Pre-K Spots Still Available in Amherst School District

(John Hickey/Buffalo News file photo)

Universal prekindergarten spots are still available in the Amherst Central Schools’ program for the 2017-18 school year, district officials said.

Pre-K is provided at Amherst Community Church Child Care Center, 77 Washington Highway; Amherst Nursery School, 350 Saratoga Road; and Windermere Elementary School, 291 Windermere Blvd. Transportation is available only to the Windemere location.

Proof of residency in the Amherst Central School District is required, along with proof that the student will be 4 years old by Dec. 1.
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Retail and Apartments Eyed for Site of Video Business in East Amherst

(Google Maps)

A developer is seeking to tear down a ranch-style home that hosts a video business and construct in its place a mixed-use building of retail and apartments on Main Street near Transit Road in East Amherst.

The applicant, PB Investors LLC, which traces back to Bliss Construction, would construct an 11,855-square-foot building at 6790 Main St., at Tennyson Terrace, on the 1.98-acre property, according to business records and Ellen Kost, an associate town planner.

A portion would be two stories and part would be three stories. The site is zoned for general business and multifamily residential, and the building would go in the general business zone.
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Former Williamsville Schools Administrator Loses Appeal of Termination

A judge has upheld a hearing officer’s determination that a former high-level administrator in the Williamsville Central School District should be fired for misconduct and other charges, the school district’s attorney said.

State Supreme Court Judge Timothy J. Walker on Thursday dismissed an appeal filed by former Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Kim A. Kirsch, said Matthew C. Van Vessem, an attorney at the firm Goldberg Segalla, who represented the district.

The hearing officer on June 12 found Kirsch guilty of undermining Superintendent Scott G. Martzloff after complaints about him were brought to her. The School Board fired her the next day.

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New Home for Williamsville East’s Sports Teams Opens Friday

One of the three scoreboards at the multipurpose athletic fields at Williamsville East High School. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)
One of the three scoreboards at the multipurpose athletic fields at Williamsville East High School. 

The new home for Williamsville East High School athletics includes about 260,000 square feet of artificial turf for soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, baseball, softball and football.

A grand opening ceremony, including a ribbon-cutting and brief remarks from school officials, begins at 6 p.m. Friday at the school at 151 Paradise Road, Amherst.

Overflow parking will be available at Transit Middle School, 8730 Transit Road, Amherst.

Permanent bleachers, three new scoreboards, field lighting, a new concession stand and restrooms have been installed.
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Area’s First Asian Mega-market Opening Today in Amherst

Rockey Ren wants to change the way Western New York buys Asian groceries. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)
Rockey Ren wants to change the way Western New York buys Asian groceries.

A sprawling Asian supermarket stretching across half of a former Walmart opens Thursday, offering everything from 50 kinds of rice and live fish to a $12,000 tea desk.

Rockey Ren says the covers come off the stone lions out front of Asia Food Market at noon Thursday, opening the store under their mystical protection, as per the Chinese custom.

While Asian ingredients, produce and packaged goods are available at smaller stores, the supermarket at 2055 Niagara Falls Blvd. gathers a vast array under one roof, next to a massive parking lot, and adds items unavailable elsewhere.
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East Amherst Church to Dedicate Organ


One-of- a-kind in Western New York

EAST AMHERST, NY (TLC) – Trinity Lutheran Church on Transit Road will be dedicating a new organ on Sunday, October 8, and they’re eager for you to hear it: it’s a one-of- a-kind organ in Western New York.

When Trinity spent a year searching for a new organ, they looked for one that could both accompany the lusty singing of their traditional Sunday worshipers and also accompany their Saturday contemporary worship. They found the perfect solution in the Viscount Sonus 245.

The Sonus 245 is the only organ in Western New York that uses cutting-edge physical modeling technology. Viscount’s “Physis” technology produces sound using algorithms that are based on all the parameters of pipe organ sound production, resulting in sound virtually indistinguishable from that of actual pipe organs. All other electronic organs use recorded pipe organ samples, a method now some 30 years old.

Trinity music director Marian Van Til is thoroughly enjoying the new organ. “Of course organists love pipe organs – it’s still the King of Instruments,” she says. “But they are prohibitively expensive. This organ is definitely the very next best thing. The sound is superb. And I almost hate to admit it, but this organ is also far more versatile than pipe organs are.”

Van Til notes that at the upcoming recital, which she will play, she has chosen music to show off that great versatility. “There will be pieces from across music history and in a variety of styles, using all kinds of sound combinations. You’ll also hear a piece for organ and cello. And we’ll even use the organ as a harpsichord. We’ll use it, too, as a piano, string bass and “Hammond” organ in a bluesy gospel version of a well known hymn.”   Church member Andrew Cassidy will be the cellist.

The organ was donated by Melinda Ruth Burgwardt Gibson, DVM, and her husband Glenn Gibson.  Melinda, who had a long-time veterinary practice in Lancaster, died of ovarian cancer last year. The recital is being played in her memory. Melinda’s mother, Clarice Burgwardt, a retired organist, will
participate by playing an arrangement of several of Melinda’s favorite hymns.
The recital is at 2 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 8760 Transit Road, East Amherst. Admission is free. A reception will follow.

Sue Hayden, President, Trinity Council
Daniel Hoffman, Pastor
688-9245; 598-0221;
Marian Van Til, Music Director

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Editorial: The Westwood Meeting on September 18th


This past Monday night the Amherst town board held their town board meeting. The main issue at this hearing was the environmental review of the Westwood property.  A near-capacity crowd of citizens came to speak about their opposition to the Westwood property proposal.

The Westwood attorney spoke for a little over an hour about why the Westwood project wouldn’t harm the environment or in any way cause serious harm to the land and houses near the Westwood property. After the attorneys spoke three citizens were allowed 15 each for the opposition.  When they finished at least 25 citizens, mostly neighbors, gave their voice in opposition to the proposed mixed-use project Westwood presented.

This is a direct quote from one of the citizens, “This is not a plan designed to fit in with the surrounding neighborhood, be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and benefit the town, but a megalopolis designed to maximize profit for the benefit of the owners,” said Jennifer Snyder-Haas, a Fairways Boulevard resident, who received a standing ovation following her remarks.

Judy Ferraro, a frequent critic of Westwood, told the Town Board the proposal is “not compliant with the comprehensive plan, no matter how it is spun.  It is not sensitive to the myriad of attending problems of sewage flow, traffic, stormwater runoff and flooding and the general protection of health and welfare of all citizens.”

The Mayor of the Village of Williamsville, Brian Kulpa, was in attendance and voiced his strong opposition to the Westwood project.  He would like to have a passive park for the people of Amherst.

One of the most outspoken ladies in our town, Michele Marconi, gave a powerful sensible speech as one of the leaders of the citizen’s group who wants a park instead of a huge concrete jungle.  The people of Amherst must keep up the fight.  Write letters to our Town Board members, call their office.  To reach any town board member call 621-7000.

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My Hero: Pat Welch Is There For His Fellow War Partners Whenever He Is Called


In conjunction with Ken Burns program, The Viet Nam War, our local PBS station has produced several pieces with Viet Nam veterans in the Western New York area.
One piece was on the Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court, the first in the country, which was started by Judge Robert Russell and 2 Viet Nam Veterans. The late Hank Pirowski (USMC) and Jack O’Connor (USA) were the primary movers of this movement which now has over 350 Veteran Treatment Courts around the country and in the last year has saved 15,000 veterans from incarceration. These 3 men allowed me to tag along on this journey and gave me the title of Senior Mentor.
I hope you enjoy this short video on our court. Thanks to everyone around the country that has embraced this movement to assist our fellow veterans.



Patrick W. Welch, PhD
U.S. Marine Corps (Ret)

Veterans Advocate & Educator
Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court – Senior Mentor
Higher Ground New York – Director of Military Programs
Twitter @PatrickWelch10

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In War of Elton John Lyrics, Kim Jong Un Calls Trump “Honky Cat”


PYONGYANG (The Borowitz Report)—In what some security experts fear could be a high-stakes war of Elton John lyrics, minutes after Donald Trump called Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man,” the North Korean dictator responded by calling Trump “Honky Cat.”

As he issued the Elton John-based attack, Kim warned that he had an extensive collection of the singer-songwriter’s albums and was prepared to weaponize every lyric in them.

The White House immediately struck back, warning Kim that “any further provocation involving an Elton John lyric, especially ‘Tiny Dancer,’ will be seen as an act of war.”

But any hope that Kim would be silenced was short-lived.

Responding to the White House, Kim stated, “I see the bitch is back,” before signing off, “Goodbye, Yellow-Wigged Toad.”

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Public Comment on Westwood Project Accepted Through Oct. 2

Residents post their dislike of the proposed project near the old Westwood Country Club on North Forest Road in Amherst on Friday, July 21, 2017. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)
Residents post their dislike of the proposed project near the old Westwood Country Club on North Forest Road in Amherst.

Written public comment on the proposed development of the former Westwood Country Club in Amherst will be accepted through Oct. 2.

A developer has requested the town rezone 141 of the 171 acres at the former golf course between Maple Road and Sheridan Drive for a mixed-use project.

public hearing on the project’s environmental impact held Monday by the Town Board drew well over a dozen speakers. All written comments will become part of the public record and will be considered as part of the final Environmental Impact Statement.

Comments should be sent to Amherst Town Board, Attn: Barry A. Weinstein, Supervisor, 5583 Main St. Williamsville, NY 14221.
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