Several Communities Holding National Night Out Activities

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If you notice an unusual amount of police activity out and about on Tuesday night, it could be a good thing.

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More than 16,000 communities across the country are expected to participate in National Night Out, an annual campaign to promote police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie toward making neighborhoods safer. The event was founded in 1981 by the National Association of Town Watch, a non-profit crime prevention organization.

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Police and fire equipment and special units, as well as safety programs, are among the features at National Night Out observances.

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Locally, events are planned from 6 to 8 p.m. in Cheektowaga Town Park on Harlem Road; 5 to 9 p.m. at Depew’s Fireman’s Park; 5 to 8 p.m. at Elma Village Green Park; 6 to 9:30 p.m. at Lackawanna’s Veterans Stadium; beginning at 6:15 p.m. outside Kenmore Middle School in the village; and 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Lincoln Arena, Town of Tonawanda.

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Daemen College May Use Amherst Park for Soccer, Lacrosse

West Royal Parkway Recreation Area

An Amherst park could be in store for significant upgrades to include athletic facilities for a local college.

Daemen College is in talks with the Town of Amherst to use the as a potential site for the college’s soccer and lacrosse teams.

The nine-acre park is situated between the I-290 and West Royal Parkway, a residential neighborhood off Main Street.

Daemen formally received Division II status from the NCAA in July and has been in discussions with Amherst about sharing a town park to serve as a home field for both soccer and lacrosse, said Council Member Guy R. Marlette.

Amherst and Daemen have explored a few options, but homed in on West Royal, which is less than two miles from the campus on Main Street.

Daemen would seek grant money to make the improvements needed to create one field for both soccer and lacrosse at West Royal, Marlette said.

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Amherst Town Board News

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Amherst, for a second year in a row, has been put on notice by the state Department of Transportation about the condition of a town bridge that spans Ellicott Creek on the John James Audubon Parkway, near the University at Buffalo North Campus.

The bridge includes “exposed, corroded rebar near the abutment bearings” and needs repair, the DOT wrote in a letter to the town.

The state, which originally built the bridge and turned it over to the town, cautioned Amherst about the condition of the bridge last year, as well, Supervisor Barry A. Weinstein said.

The town at that time came up with a plan to repair the bridge, but when it sought state grant money to help pay for the project, Amherst was turned away, the supervisor said.

Cost to correct the problem is estimated between $400,000 to $700,000, but could be more, the supervisor said. Other possible options, he said, could be to impose lighter loads on the bridge or close it all together.

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What’s Going on in Amherst

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Town Clerk Marjory Jaeger is reminding Amherst residents that the town’s dog census is continuing this summer.

“Dog census takers have proper identification and if an unregistered dog is present at a home, they will leave information for that resident on how to register their dog with the town,” Jaeger said.

“We currently have about 9,000 dogs registered in the Town of Amherst,” she said. “Every year the dog census is taken we see an uptick in licensing. Our ultimate goal is to register dogs and inform our residents.”

The cost for licensing an unaltered dog is $13 annually. Cost is $5 annually if the dog has been neutered or spayed. There is a one- time $3 fee for a dog license tag. Proof of rabies vaccination is required. Register dogs in the clerk’s office at the Amherst Municipal Building, 5583 Main St., Williamsville.

This week’s meetings include:

The Amherst Town Board meets at 3 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers of the Amherst Municipal Building.  The Board usually meets at 7 p.m. but it’s changed this summer day!

The Amherst Committee on Disabilities meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Northtown Center at Amherst, 1615 Amherst Manor Drive.

The Glen Park Joint Board meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Amherst Municipal Building.

The Amherst Conservation Advisory Council meets at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the municipal building.

The Traffic Safety Board meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the municipal building.

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Cracking the $100,000 Pay Ceiling

More than 700 municipal workers earned more than $100,000 last year – many of them police officers and firefighters – thanks in large part to overtime pay, and sick-time or vacation buy-backs.

Let’s call this “The Unofficial Guide to Making a Six-Figure Salary in Local Government.”

Hint: You don’t have to run for election to get there.

Another hint: Taking a job as a city or suburban police officer or city firefighter might be a good path to reaching the goal, but getting hired as a truck driver, sewer maintenance worker or a caulker also could do the trick.

In fact, 14 Buffalo city employees with a base pay of $50,000 or less – none of them police officers or firefighters – made more than $100,000 last year. And a handful of unionized blue-collar suburban workers cracked the six-figure ceiling, too.

It’s not easy. But it can be done.
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Buffalo Philharmonic Concert Tickets on Sale August 8

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Lang Lang, FinnFest USA, Celtic Woman, Jason Alexander among early season highlights

Saturday, August 8 marks the first opportunity for non-subscribers to obtain tickets to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2015-16 season, with performances by Lang Lang and Celtic Woman, a spectacular Holiday Pops show with the debut of Principal Pops Conductor John Morris Russell, and tributes to Journey and to the music of the “Mad Men” era. Tickets range from $29-$83 and are available by visiting bpo.org, calling (716) 885-5000, or visiting the BPO Box Office at Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle, Buffalo.

The 75th anniversary season of Kleinhans Music Hall begins on Sept. 16 as the BPO welcomes piano sensation Lang Lang. Born in a small town in China, Lang Lang has become one of the most famous people in his home country and has electrified audiences worldwide, with performances at the 2014 World Cup, the 2008 Summer Olympics, and the 2014 and 2015 Grammy Awards. He will perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 under JoAnn Falletta’s baton, in a concert that includes music by Tchaikovsky and Glinka.

Subscriptions are still available and remain the best value, saving patrons significant money on handling fees and allowing them to lock in the best seats. Call (716) 885-5000 to learn more. Individual tickets to the full season of Buffalo Philharmonic concerts are available at 9 a.m.Saturday, Aug. 8 by calling (716) 885-5000, visiting bpo.org, or going to the box office located at 3 Symphony Circle off Porter Avenue in Buffalo.
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Hillview KY Man Arrested for Shooting Down Drone

William Merideth explains what happened the day he shot down a drone flying over his property.
William Merideth explains what happened the day he shot down a drone flying over his property.

Drones are becoming more and more of a problem day by day and they aren’t going away any time soon.

A Hillview KY. man has been arrested after he shot down a drone flying over his property — but he’s not making any apologies for it.

It happened Sunday night.  Hillview Police say they were called to the home of 47-year-old William H. Merideth after someone complained about a firearm.

Merideth told them he had shot down a drone that was flying over his house. The drone was hit in mid-air and crashed in a field near Merideth’s home.

Police say the owner of the drone claimed he was flying it to get pictures of a friend’s house — and that the cost of the drone was over $1,800.
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Trump to Breastfeeding Mom: ‘You’re Disgusting’

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In a newly released 2011 deposition from a Florida real estate case, Republican presidential contender Donald Trump revealed his distaste for another group besides Mexican immigrants and soldiers who had the misfortune of being captured during combat: breastfeeding women.

According to the New York Times, attorney Elizabeth Beck had requested a medical break during a 2-hour questioning in order to pump for her 3-month-old daughter. Beck, at the time, was representing clients who claimed to have lost thousands of dollars in a failed real estate deal involving Trump.

The transcript shows that Trump and his lawyers wanted the deposition to continue, despite Beck’s request. Beck then pulled the pump out of her bag to underscore the urgency of the situation.

“You’re disgusting,” Trump told Beck before leaving the room.
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University of Cincinnati police officer faces murder charge in traffic-stop shooting

July 29, 2015
A University of Cincinnati police officer who shot 43-year-old Samuel DuBose during a traffic stop over a missing front license plate has been indicted on murder charges.

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Taxpayer Watchdog Poloncarz Finds Sweetheart Assessment for Himself

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By Tony Farina

It was not long ago that Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz urged the Amherst IDA to reject a law firm’s request for $550,000 in tax breaks for a proposed $4 million office expansion.

Poloncarz property at 1500 Delaware Ave. assessed $50,000 below purchase price

“Lawyer’s offices should not get tax breaks,” Poloncarz told the IDA even though 20 new jobs were being proposed as part of the expansion plan, a request the law firm later dropped.

But while Poloncarz was billing himself as a taxpayer watchdog, in 2012 he made a pretty good real estate investment for himself with a very favorable assessment, purchasing what was described by realtors as a “classic four bedroom home with gorgeous refinished woodwork on the first floor with oak paneled walls in the dining room.”
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