Buffalo Philharmonic visits Artpark, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Old Fort Niagara, Canalside and More in Busy Summer Season


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BUFFALO, NY — Your Buffalo Philharmonic rocks in the 2015-16 season with classic hits of the 60s, 70s, and 80s re-interpreted with a full orchestra. Exceptional bands and exciting show lighting provide a rock-concert atmosphere for the five-show BPO Rocks Series presented by Key Private Bank.

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The season opens on Friday, Sept. 18 with “Faithfully: A Symphonic Tribute to Journey.” A six-piece band will perform hits like “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Faithfully,” “Wheel in the Sky,” and “Open Arms” with the backing of your BPO. Stefan Sanders, the BPO’s Associate Conductor, leads this hard-driving show.

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Michael Krajewski is back on the podium with “The Sounds of Simon & Garfunkel” on Saturday, Nov. 14. Krajewski created this show using the best of Simon & Garfunkel’s music, from “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” to “Kodachrome” and “Mrs. Robinson.” Vocalists AJ Swearingen and Jonathan Beedle lend their voices to the music that served as the soundtrack to the 1960s and 1970s.

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Singer-songwriter Swearingen has three solo albums under his belt, as well as an album as half of the duo Swearingen and Kelli. He met Beedle in a club in Bethlehem, PA in 1991, and they joined forces to perform the music of Simon and Garfunkel, a group that both men cite as a profound influence. Krajewski was most recently seen on the BPO podium in “Bond and Beyond: 50 Years of 007″ with Broadway star Debbie Gravitte. He is Music Director of The Philly Pops and Principal Pops Conductor of the Houston, Atlanta and Jacksonville Symphonies.

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The Canadian symphonic rock musicians of Jeans n’ Classics took Canalside by storm in 2014, performing the music of Earth, Wind and Fire and Michael Jackson. On Jan. 22, they join the BPO for “Disco Inferno – A Disco Ball.” With charts designed to showcase a full orchestra, this show features disco mega-hits like “Hot Stuff,” “Lady Marmalade” and “Stayin’ Alive.” Five vocalists help turn Kleinhans into Studio 54 for this 70s throwback night. After the concert, the BPO puts up a disco ball and continues the party in the Mary Seaton Room.

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Saturday, Feb. 28 features a symphonic tribute to John Denver. The BPO’s new Principal Pops Conductor, John Morris Russell, will be on the podium, as Jim Curry brings to life the music of the original country crossover artist. Curry has spent much of his career performing Denver’s music. He provided the singing voice for the 1997 CBS film “Take Me Home: The John Denver Story,” and from there, went on to develop this symphonic tribute show that has played to audiences around the country. He frequently performs with Denver’s former band mates to bring this music to today’s audiences.

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The BPO Rocks series concludes with a brand-new collaboration between the orchestra and Windborne Music, who has brought “The Music of Led Zeppelin” and “The Music of the Rolling Stones” to Buffalo. Their newest production, “The Music of Elton John,” will come to Kleinhans on Saturday, April 23. The show features the towering talents of vocalist Brody Dolyniuk, who won the hearts of Western New Yorkers as lead singer for “The Music of Queen,” “The Music of The Rolling Stones,” and others. Arranger and Windborne mastermind Brent Havens will return to the BPO podium. The familiar Elton John songs, including “Your Song,” “Rocket Man,” “Crocodile Rock,” “Daniel,” and “Candle In The Wind” will be featured and are particularly well-suited to this dynamic presentation with a full orchestra.

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Subscriptions to the five-concert BPO Rocks Series presented by Key Private Bank are on sale now, and provide a substantial savings over the single-ticket purchase price. Subscribers are guaranteed the best seats, enjoy the most flexible ticket exchange program in Western New York, and receive a BPO Perks card that entitles them to discounts at area restaurants, shops and service providers. To subscribe, call (716) 885-5000 or visit bpo.org. Individual tickets will go on sale for all shows on Aug. 8.

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US and Cuba Nearing Deal to Fully Restore Diplomatic Ties

A poster of Fidel Castro in Havana. The United States and Cuban governments closed their embassies in 1961 in response to a demand from Mr. Castro that the American Embassy staff be drastically reduced. 
The United States and Cuba are closer than ever to reaching an agreement to fully restore diplomatic relations and reopen embassies, officials in both countries say, as negotiators prepare to meet Thursday in Washington for another round …

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The Mensch Group’s Tactic


There a rotten stench from the ridiculous amount of paper work and verbiage the boys at the Mensch group are trying to sell to Amherst.

The last paperwork was over 350  pages of “gobble-dee-gook” which anyone with a brain knew was their way to stall their project.  After they submit a few more messy packages of written tripe they will start accusing the Town of Amherst of not dealing in good faith and will sell it to someone who has different plans.

What a crock!

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Fracking Law Needs Changes To Have Any Teeth

Thanks to those who attended the Town Board meeting on Monday night. It appears as though the Planning Board is going to have to make some revisions to the local law to make it stronger.

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Breaking News: Train Derails On Meta Electric Line In The Loop

Metra Electric District train derailment
Metra Electric District train derailment
Train 150 derailed on Metra’s Electric Line about 1 a.m. Wednesday, Metra officials said. 
By Quinn Ford

Officials are warning of delays on Metra’s Electric Line and South Shore commuter line after an inbound train derailed on the tracks early Wednesday morning.
Train 150 derailed about 1 a.m. Wednesday near East 11th Street, said Metra spokesman Tom Miller.

About five people were on the train when it derailed but were unharmed due to the slow speed at which the train was traveling, Miller said. All four cars of the–

Officials could not say what caused the derailment as of early Wednesday but said two of the three tracks on the line were affected. Just before 6 a.m., crews cleared one of the blocked tracks. Officials could not say when the third track would be cleared.

Trains are still scheduled to operate throughout the morning. Initially, metra officials were warning riders of delays of up to an hour, but as of 6 a.m., delays are expected to be shorter — up to 15 minutes — said Metra spokesman Michael Gillis.

For riders looking for alternate plans, the CTA will honor Metra and South Shore Tickets
The CTA will be honoring Metra and South Shore Tickets on the Red Line between 95th and downtown all stops, the #6 bus, #28 bus and on the Jeffery Jump until 9 a.m., due to last nights derailment.

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May 29 Concert – Williamsville Meeting House!

Williamsville Meeting House

Who: Williamsville’s student musicians!

What: A spring concert of Chamber Music         

When: 7:30 to 9 p.m., Friday May 29

Where: Williamsville Meeting House, 5658 Main St., Williamsville, NY 14221

Sponsored by the Village of Williamsville arts & Culture Committee

Looking for something to do on a spring night in the Village of Williamsville? How about a night of beautiful music played by a group of talented students from the Williamsville area to benefit a great cause?! The symphonic sounds of violins, violas, cellos, pianos, French horns and a jazz combo will fill the air of the historic Village Meeting House for a night to remember. Proceeds benefit the Dreams From the Heart Camp, a free summer camp for local children with severe congenital heart disease.


Presale: $10 adult,

$5 student/senior

Door: $15 adult

$7 student/senior

Tickets available at the Amherst Bee, 5564 Main St.


Contact Teagan Faran at tfaran@umich.edu or 445-9896 for more information

Charlie Specht
Director of Community Development
Village of Williamsville

(716) 632-4120 x 3017

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Public Notice for Appointment of New Magistrate Judge

The Judicial Conference of the United States has authorized the appointment of a full-time United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of New York at Buffalo, New York.

The duties of the position are demanding and wide-ranging and will include: (1) conducting most preliminary proceedings in criminal cases; (2) trial and disposition of misdemeanor cases; (3) conducting various pretrial matters and evidentiary proceedings on delegation from a district judge; and (4) trial and disposition of civil cases upon consent of the litigants. The basic authority of a United States Magistrate Judge is specified in 28 U.S.C. § 636.

To be qualified for appointment an applicant must:

(1) Be, and have been for at least five years, a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of a state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Territory of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Virgin Islands of the United States.

(2) Have been engaged in the active practice of law for a period of at least five years as of the date of application. The court may consider as substitute experience for the active practice of law the following, including any combination thereof:

* Judge of a state court of record or other state judicial officer

* U.S. magistrate judge, bankruptcy judge, or other federal judicial officer

* Attorney for federal or state agencies

* No more than two years as a law clerk to any judge or judicial officer or as a staff attorney or pro se law clerk in a court

* Other types of substantial legal experience (subsequent to receipt of a law degree or license to practice law), not included above, which is suitable as a substitute in the opinion of the majority of the court

(3) Be competent to perform all the duties of the office; be of good moral character; be committed to equal justice under the law; be patient and courteous; and be capable of deliberation and decisiveness;

(4) Be less than seventy years old; and

(5) Not be related to a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York.

A merit selection panel composed of attorneys and other members of the community will review all applicants and recommend to the district judges in confidence the five persons it considers best qualified. The court will make the appointment following an FBI full-field investigation and an IRS tax check of the applicant selected by the court for appointment. An affirmative effort will be made to give due consideration to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, age (40 and over), gender, religion, national origin, or disability. The current annual salary of the position is $185,012. The term of office is eight (8) years.

The application form and more information on the U.S. Magistrate Judge position may be obtained at www.nywd.uscourts.gov, under Employment. Applications must be submitted only by applicants personally and must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 5, 2015. To ensure impartiality, please do not have references contact the Court or members of the Merit Selection Panel directly.

To apply, submit a letter of interest and the application form to: United States District Court, Western District of New York, Office of the Clerk, Merit Selection Panel, c/o Doreen Griebel, Human Resources Administrator, 2 Niagara Square, Buffalo, New York 14202.

Incomplete packets and those submitted after the deadline will not be considered. All applications will be kept confidential, unless the applicant consents to disclosure, and all applications will be examined only by members of the Merit Selection Panel and the Judges of the District Court. The Panel’s deliberations will remain confidential.

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Today The Amherst Town Board Considers Anti-Fracking Law!

Town of Amherst
TODAY: Amherst Town Board Considers Anti-Fracking Law!
Monday, May 18th at 7 p.m.
Town of Amherst Municipal Building
5583 Main Street, Williamsville, NY 14221

TODAY the Town Board of Amherst will review proposed legislation for a local ban on fracking and fracking wastes and we need you there to make sure that the board puts the public hearing and vote on their next meeting agenda! If the local anti-fracking law passes this hurdle today, it will be on the agenda for a vote at the next Town Board meeting in two weeks. TODAY’S MEETING IS AN IMPORTANT AND NECESSARY STEP IN GETTING THIS LOCAL ANTI-FRACKING LAW PASSED!

If you want to speak to the board, 3-minutes of testimony is allowed, just arrive at 6:45 p.m. to sign up. Speaking is optional and you can instead bring a small sign in support of a local ban (i.e. “Amherst Against Fracking,” “Don’t Frack Amherst, “No Fracking Waste in Amherst,” “Ban the waste.”)

Any questions? Call Rita at 716-507-2077.


Every fracking site, of which there are thousands across the U.S., produce about 1.2 million gallons of wastewater. That means the oil and gas industry are looking for ways to dispose of billions of gallons of dangerous wastewater each year. The methods are highly experimental at best – road spreading, injection wells, mismanagement at municipal treatment plants, and then there’s also radioactive drill cuttings that end up in town landfills.

The Governor’s ban on fracking does not address all of the issues in regards to the far-reaching impacts of the fracking process. Amherst needs a law that will ban the treatment, transfer, storage, and disposal of oil and gas wastes. Fracking wastewater or “brine”, as well as drilling muds or “cuttings” may have radioactive elements picked up underground, heavy metals, and a slew of cancer-causing chemicals used during drilling.

Without a local ban on fracking waste in place, these issues could have immediate impacts on town residents as fracking sites in Pennsylvania and Ohio already send waste in to New York State. Reports have shown that fracking fluid and solids from fracking are entering NY waste treatment plants, being spread on NY roads, and being disposed of in NY landfills. This is due to federal and state loopholes in laws that manage oil & gas drilling wastes.

The Amherst Town Board has even acknowledged the risks fracking waste has on human health and the environment by passing a resolution over 1 year ago in April 2014!!! The board must take the next step in protecting residents by passing legislation for Amherst as soon as possible!

That’s where we come in… Amherst and area residents are encouraged to attend the May 18th board meeting to show our support for an Amherst-wide ban. We need to pack the room because our presence encourages the board to make this law a priority!

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These Are Some Of This Week’s Meetings in Town Hall


May 18, the Town Board will have a town board meeting at 7:00 p.m. at 5583 Main St Williamsville in Council Chambers.  If you want to speak you have to sign up before 7:00 p.m.

The Zoning Board of Appeal will meet Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. in the Amherst Municipal Building at 5583 Main St.

The Planning Board will meeting at 6:30 p.m.Thursday in the municipal building at 5583 Main St.

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Awash In Politics

Erie County  Water Authority

Latest shenanigans just more evidence of the need to reform Water Authority

By hiring a Republican lawyer from Albany, the new Republican majority on the Erie County Water Authority Board of Commissioners has shown just how far it will go in order to fulfill expectations of the rankest sort of political patronage.

Water customers should be infuriated.

At a minimum, ratepayers should demand to know how an out-of-town lawyer with plenty of political connections but no-experience in public works qualifies for a job paying more than $132,000. That should be no surprise. He’s replacing a Democrat whose pre-Water Authority experience involved public housing inspections. To ease the pain of’ losing his job, Democrat Matthew J. Baudo will stay on for a while at an annual salary of $126,750 to smooth the transition.

With 235 employees and a $68.3 million budget, up substantially from $65.9 million last year, the Water Authority has once again proven that it’s not what you know, but who you know.

The highly politicized three-member board shifts from red to blue, depending on which party controls the County Legislature. The board in turn hands out lucrative jobs to equally non-deserving but well-connected individuals.

The-practice is indefensible and the attempt to justify the latest appointment is laughable.

As News reporter Harold McNeil wrote on Sunday, the latest beneficiary of this system is Republican lawyer Joseph T. Burns, formerly an official at the state Board of Elections in Albany. Burns, who takes over as authority secretary, is a close associate of Erie County Republican Chairman Nicholas A. Langworthy who, of course, has denied any influence on the selection.

Langworthy said Bums is ”very qualified,” and directed questions to Water Authority Chairman Earl L. Jann Jr., who said Burns “far exceeds the qualifications for the position.” Jann later began waffling: “The job description is very fluid. As an exempt employee, there are no specific qualifications for the job.”

Unremarkably, while the job was posted on the authority’s website, Burns was the only applicant.

Baudo held the post for 19 years. One former authority insider said he got the job “because he played basketball with Tony Masiello,” the former Buffalo mayor who had named Baudo his director of property inspections.

A couple of years ago, Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, described what was then, and still is now, a scandal-rocked Albany: “It becomes more and more difficult to avoid the sad conclusion that political corruption in New York is indeed rampant and that a show-me-the-money culture in Albany is alive and well.”

He might as well have been talking about the Erie County Water Authority, where high-paying jobs are handed out in return for past ‘and future favors.

The system needs to change, and the first step is to get rid of the part-time, all-powerful board whose members get paid $22,500 to do the bidding of their political bosses.

Replace them temporarily with a team of professional managers with public works experience while state and county officials work on eliminating the Water Authority entirely.

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