We Here Highly Resolve

Paul Wolf
By Paul Wolf, ESQ.

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An Analysis of the Erie County Legislature

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In November every member of the Erie County Legislature is up for re-election. Now is an appropriate time to review what actually takes place in the Legislature. Every two weeks Legislators have an open floor to propose new ideas by filing resolutions and proposing local laws. The dictionary defines a legislature as a deliberative body that has the power to make, change or repeal laws. The analysis below shows that not much deliberation of substance takes place in the Erie County Legislature and very few laws are acted on. The number of local laws passed by the Erie County Legislature in 2014 was 3:

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• Penalizing private land holders for allowing consumption of alcohol by minors other than dependents of the land holders, on said property, (Lynn Dixon).

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• Amending the Erie County Charter in relation to the Erie County Community Coordinating Council on Children and Families, (Lynn Dixon).

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• Relating to the leasing of approximately two acres of vacant land with an option to lease an additional one-acre parcel on the South Campus of Erie Community College to West Herr Toyota of Orchard Park, (John Mills).
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Legislator Loughran – Not A Man of Initiative

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By Paul Wolf, Esq.

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For the past several years I have analyzed what the Erie County Legislature does. In 2014, the Legislature addressed 683 resolutions. Of these 683 resolutions, sixty percent honored individuals and community groups, twenty five percent honored people who recently died and only fifteen percent addressed county business.

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In November all eleven Erie County Legislator’s are up for re-election. Sadly only six legislators have an opponent so many will be re-elected without any real examination or debate of their record. Through this article and others to follow, I will be taking a closer look at incumbent legislators who have an opponent, starting with Legislator Thomas Loughran who represents a district covering the town of Amherst.

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Loughran Has Not Managed To Put His Stamp on Much of Anything

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Thomas Loughran was elected to the Erie County Legislature in 2005, after serving as an Amherst Town Board member. In 2007, when seeking re-election, the Buffalo News stated: “… so far Loughran has not managed to put his stamp on much of anything”.  After 10 years of service, it appears the same quote still applies to Loughran.

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In 2014, Loughran did not serve as the prime sponsor of a single item of substance. In 2013, Loughran was the least active member as far as filing items of substance.  Loughran will add his name as a co-sponsor of items but he brings forward very little of his own initiative.

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Loughran did take the time to file three resolutions honoring individuals who died during 2014, and he filed 25 resolutions honoring individuals and community groups. Even with those efforts the number of items he filed were at the bottom when compared to his colleagues.


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Keep Westwood Green


Continued conversation between Sandra Koerber, resident and Michael Hinton, DEC:
Sandra initially asked a question of Mr Hinton in March 2015 and recently sought clarification on the subject again.
March 26, 2015 6:31 PM

“Dear Mr. Hinton:
I would like to verify one more time that the closing of the Westwood was not mandated by either the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) or the Department of Health. It was a voluntary closure by Mensch Capital. Should Mensch desire to reopen the golf course, soil remediation would not be required by the DEC or the Department of Health. Remediation would only be required if development of the property is to occur. Thank you for confirming this.
Sandra M. Koerber, Resident”

Mar 27, 2015 at 8:12 AM

“Yes that is correct, the DEC nor the DOH had any involvement in the closing of the golf course. Should they back out of the BCP we would have to evaluate whether we need to do something such as list it on the Inactive Hazardous Waste Site Registry and require cleanup of the site. As it stands now we could not prevent them from reopening the golf course. That could all change once we get the investigation completed and determine the extent and severity of the contamination.”
Michael Hinton, DEC

From:”Hinton, Michael (DEC)”
Date:Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 3:36 PM
Subject:RE: RE: RE: Westwood Soil Testing
“I asked our pesticides unit about the history or arsenical pesticides and here is their response:
The use of Lead Arsenate immediately comes to mind, since most orchardists and lawn maintenance workers used it at one time or another years ago, especially at golf courses.
Most likely, arsenic products were sold to homeowners that wanted to treat their apple or peach trees.
Arsenical use was stopped, for the most part, in the mid-1960’s, and was officially banned nationwide on August 1, 1988.”

Sent: Wednesday, October 07, 2015 2:38 PM
To: Hinton, Michael (DEC)
Cc: Sutton, Gregory (DEC); Forcucci, Matthew J (HEALTH)
“Dear Mr. Hinton
Per your previous response (above) it appears that Mensch could reopen the Westwood as a golf course without remediation. How does that differ from my question today on its use as Recreation?
Sandra Koerber, Resident”
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Amherst Should Acquire Westwood for Use as Park

Westwood Fence

It’s curious that the Westwood site is such a hazard that it requires a fence around it to protect the public.

Golfers have played its links since 1926, apparently without issue. But, in an obnoxious move, the Mensch Group developers have gone on the offensive against the town and the “Keep Westwood Green” neighbors. Taking a play from “put up a fence” Donald Trump, the Mensch boys’ spite fence is a nasty in-your-face move.

The Amherst Town Board was correct to ask about acquiring the parcel, opening the door to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a bold move on behalf of the public. Many have dubbed a proposed park at Westwood as Amherst’s Central Park, a 170-acre swath of green space smack dab in the middle of upstate New York’s largest town. The Town Board and its state representatives should craft a financial package and legal strategy that accomplishes the acquisition of Westwood for the town and its citizens.

Make no mistake about who controls what occurs at Westwood. Perhaps the most important task of local government is land use control. The Town Board and its agents, the Planning and Zoning Boards, decide what goes where, when and how tall it is.

It is doubtful that the Town Board will act decisively prior to the November elections. The 2016 Town Board will, very likely and for the first time, have a female majority with both major parties fielding women candidates. It thus remains to be seen whether Amherst’s “town mothers” will feel the same way about unchecked commercial development as Amherst’s town fathers. And whether Westwood will remain green in perpetuity or be a parking lot and another hotel.

Keep Westwood green. Make it a park.

Michele F. Marconi


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Pet Care Facility Gets Synthetic Turf From Custom Turf

fetch n catch
From the first photo to the second ~

Fetch3 Fetch1

The Fetch n’ Catch pet care facility has upgraded their outdoor area and now have 2,300 sq ft of Kennel Cut Turf in their two outdoor yards.

This is a first class operation that many WNY’ers have already discovered.  Speaking with first-hand knowledge we have to say, they are amazing!

Located at 6517 Transit Road, in Bowmansville, NY, this pet care facility was founded in 2012 and have grown their business from two cousins to a team of over 15 dedicated staff members. They offer a variety of services including dog daycare, boarding, grooming, in-home pet sitting, dog walking, training, playgroups and they even offer indoor swimming.

Custom Turf installed their Kennel Cut which provides an innovative and sanitary solution for this pet care facility. Cement areas for pets can cause cuts and abrasions that aggravates the paw pads for all breeds of dogs.

Fetch n’ Catch was built on the belief that all dogs deserve the opportunity to learn, socialize, and exercise in a safe and enriching environment. And this new synthetic turf enhances the safety and environment for pets at Fetch n’ Catch.
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GM Recalls SUVs, Tells Owners Not to Use Windshield Wipers

General Motors is telling owners of some SUVs not to use their windshield wipers because an electrical short could cause the motor to catch fire.

The company is recalling nearly 32,000 Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia SUVs from the 2016 model to fix the problem.

Only 6,400 were sold and the rest are being held at dealerships until they are repaired. Most are in North America.

GM says if weather stops owners from taking their SUVs to dealers, it will pick up the vehicles for service. It also will arrange rental cars if parts aren’t available.
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Still Waiting for Fall Foliage

Green remains the dominant hue for Ellicottville’s trees, but that won’t deter the annual Fall Festival this weekend.

Green remains the dominant hue for Ellicottville’s trees, but that won’t deter the annual Fall Festival this weekend. 

We’re heading into Columbus Day weekend when many folks often take a drive to view Mother Nature’s bounteous glory.


The calendar says it’s time for weekend fall festivals.

The Ellicottville Fall Festival. Letchworth State Park’s Arts & Crafts Festival. And Lucy Town’s 5K run.

But there’s a hitch. The area landscape looks more like Labor Day than Columbus Day weekend.

The blazing yellow, orange and red leaves synonymous with the usual October in Western New York are taking longer to appear. Most leaves remain green, and they’re not ready to fall yet.
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Excellent Observation by Reader

I propose that Andy Shaevel and his “mensch” group erect a fence around all golf courses in Amherst since it follows that all would be contaminated with the same lawn-care chemicals. Andy Shaevel said himself: “Mensch Capital Partners erected the fence to protect its neighbors, young children and residents of Amherst from contaminants that are known to have adverse effects on individuals with compromised immune systems, while also mitigating the liability associated with unfettered access to a contaminated site.”

This would be done out of genuine concern for the well-being of Amherst residents. They could also create a medical fund for all residents that have traversed these grounds for decades and have succumbed to illnesses caused by these contaminants.

Any out-of-towner to Amherst who sees the land, the fence, the “brownfield” signs would catch the deception being perpetrated on a town and its residents by another group of uber-rich developers taking advantage of average citizens and the gullibility of town “leaders.”
C.A. Rudd

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Teen Accused of Killing, Raping His Teacher Said ‘I Became the Teacher’ After Murder

She was sexually assaulted twice, once with a stick, and a note was found nearby that read “I hate you all,” the Associated Press reported.

On October 22, 2013, Ritzer asked Chism, then 14 and in ninth grade, to stay after class when she noticed he was drawing in a notebook instead of taking notes, student Rania Rhaddaoui reportedly said at the time.
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Louisiana-Monroe QB Daniel Fitzwater Dies Age 20

Louisiana-Monroe announced Saturday that quarterback Daniel Fitzwater died. He was 20.

Fitzwater died early Saturday, according to the school. The cause of his death is unknown. He transferred to Louisiana-Monroe before the 2015 season.

“The coaching staff and team are deeply saddened by the loss of a great person in Daniel. Our thoughts and prayers are with Daniel’s family,” Louisiana-Monroe coach Todd Berry said in a statement.

Fitzwater suffered a knee injury during practice and was set to miss the 2015 season. Before transferring to ULM, he played at Copiah Lincoln Community College for two seasons. He had 44 total touchdowns in those years.

He went to high school at Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport, Louisiana. His coach at the high school told the Shreveport Times that Fitzwater was an “all-American guy.”

“He was an all-American guy,” Calvary head coach John Bachman told the Shreveport Times.

“He was talented, smart as a whip and confident in who he was. He loved his family and loved his teammates. It’s just hard to fathom.”

Louisiana-Monroe plays Georgia Southern on Saturday evening.

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Jeb Bush Declares War on Stuff

DES MOINES (The Borowitz Report)—Hoping to stem the fallout from his comment in the aftermath of the Oregon rampage that “stuff happens,” former Florida governor Jeb Bush said today that as President he would declare an ambitious “war on stuff.”

“Make no mistake: I will not sit idly by when stuff happens if there’s stuff we can do about that stuff,” Bush told supporters in Iowa. “In a Bush Administration there will be a zero-tolerance policy on stuff.”

Pressed for specifics, Bush said that, in addition to preventing stuff from happening, he would also “work tirelessly to stop junk.”

“If I see junk happening that will harm the American people, I will not put up with that junk,” he said, adding for emphasis, “or stuff.”

Citing an example, he said that as President he would demand that Russian President Putin stop “the junk he is doing in Syria.”

“I would be like, ‘If you think you can do that kind of junk and we’re just going to lay back and not do stuff about it, you are sorely mistaken about that stuff,’ ” he said.

Striking a resolute tone at the conclusion of his speech, Bush told his supporters: “Read my lips: no junk stuff.”


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