Comptroller Approves More Than $1M in Legislative Legal Costs

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s contract and payment approvals for February include more than $1M in taxpayer-funded legal bills and settlement costs incurred by the two houses of the Legislature.

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That number includes $545,000 to settle the sexual harassment lawsuit against former Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who is on the hook to pay an additional $35,000 out of his own pocket. Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was another defendant in that suit due to his alleged failure to properly curtail Lopez’s alleged depredations.

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The Assembly previously incurred more than $1 million in publicly funded legal bills defending itself in the same matter.

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The chamber also paid $13,000 to Whiteman Osterman & Hanna for “outside counsel for the appeals process in the matter of Assemblyman Micah Kellner,” who was accused of sexually harassing aides. Kellner mounted a lengthy legal battle to undercut the chamber’s punishment, which included stripping him of position, staff and other resources. Kellner decided not to seek re-election.

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The payment approvals also included $435,000 to Kirkland & Ellis for “legal services and special counsel related to the Moreland Commission.” Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif said the bill constituted old business.

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DiNapoli approved a comparatively bargain-basement bill of $150,000 to the same firm for the same work in December.

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Follow us: WNY Counties Ranked Low for Health and Wellness

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Several Western New York Counties are ranked near the bottom of an annual study on health and wellness.

The study looks at factors outside of the doctor’s office such as high school graduation rates access to healthier foods, air pollution levels, income, and rates of smoking, obesity and teen births.

Out of 62 counties, Oneida County is ranked 49th, Cattaraugus 53rd, Erie 54th, Niagara 56th, and Chautauqua 58th.

The study was conducted by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Burglars Foiled by Amherst Family

An Amherst man and his two children interrupted a home burglary Saturday afternoon, confronting the would-be thieves in their home and giving police information that would lead to an arrest.

When they arrived at their Ransom Oaks Drive home just after 1 p.m., they found a car driven by a woman they don’t know parked in the driveway. As the father went over to the car to speak to the driver, his son, age 17, and daughter, 13, entered the house. That’s when they encountered a male intruder in their home.
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Parties Asked Judicial Candidates to Pony Up $4,000 For Mailings to Independents

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Aspiring judges paid to target Independents

When potential candidates for State Supreme Court began lining up political support for the 2014 election, they naturally stopped first at Erie County Democratic and Republican headquarters.

Judicial hopefuls needed their own party lines first and foremost to compete for the five openings on the bench.

But before nominations were settled, Erie County’s Democratic and Republican chairmen first asked most of last year’s Supreme Court aspirants to pony up $4,000 each for campaign literature aimed at the minor Independence Party primary.


Because in New York’s Byzantine system, Democratic and Republican leaders seek to control not only their own parties, but minor parties like Independence as well.
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This is not good for the system, the bench…nor the family name.  This was a political consumer fraud on the judicial candidates.  Someone should demand that Zellner and Langworthy come up with the proof of the mailing that were allegedly sent.

It sounds like the judicial candidates got scammed.  People who were not even going to get the endorsement were shaken down.  Maybe the DA or AG should investigate this or the brand new State BOE enforcement section.

The defense to the indefensible – its been done before – old news – blame Bob McCarthy – as if the messenger was at fault – or the classic – I am personally against it, but have to play the game.  That has to stop – you don’t do what you know is wrong, and you move to change the system.  Maybe if the Democrats stopped trying to take over the Independence Party  we would get more than Lindberg’s Baby from its Chairman.

Who got the money ?

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Cardinal Raymond Burke: Gays, Remarried Catholics Are Just As Sinful As Murderers

Cardinal Raymond Burkewritten by James Tricoli,Editor of the

I have been a practicing Roman Catholic all of my life. When I was a young boy priests put the fear of GOD in me, not the great love GOD had for us.

When my generation entered our twenties we were filled with confusing truths concerning our faith.  Many of us felt deep guilt concerning sex and love.  It has proven out our generation had the highest divorce rate of any other generation of Roman Catholics.  We were messed up by what we were taught concerning the real love of GOD.

Cardinal Raymond Burke wants to put in the final spike with his generation of priests who started by putting the fear of GOD into GOD’S children.  Now he tells us that remarried Catholics and gays cannot use confession. That puts them into hell here on earth and leads you to going to hell upon your death.

Cardinal Burke, when you meet our Lord you will have to explain why you hated his children who needed love not strict, confusing thoughts.  Cardinal Burke you and your legion of mixed up priests did a harmful thing to my generation.

Cardinal, you should feel guilt for the pain you caused in the minds of young boys and girls.  We had deep guilt about our changing bodies.  The boys tried all kinds of ways not to abuse their bodies.  Your “rules” stayed in our minds and followed us into marriage.  Many experienced disappointment in marriage because of the guilt we learned as children.

Many marriages dissolved because of the restrictions we developed from your teachings as a young person. Cardinal, you should be on your knees praying to the Lord because you were fully aware of what you were doing to his children.  I believe you are a sick person who is filled with hate.  Thankfully GOD’S love is coming out in the words of Pope Francis.

Why do so many happy remarried people, so many are good Catholics, have to pay for the sins of the church?

Cardinal you must stay on your knees and ask for forgiveness from every child you hurt.

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Amanda Knox Murder Conviction Overturned by Italy High Court

Amanda Knox sits before being interviewed on the set of ABC's "Good Morning America" in New York

ROME (AP) — Italy’s highest court has overturned the murder conviction against Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend, bringing to a definitive end the high-profile case.

The decision by the supreme Court of Cassation is the final ruling in the case, ending the long legal battle waged by Knox and co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito. Both Knox, who was awaiting the verdict in her hometown of Seattle, and Sollecito have long maintained their innocence.

The supreme Court of Cassation overturned last year’s convictions by a Florence appeals court, and declined to order another trial. The decision means the judges, after thoroughly examining the case, concluded that a conviction could not be supported by the evidence. Their reasoning will be released within 90 days.

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Why Cigarette Usage Is At Record Lows And Dropping

Smoking has declined dramatically in the U.S.

Cigarettes used to be everywhere in American society. Fifty years ago, 42.4 percent of U.S. adults smoked. Since then, that figure has declined by more than half, reaching a record low 17.8 percent in 2014. What’s more, the rate is still dropping.

How did we reach the point where clouds of smoke a la “Mad Men” look so anachronistic? Several factors combined to yield one of the most successful and perhaps under-appreciated public health victories of our lifetimes. In the article below they list five reasons for the dramatic decline of smoking in American life.
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Village Business Leaves In A Hurry

The Great Northern Pizza Shop on Main St. and Evans in the Village of Williamsville closed shop this past March 24, Tuesday morning without any warning.  The employees were unaware the shop was pulling out.

More on this business closing as soon as the facts are available.


Just spoke with a Great Northern representative who shared that the business had been trying to negotiating a new rental agreement with the property owners but were unable to reach an understanding.  No word on whether they will open a new location in the Buffalo/Amherst area.

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Annual Easter Egg Hunt

The Easter Egg hunt is on — rain or shine — for this Sunday!Easter egg hunt

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Indiana Defines Stupidity as Religion


INDIANAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report)—In a history-making decision, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana has signed into law a bill that officially recognizes stupidity as a religion.

Pence said that he hoped the law would protect millions of state residents “who, like me, have been practicing this religion passionately for years.”

The bill would grant politicians like Pence the right to observe their faith freely, even if their practice of stupidity costs the state billions of dollars.

While Pence’s action drew the praise of stupid people across America, former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer was not among them. “Even I wasn’t dumb enough to sign a bill like that,” she said.

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