Get Your Signs For The Endorsed Democratic Candidates

Jerome Shad

Amherst Democratic Chairman Jerry Shad is asking people to come down to Democratic Headquarters in Amherst to pick up Democratic endorsed candidates signs and materials.  They have signs for Dick Dobson, Mark Manna and other Democratic candidates.

Contact Jerry at 445-0842.

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Democratic Chairman Jeremey Zellner is Supporting Dick Dobson For Sheriff

Jeremy Zellner

Dick Dobson is the official endorsed Democratic candidate for Erie County Sheriff.  Jeremy Zellner is the Chairman of the Democratic Party in Erie County.  A big part of his job is to help Democratic endorsed candidates win.  He has verbally committed himself and his staff to support Dick Dobson.

If he fails to support Mr. Dobson he is guilty of violating one of the strongest doctrines of the Democratic Party. Jeremy is a man who needs to show he has the guts to be a real party leader.  Supporting  Dick Dobson for Erie County Sheriff  is his first strong test.

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General Election Kick-off Fundraiser for Dick Dobson for Erie County Sheriff

DICK Dobson
3036 Seneca
West Seneca NY 14224
When:  Thursday,  Oct. 3
Time:  6p-8p

$35 pp / $100 Sponsor / $150 Event Sponsor

food – beer – pop

contact 846-9230

write checks to : Friends of Dick Dobson  PO Box 126 Wales Center, NY 14169


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Town of Amherst Dedicated Parkland, Conservation Easements

cutting down trees

Friends -

It’s always fun to check out your legacy, to see how things are going.

When I was a Town Board member I always tried to have a TB resolution adopted to dedicate as parkland just about every conceivable town owned property to prevent its sale or development by the Town without state legislative approval.

Conservation easements should be easier as the Town never tried to market them at all.

I was advised by a deputy town attorney this summer that the TB had quietly rescinded my local law to make it a crime to clearcut trees for development without a permit: in other words, we are back where we were, a simple violation, which won’t deter the Huntresses or other developers one iota!

This news is very disturbing to me as it should be to every Town resident.  It only goes to show that you have to keep a close eye on them.  They can be sneaky little critters.

Dan Ward

Expanded version of this message:

Back in the Bad Old Days, before 1990, Amherst essentially had no tree protection, and widespread wanton clearcutting by developers was the standard operating procedure.  That and all the other evils of overdevelopment propelled Dan into the Supervisor’s chair 24 years ago this November.

One of the reform legislation pieces he drafted and got approved – even with 6 Republicans on the TB – was the Comprehensive Tree Protection Local Law.  That is what got Amherst the Tree City USA designation award for the first time ever, and we have kept it ever since.

One of the key provisions – and without question the most controversial – was the penalty provision making it a crime (misdemeanor) for the first time ever to cut a tree without a permit. The developers went wild. Cimato got arrested and his case went over to Judge Farrell who declared the law unconstitutional. The Town appealed, and Judge Pietruszka said it was constitutional. This really crimped their style – no more great clearcuts, more saving of our big and older trees. This generally changed the style of development as most developers did not want to risk going to jail, until Huntress.

Huntress decided to challenge every law and sue everybody to get what he wanted.

Epilogue: ever happy to eradicate all memory of Dan, like the Egyptian pharaohs who had the memory of their predecessors eradicated by chiseling their glyphs off the columns, the TB has repealed much of his legislative legacy.

Deputy Town Attorney Pat Kelly told Dan some time this summer when he saw him over in court, that the TB had quietly repealed the criminal penalty section of the tree local law. In other words, we are right back where we were 25 years ago, and exactly where the Huntresses of the world want us … and they can knock down trees with impunity.

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose!

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Hoak, Burstein Prepare For Falls Prevention Awareness Week

Dr. Gale Burstein

Dr. Gale Burstein

Education, Outreach to Area Seniors Designed to Increase Quality of Life, Promote Balance

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Senior Services Commissioner Randy Hoak was joined by Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein to announce that Falls Prevention Week is underway in Erie County. National Fall Prevention Awareness Day takes place on the first day of Fall, which was September 22. Throughout this week, the Department of Senior Services will be promoting ways to improve balance through the “Matter of Balance” program, develop and maintain regular exercise habits through the “Stay Fit-Club 99” program, and will hold a “Slipper Swap” this Friday, September 27 to aid seniors in getting rid of old, unsafe slippers and replacing them with a safer, slip-resistant pair.

“Falls Prevention Awareness Week is a good way to highlight an issue that affects seniors everyday while educating everyone on the ways that falls can diminished and prevented,’ said Commissioner Hoak.“There are things that seniors can do to keep themselves safer in their homes, such as checking the maintenance in walkways, stairwells, and other areas where falls may occur. There are programs like ‘Matter of Balance’, which reduce the fear of falling while increasing the activity level of seniors who have concerns about falling. The ‘Club 99’ Fitness program also helps to improve balance, strength, and flexibility, which gives seniors greater confidence and endurance. Also, the Stay Fit Dining Program brings area seniors together for healthy meals and exercise. There are many ways to get involved, be healthier, and prevent falls.”

In 2011, falls among older adults cost the U.S. healthcare system over $30 billion and were responsible for many seniors losing independence and quality of life. Lack of regular exercise and increased inactivity leads to weakness and instability, increasing the chances of falling. Simple balancing and strength-building exercises can help participants reduce their risk of falling, improve their balance, and maintain good mental health regardless of age.

Dr. Gale Burstein added, “The benefits of exercise and good nutrition are well-known and are available to people of all ages, even if they are just beginning. It is never too late to begin eating right and exercising, which will improve your overall health, make you stronger, and increase your independence. I encourage all area seniors to take part in programs like Stay Fit Dining, which promotes nutritious food, exercise, and socialization, as well as Matter of Balance, which can help residents overcome their fear of falling and design ways to decrease the likelihood of falls.”

To draw attention to the issue of unsafe slippers and the safety hazard they present, a “Slipper Swap” will be held on Friday, September 27, 2013 from 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM at the Orchard Park Senior Center, 70 Linwood Avenue, Orchard Park NY. Reservations are required for this event, and participants will be able to exchange their old, worn slippers for a FREE nutritious Stay Fit lunch. In addition, the Health Department will be conducting free blood pressure testing on-site at the event.

“Slippers can be very dangerous when they wear out and are a major cause of falls within the home,”added Hoak. “A good pair of slippers should have slip resistant soles, easy fastening straps to allow access and good support when the slipper is on the foot, a heel stiffener for increased support, and a firm insole to increase stability as well.”

“A Matter of Balance” is an award-winning program that can help reduce the fear of falling and increase the activity levels of older adults who have concerns about falling. Classes help participants learn to view falls and fear of falling as controllable; set realistic goals for increased activity; change their environment to reduce fall risk factors; and promote exercise to increase strength and balance. After 6 months in the program, 97% of participants report being more comfortable talking about their fear of falling, 97% feel comfortable increasing their activity levels, and 99% plan to continue exercising.

For more information on “Matter of Balance” classes, Stay Fit Dining/Club 99, or Fall Prevention, call (716) 858-7639 or visit:

For more information on the Erie County Department of Health, visit:

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Art Opening and Gallery Events


1045 Elmwood Gallery for the Arts presents artists Susie Kelly Flatau and Thom Neill for an exhibit of their paintings, photography and a 3D installation entitled “ALTAR\d.”

Opening Reception with the artists:  Friday, October 4, 6:00-10:00 pm. Refreshments served.
Exhibit on view October 4 through November 3
1045 Gallery is also pleased to announce – a two night special gallery event:
“An Evening With Tawny Heatherton” – a cabaret performance by Obie Award winner David Drake,
along with gallery reception with the artists, will be held Friday, October 11 andSaturday, October 12.
Doors 7 pm – Performance 8 pm – Reception to follow
Limited seating available. Tickets available through web site:
Gallery Hours:  Thurs & Friday 11-6, Saturday 11-4, or by appointment or special event.
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, Higgins Announce East Robinson Road Reconstruction

$9.4 Million Project Will Enhance Highway & Intersection Safety, Increase Capacity, Reduce Congestion

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) and Commissioner of the Erie County Department of Public Works John Loffredo to preview upcoming road reconstruction at East Robinson and North French roads in Amherst. The $9.4 million project includes full depth reconstruction of the existing roadway plus the addition of two travel lanes and one two-way center turn lane, along with the installation of concrete curbs and gutters and new sidewalks offset from the face of the curb. The work will also include intersection improvements, upgrading and placement of signs and pavement markings.

“The upcoming reconstruction of East Robinson and North French roads underscores the commitment my administration has made to repairing Erie County’s infrastructure, improving the safety of our roads and bridges, and providing residents with the roads and highways they expect and deserve,” said Poloncarz.“My administration has increased the County’s investment for road repair compared to the previous administration. In fact, we invested more than $34 million in road repairs this year, and every corner of Erie County will see improved roads, bridges, and other critical infrastructure. Thanks to this project, Amherst residents and all who use East Robinson and North French roads will now be able to travel on a highway that has increased capacity and safety enhancements.”

The project will reconstruct 1.2 miles of East Robinson and North French roads from Niagara Falls Boulevard to east of Sweet Home road, plus an additional 0.4 miles of Sweet Home road in Amherst. Also included will be the replacement of the bridge over Town Ditch No.2, which will be closed for the entire project length, with guide railing placed at the bridge approaches to protect traffic. Waterline replacements and improvements to Town highway intersections are also planned.

“This stretch from Niagara Falls Boulevard to Sweet Home supports a diverse set of traffic ranging from commercial and light industrial to residential and school buses,” said Congressman Higgins. “This significant infrastructure investment will transform the terribly deteriorating road into a much safer and efficient transportation route.”

The construction bid amount for this project, submitted by Accadia, is $9,399,977.43. The project will be funded with 80% federal funds, 15% state funds, and 5% county funds. Construction began in Summer 2013 and is expected to be completed by Winter 2014.

East Robinson and North French roads between Sweet Home and Niagara Falls Boulevard are currently a two-lane minor arterial highway reaching the end of its useful design life in its present configuration. Traffic analysis by the Erie County Department of Public Works and the Town of Amherst indicate that the volume of traffic exceeds existing capacity, resulting in reduced safety and poor levels of service. The shoulders have become badly deteriorated while the roadway pavement, which was never intended to carry the traffic volumes it currently sees, is still somewhat serviceable.

These roads function as an urban minor arterial highway servicing the northwest area of the town of Amherst. They connect eastern Amherst, the Niagara Falls Boulevard area, and Niagara County to I-990. Presently, the speed limit for the two-lane highway is posted at 40 mph for its entire length, which will be maintained. The roadway widens at the intersection with Sundridge Drive to provide left turn lanes on both approaches. At the intersection with Sweet Home road, North French road widens and is composed of four lanes of pavement with concrete curb gutters. The land configuration is two westbound lanes, one eastbound lane, and single left turn lanes in each direction. This configuration extends from approximately Pineview Drive to Larkspur Lane.


The existing right-of-way (R.O.W.) of East Robinson Road is 24.38m (80 ft.) in width east of the N.Y.S.D.O.T. project to approximately Sundridge Drive.  East of Sundridge Drive the North French Road R.O.W. width is 15.09 m (49.5 ft.).  Since the project required R.O.W. width exceeding 80 feet, additional property was required along both sides of the road for the entire project length.  This resulted in the acquisition of approximately 60 parcels.

The R.O.W. of Sweet Home Road is 20.116 m (66 ft.) in width.  The improvements at the intersection of North French Road at Sweet Home Road required additional right of way along Sweet Home Road.  The number of parcels acquired on Sweet Home Road was approximately eleven (11).  N.Y.S.D.O.T. will provide right-of-way acquisition services.  The cost of the property acquisition was approximately $3.3 million.

For more information:

On the Erie County Department of Public Works, visit

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Republicans Warn Iranian President Against Shaking Obama’s Hand



WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Republican leaders warned the newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that they would frown on his shaking hands with President Obama at the United Nations today, saying that any embrace of Obama would signal that Iran was not serious about abandoning extremism.

“We welcome President Rouhani’s moderate rhetoric,” said Senator Rand Paul (R-Ken.). “But those words are rendered hollow if he is willing to shake the hand of a notorious extremist.”

“This is a man who has enslaved his people, saddling them with a health-care law not of their choosing,” said Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). “The President of Iran should think twice before shaking hands with a man like that.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor sounded a warning of his own: “If the President of Iran wants to give the world the impression that he cares about human rights, he should be careful about cozying up to a despot who has continually tried to take away his people’s assault rifles.”

“We encourage Mr. Rouhani’s wish that Iran join the community of civilized nations,” added House Speaker John Boehner, “but first he must renounce Barack Obama.”

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EC Senior Services Takes Part In “CARRIER ALERT” Program

Erie County Seal

Collaboration between Department, USPS Provides Notification in Event of Distress at Home

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Commissioner of Senior Services Randy Hoak announced the re-institution of the “Carrier Alert” program in Erie County. A collaboration between the Department of Senior Services (“the Department”) and the U.S. Postal Service (“USPS”), Carrier Alert is a program allowing letter carriers to notify the Department in the event of accumulating mail or other signs of distress at the home of a citizen enrolled in the program. Begun in 1982, Carrier Alert partners the USPS with local service agencies across the U.S. to offer a measure of security to homebound citizens.

“Participation in ‘Carrier Alert’ is a great way to provide peace of mind for families who may not be able to visit their homebound relatives as often as they would like, or for any family with an older relative living at home alone,” said Commissioner Hoak. “Residents who are registered for the program will have someone, a letter carrier, visiting the house each day and looking for signs of accumulating mail, disarray in the house, or similar signs of distress. If signs indicate a problem, the letter carrier will contact their supervisor, who will then contact the Department. This free service is a  good partnership and has helped thousands of citizens across the country receive assistance when they needed it.”

Interested postal customers should register themselves, along with emergency contact information, with the Post Office. Upon registration, emergency contact information will be maintained by the Department/NYCONNECTS and a decal will be placed on the customer’s mailbox. Letter carriers will watch the customer’s mail for any sign of distress such as an unusual accumulation. Should such an event occur, it will prompt the letter carrier to notify their supervisor and then the Department/NYCONNECTS during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM. If the customer cannot be reached, emergency contacts will be notified. If an emergency contact cannot be reached, local law enforcement agencies will be notified to check on the customer’s health and well-being.

Partnering with the Erie County Department of Senior Services and the United States Postal Service on “Carrier Alert” are the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, Branch 3 of the National Association of Letter Carriers, and the AARP.

For more information on the Carrier Alert Program, please contact the Erie County Department of Senior Services/NYCONNECTS at (716) 858-8526. 

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Ready for a Chuckle?

Andy Borowitz

Wait – would a government shutdown mean the NSA would stop spying on us?

Apparently it’s possible to be pro-life and anti-food stamps.

I don’t know how Obama can negotiate with the Tea Party when their demand is that he stop being black.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) defended massive cuts in food stamps today, telling reporters, “We must protect poor children from the scourge of meals.”

The extremists in Iran are more willing to deal with Obama than the ones in Congress.

CNN owes us all an apology for reminding us that Newt Gingrich exists.

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