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…

Leave a Comment

Holiday in the Village

Holiday in the Village 2014

Leave a Comment

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.  

Leave a Comment

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?

Comments (2)

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.
Read more…

Leave a Comment

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

Leave a Comment

Weather Service Defends Forecasts as Cuomo Seeks State System


Ready for some new Albany bureaucracy?  How about a new state Weather Department?

Signs were already brewing for last week’s devastating lake effect snowfall as early as Nov. 15, when the National Weather Service issued its first watches for a couple of feet of snow – and maybe more.

Over the following two days leading up to the storm, the watches were upgraded to warnings as weather service forecasts called for “near blizzard conditions” across Erie County with “around two feet in the most persistent bands” that could leave “some roads … nearly impassable.”

The weather service also accurately pegged accumulating snows at almost unheard of “rates of 3 to 5 inches per hour in the most intense portion of the band.”

But, according to state and Erie County officials, not only did the information come too late for them to adequately prepare, the national forecasting service also failed to project the ferocity and exact locations of the tandem lake-effect storms that dumped 7 feet or more of snow in just 72 hours.
Read more…

Leave a Comment

The Benefits of Making Priestly Celibacy Optional

If priestly celibacy were optional, more people would become priests, there would be greater transparency and celibacy would be a spiritual gift.

The Catholic Church already has many married priests. In fact, in parts of the world the majority of Catholic priests are married men with families. These priests serve in the Eastern Catholic Churches, which are in full communion with the Pope, but otherwise resemble Orthodox Christian Churches.

In the United States, most people associate Catholic with Roman Catholic. But the Catholic Church is a communion of 23 churches, each recognizing the leadership of the Pope while maintaining their own distinctive identities and disciplines. While the Latin Church, which is popularly known as the Roman Catholic Church, has a discipline of mandatory priestly celibacy, most of the Eastern Catholic Churches do not.
Read more…

Leave a Comment

Republicans Accuse Obama of Treating Immigrants Like Humans

Mitch McConnell

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In a sharp Republican rebuke to President Obama’s proposed actions on immigration, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused the President, on Thursday night, of “flagrantly treating immigrants like human beings, in clear defiance of the wishes of Congress.”

McConnell was brutal in his assessment of the President’s speech on immigration, blasting him for “eliminating the fear of deportation, which is the great engine of the American economy.”

“Fear is what keeps immigrants working so hard and so fast and so cheap,” McConnell said. “Remove the fear of deportation, and what will immigrants become? Lazy Americans.”

In a dire warning to the President, McConnell said, “If Mr. Obama thinks that, with the stroke of a pen, he can destroy the work ethic of millions of terrified immigrants, he’s in for the fight of his life.”

He added that Obama’s comments about deporting felons were “deeply offensive” to political donors.

Leave a Comment

Westwood Country Club Closing Down a Year Ahead of Schedule


Move paves way for owner to redevelop the property into mixed-use community

After more than seven decades of continuous operation, the Westwood Country Club’s run is coming to an abrupt end, as financial and environmental woes conspired against it.

Effective immediately, the 25-meter pool and 18-hole golf course at the Amherst facility are closed permanently, while the clubhouse, banquet facility and Windows on the Green restaurant will close Dec. 21.

That’s a full year ahead of schedule. Facility operators, town leaders, neighbors and club members are now being notified of the decision.

The sudden announcement from Mensch Capital Partners LLC, which owns the 170-acre club at Sheridan Drive and North Forest Road, is surprising mainly in its timing. The long-term fate of the troubled club had largely been sealed, and the closing paves the way for the next steps in Mensch’s $238 million plan to redevelop the property into a mixed-use residential, commercial and retail community.
Read more…

Comments (5)