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.
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BPO For The Holidays

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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 oraprice@bpo.org 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 bpo.org or call (716) 885-5000

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Weather Service Defends Forecasts as Cuomo Seeks State System

lake-effect-buffalo-snow-storm-2014

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.
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The Benefits of Making Priestly Celibacy Optional

Catholic_priest_with_his_Family
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.
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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.

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Westwood Country Club Closing Down a Year Ahead of Schedule

WestwoodGolfCourse

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.
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The Rite of Spring Performance Postponed

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Buffalo, NY- The Center for the Arts, University at Buffalo regrets to announce that the performance of “The Rite of Spring” featuring the Richmond Ballet and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra scheduled for Friday, November 21, 2014 has been postponed.

“Due to the ongoing and unprecedented winter storm impacting much of Western New York, and our concerns for the safety of the performers and audience, we have made the difficult decision to postpone this performance,” said Thomas Burrows, Executive Director of UB Center for the Arts.

The three organizations hope to reschedule for a yet-to-be-determined date in 2015. Ticket holders may retain their tickets for the new date. In the event they are unable to attend, refunds will be available.

Further updates will be posted at www.ubcfa.org.

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Pilots Report Drones Flying Near JFK Flight Path

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Three pilots have reported unmanned drones flying too close to their jetliners as they approached Kennedy Airport this week, NBC 4 New York has learned.

On Wednesday afternoon, the pilot of JetBlue flight 842 from Savannah, Georgia, reported a drone flying at about 400 feet as the plane was on approach crossing from Nassau County into New York City, according to federal officials.

Earlier in the week, on Sunday, a pilot of Virgin Atlantic flight 9 from London reported a drone sighting near the 747, just after 8 p.m. The pilot said the drone was flying high, at about 3,000 feet, while the plane was flying over Nassau County on approach to Kennedy.

About a minute later, a pilot of Delta flight 838 arriving from San Diego reported a drone was flying too close to its left wing, though the drone never came into contact with the Boeing 737, according to the FAA. The plane was also over Nassau County at the time, about 10 miles out on approach to Kennedy Airport.
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Amherst Against Fracking Meeting

Don't Frack NY

Amherst Against Fracking (Amherst, NY) Meeting ~ 6 p.m.
11/25/14
https://www.facebook.com/events/838779589476493/

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.

NOTE: This meeting will be the last meeting of Amherst Against Fracking until January 2015.  The December meeting is cancelled due to lack of venue & the holiday season.

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Brrrrr!

Buffalo Snow storm

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