Humboldt Parkway, The Dream of a “Green Parkway”

 

 Jul 18, 2014 Posted by  In CityRegionalComments 17

Neighbors living around Humboldt Parkway are rallying together in hopes that one day they might see the revitalization of their neighborhood, with a transition from freeway to “Green Parkway”. A new University at Buffalo study/report* brings to light the huge economic impact that would be realized if the project was to come to fruition (exceeding $1 billion – property values, construction employment of hundreds of jobs, etc). The area that is most impacted by the transition stretches the length between the Fillmore Business District and the Jefferson Street Business District.

Already a number of different interests are speaking out about their enthusiasm for the drastic change that would take the parkway back to the way Olmsted first envisioned it. “We absolutely embrace the vision to re-create a viable, walkable, green environment on all sides of the Museum,” says Mark Mortenson of the Buffalo Museum of Science. “That is the environment that the Museum celebrated until it was tragically lost by the construction of the Kensington Expressway.”

Looking back to the way Humboldt once seamlessly connected the Olmsted park system, it’s crazy to think that we would have lost our way so drastically. This is truly an epic Moses vs. Olmsted [ideology] battle that is still not over yet. The majestic parkway that once connected Delaware Park and The Parade (now MLK Park) is not lost, just buried under a sea of freeway that also disconnects vital areas of the city. “Six rows of mature shade trees once provided a wonderful canopy not only to connect Olmsted’s Delaware and Parade Parks, but also to provide a valuable green space where everyone was welcome to enjoy nature, enhancing the visual character and quality of life for the whole community. Restoring this green anchor on the East Side of Buffalo is a major priority of the Conservancy,” stated Olmsted Parks Conservancy President Thomas Herrera-Mishler.

Restore Our Community Coalition (ROCC) chairperson Stephanie Geter stated, “We want to update the community on the progress toward reaching our goal to restore the Olmsted vision of a vibrant, green community space, to remediate the devastation caused by the construction of Route 33, and to create a beautiful gateway to Buffalo’s Medical Corridor. ROCC came together in 2007 to bring this issue to the attention of local and state leaders, focusing our coalition power on the New York State Department of Transportation. Much work has been going on behind the scenes, and we have a plan to make this vision a reality.”

Richard Cummings, President of the Black Chamber of Commerce, asserts that “while the Kensington Expressway construction led to community devastation, we are optimistic that some of the damage can be reversed. Even though the introduction of the expressway in the 60’s isolated the East Side from the rest of Buffalo, we are working with businesses, residents and city leaders to reverse that decline. We believe that our community can be restored.”

For years there has been a battle going on regarding just how to restore the freeway back to a boulevard. Infill? Decking? There are those who say that the freeway must continue to allow cars to get in and out of the city. They oppose infill. Then there are those who say that decking is too costly, and that the money would be hard to come by. Stanley Fleming, who serves as the Executive Director for ROCC, stated, “ I was elated to meet several leading planners and urbanism experts [at a Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) workshop in Buffalo this past June] who affirmed the human, economic and environmental benefits of sustainable planning projects such as our proposal to create a green deck over a portion of Route 33. Projects like this are going on around the country, and at even greater expense that the projected $560 million that a Green Humboldt Deck would cost, because the point is that this in an investment, which will reap returns. It is not just a transportation cost to correct an urban sprawl mistake. An investment to turn part of this highway into a green boulevard will reap dividends in terms of job creation and increased property values. An investment to restore a Green Humboldt Parkway will bring to our Buffalo Renaissance the beautiful gateway that our Downtown Revitalization deserves.”

The Restore Our Community Coalition (ROCC) will share highlights of the UB report with the general public on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at the Buffalo Museum of Science Cummings Room.

*Study commissioned by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), the UB School of Architecture and Planning in conjunction with its Regional Institute Urban Design Project, a team of experts led by principal investigator, Robert Shibley. Key study investigators Paul Ray of the UB Urban Design Project and Professor Hiro Hata, who led a team to develop potential implementation designs for a green parkway, will also be on hand at the meeting.

 

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Dennis Ward and Jerry Schad – Changed by Hatred

Dennis Ward  Schad4
by Jim Tricoli – Editor

Today I went down to the Board of Election to pick up some information and materials so I can run in the 27th District as their committeeman.  As I was leaving the building I pressed the down button on the elevator.   When the door opened there was one person on the elevator, none other than Dennis Ward.

I have never seen Dennis Ward really lose his cool or be lost for words but as he looked at me with intense hate as he said that he was getting off the elevator and walk down the stairs.  Fine.  No skin off my nose.

Dennis was totally aghast when he saw me.  It’s no secret Dennis and I aren’t friends.  He has said that I’m the number one person he hates.

Jerry Schad and Dennis want me out of the Amherst Democratic Committee because I challenge both of them as to what they say.  They’re used to controlling people and have done so for a long time.  When someone challenges their power they let the hounds out to destroy that person.

I do not follow blindly.  Their methods don’t work on this Sicilian man whose faith guides him toward  following truth.  I only bend my knee to my Lord.

Do I make mistakes?  Of course but when I falter I try to correct my error.  Dennis Ward and Jerry Schad just keep plowing ahead.

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Malaysia Airlines Plane Carrying 295 People Crashes Near Ukraine-Russia Border

CLICK IMAGE for slideshow: An armed pro-Russian separatist stands at a site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region, July 17, 2014. The Malaysian airliner MH-17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian militants on Thursday, killing all 295 people aboard, a Ukrainian interior ministry official said. Dozens of bodies were scattered around the smouldering wreckage of a passenger jet that crashed in a field in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, a Reuters reporter said. An emergency services rescue worker said at least 100 bodies had so far been found at the scene, near the village of Grabovo, and that debris from the wreckage was spread across an area up to about 15 km (nine miles) in diameter. (REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev )

An armed pro-Russian separatist stands on part of the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines …

Ukraine official says plane was shot down; Obama calls crash ‘terrible tragedy,’ says White House working to determine whether Americans were aboard

A Malaysia Airlines passenger plane carrying 295 people crashed near the Ukraine-Russia border Thursday, and a Ukraine official said later it had been shot down by a missile in the volatile region.  There were 280 passengers and 15 crew.

Both government officials and pro-Russia separatists fighting in the region denied responsibility.

The number of fatalities in the crash was not immediately clear. An aide to Ukraine’s interior minister quoted by Interfax said the total number of dead in the crash of Flight MH17 was more than 300 and includee 23 U.S. citizens. An Associated Press reporter at the scene reported seeing at least 22 bodies.
The head of Ukrainian’s emergency services told Reuters that search efforts at the scene of the crash we being hampered by “armed terrorists.”
Read more…

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Christie: I Would Bring Traffic Over the Border to a Standstill

IOWA CITY – Testing the political waters in Iowa today, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that if elected President he would bring the flow of illegal immigrants over the U.S.-Mexico border to a standstill. “There are ways of keeping people from getting to where they want to go,” Christie said, claiming that he was the only Republican hopeful with the hands-on experience necessary to fix the border crisis. The New Jersey Governor was vague about how he would halt traffic over the border, telling his Iowa audience only, “I’d make a few phone calls. It would get done.”

Christie: I Would Bring Traffic Over the Border to a Standstill IOWA CITY - Testing the political waters in Iowa today, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that if elected President he would bring the flow of illegal immigrants over the U.S.-Mexico border to a standstill. "There are ways of keeping people from getting to where they want to go," Christie said, claiming that he was the only Republican hopeful with the hands-on experience necessary to fix the border crisis. The New Jersey Governor was vague about how he would halt traffic over the border, telling his Iowa audience only, "I'd make a few phone calls. It would get done."

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Why Your Weird Friends Are Drinking Hot Coffee in the Summer

It was only 8 a.m. when I stopped for an iced coffee on my way to work yesterday, but I was already melting. So my pre-caffeine lizard brain could not deal when two people ahead of me ordered hot coffee. What is happening? What is wrong with these people? It is 1 million degrees out!

As happens on occasion, I was wrong; summertime hot-coffee fans are probably smarter than me and my fellow iced-coffee lovers. As anyone from a tea-drinking culture in a hot place like India can tell you, hot beverages have some counterintuitive cooling powers, and some recent research is helping scientists understand the physiological mechanics of this phenomenon, said Anthony Bain, a PhD candidate at the Centre for Heart, Lung, and Vascular Health at the University of British Columbia.

He explained in an email to Science of Us:

“When we’re hot, we naturally cool our bodies primarily by sweating, or more specifically by having the sweat evaporate from our skin (that’s important!). Our bodies sense changes in tissue temperature by a network of thermosensors located in the skin and in more central parts of our body, which send input to our brain (specifically, the hypothalamus), which then initiates sweating.

When we take in a hot drink, it appears that the thermosensors located in the stomach become overactive, and send strong signals to our hypothalamus that we are hot. In turn, the hypothalamus reacts by initiating an over-compensatory sweating response. So, when this sweat evaporates from our skin, the heat energy we lose due to evaporation exceeds the heat energy gained by drinking the hot drink. In other words, it is because our body overacted to the hot drink that we end up cooler in the end.”

But, he says, there’s a slight catch, because it only works if all your sweat evaporates. If you’re already very hot and sweaty, most of that additional sweat generated by the warm beverage won’t have time to evaporate; instead, it’ll drip off your body and onto to the ground, which doesn’t help to cool you off. “So, if you are already very hot and profusely sweating — opt for the cold drink,” Bain said. “If you aren’t already sweating very much, are wearing loose clothing, and it’s not incredibly humid outside — opt for the hot drink.” Case closed on another summertime science mystery.

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Bambi is Safe!

Great photos of Animal Control Officer Christensen with deer that was rescued the waters of Glens Falls today.

Amherst Police Department's photo.
Amherst Police Department's photo.

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A Letter From Comcast and Time Warner Cable

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Dear subscribers,

Today, it was announced that Comcast is joining forces with Time Warner Cable in a friendly acquisition worth $45 billion. As we could have expected, many people are wondering what this transaction will mean to the service that you, our subscribers, will enjoy.

We know that all of your comments, however mean-spirited some of them may have been, have come from a good place: genuine concern about what this merger will mean for your future cable service. At Comcast/Time Warner, we care deeply about those concerns, and, to help allay them, here are some answers to the Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.s) we have received since the merger was announced.

Q: How will the merger affect the price of my cable service?

A: There is no clear answer to that. But we will be introducing financing options, roughly similar to those that enabled you to attend college.

Q: Will there be any adverse impact on customer service?

A: A technician will be at your home between the hours of eight and never.

Q: How frequently will you turn off the Internet, and are you going to deliberately crush Netflix by making it impossible to stream its movies?

A: Often and probably.

Q: I am a current Time Warner subscriber. Who will be handling customer complaints, Comcast or Time Warner?

A: Please address all complaints to Comcast/Time Warner Customer Service, 666 Noonethere Lane, Abysstown, U.S.A.

Q: I have been on hold for the past hour, and no one seems to be picking up. How long can I expect to wait?

A: Due to concern about the merger, we are experiencing longer-than-expected wait times. In the meantime, eat me.

Sincerely,

Comcast/Time Warner Cable

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Fleeing Iraqis Relieved That Cheney Has No Regrets About War

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BAGHDAD (The Borowitz Report)—Just days after former Vice-President Dick Cheney said that he had no regrets about the invasion of Iraq, people fleeing their homes across that war-torn nation expressed tremendous relief that he was at peace with his decision.As news spread that Cheney would not change a thing about the 2003 invasion, Iraqis driven out of their villages and towns by marauding terrorists called the former Vice-President’s words well-timed and soothing.

Sabah al-Alousi, who fled Mosul when ISIS militants overran it last month, said that Cheney’s confident pronouncement about the invasion of Iraq “is the first good news I’ve heard in a long time.”

“As I’ve fled from town to town, looking for a place where I might not be suddenly slain for no reason, the one thought that kept nagging me was, ‘How does Dick Cheney feel about all of this?’” he said. “I can’t tell you what a relief it is to know he isn’t losing any sleep.”

The Iraqi man said that he had been concerned that Cheney might harbor regrets about Iraq, such as the trillions of dollars spent, thousands of lives lost, W.M.D.s not found, and international disgrace of Abu Ghraib, but thanks to the former Vice-President’s recent statements, “I now see that I was worried about nothing.”

“Iraq is a scary place right now,” al-Alousi said. “The country could be broken into pieces, or become a part of an Islamic caliphate, or be the scene of unspeakable sectarian violence for years to come. But somehow, knowing that Dick Cheney would do it all over again if he could makes everything a little better.”

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Amherst Against Fracking Meeting

no fracking sign

Amherst Against Fracking Meeting
Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 6 p.m.
Williamsville Public Library, 5571 Main St, Williamsville, NY

The town of Amherst, NY must pass a local ban to safeguard our resources and health from the pollution and industrialization that fracking for natural gas brings to communities. Over 170 towns and cities across NY have stepped up to protect their residents from fracking, and now it’s time for the Amherst Town Board to do the same. A  town-wide ban on fracking & fracking waste disposal (including road spreading) would protect residents from exposure to harmful chemicals, airborne carcinogens, contaminated water, increased municipal costs, and the list goes on. All Amherst and Amherst-area residents are encouraged to join this coordinating meeting to become part of the local movement against fracking.

For more information or to get involved, contact Rita at ryelda@fwwatch.org.

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Message From Re-ENERGIZE Buffalo

re-energize Buffalo

EVENTS THIS WEEK: 

  • MONDAY, July 14, PRESENTATION: Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) – by Joseph Del Sindaco, Treasurer and Managing Director of the Energy Improvement Corp.; host Energy Committee of the Sierra Club Niagara Group,6:00pm-7:30pm, Tri-Main Building (Suite 438), 2495 Main St., Buffalo; All Invited
  • WEDNESDAY,  July 16, PUBLIC HEARINGS: Proposed Expansion of Chemical Waste Management (CWM) Hazardous Waste Site; 1:00 pm and 6:30 pm, Lewiston-Porter High School (auditorium), 4061 Creek Road (Route 18), Youngstown
  • THURSDAY, July 17, MEETING: Energy & Climate Change Working Group of WNY Environmental Alliance; 4:00pm-5:30pm, Resurgence Brewing Company, Beer Garden, 1250 Niagara St., Buffalo
  • THURSDAY, July 17, GREEN DRINKS: Networking event for Professionals in the Green and Sustainable fields, 5:30pm-7:30pm, Resurgence Brewing Company, Beer Garden, 1250 Niagara St., Buffalo
  • THURSDAY, July 17, SCREENINGS: “If Our Water Could Talk” – WNED produced documentary film; Introduction by Don Boswell and John Grant; host Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper; 5:30pm & 6:30pm, The Filling Station in Larkin Square, 745 Seneca St., Buffalo

UPCOMING EVENTS: 

  • July 21, 2014, EVENT: Community Congress Open Houses – One Region Forward, 5:30pm and 7:30pm, Palace Theater 2 East Ave, Lockport; Register
  • July 22, 2014, EVENT: Community Congress Open Houses – One Region Forward, 5:30pm and 7:30pm, ECC City Campus, 121 Ellicott St., Buffalo; Register
  • July 22, 2014, MEETING: Sierra Club Niagara Group, 7:00 pm, Duns Scotus Hall (Rm.240), Daemen College, All are welcome

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