Eggertsville Community Organization

Eggertsville MerryChristmas

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
at 7:00 pm

St Paul’s Lutheran Church Parish Hall
4007 Main Street
Eggertsville, NY 14226

You’re Invited!

December’s Holiday Party


Our December meeting will be our annual holiday party. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or anything else, come and celebrate with us. We’re celebrating the spirit of the season, peace and goodwill, with our neighbors. We ask that you consider bringing some type of dish to share; a snack, Christmas cookies, anything you wish. While you’re at it – bring a neighbor or friend.

We are also supporting St. Paul’s Food Pantry please bring a non-perishable food item.

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U.S. Navy Arrives In Oswego To Search For Missing Reaper Drone In Lake Ontario


An MQ-9 Reaper drone used by the 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard is displayed at Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield at Fort Drum. One of the planes that took off from Fort Drum crashed into Lake Ontario last week during a routine training mission.

Why are drones being flown over NY State?  More than a week ago a New York Air National Guard aircraft crashed into Lake Ontario.  Now, a week later, a U.S. Navy team has arrived in Oswego to take over the search and recovery effort, military officials said today.

The Navy search platoon from the Fleet Forces Command in Virginia arrived at the Oswego Coast Guard Station on Lake Ontario on Wednesday, the officials said.

The team will search for the wreckage of the MQ-9 Reaper drone that crashed during a routine training mission Nov. 12 into Lake Ontario, about 20 miles northeast of the Port of Oswego and about 12 miles from shore.

An undisclosed number of pieces of the wreckage have been recovered by the Air National Guard near Montario Point in southern Jefferson County.
Read more…

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BPO For the Holidays

BPO 2013 - 2014

Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra brings all of the sounds of the season to Western New Yorkers. The holiday festivities kick off on Thanksgiving weekend, when the BPO joins Neglia Ballet Artists at Shea’s Buffalo for the classic ballet, “The Nutcracker.” Erin Freeman will lead the orchestra. Audiences can experience this beloved tradition at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1. Tickets are available by visiting or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

After their performance at Shea’s, the BPO will perform Handel’s “Messiah” with the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus at 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1. Erin Freeman, the dynamic new music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, is on the podium for this sure-to-sell-out concert taking place at Our Lady of Victory Basilica, 767 Ridge Road, Lackawanna. Tickets are $20 to $40 and are available at

Classic Christmas

Audiences can experience centuries of Christmas music with Classic Christmas on at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. Ron Spigelman leads a program that spans the entire classical tradition, from the Baroque flourishes of Corelli’s “Christmas Concerto” to the Romantic sounds of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker,” to the commissioned-for-TV opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors” by Menotti. The internationally-known Castellani Andriaccio Guitar Duo, based in Amherst, and the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus will join the orchestra for this concert of Christmas classics.

Doors open at 9:30 a.m. on Friday for complimentary coffee and donuts. At 7 p.m. on Saturday, the Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts Select Guitar Ensemble performs as part of the Community Spotlight program. This program, sponsored by Bank of America, shines the spotlight on a talented local ensemble before select BPO concerts throughout the season.

Joanne Castellani and Michael Andriaccio have served as the artistic directors of the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition since its inception, and also run the Fleur De Son classical recording label. They have performed at the White House and LincolnCenter, and with orchestras all over the world. Also sought-after pedagogues, they are frequent guest instructors at conservatories and colleges across the nation, and have a teaching studio in Snyder. They will perform Vivaldi’s Concerto in G Major.

Australian native Ron Spigelman was the BPO’s associate conductor from 2001 to 2005, and is currently music director of the Lake Placid Sinfonietta. He maintains an active guest conducting schedule and is also co-author of the Sticks and Drones blog at

Jingle Bell Jam

Spigelman returns to the BPO podium the following day for an afternoon of family fun with Jingle Bell Jam at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. With tickets priced at only $20 for adults and $13 for children, it’s a budget-friendly way for the entire family to celebrate the season together. Watch trombones turn into horses with the holiday favorite, “Sleigh Ride,” enjoy the spirited sounds of “March of the Toys” from “Babes in Toyland,” and sing along to the season’s most beloved carols. Children can come early and make a card to be sent to Marines stationed far from home and enjoy milk and cookies with Santa after the concert.

Holiday Pops

Holiday Pops is always one of the BPO’s biggest concerts of the year. With JoAnn Falletta on the podium; Buffalo native turned Broadway star Michele Ragusa as a special guest artist; the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus; and the region’s best young vocal talent, this year’s Holiday Pops will be one for the books. Concerts take place at 10:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13; at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14; and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15.

Western New Yorkers adored Ragusa in the one-woman show “Bad Dates” at the late, great Studio Arena Theater. Broadway audiences enjoyed her talents in “Young Frankenstein,” “Ragtime,” and “Titanic,” among others. She has sparkled in previous engagements with the BPO, and returns to Western New York to make the season bright.

In addition to its 75-year history of delivering quality choral music, the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus also has a robust choral mentoring program. Students work side-by-side with the Chorus to rehearse and perform a professional-level concert. This year, they’ve expanded their program to work with three high school choruses for Holiday Pops. The choruses of BarkerCentralHigh School and OakfieldAlabamaHigh School will perform at Kleinhans on Friday. The chorus of West SenecaWestHigh School will be onstage Saturday and Sunday.

Participating in all four Holiday Pops performances is the award-winning Vox Caeciliae of ImmaculataAcademy, located in Hamburg. Vox Caeciliae, led by Kathleen Bassett, made their BPO debut in June, performing Boito’s “Prologue in Heaven” from “Mephistofele,” and recently sang with the BPO in the Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch. They were awarded the Gold with Distinction honor at the NYSSMA Zone 1 Major Organization Festival, and recently presented a world premiere piece at the school.

Theatrical-quality decorations make KleinhansMusic Hall festive, and the hall’s concessions will be serving special holiday cocktails. In the spirit of the season, KleinhansMusic Hall is serving as a drop-off point for the U.S. Marines Toys For Tots campaign. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to a concert or to the hall anytime during box office hours to participate. The box office is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.

Tickets for Classic Christmas, Jingle Bell Jam, and Holiday Pops are available by calling (716) 885-5000 or visiting All three concerts will be held at Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle, Buffalo.

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Editorial: There Was a Time When Love And Hope Ruled Our Land

John F Kennedy

When JFK left us on November 22, 1963, so many dreams for America died with him.  As a President he gave the people hope for a better world, a kinder world.  His vision of people helping our country was met by thousands of volunteers.  He lit a candle in the hearts of many to do more for America

Hope was reborn with JFK’s words and actions but there is always a hatred in our country set to blow that candle of hope.  As a President, Kennedy must be judged as a whole person.  He gave his best and paid the highest price for trying to make changes in our county.

We were very blessed to have men like John and Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. who fought to make America a home of people caring for each other.

Everything we read about today’s politicians makes our stomachs turn.  They all fall so short of the mark these predecessors made.

by James Tricoli

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Amherst May Lose Rare Green Space With Country Club Redevelopment.


The owners of one of the last privately owned green spaces in the Town of Amherst – the Westwood Country Club – say they want to develop it as a mixed-use project.

Mensch Capital Partners LLC, an investor group that bought the 68-year-old country club from its members in 2012, informally approached the town planning board two weeks ago with the idea.

No formal plans have been submitted to the town, and planning director Rick Gillert said he doesn’t expect anything to be filed until at least January.

He declined to elaborate on the nature of the talks or the concepts, noting that details could change significantly before anything is submitted. However, options would likely include some combination of office space, hotel, retail and housing, some of which may require rezoning by the town. The property is now zoned as a community facility.

“We’ve had informal discussions with them, but nothing that I could really discuss as a proposal,” he said.

Meanwhile, the investor group began conducting soil tests “to understand the constraints of a site,” said Andrew J. Shaevel, the managing partner of the group.

“We’re evaluating our options,” Shaevel said. “We’re doing what we have to do to make good informed decisions.”

The development talks follow the collapse early this year of negotiations for a land swap between the Mench Partners and the Town of Amherst – the 170-acre Westwood property in exchange for 170 acres of the 213-acre town-owned Audubon Golf Course.

Mensch felt the Audubon property – located between Millersport Highway, North Forest Road and Maple Road, and near University at Buffalo’s North Campus – was more suited to redevelopment than Westwood, which is sandwiched between North Forest and Maple roads and Sheridan Drive.

Amherst officials rejected that proposal, which they said wasn’t a fair swap because the land is valued differently, and further talks went nowhere.

At Westwood, speculation about the ultimate intentions of the club’s new owners began the moment they bought it for $2.5 million, with many observers expecting they would ultimately turn to commercial or residential development of the site rather than keeping it as a golf course.

Besides Shaevel and Paul J. Kolkmeyer, both of Essjay Partners LLC, the group includes Paul Ciminelli, CEO of Ciminelli Real Estate, and Mark and Dan Hamister, of Hamister Group.

Opportunities for large-scale development in Amherst are becoming fewer, as there are few large parcels available that aren’t set aside for parkland or wetlands. So developers are eager for any opening they can find. For example, the former Evergreen Golf Course on Tonawanda Creek Road is now a Marrano/Marc Equity housing development called Evergeen Landing.

That’s what worries Amherst Town Supervisor Dr. Barry Weinstein.

“Personally, I’m very concerned about the loss of a golf course, and the loss of open space and the loss of recreational area,” he said, although he would not take a position on the proposed development. However, “I’m not surprised, based upon previous discussions.”

But there’s no guarantee the group can get the town to go along with developing Westwood. Heavy opposition by area residents, particularly in the Fairways neighborhood, derailed Benderson Development Co.’s efforts to build on the former gun club property along Maple Road, and opponents had already started speaking out against the land swap when that was pending.

Also, Weinstein and the Town Board took heat during the recent election over their approval for prior hotel developments on Main Street in Williamsville and Snyder.

“They can come to the town board just like anybody else, and if it fits with the master plan, I would think the town board would consider rezoning it,” said Town Board member Steven Sanders. But “they probably would be held to a slightly harder test, just because of the factors in that neighborhood. I imagine that we would look at this under a microscope, making sure everything is clean.”

Originally founded in 1945 with 200 members, Westwood grew and thrived for decades but fell into decline as its original purpose – a club for Jewish people who were not allowed to join other existing organizations – was no longer necessary. Membership plunged, finances deteriorated and debts mounted, forcing the club to put itself up for sale or be closed.
By Jonathan D. Epstein

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Suits For Troops

To Benefit the Veterans One-Stop Center of WNY
Donate your lightly used men’s or women’s suits and other professional apparel (ties, shirts, shoes) to give our veterans a much-deserved new and professional look to help with job interviews and the transition to civilian life.
When: Entire month of December

Drop off location: Erie County Clerk Administrative Offices, 92 Franklin Street, first floor.

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Holiday Open House

1045 gallery

1045 Elmwood Gallery for the Arts will have an OPEN HOUSE to kick off the holiday season…featuring the works of more than 20 local & regional artists…

plus the current exhibit of the work of artist Julie Lewitzky for an exhibit of her paintings, drawings, textiles entitled “Julie Lewitzky: 413 Works.”

Open House:  Friday, November 29, 11:00 am – 8:00 pm. Refreshments served.
Exhibit on view through November 29 through December 31
Holiday Gallery Hours:  Thurs & Friday 11-6, Saturday and Sunday 11-4
Location:  1045 Elmwood Gallery for the Arts, 1045 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222
Contact Info:  Don Zinteck,  716-228-1855


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Poloncarz, Officials Highlight Proposed 2014 EC Budget

poloncarz 3

Builds on “Initiatives for a Smart Economy”, Reinforces Economic Development & Tourism 

Provides Funding for Energy Efficiency Initiative, Libraries, Arts & Cultural Attractions, Parks 

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by Erie County Industrial Development Agency Chairman Chris Johnston, Chestnut Ridge Park Conservancy member Jack Bertsch, National Grid Regional Director Dennis Elsenbeck, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Director Mary Jean Jakubowski, President/CEO of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society, Inc. David Swarts, and Albright-Knox Art Gallery Director Dr. Janne Siren at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery to detail highlights of the County Executive’s  Proposed 2014 Erie County Budget (the “Budget”).

In addition to holding the line on taxes while maintaining quality of life programs & services demanded by the public, the Budget invests in economic development, energy efficiency, tourism, cultural attractions, and other initiatives to build a stronger future for Erie County.

“My 2014 Proposed Budget recognizes Erie County faces fiscal challenges, but also seizes upon opportunities to collaborate with other agencies to develop and enhance the many sectors of our local economy our economic sector, infrastructure, and tourism & cultural venues, among other areas. As I noted in my ‘Initiatives for a SmartEconomy’ address, building meaningful partnerships across sectors, leveraging county resources, and focusing on investments in the public good leads to a comprehensive developmental approach that works for everyone in our community,” said Poloncarz. “The Budget prudently invests millions in roads and bridges, increases funding for ‘The People’s Mandates’ such as libraries and parks, and provides funding for Erie County to strengthen its core agricultural sector.  It also holds the line on taxes while exploring cost-saving energy efficiencies across the county and strengthening our business-friendly profile and presence in Canada. With this Budget we are working closely with partners in the public and private sector to build on past successes and lay the foundation for future prosperity.”

Erie County Industrial Development Agency Chairman Chris Johnston said, “Our region has recently experienced several job creating wins from Canadian-based companies looking to leverage the U.S. marketplace and achieve ‘Made in the USA’ status.  These wins bring new jobs and investment by leveraging our geographic proximity to our largest trading partner, Canada.  But now is not the time to rest; the County Executive’s Greater Toronto Area strategy and budget request will further enhance our region’s capacity to harness opportunities creating new jobs and investments in collaboration with our partners.”

Chestnut Ridge Conservancy member Jack Bertsch said, “The maintenance of Chestnut Ridge Park and its infrastructure has suffered decades of neglect due to the lack of sufficient funding and, it seems, a lack of caring. The Chestnut Ridge Conservancy was established a little over four years ago with its mission to support the restoration, preservation and enjoyment of this Park Jewel owned by the Taxpayer’s of Erie County. One needs only to enter part way into the Park to see significant positive progress – more I would suggest, in the last four years than the last forty years.  This year alone has seen the reconstruction of long-neglected tennis courts, construction of many new shelters, and new landscaping and lighting around the Casino as a few recent examples. Continued support of the County Executive, the County Legislature, the County Parks Commissioner and County Park Employees is critical, necessary and expected, to continue to bring Chestnut Ridge Park up to its full potential for all Erie County Residents now and for future generations. It is starting to look like we care.”

Speaking on the creation of an Energy Officer position for county government to help reduce costs on electricity and other fuels, National Grid Regional Director Dennis Elsenbeck said, “The energy industry is changing rapidly, creating tremendous opportunity for any customer organization that is actively engaged in managing its energy future.  From new energy technologies and sources to the latest in energy efficiency and financing, there are so many ways that an energy manager can help an organization save money, reduce its impact on the environment and take full advantage of all the energy marketplace has to offer.”

Director of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Mary Jean Jakubowski said, “On behalf of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System I would like to express our gratitude to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz for increasing the operating assistance by $415,867 to libraries in his 2014 proposed budget through funds generated by growth in the equalized full value property tax base. The funds will be used to strengthen our programs and services, as well as reduce the use of library fund balance.   I am personally thrilled the Poloncarz plan includes funding for reestablishing bookmobile services. The new vehicle will be flexible in nature and potentially be equipped with a modest collection of materials, wireless technology, etc.  It is expected to serve those areas of Erie County without a library, as well as provide other additional outreach programs.”

President/CEO of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society, Inc. David Swarts said, “The Botanical Gardens is an essential educational resource that creates impactful programming, exhibits and events for our community.  It is a gardening and horticulture mecca for tourists and provides a unique experience for over 100,000 visitors each year.  Funding cultural organizations like the Botanical Gardens is critical to preserve the type of community that we hope our children will grow up in.”

Albright-Knox Art Gallery Director Dr. Janne Siren said, “We are delighted to partner with County Executive Poloncarz and Erie County to develop and grow his public art initiative.  We recognize that great communities deserve great art, and we are committed to enriching our community and our lives through a ground-breaking partnership between Erie County and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.”

The Erie County legislature will be holding a public hearing on the Proposed 2014 Budget on Monday, November 25 at 5:00PM at Old County Hall, 92 Franklin St., Buffalo.

For more information on the Proposed 2014 Erie County Budget, visit

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Erie County Legislature Unanimously Appoints Jerome Schad Erie County Water Authority Commissioner


Wow!  Schad was appointed by a landslide vote of 11-0.  Who knew he was so well oiled connected!

This is an Erie County Legislature news brief on the Erie County Water Authority commissioner appointment

“The Erie County Legislature unanimously appointed Jerome Schad of Amherst as the new Erie County Water Authority at its November 21 session.

The vote to appoint Schad was officially 11-0.”

Make me wonder why there wasn’t a single dissenting vote.  Don’t any of our Legislators think for themselves?  


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Higgins Discusses Changing Economic Landscape of Western New York

Brian Higgins

Brian Higgins

RiverBend and Ford Investments To Create Hundreds of New Jobs

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), who grew up in the shadows of Bethlehem and Republic Steel, welcomed developments at the RiverBend site to bring new opportunities and jobs that fit the dynamics of today’s economy.

(To access video click HERE)

In remarks on the House Floor Congressman Higgins said, “This morning New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is in my neighborhood home of South Buffalo to announce a $225 million redevelopment of a former steel-making plant that will bring 850 new jobs to Buffalo.

“This project announcement will transform the 200-acre former Republic Steel site into a new clean energy and research campus that will breathe new life into a formerly contaminated industrial area that is situated along the Buffalo River and has been economically dead for the past 30 years.

“This announcement, along with $75 million in federal and private investments to clean up the Buffalo River and shoreline, is creating a new dynamic economy in Buffalo, an economy marketed by new waterfront development and clean energy manufacturing.

“Energy independence and hundreds of new jobs in the new economy are remaking Buffalo, NY and this project should serve as a national model to grow the economy and for nation building right here at home.”

Over the last few years infrastructure improvements in and around the Buffalo River and the Inner and Outer Harbors that have injected new economic viability at our waterfront including an August announcement of nearly $1 million in federal funds to support Buffalo Niagara Riverkeepers’ work in the RiverBend area advancing their successful ‘Rust to Blue’ model.  The Riverkeeper project supported 50 jobs and improves approximately 2,800 linear feet of shoreline at RiverBend including the addition of more than 2,000 native plants and trees.

RiverBend is located on a 200 acre site which falls within the South Buffalo Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) and is the former home of Republic Steel and Donner Hanna Coke facilities.

Congressman Higgins also applauded news of job and plant growth at the Ford Stamping facility in Western New York, “For years we’ve stressed the need to reclaim what is naturally ours by keeping the clean, cheap hydropower generated in Western New York in this community to support job and economic growth right here in our region.  The close working relationship between management and labor as well as the strong work ethic of WNY employees and the plant’s proximity to the international border makes the local plant a choice location for growth.  We thank Ford for their longtime commitment to the region.”

Earlier this week the WNY Power Proceeds Allocation Board recommended that the Power Authority approve $1 million in funding for Ford’s $101 million project to upgrade the Hamburg Plant.

Higgins has long argued the value of keeping power profits generated at the Niagara plant in Western New Yorkand the state legislation establishing the Power Proceeds Allocation Board is modeled after federal legislation introduced by Congressman Higgins in 2009.

In September Ford announced a $682 million expansion at its assembly plant in Oakville, Ontario which has a close relationship with the Hamburg Plant supported by the flow of goods across the border by rail and by truck via the Peace Bridge.

Ford has had a long history in Western New York.   The Buffalo Stamping Plant opened in 1950 on an 88-acre site with 1.2 million square feet of working space. This will mark the 8th major expansion of the local plant, including a $136 million investment in 2011.  The Ford stamping plant, manufactures metal stampings and welded sub-assemblies for Ford’s car and trucks, and currently employs about 600 people.

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