Higgins Visits National Cancer Institute

Brian Higgins

Congressman Says Cancer Research Delivers Positive Humanitarian & Economic Return

Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) made a visit to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Campus for a meeting with National Cancer Institute (NCI) Director Dr. Harold Varmus. 

“The work taking place at the National Cancer Institute is awe inspiring and life changing,” said Congressman Higgins. “As Washington wrangles with the budgets for this year and next, responsible cuts will play a critical role however reducing our federal investment in cancer research would be a mistake counterintuitive to national efforts to grow jobs, create economic opportunity and reduce long-term health costs.” 

Dr. Harold Varmus is a 1989 Nobel Prize recipient for his studies of the genetic basis of cancer. Just prior to taking the Director position he served as President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.  Varmus also served as director of the National Institutes of Health from 1993-1999.

The NCI report titled The Nation’s Investment in Cancer Research: 2012 stresses the great potential that comes with funding, stating, “We reap the rewards of investments in cancer made over the past 40 years or more, even as we stake out a bold investment strategy to realize the potential we see so clearly.”

Congressman Higgins also had the opportunity to tour the NIH Clinical Center with Dr. Lee Helman, the Scientific Director for Clinical Research whose specialty is pediatric oncology.  The clinical research center was built as a result of the NIH budget doubling in 1998.  Today approximately 1,500 studies are in progress at the facility. 

“A regular theme raised by leaders at the National Cancer Institute was the incredible contributions the researchers and doctors at Roswell Park Cancer Institute have made and continue to make in the field of cancer,” said Higgins.  “These comments brought to light how Roswell, valued in Western New York for providing quality jobs and top-notch patient care, is a true national asset we are extremely fortunate to have in our backyard.”

Higgins noted that the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC), which includes America’s first cancer center Roswell Park Cancer Institute, is home to 8,500 jobs supported in part through federal funding provided through the National Institutes of Health. According to a recent BNMC update the job count is expected to grow to 12,000 jobs over the next several years.

Congressman Higgins is a member of the Congressional Cancer Caucus.  More information on his advocacy for a federal commitment to cancer research is available at: http://higgins.house.gov/legislation/policy-positions/cancer-research.shtml

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News From The Amherst Chamber of Commerce

The United States Postal Service will be at the Amherst Chamber of Commerce, located at 350 Essjay Rd., Suite 200 in Williamsville, on April 21, 2011 at 12:00 noon to present its newest advertising tool – Every Door Direct Mail.  The presentation is the 2nd in the Chamber’s Business Resource Council’s Quarterly Speaker Series.

Every Door Direct Mail allows businesses to experience the power of direct mail without buying or maintaining costly address lists.  This program allows companies to promote their business in targeted neighborhoods, bringing more customers – and new customers – through the door. 

Previously only available to government agencies and not-for-profits, Every Door Direct Mail has recently been made available for businesses of any industry or size.  With this service, companies can distribute flat mail pieces without applying individual names and addresses on any delivery route nationwide.  Automobile dealerships, restaurants, attorneys, doctors, realtors and more will find tremendous value in this presentation by the USPS.

Save money and attract new business!  This is a presentation that retailers and service providers do not want to miss!  Space is limited, so reserve today by calling 716.632.6905 or visiting www.amherst.org.

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Statement By Congressman Higgins on Proposed Social Security Cuts

Congressman Brian Higgins released the following statement in response to an informational picket at the Buffalo Social Security office:

“I stand with local workers today opposed to the proposed cuts to Social Security.  Recently I joined several colleagues urging funding at levels that will prevent furloughs and ensure continuation of Social Security services for local residents.

“Several years ago Western New York had one of the largest Social Security case backlogs in the nation.  Through our efforts we were able to make significant strides in reducing wait times but caseloads remain significant indicating a clear local need for continued funding.  The cuts proposed would take us a huge step backward.

“During these difficult financial times budget cuts must be made but not at the expense of seniors in Western New York. “


Congressman Higgins recently signed a letter strongly opposing cuts to the Social Security Administration.

Approximately 140,000 seniors in Congressman Higgins’ district and over 540,000 people in Western New York receive Social Security.

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Bristol Palin’s Teen Pregnancy Work Pays

Credit: Reuters/Eric Thay
By Yereth Rosen

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) -tee Bristol Palin was paid more than $260,500 advocating against n pregnancy in 2009, tax documents released on Tuesday show.

Palin, the 20-year-old daughter of former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, earned $262,500 for her work advocating that teens abstain from sex, according to information posted on the Internet by GuideStar, which monitors the finances of nonprofit groups.

The Candie’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization that seeks to raise awareness of teen pregnancy and parenting issues, reported Bristol Palin’s earnings to the Internal Revenue Service.

Representatives for Candie’s and Bristol Palin could not immediately be reached for comment.

Bristol Palin, then 18, was pregnant during the 2008 presidential campaign and her son was born in the month after the election. She and the boy’s father, Levi Johnston, had a much-publicized breakup.

Both young parents have embarked on separate celebrity careers.

Bristol Palin was a contestant on ABC’s television program “Dancing With the Stars” and went on the lecture circuit;

Johnston has been promoting a proposed reality television show and posed, shortly after the 2008 election, for Playgirl magazine.

Bristol Palin is still featured prominently on the Candie’s Foundation web site, along with several other celebrity spokespeople such as actresses Hilary Duff, Hayden Panettiere and Vanessa Milano.

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Screening the Day’s Catch for Radiation

A chef at Le Bernardin in Manhattan checking fish for radiation on Tuesday.

Do you enjoy seafood?  Do you know where your store obtains their supply?

Despite assurances by health officials that radiation from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan is unlikely to show up in the food supply, worries about contaminated foods are growing among consumers, businesses and governments across the globe.

Eric Ripert, the chef of Le Bernardin, the high temple of seafood in Manhattan, bought a new kitchen gadget a few days ago: a radiation detector.

read more…


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Government Shutdown Details Begin Trickling Out To Workers

With the government dealing with buget issues government workers are facing the very real possibility of being laid off.

A shutdown would also affect pay for members of the military, said senior government officials familiar with the planning. If the current funding expires on Friday, in the middle of the military’s two-week pay period, the Defense Department would distribute paychecks for the first week, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

read more…

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Katz Sweet Home/ Amherst Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Team Hot Dog Sale


The Katz Sweet Home/ Amherst Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Team will be having a hot dog sale on Saturday May 21 and Sunday May 22 from 11:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. on both days. Come meet the team as they sell hot dogs at Walmart located at 2055 Niagara Falls Blvd in Amherst. The girls are hoping to keep their dreams alive to play hockey. There is no money in the budget this year for the team so the girls have to work very hard to keep this team going. Come out and enjoy a hotdog and support our team. Thank you from the bottom of our heart.

BACK ROW: Asst. Coach Ashley Yontomasi, Asst. Coach Tom Morse, Melissa Goodman, Madison Kather, Maddie Grisko, Sara O’Brien, Katie Frieh, Emily Keable, Kelsey Hinterberger, Rachel Brooks, Katherine Galbo, Coach Ryan

FRONT ROW:  Kara Rea, Kayla Plotner, Katelyn Koester, Brianna Stressinger, Mckenna Rushford, Missy Mallon, Kathryn Yoder, Maddie Utz, Abby Posner

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President Obama Looks To Rev. Al Sharpton For Help In 2012 Reelection Bid

President Obama will speak Wednesday in New York at event hosted by the Rev. Al Sharpton.
President Obama will speak Wednesday in New York at event hosted by the Rev. Al Sharpton.

President Obama and Rev. Al Sharpton have always been uneasy partners.  The President largely ignored Sharpton before his 2008 election.

2012 will be very different than 2008,” said Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia. “Then, Obama was very wary of the race issue and of being labeled as a ‘black candidate.'”

“But some of the enthusiasm surrounding that election has faded,” said Sabato. “He needs an injection of energy and Sharpton can provide some of that, at least in the black community.”

read more…

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At Foreign Affairs Hearing Higgins Presses State Department on New Requirements

Congressman Defends Local Clerks’ Role as Passport Agents

At a meeting of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) questioned the State Department Inspector General about new regulations making it difficult for local municipal clerks to continue serving as passport agents. 

To see video click here:  

During the hearing Congressman Higgins pressed for answers, “Who bares the responsibility for the costs associated with providing separate facilities?  This would seem like a federal mandate on the localities if the municipal clerk offices have to provide separate staffing and separate facilities for the issuance of documents where no identified problem has occurred previously.”

Last week Congressman Higgins sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of State asking the Department to reexamine onerous new requirements which could lead to fewer passport acceptance facilities for Western New Yorkers. 

Congressman Higgins has heard from Clerks in Cheektowaga, Aurora, Hamburg, Grand Island, Evans, Eden and the City of Jamestown who have expressed frustration with the new policies which burden offices that have experienced no problems with their existing system and would lead to additional costs, associated with staffing and office reconfiguration, for town and city taxpayers or cause municipal clerks to abandon the passport acceptance function.

Video of the hearing is available at: http://www.youtube.com/user/congressmanhiggins.  The State Department Inspector General indicated they would follow-up on the Congressman’s request for further justification.

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The Still Empty Chair – Flight 3407 Commemorative

Editors and contributors to the commemorative volume The Still Empty Chair, for victims of the crash of Flight 3407, to read and sign books at Talking Leaves, Thurs, 04/21/11.

Talking Leaves will host a reading and book signing featuring editors Gunilla Kester and Gary Earl Ross, and other contributors, to the second volume of poetry, memories, stories, pictures, reflections, and music commemorating the victims of Flight 3407 and honoring their families, The Still Empty Chair: More Writings Inspired by Flight 3407.  The event, on Thursday, April 21, at 7 pm at Talking Leaves Main Street store, is free and open to the public; copies of both tribute books will be available for purchase.

The fatal crash of Flight 3407 just shy of the Buffalo Airport in Clarence Center on February 12, 2009 stunned the Western New York community—many of the victims lived here or had family here.  The Empty Chair and the new sequel The Still Empty Chair, were put together by editors Kester and Ross as a way to help the community heal, to honor the victims, and to honor their families, who have worked together tirelessly to get airline safety regulations passed that will make a crash like Flight 3407 less likely to occur in the future.  The new book includes a CD of the musical composition “Toward the Light (Flight 3407)” composed by Distinguished Professor and Composer James Piorkowski, inspired by a poem written by Jane Sadowsky from The Empty Chair.

For more information, please contact Jonathon Welch, 837-8554, tleaves@tleavesbooks.com .

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