Streeter; Sarah is a 12th-grade student at Byron-Bergen Central School
  • Second Place -- Zoey Shepard; Zoey is a 10th-grade student at Byron-Bergen Central School
  • First Place -- Skylar Sharpe; Skylar is a 12th-grade student at Byron-Bergen Central School

Congratulations to our ninth- through 12th-grade winners!

The Computer Generated Art winners are:

  • Third Place -- Savannah Heick; Savannah is a seventh-grade student at Byron-Bergen Central School
  • Second Place -- Owen Coles; Owen is a 12th-grade student at Batavia High School
  • First Place -- Gavin Wagner; Gavin is a 10th-grade student at Batavia High School

Congratulations to our Computer Generated Art winners!

And our Grand Prize winner is a team of two:

Grace Shepard and Brooke Jarkiewicz! Grace and Brooke are both 11th-grade students at Byron-Bergen Central School.

Congratulations to our Grand Prize winners!

This year’s Top Cop Award was presented to four officers:

  • Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputy David Moore
  • Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputy Kenneth Quackenbush
  • Batavia Police Officer Peter Post
  • Le Roy Police Officer Austin Steinbrenner

These officers received this award for going above and beyond with DWI arrests during a 12-month time period. Their dedication and contributions are appreciated by the STOP-DWI Board to ensure the safety of our community.

Congratulations and thank you to all recipients for their contributions. We look forward to holding the contest and luncheon again later this year.

Top image: Grand Prize artwork by Grace Shepard and Brooke Jarkiewicz. It will be displayed on a billboard on Route 5 in Batavia.

COVID-19 vaccine eligibility now includes seniors 65+ and broader category of essential workers

Submitted by Press Release on Wed, 01/13/2021 - 12:46

Press release:

The New York State Department of Health on Tuesday posted online the most up to date information regarding those who are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.  

Those who are eligible now includes a broader category of essential workers and seniors who are 65 years and older. The eligibility was previously 75 years and older.

Eligible essential workers and seniors should use the online tool to find a location as well as call the COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline for scheduling vaccination appointments at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).

Finally, and most importantly, Genesee and Orleans counties' health officials are urging patience as the supply of vaccine is extremely limited in the GLOW region and across New York State.

Currently there is only limited amount of doses of the vaccines available in both counties while the number of residents and essential workers now eligible to receive the vaccine is approximately 50,000.

Jacobs votes against resolution calling on Pence to invoke 25th Amendment

Press release:

“The Constitution entrusts the Vice President and the Cabinet with the authority to invoke the 25th Amendment, and it is only intended to be used when a President is incapacitated – not as means of punishment. Congress has no place in this process and the Vice President’s decision not to invoke the 25th Amendment makes tonight’s vote no more than political posturing from Speaker Pelosi. At a time when our nation cannot bear more division, the Speaker should pull consideration of this resolution from the floor and instead work with us to heal the country.”

NOTE: Text of the 25th Amendment, Section 4:

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session.

If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

Press Release Wed, 01/13/2021 - 11:09

VIDEO: Muckdogs to take the field again as collegiate league team

Submitted by Howard Owens on Tue, 01/12/2021 - 20:37
Video Sponsor

The Muckdogs will bark again.

True, no longer will the team be comprised of players affiliated with a Major League Baseball team but the majority of players in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League are legitimate professional baseball prospects.

As many as 30 current major league players have passed through the league previously, said Robbie Nichols, the former professional hockey player who already owns a PGCBL team in Elmira and will own the expansion PGCBL Muckdogs in Batavia.

The Genesee County Community Baseball Club, which owns the Muckdogs trademark, has agreed to let Nichols use the team name.

PGCBL is a "wooden bat league" -- a league comprised of amateur players who play or will play Division I or Division II college baseball.

A couple of advantages of collegiate ball over low-level minor league ball, Nichols said, is that the players with a team tend to spend the entire season with a team, so fans get to know them and Nichols said his organization -- CAN-USA Sports -- is committed to fielding a team with about four players from the local area.

The PGCBL regular season consists of 60 games from late May until the end of July. The playoffs and championship are in the first week of August.

Season tickets are on sale now and start at $99. There is also a VP ticket package for $199. Existing Muckdogs season ticket holders will have priority to retain the seats they had in previous seasons.

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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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