Category “Local News”

Today, June 19th is Election Day in the Village of Williamsville

June 19, 2018

The Village of Williamsville is holding a special election Tuesday, but the candidates won’t have to hold their breath about the outcome.

Mayor Dan DeLano is running to fill the last year of Brian J. Kulpa’s term in the job. DeLano was appointed to replace Kulpa late last year after Kulpa won election as Amherst supervisor. DeLano said next year he would have to run for a full, four-year term.

And Trustee Matt Etu is seeking election to the final year of DeLano’s term on the Village Board. Etu was appointed to fill DeLano’s trustee seat and, similarly, would run next year for a full, four-year term on the board.

Neither man is facing a challenger, though voters can write in the names of other candidates. Voting takes place from noon to 9 p.m. at Village Hall, 5565 Main St., Williamsville.

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Editorial: County Legislators Must Speak Up on the Water Authority

They’re right. The question is, why are only two of the Legislature’s 11 members speaking up?

While some insiders argue that the authority can be reformed, that approach would do little more than ensure that a crooked operation abides by New York’s open-government laws. What would remain would be the stinking patronage pit long ago excavated by county legislators and their political bosses.

That’s not good enough. There is an opportunity now to take transformational action on behalf of county residents and the authority’s ratepayers. That’s what needs to happen.

Loughran and Burke have been the Erie County Legislature’s most vocal critics of the authority, a woebegone entity that values political fealty more than ability. The most recent example dynamic of that was the hiring of former Executive Director Earl L. Jann Jr., a former pharmaceutical sales rep and town supervisor whose only qualification for the Water Authority job was his generous donations to Republican causes. The authority’s new board fired Jann last week following a report by the state Authorities Budget Office that was sharply critical of operations there during the time that Jann was a board member.

But Jann wasn’t alone in parlaying political contributions into jobs with the Water Authority. That’s been normal operating procedure at the authority, routinely practiced by both Republicans and Democrats who care less about staffing the authority with qualified leaders than in rewarding donors with deep pockets.

Those overarching political calculations are fount of the authority’s arrogance. Once the decision was made that normal standards didn’t apply in one area, they all went out the window. The authority came to believe that it was accountable only to itself. Hence, its willful deceptions on its public agendas, its refusal to acknowledge Freedom of Information requests and its general refusal to abide by open government laws which, incredibly, went as far as trying to stiff the Authorities Budget Office, itself, as it prepared its caustic report.

With all of that, it is depressing – if not exactly shocking – to note that only two county legislators have called for the authority to be replaced by a county water department. Accomplishing that starts with the county Legislature sending a home-rule request to the county’s delegation in the state Legislature.

The county Legislature’s other members need to speak up. When they do, voters should be take note of whom they are favoring: the citizens who pay the freight or the political interests who, serving their own interests, would continue to abuse the authority.

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Amherst Needs a Motto. Here Are Some Ideas.

June 19, 2018
The Town of Amherst: How do you sum up such an unusual place in a few words? (John Hickey/News file photo)

Amherst is in the market for a motto, which raised at least two questions: a) Why doesn’t it have one? and b) Why does it care?

But its mottoless status is understandable. How do you sum up such an unusual place in a few words? Geographically speaking, it’s huge: more than 53 square miles. And parts of it have no seeming relation to other parts. You have the quaint and charming village of Williamsville – Motto: We’re quaint and charming – but you also have huge retail corridors and areas notable for office parks and light industrial developments.

And what to highlight? Its history? Its status as the second largest municipality in Erie County? All the Canada geese?

I’ve lived in Amherst for 18 years so I know a little about life here. That’s why I feel qualified to offer the following suggestions:
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DNA Test Solves Mystery Of Wolf-Like Creature Shot In Montana

June 18, 2018

DNA tests confirmed the identity of this animal, which was shot by a rancher in Montana.In May, a large wolf-like creature was shot by a rancher in Montana, and its identity puzzled local experts and social media users around the nation. Was it a wolf? An unusual bear? Some even started speculating about Bigfoot or a real-life dire wolf from “Game of Thrones.” A DNA test was ordered up to determine the animal’s true identity — and the results may be a disappointment for Bigfoot-hunters.

The animal was shot on a ranch outside Denton on May 16, but it looked as if it came out of the Ice Age. Photos taken by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) showed a raggedy wolf-like creature with some slightly unusual features. It had long grayish-brown fur, a large head and a snout; but its ears seemed larger than average, and its legs and body too short for a typical wolf.

“We have no idea what this was until we get a DNA report back,” Bruce Auchly, information manager for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, told The Great Falls Tribune at the time.

Now, about a month later, the DNA results are in and the mystery has been solved once and for all.

“The canine creature shot in Montana a month ago that captured the curiosity of the nation is actually a gray wolf,” Montana FWP wrote in an announcement on Monday.

“DNA from the animal… was tested at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service forensic laboratory in Ashland, Ore. The lab compared the animal’s DNA with thousands of other DNA samples from wolves, coyotes and dogs,” the official state agency said. “The conclusion was clear – this animal is a gray wolf from the northern Rocky Mountains.”

Montana FWP says confusion over the animal’s identity may have been caused by its appearance in the photos. It seemed to have short legs and big ears but inspection of the animal at the wildlife lab in Bozeman “revealed a relatively normal looking, dark brown wolf” Montana FWP says

The wolf “measured 45 inches from the tip of the nose to the rump and weighed 84.5 pounds,” the announcement said. It is a non-lactating female, estimated to be between 2 and 3 years old. Mary Curtis, geneticist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, says physical variations aren’t unusual for animals.
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Legalize Pot in New York? A State Panel Says Yes

June 18, 2018
A state administrative panel is recommending that marijuana be legalized. (Dreamstime/TNS)
A state administrative panel is recommending that marijuana be legalized. 

ALBANY – A Cuomo administration panel will recommend New York State legalize recreational use of marijuana, the state’s health commissioner said Monday.

But the long-awaited report by the group has still not been released as the State Legislature looks to end its 2018 session on Wednesday – leaving action for this year on the matter all but impossible.

Dr. Howard Zucker, the state’s top health regulator, said public health, law enforcement and others inside and outside government, have been examining the issue of marijuana legalization since Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo asked for a study on the issue in January.

The health commissioner made his comments on legalization of the drug during a question-and-answer session in Brooklyn this morning at an event in which the state announced it will make medical marijuana available as an opioid prescription alternative.
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ECC Wants Student Housing in Proposed North Campus Mixed-use Building

June 18, 2018
The modern exterior of the new STEM Building at ECC North Campus.  The college wants to build a mixed-use 'innovation hub' on or near the North Campus. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)
The modern exterior of the new STEM Building at ECC North Campus. The college wants to build a mixed-use “innovation hub” on or near the North Campus. 

SUNY Erie Community College wants to construct a mixed-use building at its North Campus to forge deeper ties between the college, the business community and the Town of Amherst.

The college would build a structure on, or near, the campus to host ECC’s first student housing, a business incubator and space for a grocery store or other retail options.

“The innovation hub would attract people to be part of that atmosphere, to be part of the thinking and the creativity that goes along with that,” Dan Hocoy, who took over as ECC’s president last summer, said in an interview on the North Campus.

Hocoy has discussed the proposal with local officials and developers, including Uniland Development Co. Uniland owns two sites across Youngs Road from the campus and could develop the project if ECC opts to build off campus, Hocoy said.

Amherst Supervisor Brian J. Kulpa and A.J. Baynes, president and CEO of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce, say the idea has merit and they look forward to hearing more details about the project and how it would strengthen the college’s connection to the surrounding community.
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It’s Time for Schad to Resign!


June 18, 2018

Erie County residents are living with one of the most corrupt water authorities ever. The ECWA has been under attack by the NYS Oversight Agency for several reasons. The government agency asked the ECWA why they hired the law firm of Phillp Lytle, whose rate per hour is $400 to $435, to investigate the “Investigative Post” for using improper methods in their investigation of the ECWA. The ECWA spent $23,000 to $30,000 dollars in this useless effort.

The ECWA has become adept at finding different ways not respond to Freedom of Information Law requests from different individuals and groups like Jim Heaney, Editor, Investigative Post and the NYS Authority Budget Office. Mr. Heaney said, “the ECWA has been evasive, unresponsive and they appear to have great contempt for the public’s right to know.”

The ECWA spent $129,507 dollars for the Phillp Lytle law firm to refute the negative press they have received and to develop a separate environmental review of water safety.

The Authority Budget Office, the state agency with direct oversight over the ECWA and which wrote the harsh criticism of the ECWA Board stated all members of the board must be removed.

Jerome Schad has been a member of the ECWA from 2015. He is now the chairman and refuses to resign. He knows his close friend Jeremy Zellner, Chairman of Erie County Democratic Party, will use his corrupt influence on Erie County Legislature members and other corrupt politicians. Zellner’s power is immense but even King John got burned.

Mr. Zellner, learn a lesson.  Leave Mr. Schad to handle his own mess. Mr. Zellner, the more you interfere with the system the easier it will be to lose your personal control. I called your office last week and left a message with your volunteer asking you to call me.  I’m still waiting for your return call.

Today’s article in the news is the 5th one they have run in the last 5 days. This problem has legs because it affects the pocketbook of the public in several different ways and it can be dangerous to the public’s he

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The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same ~

June 16, 2018

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White House Accuses French Woman of Spreading Pro-Immigration Propaganda

June 18, 2018

Satire from The Borowitz Report

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—The White House on Wednesday accused an elderly French woman of spreading pro-immigration propaganda that undermined “everything this country stands for.”

Stephen Miller, Donald J. Trump’s senior adviser for policy, made the explosive allegations, calling the French woman “the most dangerous woman in America.”

“Bringing this incendiary propaganda to our shores was a subversive act on her part,” Miller said. “She did not have it when she first came here.”

Miller added that whether the French woman would be eligible to remain in the U.S. under the Republicans’ new immigration proposal was “something we are looking into,” noting that the woman did not appear to speak English and that holding a torch in the air was not a skill.

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Trump Confidant Roger Stone Reveals New Russian Meeting

June 17, 2018


Roger Stone, President Trump’s longtime confidant and former adviser, has revealed a previously unreported meeting in which he says a Russian man offered compromising information on Hillary Clinton in exchange for $2 million. The meeting, which was not disclosed to congressional investigators, was arranged by Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo in May 2016 and is now under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, The Washington Post reports. Both Caputo and Stone say they did not report the meeting to investigators because they’d forgotten and only remembered after being shown text messages about it during an interview last month. Stone told the Post on Sunday that he’d met with the man, Henry Greenberg, but rejected his offer. “You don’t understand Donald Trump. He doesn’t pay for anything,” Stone recalled telling Greenberg. Both Stone and Caputo now claim the meeting was a set-up by law enforcement officials who were out to get Trump, despite the fact that it occurred around the same time other Russian-linked figures are known to have made overtures to the Trump campaign. Caputo on Sunday released a dossier purporting to show that Greenberg was actually a longtime FBI informant who is in the country illegally.

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