More Cranberries, Less Standish


By Andy Borowitz

Date: Nov. 23, 1621

From: Plymouth Marketing Associates Inc.

To: Gov. William Bradford

Re: ”Thanksgiving” (working title)

Focus groups on the proposed holiday (”Thanksgiving”) were held in the Plymouth area over the past two weeks. The holiday tested in the ”weak” category across all demographic groups, especially among younger participants.

In particular, teens and ”tweens” indicated that unless significant improvements are made to the holiday, they would be unlikely to come to the table.

Participants found the story of ”Thanksgiving” dull and unappealing, and some found it confusing as well. Several wondered why the Pilgrims appeared to be in uniform, and one male in the 18-to-34 age group theorized that ”maybe they were cops.”

Miles Standish received extremely low scores, especially among women, who described him as ”stiff” and ”passive.” In the words of one of the women in the 18-to-34 age group, ”He reminds me of my first husband — loser!” In all demographic groups, participants found Mr. Standish’s hat ”geeky.”

To counter Mr. Standish’s lack of appeal, some participants responded favorably to the notion of enlarging the roles of other characters in the ”Thanksgiving” story. Squanto received the most votes, with one male in the 12-to-18 age group suggesting that Squanto be endowed with super powers or, failing that, martial arts skills.

As for the proposed holiday meal, turkey, dressing, yams and pumpkin pie all tested in the ”weak” category, with participants indicating a ”very low” intention of going back for seconds.

Only cranberry sauce performed in the ”moderate” category, suggesting that the meal might be restructured to give cranberry sauce (or cranberries themselves) a more prominent role. Some participants suggested that the entire meal could be replaced with lighter fare, such as sushi or tapas.

Finally, the premise of the holiday itself — the idea of ”giving thanks” — had only limited appeal to those in the younger demographic groups, who called the premise ”bogus” and lacking an ”edge.”

With few exceptions, they felt that the holiday should be more interactive and provide the chance to air grievances and pet peeves. By a wide margin, they responded favorably to the proposed name change, ”Complaining Day.”

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Suits For Troops


to benefit the Veterans One-Stop Center of WNY

Let’s say thank you to our local veterans by donating lightly-used men’s and women’s suits, along with other professional apparel (ties/shirts/shoes), to help them dress to impress for their job interviews while transitioning into civilian life.

When: December 1st-31st

Drop Off Location: 

Erie County Clerk Administrative Office

92 Franklin Street (1st floor)

Any questions? Contact Keri D. Callocchia, Esq. at716.883.3953 or

 *donations are tax-deductible and receipts will be provided

A collaborative effort between the Bar Association of Erie County and Erie County Clerk Chris Jacob’s Office 
Bar Association of Erie County  | 716.852.8687 | 716.852.7641 |

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Polar Vortex Causes Hundreds of Injuries as People Making Snide Remarks About Climate Change Are Punched in Face

MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report)—The so-called polar vortex caused hundreds of injuries across the Midwest today, as people who said “so much for global warming” and similar comments were punched in the face.

Authorities in several states said that residents who had made ignorant comments erroneously citing the brutally cold temperatures as proof that climate change did not exist were reporting a sharp increase in injuries to the face and head regions.

In an emergency room in St. Paul, Harland Dorrinson, forty-one, was waiting to be treated for bruising to the facial area after he made a crack about how the below-freezing temperatures meant that climate-change activists were full of shit.

“I’d just finished saying it and boom, out of nowhere someone punched me in the face,” he said. “This polar vortex is really dangerous.”

The meteorology professor Davis Logsdon, of the University of Minnesota, issued a safety warning to residents of the states hammered by the historic low temperatures: “If you are living within the range of the polar vortex and you have something idiotic to say about climate change, do not leave your house.”

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Mensch Group Has the “Munchies” to Build, Build, Build!

knocked down

Now the public knows that the Mensch Group first tried to get in bed with the majority of people in that area by using the word “mensch” and have failed miserably.

The worm has turned.  The other 6 main streets which the “Munchies group” tried to swing their support to them failed.  The group surrounding and adjacent to the Mensch Group property are joining together to fight them.

As an initial step, a short letter to the DEC explaining what what did the Mensch group did, would be helpful. The Mensch group must put forth all information concerning what was found under The Westwood Empire. The letter must be placed in the Buffalo News, not in any local neighborhood paper, website or, blog.

Mensch Group must openly address any land, drainage, fish, foliage and water problems.  If the Mensch Group has the “munchies” to build no matter what, they can expect a strong fight from the people who live near them or touch them.

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Cuomo Signs Bill Legalizing Handheld Sparklers


A bill signed last week will give New Yorkers a new way to spark celebrations.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed on Friday a bill that will permit the sale and possession of sparklers and novelty devices (think caps for toy guns, snappers, party poppers, etc.) everywhere in the state except New York City.

Not everyone is likely happy with redefined statute. Then-state Firemen’s Association President James Burns told the Post-Standard in June that beginning to legalize fireworks would lead to increases in injuries and fires caused by the pyrotechnics. New York Public Interest Research Group Legislative Director Russ Haven also told the newspaper that the legislation was being pushed by the fireworks industry and “it’s bad public policy.”
Read more…

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Holiday in the Village

Holiday in the Village 2014

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No charges for Ferguson officer in Brown shooting

Ferguson officer not charged in Brown case. (AP)


A grand jury decides there is insufficient evidence to charge Darren Wilson in the death of the unarmed teen.  

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Westwood Land – A Tragedy for the People of Amherst Unless They Unite


An article appeared in the Amherst Bee this past Wednesday November 19, concerning the historical Westwood Country Club including the banquet facility, pool and the Window on the Green restaurant being shut down forever.  “Forever” is the key word and many times “forever” is not that long.

The lost of revenue from the golf venture for the last 3 years had to be crippling.  The Mensch Group  has heavily subsidized the golf operations.  Andrew J. Shaevel is the managing partner of the Mensch Capital Partners LLC, and the owner of the golf course.  He mentioned he’s been carrying the golfing operations for years. He has not declared how much this venture lost in the golfing operations.

The Mensch Capital Partners.  Interesting name.  I’m guessing they chose it to reflect the idea of what a mensch is, a decent responsible person with admirable characteristics.  The name is designed to draw people in like a moth to a flame.  OUCH!.They could have picked any name for their group.They isn’t anyone in this group named Mensch.

Mr. Shaevel, spokesman for the Mensch Group, has opened the door to the first unknown quantity to his group: How much did the Mensch Group really lose in this golf fiasco?

The Erie County Health department decided to tell the Mensch group to have the grounds of the Westwood Empire tested.  The ground testing results yielded disturbing and frightening facts.  The ground was contaminated with arsenic on the greens and some of the fairway.  Our capitalist friends, the Mensch Group, failed to mention what chemicals and carcinogens were part of the deadly mixture which was also a danger to their neighbors.

The people of Amherst want facts.  Who did the ground testing? The person or persons who fertilized and tended to the greens applied several chemicals which were never mentioned.  What else was found in the mixture used to fertilizer the golf course as well as every piece of Westwood’s grounds.

Answer, answers are needed from the Mensch Group.  They own this land and it’s their reasonability to put out written proof concerning the results; written proof of who did the ground work and all the information they discovered, the dangers of what they dug up., how much arsenic was found at any level which was dangerous to humans?

This land must be checked out by an independent company before the DEC grants any help to the Mensch Group.  Much more information must be in writing before the Mensch Group can be taken seriously

Residents deserve the facts.  Put it in print.  Tell us if there is any danger from what has been found, or has the danger from any fungicides, rodenticides and herbicides passed?

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Cuomo Had a Secret Re-election ‘Pact’ With Republicans

Cuomo had a secret re-election ‘pact’ with Republicans
Andrew Cuomo

The state’s most powerful Republican secretly worked for months to help Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo win re-election — in exchange for Cuomo’s promise not to aid Senate Democrats in their Long Island races, a top New York GOP leader has charged.

Former state Republican Party Executive Director Michael Lawler — who managed Rob Astorino’s ill-fated gubernatorial run against Cuomo — told The Post that he learned of the alleged bombshell deal between Senate GOP leader Dean Skelos and Cuomo just days ago, after suspecting for months that it existed.
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BPO For The Holidays

BPO 14-15

As the holidays approach, this is the time of year when everyone’s thoughts turn towards creating lasting family memories and enjoying traditions.

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is offering four chances to experience the joy of music and magic of the holidays with exciting, high-quality performances infused with the spirit of the season.

Everything kicks off at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10 with Celtic Thunder’s BPO debut. The Irish supergroup has earned fans all over the world through their PBS specials, their performances and recordings, and their fan-friendly cruise. Buffalo will be one of only 20 cities to enjoy Celtic Thunder’s first-ever symphonic tour this holiday season. With holiday music from Ireland and around the world, this is the perfect concert experience for someone looking for a different twist on holiday entertainment.

Erin Freeman won the hearts of Western New York during her year as the music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus. She’s back in town to lead the chorus and orchestra in Classical Christmas: Messiah and More. This concert will feature the best-loved parts of Handel’s Messiah sung by the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and singers Michelle Areyzaga, Jessica Renfro, Matthew Anderson, and Sumner Thompson. Other gems from the classical tradition on the program include Adolphe Adam’s “O Holy Night” and musical takes on a sleigh ride from Leroy Anderson and from Frederick Delius. The concert will be performed at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 12 and at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13. Complimentary coffee and doughnuts are available prior to the Friday morning performance. This concert is sponsored by The Buffalo News.

BPO Associate Conductor Stefan Sanders will be on the podium on Sunday, Dec. 14 for Jingle Bell Jam. Part of the BPO Kids series, the family can celebrate the season together at budget-friendly prices, complete with a sing-along and the chance to have milk and cookies with Santa. Kids can come early and spread cheer to military personnel stationed far from home by making cards for them. This concert is sponsored by Fisher-Price.

Former BPO Associate Conductor and Buffalo favorite Ron Spigelman will be back on the podium for BlueCross BlueShield Swingin’ Holiday Pops. James Torme, son of the legendary “Velvet Fog” Mel Torme, will be the special guest, lending his vocal stylings to standards like “Silver Bells,” “Sleigh Ride,” and Mel Torme’s signature song, “The Christmas Song.” BPO clarinetist and jazz musician Sal Andolina will be featured along with his big band, putting their own stamp on Christmas standards like “Good King Wenceslas” and “Sugar Rum Cherry.” The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus will also perform on this program, which ends with an old-fashioned sing-along. Due to popular demand, there will be four performances of this concert: at 10:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19; at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21. Complimentary coffee and doughnuts are available before the Friday morning performance.

Group pricing is available for all four of these concerts. If you are planning to attend with a group of ten or more, contact Group and Corporate Sales Associate Ambrose Price at (716) 242-7817 to learn how you can receive a discount.

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra will also offer several performances around the region during the holiday season. They will perform on the Hilbert College campus at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, and will be part of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus’s Messiah sing-along at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14 at Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church, 8445 Greiner Road, Clarence. They are also appearing on the free “Holidays Under the Dome” series at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20 at M&T Bank, 1 Fountain Plaza, Buffalo.

In the spirit of the season, Kleinhans Music Hall is a drop-off point for the Marine Corps’ Toys For Tots program. Anyone wishing to donate can bring a new, unwrapped toy to the hall between Dec. 1 and Dec. 21 before concerts, on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., and on Saturdaymornings.

For tickets to any of these concerts, visit or call (716) 885-5000

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