Buffalo School Superintendent Promises ‘a system reboot’

Taking charge of a school district in crisis, Kriner Cash gets specific on ambitious goals for everything from attendance to graduation rates

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Kriner Cash is introduced to the community during a forum at the Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts school in Buffalo Thursday, August 13, 2015. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)
Kriner Cash is introduced to the community during a forum at the Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts school in Buffalo Thursday, August 13, 2015.

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Buffalo’s new school superintendent wants the graduation rate to hit 100 percent in the next five years, and by that time, he also wants 80 percent of students meeting state standards.

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On Tuesday, Kriner Cash offered for the first time some specifics on how he will try to make that happen.

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Cash acknowledged that it is an ambitious goal – and that previous school leaders failed to deliver on similar promises – but said that it’s important to set the bar high.

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His plan includes a focus on attendance, student safety and on overhauling parts of the district that aren’t effective.

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The heart of it is creating more academic programs and choices for families, something he says will drive district outcomes.

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Although he wants to make some quick gains, Cash said, the district’s ultimate success requires rebuilding the entire school system, which cannot currently deliver good results. That could take up to six years.
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Cutting Losses, Kochs to Sell Scott Walker

WICHITA (The Borowitz Report)—Saying that “things just didn’t work out,” the billionaire Koch brothers have decided to put Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker up for sale.

The Kochs, who earlier had purchased Gov. Walker with great fanfare, announced their plan to sell the politician in a terse statement from Koch Industries headquarters in Wichita.
“Scott Walker is a fine individual, and we wish him well,” the Kochs’ statement read. “We are confident that he will be a good fit for some other billionaire industrialists.”

Republican insiders, however, called the Kochs’ plan to sell Walker highly optimistic, and noted that the market for the Wisconsin Governor was, at this point, virtually nonexistent.

The Kochs, who reportedly had been frustrated by Walker’s poor performance in the polls, finally decided to sell the Wisconsinite after last weekend’s odd pronouncement, in which he seemed to support a border wall with Canada.

According to a Koch associate, “Ignorance has always been a part of Scott’s appeal, but that Canada thing was just too much.”

After their plan to sell him was announced, the Kochs immediately pulled Walker off the campaign trail for fear that he might say something that would further reduce his dwindling market value.

In Iowa, an aide to Walker said that the Governor was “still processing” the news that he had been put up for sale. “It takes a while for Scott to understand things,” the aide said.

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Opening Tip Off is on Sept. 13

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Here is an invitation from SS Peter & Paul RC Church in the village of Williamsville:

Come join us for the weekly Sunday night recreational basketball games starting September 13th from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. in the school gym.

Teams are determined based on whoever shows up and by bringing both a white and dark colored shirt we can intermix into balanced teams.

We call our own fouls and have a mixture to 20 through 50+ year-olds and women are welcome.

So if you have young legs or run at a slower pace we welcome you to a night full of exercise.

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Defend Yourself ~ Get Your Flu Shot!

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Don’t let the flu bug get you down.

SS. Peter & Paul church is hosting a flu shot clinic.

  • No out-of-pocket cost to you!
  • Please bring your insurance card if insured
  • Administered by registered nurses
  • Easy & convenient

Tuesday, October 6
11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
SS Peter & Paul Church
5480 Main Street
Williamsville, NY 14221

Appointments are required
To make an appointment call HealthConnection at (716) 447-6205

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King, Common Core Come Under Fire In Jamestown

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Shea Munnikhuysen, 13, traveled 103 miles from Wilson to Jamestown on Wednesday to deliver a sharply worded message to State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr.

“No matter how much you dress your agendas up, you are not helping the children of New York State,” Shea said. “You are just using them. We, the children, are confused, and this angers us.”

Hundreds of parents and educators, some with signs that read “Children are not test rats,” filled the high school auditorium. The forum – one of a series of events King is holding across the state – was dominated by speakers who detailed their concerns about the state’s attempts to reform education.
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Bills Release Fred Jackson

ORCHARD PARK, NY– The Buffalo Bills announced Monday they have cut Running Back Fred Jackson.

Jackson, who played 10 years with the Bills, was among 12 players who were cut from the roster.

Bills GM Doug Whaley issued the following statement:

“Today, we had to make the difficult decision to release Fred Jackson. He had an incredible career for this organization for the past 10 years. We thank Fred for his hard work, dedication and leadership during his tenure with the Buffalo Bills. Fred has inspired the city of Buffalo in a number of ways. Fred and his family have been dedicated to this community and we can’t thank them enough for their contributions through his career.”
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Nation with Crumbling Bridges and Roads Excited to Build Giant Wall

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—As the United States’ bridges, roads, and other infrastructure dangerously deteriorate from decades of neglect, there is a mounting sense of urgency that it is time to build a giant wall.

Across the U.S., whose rail system is a rickety antique plagued by deadly accidents, Americans are increasingly recognizing that building a wall with Mexico, and possibly another one with Canada, should be the country’s top priority.

Harland Dorrinson, the executive director of a Washington-based think tank called the Center for Responsible Immigration, believes that most Americans favor the building of border walls over extravagant pet projects like structurally sound freeway overpasses.

“The estimated cost of a border wall with Mexico is five billion dollars,” he said. “We could easily blow the same amount of money on infrastructure repairs and have nothing to show for it but functioning highways.”

Congress has dragged its feet on infrastructure spending in recent years, but Dorrinson senses growing support in Washington for building a giant border wall. “Even if for some reason we don’t get the Mexicans to pay for it, five billion is a steal,” he said.

While some think that America’s declining infrastructure is a national-security threat, Dorrinson strongly disagrees. “If immigrants somehow get over the wall, the condition of our bridges and roads will keep them from getting very far,” he said.

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Sheriff of Amherst’s Building Boom Retires After 32 Years

Amherst Building Commissioner Tom Ketchum, 62, has some pro-jects waiting for him at home.
Amherst Building Commissioner Tom Ketchum, 62, has some pro-jects waiting for him at home. 

Oversaw construction worth nearly $4 billion

When Tom Ketchum walked out of his little corner office for the last time Friday, it marked the end of an era in the Town of Amherst.

Ketchum, 62, is retiring after more than three decades as building commissioner for a town that’s been synonymous with building and development. For 32 years, Ketchum had a front row seat – acting as the building sheriff, of sorts – while nearly $4 billion worth of construction rose from the ground in Amherst.

Ketchum has been involved in his share of development controversies – battles with angry residents, lawsuits filed by disgruntled developers.

There is one controversy that still bothers him: the sinking homes in the northern section of town.

“Probably the one that gave me the most consternation was the whole soil and foundation issue that we had back around 2003,” Ketchum said. “It’s always been a little bit of a disappointment that we couldn’t come up with a financial solution for the existing housing stock to help the people out. The problem, in general, is you can’t use public money to fund repairs to private dwellings.”
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Former Church Thief Again Sought by Suburban Police

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After confessing four years ago that he had helped himself to church collections, a former church usher was sentenced to six months in jail. But that sentence apparently didn’t lead to repentance, according to local police.

The same man now is suspected of recently raiding offertory boxes in at least two suburban churches.

John E. Wheeler, 53, whose last known address was Kenmore, is sought by Amherst and Town of Tonawanda police, who are investigating larcenies at St. Gregory the Great and St. Christopher’s Catholic Churches, respectively.

A security camera captured images of a man, believed to be Wheeler, inside the church the night of June 29, when a chapel offertory box was broken into. Between $40 and $50 was stolen, said Charles Cohen, Amherst assistant police chief.
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How Can Water-Rich WNY Tap Into Fiscal Opportunity?

Every time HealthNow President David Anderson looks out the windows of his eighth-floor office in downtown Buffalo, he sees something he believes could be a major economic resource for Western New York: the waters of Lake Erie.
Every time HealthNow President David Anderson looks out the windows of his eighth-floor office in downtown Buffalo, he sees something he believes could be a major economic resource for Western New York: the waters of Lake Erie. 

Economic development officials are looking at ways to pitch the availability of the region’s sustainable resource to lure water-dependent companies

The Buffalo area’s economic ties to water are long ones. Among the key celebrations of the 1901 Pan American Exposition was electricity generated by the region’s hydropower.

Yet many watercentric companies have shuttered, and there are some who believe the region is not doing enough to tap into its proximity to an abundant supply of water and bring back jobs and people.

When David Anderson moved from California to Buffalo a couple of years ago, local business leaders recall their first conversation with him about how to improve the region’s economy.

“He said to buy a ticket and get on a plane to California and say to people there, ‘We have water,’ ” recalled Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, president of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, the area’s biggest business promotion group.

As disruptive droughts rage in the West and around the world, Anderson is someone who has lived through water shortages. Now as a resident of a Great Lakes state, he sees the economic development possibilities available to places such as Western New York, thanks to its abundant access to water.
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