Germanwings Flight Crashes in French Alps; 150 Feared Dead

An helicopter takes off at Seyne les Alpes, French Alps, March 24, 2015. A Germanwings passenger jet carrying at least 150 people crashed in a remote section of the French Alps, sounding like an avalanche as it scattered pulverized debris across the mountain. 
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The news of Tuesday’s crash of a Germanwings plane destined for Düsseldorf reverberated throughout the airport — and spread quickly among arriving passengers.

“I just landed and thought about the fact that this could have happened to me as well,” Güzel Kocaman, from Solingen, Germany, told Yahoo News. “I had thought about going to Spain for vacation.

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Gaby Kothe said she learned about the crash after upon her arrival. “My daughter tried calling me several times while I was on the plane,” Kothe said. “She had heard that some plane to Düsseldorf had crashed.

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“There is nothing you can do about it,” Christel Ahmed, a former airline employee who just traveled from Antalya to Düsseldorf, said. “These things just happen sometimes.

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Meanwhile, officials at Düsseldorf Airport quickly assembled a crisis squad. Chaplains with blue vests indicating they are part of a “care team” fanned out in search of relatives of passengers that were on Germanwing the plane, ushering them to private rooms. 

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Florian Gränzdörffer, spokesman of Germanwings“ holding company Lufthansa, said the fire department, airport staff and Germanwings employees were working together.

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“The staff is specifically qualified for this kind of work,” Gränzdörffer said. “However, everyone is very concerned. There were a lot of people on board of that airplane who had confided in us.

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Citizens Of Amherst Wake Up!


The people of Amherst are sheep whose lives and taxes are controlled by three boards in our local government: the Town Board, the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals.

As you walk around town you will see the people who sit on these Boards.  They’ll engage you in conversation as they stab you in the back for personal gain.

They must be stopped.  How?  Ignore their decisions, stand your ground, protect your property before they take it from you through some legal loophole, let the town take you to court.  When enough people get hustled by the Planning Board, the word spreads.  Amherst is well on its way of becoming known as the Developers Haven where they can come and get what they want without any problems.

All citizens must stop and look at their privacy which is being invaded by police machines, drones, cameras, etc.

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Mountie in ‘Most Canadian Photo Ever’ Humbled by Reaction to Image

Oh, we do love our Canadian neighbors, eh?

When Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Shaun Begg got the opportunity to play hockey on a rink high up in the Purcell Mountains in British Columbia, he jumped at the chance.

And because Begg, 40, is proud of being a member of the RCMP, he got permission to take his iconic uniform with him. Begg told ABC News he’d hoped to get a photo for his screen saver or for the wall of his office at the RCMP’s detachment in Kaslo, a small, picturesque village in B.C.

What he got was a quintessentially Canadian image that went viral and is now being dubbed the “most Canadian photo ever.”
Canadian photo

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Malls on ‘Higher State of Alert’ in Wake of Terrorist Threats

Cheektowaga Police Officers Emil F. DeVincentis, left, and Timothy A. Turnbull patrol inside the Walden Galleria mall in the town Friday. The town Police Department has briefed all of its officers on the terrorist video that urges extremists to target U.S. malls.
Cheektowaga Police Officers Emil F. DeVincentis, left, and Timothy A. Turnbull patrol inside the Walden Galleria mall in the town Friday. The town Police Department has briefed all of its officers on the terrorist video that urges extremists to target U.S. malls

Officials say security measures have been increased after video posted by al-Shabaab urged attacks on ‘disbelievers’

The photographs taken during the 2013 terrorist attack on Nairobi’s Westgate mall are harrowing. Those images were fresh in shoppers’ minds last month when al-Shabaab, the terror group that claimed responsibility for that deadly act, called on sympathizers here to launch similar attacks on malls in America.

In a video released by the group, a masked man with a British accent urged militant Muslim extremists around the world to “target the disbelievers wherever they are,” reminding them that “all it takes is a man with firm determination.”

It’s a threat malls across Western New York are taking seriously.
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What Lies Beneath

Apollo Mayor Jeff Held says many people who lived near NUMEC later died of cancer. The scrap pile behind him contains pieces of the old facility.

As a kid in the 1960s, Jeff Held thought that having a nuclear company in his backyard made life more exciting in Apollo, Pennsylvania. About 2,400 people lived alongside the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC), the town’s main employer. Held’s neighborhood subsisted on atomic lore: Just 33 miles down the road in Pittsburgh, the Westinghouse Corporation had helped construct the world’s first nuclear submarine, and in Apollo, NUMEC consequently manufactured the requisite nuclear fuel, a source of stirring pride minted by the Cold War.

To Held, the plant, its lights flickering over the western edge of town on the banks of the Kiskiminetas River, was “kind of neat.” When one of the town’s radiation monitors went off, children would dash through neighbors’ backyards to reach the facility—it was housed inside a refurbished steel mill with dirt floors, big windows, and dozens of smokestacks—to see what had happened.

As Held grew older, the plant that inspired his boyish thrill evolved into something more puzzling, and more sinister. NUMEC closed its doors in 1983, and in the mid-1990s, the federal government swooped in and declared several city blocks contaminated. Various agencies rolled in with bulldozers, razed the plant, and carted off the radioactive pieces, barrel by barrel, for disposal. Ever since, Apollo’s residents have been grappling with fears that NUMEC poisoned their town.

Beginning in the early 1960s, investigators from the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), the agency that regulated U.S. nuclear facilities at the time, began to question how large amounts of highly enriched, weapons-grade uranium had gone missing from NUMEC.

Investigators found that at NUMEC, hundreds of pounds of uranium-235 went missing, more than at any other plant.
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Emerald Ash Borer Discovered in Glen Park; Residents Urged to Protect Their Trees

Village of Williamsville

Green menace is now widespread in Western New York, but DEC says trees can be saved

Williamsville, N.Y. – The emerald ash borer has finally come to the Village of Williamsville.

The invasive species was spotted earlier this month in Glen Park, marking the first official sighting of the insect within village boundaries. The bug, known for boring into the trunks of ash trees and for causing their eventual destruction, is already considered to be widespread in other parts of the Town of Amherst and in surrounding towns.

“We knew the day was coming when the Emerald Ash Borer would infest our village trees,” Williamsville Deputy Mayor Christopher J. Duquin said. “The village has taken action to save the trees we can and we urge our homeowners with ash trees to do the same.”

There are just under 100 ash trees on municipal property, said Trustee Daniel O. DeLano, liaison to the village tree board. The village inoculated 78 of them two years ago on the streets and in three other village parks. A few are clustered in Glen Park, a prime recreational spot for village residents and visitors.

The shots typically last from one to three years and increase the chances that trees will survive an emerald ash borer infestation. Following the State DEC’s recommendation of removal and replacement, the village removed some ash trees over the past two years but has planted more than 1,000 trees since the October Storm of 2006.

“We were ahead of the curve when it came to preserving our tree canopy but if we had to take all of the ash trees down, it would noticeably impact the canopy,” DeLano said. “That’s why we are inoculating.  We care about our trees in this village and we are doing everything we can to save these ash trees from the emerald ash borer. A healthy tree canopy is an important part of a beautiful, walkable village and adds quite a bit to property values.”

State officials have detected the emerald ash borer throughout Erie County, including in the Town of Amherst – which is heavily infested – as well as Clarence, the Tonawandas, Lancaster, Elma, West Seneca, Cheektowaga, parts of Buffalo and Lackawanna. The bug is expected to spread to other areas this summer as the temperatures rise.

Homeowners who want to save their trees should hire a certified arborist to inoculate the trees. Prices vary but the shots average about $100. More information can be found on the website of the State DEC,, and at the New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse at

“Inoculation lasts between 2 and 3 years,” Duquin added.  “if you have an ash tree on your property it is time to call an arborist.”

Below: Image of Village of Williamsville tree that was infested by Emerald Ash Borer, including the larvae; courtesy of Village of Williamsville. Image of another infected tree still standing on Sheridan Drive in Amherst.

ash borer ash borer2 ash borer3

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Albright-Knox Aims to Double Gallery Space, Remove Parking Lot

Intense morning light paints the Albright Knox Art Gallery as the sun rises, Tuesday, April 1, 2014.  (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)
Intense morning light paints the Albright Knox Art Gallery as the sun rises

Art gallery officials on Monday will reveal key takeaways from public input sessions and unveil their ambitious wish list for the complex’s proposed expansion

Albright-Knox Art Gallery wants to double its gallery space, reduce or eliminate its surface parking lot along Elmwood Avenue and potentially allow pedestrians to walk from its campus on the east side of Elmwood to the Burchfield Penney Art Center on the west side “uninterrupted by traffic.”

These are just a few of the items on the gallery’s architectural wish list, which is coming into clearer focus after the initial public input phase of its expansion project ended earlier this month.

Albright-Knox Director Janne Sirén said he wants to double the exhibition space to show more of the permanent collection at the same time as temporary exhibitions, introduce a way to move art safely in and out of the building and create a visitor entrance that is “more generous in the way it invites the public in.”

He also said the gallery wanted to create “a more hospitable public space experience, address the question of the parking lot that none of us that I have spoken with likes, and work hard to find solutions, in terms of the landscape, to create an east-west dynamic that activates the two sides of the park.”
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Letter Sent to Town Board

Patrick Welch1

Patrick Welch sent the following letter to the Amherst Town Board members concerning the lack of concern the Board gives to residents.

Members of the Town Board;

As my elected officials I will always address my grievances on issues that relate to actions taken by town appointees and employees to you.
Once again the actions of the Amherst Planning Board are the focus of my complaint. As you know, we residents have been arguing against the Senior Housing Development at 1055 Youngs Rd.
We have presented hours of testimony, including a recognized world expert  Hydrogeologist  from the University at Buffalo and hundreds of pages of documentation from wetland experts and other scientific data.
Yet as I reviewed the minutes of the Planning Board minutes of 19 February in regard to 1055 Youngs Rd., it became very clear to this Amherst resident, that nothing, absolutely nothing a resident presents means anything to the Planning Board.
At the beginning of the minutes relating to 1055 Youngs Rd.,there is a statement:

The subject request was fully reviewed in the January 15, 2015 Staff Reports and tabled to allow the Board to further review materials submitted by the residents and permit the petitioner to address the following:

Yet in the minutes there is not a single, let me repeat, not a single mention of any evidence presented by the residents. All information for the negative declaration is based upon information from the applicant and the town employees.

As one of my colleagues pointed out at one of the hearings the job of the planning board is to REVIEW information and this board has totally violated the job they were appointed to do.

It is obvious to me that they did not even consider a single piece of verbal and written testimony and documentation submitted by the residents.

I am not against development, nor are my neighbors, but as one of the members of the Planning Board stated at a Planning Board Meeting; “we need to stop shoehorning developments into areas of the town.” Yet they approve everything that comes before them.
We were correct on the issue of wetlands and will probably be right on the injection well issue. But by then our foundations will be crumbling and we will be paying thousands of dollars in repairs. And the Planning Board will continue to ignore the residents in favor of land speculators in Amherst.
I respectfully request that this email be recorded under communications at a town  board meeting, so you can receive and file for the record.
Thank you

Patrick W. Welch, PhD
U.S. Marine Corps (Ret)
Veterans Advocate & Educator
Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court – Senior Mentor

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Yes, Your Allergies Are Getting Worse (No, You’re Not Imagining It)

Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy 
Yes, Your Allergies Are Getting Worse (No, You’re Not Imagining It)

It’s not all in your head. Allergies are actually getting worse, thanks to this. (Photo: Getty Images) 

With the start of spring comes the beginning of allergy season for so many. But before you solely blame the newly blossoming trees for your worst-allergy-season-ever itchy eyes and runny nose, consider the new research presented yesterday at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society indicating that the rise in allergy diagnoses and symptoms could be tied to an increase of certain environmental pollutants caused by climate change.

Ulrich Pöschl, PhD, and his colleagues at the Max Planck Institute in Germany found that nitrogen dioxide (the main component in car exhaust) and ground-level ozone (the main component of smog) make for a treacherous cocktail that amplifies the impact of airborne allergens. These “ingredients” cause a chemical chain reaction that can actually alter the structure of allergens, making them more potent.

Allergies occur when the body produces antibodies in reaction to a certain substance, thinking that substance is harmful (and thus an attack on the immune system) even when it’s not. Some of the most common airborne allergens are pet dander, pollen, dust mites, and mold. While there is no “cure” for allergies, depending on the severity and the allergen, allergies can be managed by over-the-counter medications, immunotherapy (such as allergy shots that build up the body’s tolerance to the allergen), and general avoidance of the problematic allergen.

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The Planning Board Must Be Overseen To Clean Up Graft Takers


There have been many complaints placed against the Amherst Planning Board.  When a citizen comes before the Planning Board to challenge a major developer and brings required proof of their concern, the Board consistently votes against the citizen and for the developer.  All the proof supplied by the citizen isn’t even taken note of by the Planning Board.  They ignore anything which would benefit the resident.

These decisions by the Planning Board will hurt our Town.  Amherst will become the home of big buildings shadowing citizens.

The Town Board has backed the Planning Board even after receiving letters and verbal complaints against it.

Therefore I, James Tricoli, want to be appointed by our Supervisor and Town Board to oversee the decisions made by Amherst Planning Board.

Written by James Tricoli, Editor of the

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