Skip to main content

Baby Boomers' memories of Batavia

By Anne Marie Starowitz
Richmond Memorial Library

I use the Richmond Memorial Library daily, tutoring different students. I told one student about Mary Richmond and how she was responsible for financing this beautiful building in memory of her son Dean Richmond Jr.   

Baby boomers grew up walking or driving by the Dean Richmond mansion as part of our daily scenery. Yet, all I seem to notice now is what is gone—most of all, our Main Street. 

Richmond Mansion

I can't forget cruising down Main Street in the 60s. You would drive from the Big N, Eastown Plaza, to the Red Barn or the old Tops Market, now Harbor Freight. Back then, most cars had bench seats, and if you were with your boyfriend, you sat in the center, showing you had a boyfriend, or if you had bucket seats, you would sit on a pillow on the console. In my early teens, the memories were always from spending time outdoors. It was from swimming in the New Pool or, if you were adventurous, the Sandwash, now known as DeWiitt Park, dancing on the tarmac of the tennis courts at MacArthur and Kibbe Park, or winter skating on the frozen tennis courts.

One of my favorite memories was watching St. Joseph's Drum Corps marching down Main Street or watching one of their competitions at Woodward Field. Of course, it also helped if you had a crush on a corps member. Then, on a quiet evening, you could hear them practicing at the Sylvania parking lot.   

st. joe's
st. joe's

Everyone knew who you were, so if you decided to do something you didn't want your parents to see, you soon realized they knew it by the time you got home. We walked to any place we wanted to go. When we were young, we belonged to the neighborhood park and participated in the annual summer craft fair parade. 

You could drink when you were 18, so you would try to get a drink when you were 17. I only know that because my brother took me to our favorite bar on Ellicott Street, Louie's.  

We had house parties. My 18th  birthday was very memorable; my class and the faculty of Notre Dame were invited. Thanks, Mom and Dad! 

Our favorite places to stop after school or on a Saturday afternoon were   Critics and Kustus soda fountains. You would sit at a booth in Critics, drinking your cherry Coke, eating French fries, and putting quarters in a personal jukebox. Then, on a Friday night, you would all meet at Pontillo's for a pizza and hang out with your friends.


The churches were packed for Sunday Mass or Sunday services. Everyone seemed to belong to a church. In the Catholic Church, females had to wear a hat at Mass, and if you didn't have a hat, you used a bobby pin and clipped a tissue to the top of your head. Stores were closed on Sunday. I found not eating pepperoni on our pizza challenging on a Friday night. No meat was allowed on any Fridays.

Our high school dances at Notre Dame ended with a prayer at 11 p.m. with the lights on in the gymnasium. At 11, my dad was waiting outside to take me home. I made sure the eye makeup was off before he saw me

I recently turned 73, and I find solace in remembering old Batavia and the fun we had that did not connect us to a cell phone. 

I don't think I will ever stop remembering my good old days. They just make me smile and make me grateful I grew up in a time with a large family, a station wagon, going under a bridge and blaring the car horn, or punching your brother when you see a Punch Bug Volkswagen Beetles,  and visiting the popcorn and peanut man at his stand on Main Street only to name a few.

As I type this, I sit in the former Ebling Electric store, now The Coffee Press.

This business owner knew the value of saving our old buildings and creating a new place for friends to gather and create their memories.

5-MW community solar project to be considered Thursday at GCEDC meeting

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) board of directors will consider a final resolution for GSPP Route 262, LLC’s 5-MW community solar project at its board meeting at 4 p.m. on Thursday. The project’s total capital investment is estimated at $13 million and will be located in the town of Byron.

GSPP Route 262, LLC’s project is aligned with New York's goals for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and greenhouse gas reductions, and will offer customers a 10% discount vs. average market rates for the generated power.

Agreements negotiated for GSPP Route 262, LLC’s project PILOT would generate $4,000/MWAC + a 2% annual escalator of revenues with Genesee County, the Town of Byron, and Byron-Bergen Central School District.  This project is estimated to generate a $627,303 increase in property-tax type revenues to host municipalities. 

A public hearing on the proposed project agreement was held on April 19 in the town of Byron.

The June 1, GCEDC board meeting will be held at 4 p.m. at the MedTech Center’s Innovation Zone, 99 MedTech Drive, Batavia. Meeting materials and links to a live stream/on-demand recording of the meeting are available at

From diagnosis to research to hope: removing the mask of 'fine'

By Joanne Beck
Peter Mittiga, Sue Gagne, Cheryl Netter
Peter Mittiga, deputy director of Genesee County Mental Health, Sue Gagne, and Cheryl Netter, talk about mental health issues from their personal and professional perspectives for a series of articles related to Mental Health Awareness. 

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of articles for May’s Mental Health Awareness focus. Despite it being the last day of the month, no topic as important as mental health can be hemmed into such a short time span anyway, as Genesee County Mental Health Director Lynda Battaglia says. Besides, this kicks off June’s “Rebuild Your Life Month,” which will continue with additional articles.

Little did anyone know that Cheryl Netter suffered from bipolar disorder throughout her life. And how could they? Netter herself didn’t know until she received an official diagnosis in her 20s.

“Finally, when I was diagnosed with something that I could explore, and educate myself on and find out, I was relieved. So many people will tell you otherwise, maybe, but I was totally relieved because I knew in talking with my gynecologist and my doctors through the course of the years, I knew there was something more going on inside me. I couldn't voice it, I couldn't put it into words, I couldn't express it per se,” she said. “I used to write a lot. And everything that I wrote about it was dark, death, all of that. And, you know, that's why I look back. And my mom was a big support to me. Not in the beginning. She didn't understand it either. But she started trying to educate herself. And in finally talking, she listened finally, and that's when she started the shift over to when she started sharing with me about her journey. Her mother had a nervous breakdown, my grandmother, back when my mom was growing up. And then my mother, when I was little, I remember her going through an episode, where she was taken away, and hospitalized as a ‘nervous breakdown,’ you know, back then that's what they called them, they didn't have all these diagnoses. And so it was a genetic thing.”

Throughout school and later in her working life, the mask she wore on the outside and the roles she played belied her very low self-esteem and depression. Netter was always the lead in school plays, worked in retail, gravitated toward leadership roles, got married, had two daughters, and from all appearances, she looked “fine.”

She suffered from deep depression, had been hospitalized four times and put on lithium. Abusive relationships and substance abuse -- a path that kept her sinking lower and lower -- all led Netter to the eventual thought that everyone around her would be better off “without me,” she said.

At one of her lowest points, Netter tried to end her life.

“I was in a coma for three days,” she said during an interview with The Batavian. “There is hope out there. I’m living proof of it. There are people out there, you just have to find them.”

Oftentimes, when one is struggling with depression and feelings of hopelessness, isolation is the easier thing to do, she said. But taking that first step will lead to the next one. Her lifeline has been faith in her higher power, God.

“And I know, without a doubt, it's only by his grace, I'm here. I can honestly say that because I have had the opportunity to impact others. With what I've come through. I've never been afraid to talk about it. I've never been afraid to tell people my story. I've never had a fear of people looking at me like 'oh, geez,' I just have never had that fear because I know where my story comes from,” she said. “It's been a journey. And it will be lifelong.

“I do hope coaching. I can’t walk for them, but I can walk with them,” Netter said. “But I can support you with that empathy piece, I think.”

Netter is a hope coach through City Church. A hope coach is a believer in Christ who is devoted to helping others to achieve their fullest potential and who will encourage one to have hope in oneself and God by faith. A hope coach is not a counselor or therapist.

For more information about this program, call 585-343-6895.

Peter Mittiga, deputy director of Genesee County Mental Heath, said that therapist numbers are bouncing back from COVID days, and that has opened up more availability for appointments at the mental health facility on East Main Street in Batavia.

“So I'm really excited about this, and I think it'd be great for the community just knowing, we have walk-in hours every day. Yes, you can be seen right away. But then, currently, you might have to book out two or three weeks for your next appointment,” he said. “But once we are fully staffed, then get right in and start therapy right away, which is great. “Or if somebody is doing very well, they might say, hey, can I see you monthly just to check in, and that's fine, too. 

"And then also individuals that have been in therapy for a while they feel like they don't really need the therapy, if they want to get through with medication. They can be enrolled in our medication management program," he said. "So we have a nurse who will check in with them periodically, but they primarily just come here and they see a doctor and stay on medications for three months. And those are much shorter appointments. So it's not a 45-minute therapy appointment, it's just a really quick check-in with the nurse to see if things are okay. And if that individual ever wants to go back into therapy, we link them up.”

Local Resources
For more information about mental health services in Genesee County, call 585-344-1421 or go to Mental Health Services

For services at the Mental Health Association of Genesee and Orleans Counties, call 585-343-2611, or go to MHA    

For more information from the Rochester-based National Alliance on Mental Illness, go HERE

In a mental health crisis, call or text 988 for resources.

Dealing with loved ones' mental illness can be a repetitive cycle until you're on the 'same team'

By Joanne Beck

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of articles for May’s Mental Health Awareness focus. Despite it being the last day of the month, no topic as important as mental health can be hemmed into such a short time span anyway, as Genesee County Mental Health Director Lynda Battaglia says. Besides, this kicks off June’s “Rebuild Your Life Month,” which will continue with additional articles.

Sue Gagne
Sue Gagne

Lather, rinse, repeat.

That’s how it felt for Sue Gagne when dealing with a family member struggling with mental illness, she said.

“I would say early in my career as a family member, I didn't know anything about mental illness. And when my loved one first started exhibiting symptoms, the rest of the family didn't really know what to do. So we would wait for a crisis; we would call 911. (Law enforcement) would come and either take them away or settle things down,” Gagne said during an interview with The Batavian. "And I always, when I do the (Crisis Intervention Team) training, I say, you know, it's like, wet, lather, rinse, repeat. It was just this continual cycle of, 'we don't know what to do.'"

Gagne made up for that lack of knowledge and ended up diving head first into the mental health field, formerly as the executive director at the Mental Health Association of Genesee and Orleans Counties, dual recovery coordinator for the GLOW region, a recovery center coordinator at GCASA, and a Suicide Prevention Coalition leader before her most recent professional endeavor of becoming a registered nurse.

Until the formal lessons, however, there were plenty of hands-on observations of that family members’ struggle: yelling, hearing and seeing things that the remaining family didn’t hear or see, the ensuing turmoil that resulted, regularly charged manic behavior that became part of a bipolar existence of low and highs, Gagne said.

“Like hearing people outside the window. You know what mental illness is, and that it's in your family, you go check, like, okay, that's possible, somebody could be out there, you know … things that aren't really happening, but you don't know they're not real, because you're still believing this person. So a lot of confusion, I would say chaos and confusion,” she said. “And then, meanwhile, you're trying to live your own life.”

There were police arrests, substance use, being locked in a psychiatric ward and put on medications until the family member began to feel better and then would stop taking the meds. As Gagne said, wash, rinse, repeat.

Does it ever end? What happened in your case?
“It just keeps going. And then, one day, NAMI came into my life, which is National Alliance for Mental Illness in Rochester. And I recognized that I'm not the only one who deals with this … it's a lot of stigma and shame that keeps you not wanting to reach out. And I really didn't know where to reach out," she said. "But once I met with NAMI, it shifted my whole way of thinking. My thought early on was like, take them to the hospital, medicate them, send them back the way they used to be. And that was just ignorance on my part. This has been lifelong for my situation. And I think once I could get in my head that I am this person's support, that I'm on their team, that I'm part of their recovery team. That shifted the whole dynamic.

"NAMI taught me to be able to talk about mental illness as it's part of who that person is and what makes up that person. So, I think that was one thing. Navigating the mental health system for family members is not easy, I found, but if you can get educated about the person's diagnosis, you can have releases signed with therapists to be on that team.

"I'm part of my family member’s team, and they do this, and I'll come around this way and be like, you know, how can we support that? But also having good boundaries because you can burn out from caregiving. I think that's a huge thing."

So do you still have your family members in your life?
“I do, loving them every minute of the day. But it's ongoing, I think that's why you have to take care of yourself. In a crisis it's like it's all hands on deck. Let's do it. But, you know, I think that was something else I learned -- I didn't want to deal with it. So I waited until it was a crisis," she said. "And then it's like, it would go away, and then I’d just push it off and then it would come back. And it's like, if you can have that ongoing, stable kind of relationship, keeping your eye out, kind of thing, it makes life a lot better for everybody.”

Gagne appreciated having a team atmosphere at Genesee County Mental Health because case management meant "we'll do this like a whole team is assembled to support that person," she said.

 "Which is, I think, wonderful, because I think sometimes people think, Oh, if I go to therapy once a week, that's the end all be all," she said. "My experience here is they will help you build a support team around the person. And it didn't used to be that way. It was kind of siloed time."

Any other advice?  
Get yourself a support system, and don’t take life too seriously.

“You have to laugh,” Gagne said. “One thing they teach you at NAMI is you have to embrace humor as healthy. And that is my favorite thing ever.”

College Prevention Initiative grant connects GCASA educators with GCC students, staff

By Mike Pettinella
Chaya and Ford
GCC Dean of Students Patty Chaya, left, and GCASA Prevention Director Shannon Ford. Submitted photo.

With a renewed emphasis on health and wellness, the administration at Genesee Community College is confident that a two-year grant to provide alcohol and drug prevention services through Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse will make a positive difference in students’ lives.

“In recent months, especially since COVID, we’ve put a lot of energy into opening a new wellness office,” GCC Dean of Students Patty Chaya said. “And the health and safety of our students has always been a main priority. This collaboration with GCASA is going to be really great, and it’s coming at a perfect time to build our wellness program.”

Chaya recently learned that GCASA received the grant – about $98,000 annually for two years – from the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports. It will enable GCASA to hire one full-time and one half-time prevention educator to work at GCC.

OASAS has awarded several of these College Prevention Initiative grants to State University of New York or City University of New York community colleges, utilizing federal funding relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Rescue Plan Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.

The purpose is to implement evidence-based practices and strategies, including individual and family-focused programs and/or community-level environmental change strategies to prevent or reduce substance misuse.

Shannon Ford, director of Prevention at GCASA, wrote the Request for Funding proposal, which then was submitted to OASAS for approval. She said her agency and GCC have been seeking a way to collaborate and provide prevention services for the past several years.

“We’re pleased to be able to provide services at the college and are in the process of accepting resumes for the educator positions,” Ford said. “Our plan is to use the BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students) and CASICS (Brief Cannabis Screening and Intervention for College Students) evidence-based programs, both of which have produced successful outcomes.”

The two prevention educators will work out of an office in the Dean of Students area on the second floor of the campus’ main building, Chaya said, adding that they will work closely with the college’s wellness specialist, Meghan Bernard.

“Actually, we have a number of offices that will be working together with these new hires,” she said. “One is our College Village residence halls -- our population down there.

“I find that I meet with a lot of those students in my office for infractions. And having them meet with one of these GCASA counselors as a sanction may be really helpful, even though they don't think so all the time. It may help them get back on their feet.”

Chaya acknowledged that there could be underlying factors that lead to students’ use of drugs and alcohol, and that’s where the wellness piece comes in.

“Some of the things that we are looking to work on is peer pressure, lack of connection the students have, disabilities, food insecurity, mental health concerns, poverty or lack of financial resources, lack of resources due to their rural location and a family history of substance abuse,” she said. “Maybe they're struggling with parents getting divorced or a breakup of a relationship. And they really could use some counseling.

“So, in addition, we'll provide them counseling and we'll also provide them some sort of assessments for their substance use and hopefully get them back on their feet again. I mean, this is not just a problem with GCC; it's very widely spread across the United States.”

Substance misuse can have lasting consequences for college students, including poor academic performance, assaults, injury and increased risk of developing substance use disorder.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2019, almost 53 percent of full-time college students ages 18 to 22 drank alcohol in the past month and about 33 percent engaged in binge drinking during that same time frame.

“Family history and other risk factors, such as peer approval and perception of harm, can lead to problems with drugs and alcohol,” Ford said. “Having this grant gives us a unique opportunity to reach young adults with specific, age- and culturally-appropriate prevention approaches.”

Chaya emphasized that GCC Campus Safety will play a role in the program.

“My hope is that we can provide some training for campus safety personnel as well as other people on campus, such as the wellness office and my office in the Dean of Students and the Human Services program -- and just provide training for the staff so we can sustain the benefits of the grant. By doing this, when it ends in two years, we can keep it going,” she said.

She said it’s all about giving students “a second chance” to reach their potential.

“Students want to meet their goals, but sometimes peer pressure or their use of some of these substances may affect their attendance at class,” she observed. “They may actually go to class high and they don't remember what was said in class. And they have a greater likelihood of probably getting in trouble around here. We don't want to see that. We have a very safe campus, and we want that to continue.”

The outreach will include GCC students receiving services through the college’s Educational Opportunity Program and the Adult Education Opportunity Center, Chaya noted.

“We also have – which sometimes people forget – online learning. And just because somebody is an online learner, as long as they're GCC students, they can use our services,” she added. “They may also need the assistance of counseling or alcohol and drug counseling. Because after COVID, these are people that sometimes were home and smoking weed or drinking, and we need to figure out how they can get back to living a great life and doing well with their academics.”

Chaya said the BASICS and CASICS programs are vital to identifying the risk factors and providing avenues to deal with the issues that are hurting their academic and social progress.

“Sometimes, when they’re using, there’s a lack of motivation that leads to low grades, and many times they don’t believe that their excessive use of substances can lead to a substance use disorder,” she said.

A concentrated effort will be placed upon students living at the College Village on-campus residence halls.

“Students smoke marijuana in their rooms in the residence halls and don’t want the fire alarm detector to go off, so, they cover their fire alarm fire detector, which is a big no, no,” Chaya said. “And some are suspended because of this and lose their housing privileges because it’s putting everyone at risk.”

For more information about the grant or to apply for the prevention educator positions, contact Ford at

Disclosure: Mike Pettinella is the publicist for GCASA.

GLOW OUT kicks off pride month with a trio of youth-centered events Thursday

By Press Release

Press Release:

GLOW OUT!, the LGBTQ+ outreach agency serving the four GLOW counties, kicks off Pride Month with a trio of fun and educational events on Thursday in Batavia. Festivities begin at 5 p.m. at the War Memorial outside of the Jerome Center where Act Out!, the organization’s youth league, will raise the Progress Pride Flag during a ceremony led and created by youth leaders Lily Fiscus of Caledonia-Mumford High School, Abby Merkley of Holley High School, and Ayden Carlson and Judith Newton, both of Batavia High School. 

In addition to explaining the significance of Pride Month and the flag, the short program will also feature proclamations from local and state representatives. Community members are encouraged to attend and show the youth and LGBTQ+ residents their support. 

The fun and tradition continue afterward at the Pride Block Party hosted by the First Presbyterian Church of Batavia in their hall from 6 to 8 p.m. Join them for an evening of playing games, making tye-dye T-shirts, painting rocks, dancing, and of course, getting a free treat from everybody’s favorite, the Ice Cream and Chill truck! 

Highlights from the youth league’s past year will be shared, as well as the accomplishments of the previous four leaders who will stay on as senior leaders. And of course, be there as we crown our four new youth leaders to the Royal Rainbow Court and welcome them to the team.

The evening will come to a close as the group marches to the Old Courthouse by 8:30 p.m. to see the building lit in a slow-fading rainbow for the month of June. All events are free and open to the public. For more details or to learn more about their upcoming Pride Parade and Festival on Friday, June 9 starting at 4 p.m., please visit

Photo submitted by Sara Vacin

Photos: Matsiko Orphan Choir at Liberty Pumps

By Howard B. Owens
Matsiko Orphan Choir

The Matsiko Orphan Choir performed a series of shows Wednesday for employees throughout the plant of Liberty Pumps in Bergen.

The choir is a group of children from Africa who tour the nation to encourage people to become sponsors of the program, which provides educational opportunities for the children.

"The main goal of us performing at so many places around the United States is trying to find sponsorship for these kids and kids just like them back home," said Sam Windham, one of the group's directors. "What the sponsorship is, is people who step into their lives, they give $40 a month, and that $40 takes these kids all the way through university, takes them through elementary school, high school university, so when they graduate, they'll be able to accomplish any of their dreams. They have grown up to become doctors, lawyers, teachers, and anything they've ever dreamed of. And hopefully, when they graduate, they'll be able to change their country from the inside and stop the cycle of poverty that's been going on from generation to generation and the next generation of kids."

To learn more about becoming a sponsor, click here.

Matsiko Orphan Choir
Matsiko Orphan Choir
Matsiko Orphan Choir
Matsiko Orphan Choir
Matsiko Orphan Choir
Matsiko Orphan Choir
Matsiko Orphan Choir
Matsiko Orphan Choir

Pavilion Central School hosts Alumni Hall of Fame induction

By Press Release

Press Release:

Three new honorees will be inducted into the PCS Alumni Hall of Fame on Friday, June 2. Each of the Hall of Fame laureates will speak to the student body in a morning assembly. The Alumni Hall of Fame exists to honor outstanding alumni for their achievements as adults. Equally important, it provides examples for current and future students, showing them the types of achievements that are possible if they apply the excellent educational foundation they acquire at PCS. It is the school's highest honor for its graduates. 

The 2023 Honorees are Dr. William R. Anderson, MD, Ph.D., FACG, gastroenterologist, Class of 1972; Roxanne Milligan Dueppengiesser, youth educator & agriculture advocate, Class of 1984; Martin Thomas Griffith (Marty) Sr. EVP, chief banking officer, CNB Bank Class of 1980.

Past inductees have included TJ Majors, a NASCAR racing spotter; Gregory Reinhart, a world-renowned opera singer; Jay Brooks, a landscape artist; Ed Spence, a veteran and founder of Warrior House for Veterans; as well as many others whose life's work provides a model for present-day PCS students. The assembly will be held at PCS high school at 9:30 a.m. on Friday.

Genesee County Spartans' home opener moved up to this Saturday at Genesee Community College field

By Press Release

Press release:


Genesee Region football fans will have their chance to root for the home team -- the Genesee County Spartans -- sooner than expected.

Spartans Head Coach Harry Rascoe announced that the first-year semipro squad will open its season this Saturday, with kickoff set for 2 p.m. at Genesee Community College’s new football stadium (located behind the Richard C. Call Arena).

“We had a team drop out of our league and we were able to pick up a game on Saturday against the Buffalo-based New York Falcons of the Gridiron Developmental Football League,” Rascoe said. “We’re excited to finally get out in front of the community.”

The non-league game is sponsored by Iron Reps Gym of Le Roy. Admission is $5. Children under 12 will be admitted at no charge.

Rascoe said the offense will be guided by quarterback Joe Canzoneri, who will be looking to get the ball into the hands of runners and receivers Rob Williams, Alex Rood, Brandon Bethel and Jed Reese.

The defense is led by defensive ends T.J. Henderson and Gunner Rapone, who combined for four sacks, three forced fumbles and 10 tackles in an exhibition game two weeks ago in Watertown.

“We lost the game, but it was a good learning experience,” Rascoe noted. “We definitely will be able to build from it.”

The remainder of the Spartans’ schedule is as follows:

June 10 – at Lockport, 7 p.m.
June 17 – home vs. Ithaca, 7 p.m.
June 24 – home vs. Broome County, 7 p.m.
July 15 – at Broome County, 7 p.m.
July 22 – home vs. Lockport, 7 p.m.
Aug. 5 – at Ithaca, 7 p.m.

For more information about the team, including how to become a sponsor, go to the team’s Genesee County Spartans Facebook page or contact Rascoe at

Atticus the Cat missing around Hull Park and Ross Street in Batavia

By Staff Writer
missing cat
Atticus has gone missing from his home in the Hull Park, Ross Street neighborhood of Batavia.  He was last seen wearing a collar with a tag of his owner's name, Shannon Little, and Little's phone number on it.  Little can also be reached at  Little is offering a $300 reward for the safe return of Atticus.
Submitted photo.

Notre Dame loses Girls Softball crossover game, 3-0

By Staff Writer

Submitted story:

Notre Dame lost a pitcher's duel Tuesday evening in Fillmore against D2 Champion Scio/Friendship.  

Scio opened up the game by scoring a run in the bottom of the first on two of their four base hits.

That one run held up through all seven innings of the contest as Scio pitcher Nevaeh Ross gave up only one hit and struck out 16 batters. 

Mia Treleaven thwarted Ross's bid for a no-hitter in the top of the seventh inning. 

Ross also led the Scio offense with two hits

In the Class B crossover game, Batavia lost to Wellsville, 15-0.

Notre Dame runs away from Sodus in Class C consolidation game, 17-4

By Howard B. Owens
Notre Dame Baseball

Blowouts are rare in title games, but that's what the Notre Dame Fighting Irish did on Tuesday in a game between two Class C champions to see who will represent Section V in the Far West Regional Championship.

The Irish, who won the Class C1 crown, beat the C2 champs 17-4.

The game was played in Canandaigua.

Notre Dame scored eight runs in the first inning.

Jaden Sherwood notched the win, allowing just three hits and four runs over five innings while fanning nine. Ryan Fitzpatrick came on in relief for the final two innings and recorded all six outs by Ks.

The offense banged out 13 hits, with Sherwood, Jordan Welker, Bryceton Berry, and Chase Antinore all getting multiple hits.  Sherwood went 3-5. Jay Antinore had three stolen bases.

Photos by Pete Welker.

Notre Dame Baseball
Notre Dame Baseball
Notre Dame Baseball
Notre Dame Baseball
Notre Dame Baseball
Notre Dame Baseball

ILGR & UHAA announce new series of exhibitions of artists with disabilities in the Genesee Region

By Press Release

Press Release:

The ARTiculations Ability Exhibition -- a forum for artists with disabilities in Genesee, Wyoming, and Orleans counties to display their work publicly -- will open at Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) in their office at 319 West Main Street in the Crickler Executive Business Center in Batavia on Thursday, June 1. Titled “Back of Beyond,” it features the work of Gina Schelemanow, who uses ink, wash, tape, and markers.

A self-described “non-binary neurodivergent goofball that lives in Genesee County, they (the preferred pronoun) are passionate about social justice, community building, and being a silly goose. They started printmaking and painting last year, after a rough mental health spell. Their art is meant to bring joy and oddness to all who enjoy it.”

A reception with light refreshments will be held for the artist at the ILGR office from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 8.  A product of a partnership between ILGR and the University Heights Arts Association (UHAA), the Exhibit will be on display through August 31.

Other artists with disabilities residing in the Genesee, Orleans & Wyoming County areas are encouraged to submit their work to this juried competition, as there will be additional ARTiculations planned quarterly exhibits in the future.

For questions on the event, please call Catherine DeMare at 585-815-8501, ext. 400.

Lewiston road in Alabama will be closed starting June 5

By Press Release

Press Release:

The Genesee County Highway Department would like to inform the public about an upcoming road closure on Lewiston Road between Route 77 and Knowlesville Road in Alabama. Beginning Monday, June 5, the road will be closed to all traffic for approximately three weeks to facilitate a culvert replacement project.

The culvert replacement project is an essential infrastructure improvement aimed at enhancing the safety and functionality of Lewiston Rd. The existing culvert will be replaced with a new culvert pipe to improve water flow under Lewiston Rd and ensure the long-term sustainability of the roadway.

Second motorcycle operator accused of running over accident victim following collision

By Howard B. Owens
accident in batavia
Photo of motorcycle driven by Gregory Vigiano on Friday following an accident on West Main Street in Batavia.
Photo by Howard Owens

After further investigation, a third involved driver in an accident on West Main Street, Batavia, on Friday has been arrested.

Mark Flaming, 33, of Batavia, is charged with two counts of tampering with evidence, one count of leaving the scene of a serious personal injury accident, unregistered motorcycle, uninsured motorcycle, improper plates and operating without a proper license.

According to police, a motorcycle driven by Gregory Vigiano, 34, of Batavia, was struck by a minivan driven by Rebecca Santiago, 34, of Stafford, following an alleged illegal left turn.

The investigation by Officer Sam Freeman reportedly found that Flaming, on another motorcycle, ran over Vigiano while Vigiano was down in the roadway.

Flaming is accused of then fleeing the scene. He allegedly later attempted to alter the appearance of his motorcycle to avoid detection following the collision.

Vigiano sustained serious injuries and was transported by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital.  He is listed in satisfactory condition at Strong.

Flaming was issued traffic and appearance tickets.

Santiago was issued tickets on Friday for alleged illegal left turn and operating with a suspended driver's license.

Today's Local Deals: Bourbon and Burger Co., Roman's, T.F. Brown's, and more

By Howard B. Owens

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once registered you must sign in using the "sign-in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.
  • Sign-in issues? First, make sure you are registered for Day using the link at the top of this post; Second, if you know you're registered, use the "sign-in" link in this post; do not use the "login" box on the left side of the page.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Lisa Ace:

Eden Cafe presents First Friday Art Show of local talent

By Press Release

Press Release:

Eden Cafe & Bakeshop is thrilled to announce its inaugural First Friday Art Show, a monthly event showcasing the works of talented local artists. The art show will kick off from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday.

In celebration of Pride month, our first month's exhibit will feature the incredible artwork of students from Glow Out, a prominent local program that provides education and awareness of and around the LGBTQ+ community.

Eden Café & Bakeshop is excited to collaborate with Glow Out, an organization renowned for nurturing and empowering individuals within the LGBTQ+ community. The artwork displayed will reflect the unique perspectives and experiences of these talented students, making for a thought-provoking and visually stunning display.

Starting with this inaugural event, Eden Café & Bakeshop will continue to feature new artists each month, ensuring a diverse and ever-changing selection of artwork. The First Friday Art Show will provide a platform for artists to showcase their talent and connect with art enthusiasts and potential buyers.

Artists interested in participating in future exhibitions are encouraged to submit their artwork for consideration. Submissions should include high-quality pictures of their art, a brief artist statement, the mediums and dimensions used, and the price for sale. Interested artists can email their submissions to Judy Hysek and Marcia Bohn at or visit for more information.

"We are excited to launch our First Friday Art Show, providing a creative space for local artists to shine," said Judy Hysek, owner of Eden Café & Bakeshop. "Through this initiative, we hope to foster a sense of community, celebrate diversity, and support the incredible talent that resides within our city. We invite art enthusiasts, community members, and everyone passionate about the arts to join us for an evening of artistic exploration, inspiration, and connection." 

The First Friday Art Show at Eden Café & Bakeshop promises to be an enriching experience for all attendees. Art lovers, supporters of local talent, and members of the community are encouraged to mark their calendars and join the reception on Friday from 5 to 7 p.m., featuring light hors d'oeuvres at Eden Café & Bakeshop located at 242 Ellicott St., Batavia.

The artwork will be available for purchase throughout the month, allowing patrons to bring home a unique piece of local art. 

Be aware of mental health 365 days a year

By Joanne Beck

May has had the special designation of being Mental Health Awareness Month, and although public service campaigns and messages remind people about the importance of heeding one’s own and others’ mental health needs, it’s far from a 30-day requirement, Lynda Battaglia says.

“The county Legislature gave a proclamation for mental health awareness month, but really, it is a specific month to recognize individuals with lived experience who are peers who might be in recovery and to really bring light to the community that people need to be aware of what mental health is, from various perspectives,” said Battaglia, director of Genesee County Mental Health, during an interview with The Batavian.

Lynda Battaglia
Lynda Battaglia, director of Genesee County Mental Health. Photo from Psychology Today website.

“The county Legislature gave a proclamation for mental health awareness month, but really, it is a specific month to recognize individuals with lived experience who are peers who might be in recovery and to really bring light to the community that people need to be aware of what mental health is, from various perspectives,” said Battaglia, director of Genesee County Mental Health, during an interview with The Batavian. “Mental health affects every part of you, as a person. It affects your emotions, your mind, your body, your spirit. All of it is connected. So in a broad sense, everybody needs to practice and pay attention to what their mental health is, whether they're in a good mental health space or a not-so-good mental health space. And it is something that we should be made aware of all year long, not just in a 30-day span.

“It might affect you more during one season of the year than it does another. Maybe you get into a negative mental health space around a certain time of year, maybe focusing on holidays or an anniversary, the death of a loved one, the social climate that we're in,” she said. “But the social climate that we're in right now, with mass shootings being on the news all the time … that has the potential in and of itself to affect somebody's mental health. And it's not just adults that we're talking about; we’re talking about kids too, kids who are paying attention to the news, and they’re practicing active shooter drills, how to shelter in place, or how to hide, that has a potential to impact youth mental health, right?

"Because they are walking in every day saying, ‘I need to carry my phone with me because, if something happens, I want to be able to text somebody.’ My daughter said that to me a few weeks ago, and it cut my core. Because what young people have to go through today is so difficult.”

Sometimes people are in a profession — social work, therapy, first responders, doctors, nurses — that have the potential to weigh on somebody's mental health, also, she said.

“So I think what I love about this opportunity is bringing light that we have individuals who have a diagnosis,” she said. “And you know, AJ is going to talk on that, but then you have the different perspectives, and mental health is such a broad view that you can really spend a long time talking about, like, what is mental health? And how do you make yourself aware of it?”

From the practical side of this, how does one know if he or she is struggling with a mental health issue versus just having a bad day?
Rachel Mieney, clinical director of Genesee County Mental Health, said that one indicator is when someone becomes overwhelmed by various stressors in the world and begins to notice that “their thoughts or feelings are starting to impact their lives in some way.”

“Then it might be the time to reach out to a professional. And, you know, I think we're seeing less stigma now. And I would like for that to continue moving in that direction, where people are willing to come and get help. It's scary, but it's a very brave thing to do to say, you know, I'm struggling. I need help. And I think one of the big things is that trends that we're seeing in terms of what's walking into our clinic is a lot of trauma, a lot of anxiety, a lot of depression,” she said. “And my message would really be that there is hope. It might feel in the moment like, this is hopeless. Nothing's ever gonna get better. But there's people like AJ with lived experience that says it is possible.

“And from the clinical perspective with working on therapy, goals and interventions that we can use, I've seen clients get better too,” she said. “And that's one of the best parts of my job is seeing someone recover and heal and get through whatever they're working on. And most of our therapists here are trained in trauma work. So that's something really great that we can offer.”

Only soldiers have PTSD, right?
People sometimes think that they haven’t experienced trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder because they haven’t served in the military, fought in a war, been in some major combat situation. But trauma is the worst thing that has ever happened to you. It could be a fight, a car accident, divorce, domestic violence, some form of abuse or witnessing a tragic event.

“When we assess for trauma, we just ask for the worst things that have ever happened, so for some people, it could be the loss of a loved one, it could be a car accident, it could be an injury, and then it could be something more significant, you know, like abuse history. So trauma is really anything that's impacting your ability to function on a daily basis, something that triggers you,” Mierney said.

If everybody looked back into their past and thought about some of the things that happened to them, and it's affecting them now, it's cumulative trauma, Battaglia said. 

Perhaps a person’s parents had an ugly divorce when she was a child, and the home was unstable, or there was drug use in the home, or not enough food to eat,  domestic violence, and/or sexual assault.

“People with trauma, some of the folks that we see, with severe trauma histories really have a cumulative set of trauma. Now, that's not to say that like Rachel said, somebody that has a really bad car accident, that can also be very traumatizing, that might be the one thing in their life. And every time they get back on the road, somebody hits the brake or stops or a deer runs out, it's going to trigger them, right?” Battaglia said. “And they're going to kind of relive that trauma all over again. So, like Rachel said, it really starts to impact a person's ability. And for some, they’re just recognizing it now that that's what it is.”

So what do you advise someone who is depressed but feels stuck and doesn’t know how to begin to get help? That seems to be a bit of a catch-22.
“It is, and it’s just kind of reminding them that it feels really bad right now, but it doesn't always have to be this way. And we'll set small goals so that it doesn't feel like, okay, well, you're gonna do these 10 things, and you're going to feel better. It's like, Okay, we'll do one little thing, like, maybe you'll get out of the house one day, for an entire week, or maybe you'll spend 10 minutes talking on the phone to support. So we set the goals really small so that they can feel like, okay, I accomplished that,” she said. “And then we start building on that. So we really try to just not overwhelm and just kind of meet them where they're at and take it one step at a time. So we can do phone, and we can do video (appointments). So that's actually been a benefit of COVID. We really were able to open up the modality of services we can offer. And that's helped with that trend. Transportation barriers too.”

Local Resources
For more information about mental health services in Genesee County, call 585-344-1421 or go to Mental Health Services

For services at the Mental Health Association of Genesee and Orleans Counties, call 585-343-2611, or go to MHA    

For more information from the Rochester-based National Alliance on Mental Illness, go HERE

In a mental health crisis, call or text 988 for resources.

Top Items on Batavia's List

The City of Batavia is accepting applications for a Full-time Water Treatment Plant Operator/Trainee (Salary $23.65/hr.) This is a trainee position involving responsibility for learning the duties and routines in the operation and maintenance of a water treatment plant.  The work is performed under the immediate supervision of a qualified operator. Does on-the-job training to become qualified as an operator of a water treatment plant. Does related work as required. Applicant must be a graduate of a senior high school or possess a New York State high school equivalency diploma. Please submit a completed Civil Service Application to Human Resources, One Batavia City Centre, Batavia, NY 14020 or Background check, psychological assessment, physical and drug testing are required. Candidate must become a resident of Genesee County or any adjacent town to the County of Genesee within 6 months of the date of conclusion of the probationary period for the City of Batavia. EEO. Applications can be found at
Tags: Jobs offered

Authentically Local