Mensch Announces Construction of Fence Around Westwood Property

Westwood2

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Mensch sent letters to neighboring residents stating that it intends to construct a 5-feet high, 9,000-feet long fence around the Westwood property.  Although Mensch states that this is for safety reasons in light of its plans to remediate the property, the Department of Environmental Conservation DOES NOT REQUIRE a fence at the testing phase, for which no starting date has even been selected.

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Mensch also emphasizes that there have been “trespassers” on the property.  Mensch has pitched its project as being a “community center” that will benefit the entire surrounding area and provide recreational green space, yet it is PREMATURELY putting up a fence to keep residents out.  A fence will serve as a symbol of the least of what can be expected of the negative community impacts of Mensch’s proposal for the property if it gets approved, from the seven to ten years of construction, loss of valuable recreational land in the heart of our community, decreasing property values, traffic, increased flooding risks, and an attendant inevitable need for more services that will end up increasing, not decreasing, our property taxes – all for the benefit of the developers to the detriment of the residents.

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Nothing says a “traditional neighborhood in the heart of Amherst” like a 5-feet high fence.  Don’t you want a beautiful green recreational area in the heart of Amherst, FOR WHICH THE PROPERTY IS CURRENTLY ZONED?

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Albany Slices Up New Pork

Empire Center

Inside Albany’s secretive slush fund

The Cuomo administration and the state Legislature have begun dishing out grants from a secretive $1.1 billion capital slush fund—all of which will be borrowed money.

The State and Municipal Facilities Program (SMFP) was originally created by lawmakers in 2013 as a $385 million pot financed by state Dormitory Authority bonds. Lawmakers doubled that borrowing and spending authorization a year later, and added yet another $385 million to the appropriation in the latest state budget.

No further details of the program or its parameters were made public with the budget. However, data obtained by the Empire Center under the state Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) provide a summary of 588 projects, totaling nearly $187 million, that have either received or are in the process of receiving SMFP funding. The list can be downloaded as a PDF here.
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This District Needs Help

Matthew Ricchiazzi2

By Matthew Ricchiazzi <matthew.ricchiazzi@gmail.com>

Subject: Help send an FBI informant to the Common Council where he belongs

My friend Joe Mascia is a good and decent man who has been viciously smeared by a vile career politician from a patronage family that has leeched our government for generations — and continues to squander my generation’s future in this city with graft and a culture of corruption that continues, unabated.
Joe is a victim of a deliberate, coordinated, and profoundly unfair plot to destroy him. The reason?  He has been an informant to the FBI for the last two years and is exposing corruption that is likely to put those Brown Administration officials who run the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority to prison.
The relentless media attacks on Joe were architected to distract you from the fact that 41% of working age adults are unemployed in the Fillmore district, the poorest in the city. Fewer than 1 in 10 have a four year degree, and high school graduation rates are appalling. Violent crime and gang warfare have engulfed the district — all the while our Councilman is at city hall with his feet on the desk. Over twenty seven years in office and not a single substantive accomplishment.  
When we allow the political machine to destroy the reputation of good and decent people for merely participating in the political process, then our democracy is weaker and we all become poorer as a result. The richness of our democracy needs to be defended from the smear mongers and the trash peddlers — but we can only fight back together.
Please reach out to Joe directly at (716) 289-9861.

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Party That Mocked President’s Lack of Experience Favors One with No Experience Whatsoever


Donald Trump                   Ben Carson                              Carly Fiorina

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Republicans, who mercilessly mocked Barack Obama’s lack of government experience before he became President, now favor Presidential candidates with no experience whatsoever, the head of the Republican National Committee has confirmed.

The R.N.C. chief, Reince Priebus, said that he sees “no contradiction at all” between Republicans’ contempt for Obama’s pre-White House résumé, which included eleven years spent in public office, and their rabid enthusiasm for G.O.P. rising stars Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina, whose combined years in public office total zero.
“I think what bothered us Republicans the most about Obama was that he was a community organizer,” Priebus explained. “What does organizing people have to do with running a government?”

In contrast with that dubious credential, he said, Carson is “eminently qualified” to be President because of his experience as a neurosurgeon. “I think if Ben had negotiated with the Iranians we would have gotten a better deal, because he would have known how their brains worked, medically and all,” Priebus argued.

Additionally, the R.N.C. boss said that the billionaire Donald Trump’s experience puts him “leagues ahead” of President Obama. “One of President Obama’s problems is that he is out of touch with reality,” Priebus said. “Donald Trump spent fourteen seasons hosting a reality show.”

As for the former Hewlett-Packard C.E.O. Carly Fiorina, Priebus said that the excitement her résumé is generating among the Republican faithful is totally understandable. “Like a lot of Republicans, I’d love to see Carly take on ISIS,” he said. “She’s shown she can destroy a large organization.”

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Judge Erases Tom Brady’s Four-game Suspension

A federal judge has thrown out the four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, shown in a Feb. 1 photo from the Super Bowl.
A federal judge has thrown out the four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady

In a major setback for the NFL, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady prevailed in his battle to have his four-game suspension overturned Thursday, as a federal judge reversed a ruling by Commissioner Roger Goodell to bench one of the league’s biggest stars in a dispute over underinflated balls he used in a January championship game.

Judge Richard M. Berman of U.S. District Court in Manhattan did not rule on whether Brady tampered with the footballs in a bid for competitive advantage. Instead, he focused on the narrower question of whether the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the players union gave Goodell the authority to carry out the suspension. Berman ruled that it did not.

The 40-page decision picks apart the NFL’s case, finding a number of faults and reflecting Berman’s skepticism in recent court hearings.

Berman said Brady could not be suspended for “general awareness” of others’ conduct, as an NFL investigative report determined.
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Fashion Outlets in Niagara Falls Adding Six New Stores

The newest wing at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls debuted in October. Wednesday, the outlet mall announced that six new stores, including Columbia Sportswear, will open this fall.
The newest wing at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls debuted in October. Wednesday, the outlet mall announced that six new stores, including Columbia Sportswear, will open this fall.

Perfumes 4U set for center of mall

The Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls will add six new stores this fall.

Columbia Sportswear, which sells outdoors-style apparel, will be at the northern end of the mall near the food court.

Kipling, a Belgium-based designer bag retailer, will be located at the mall’s south end across from the Coach outlet.

Calvin Klein Underwear will be located in the northwest sector of the mall across from Under Armour and Express.

Zwilling J.A. Henckels, which sells kitchenware such as cutlery and cookware, will open near the food court in the mall’s north end.

Fragrance store Perfumes 4U will open in the center of the mall between Naturalizer and Nine West Outlet.

Lingerie store Victoria’s Secret will open in the mall’s northeast corner across from Chico’s.
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Buffalo Niagara Economy Making a Comeback

The 1 million square-foot Solar City plant rising in South Buffalo is expected to create almost 3,000 direct and indirect manufacturing jobs. (Photo by Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)
The 1 million square-foot Solar City plant rising in South Buffalo is expected to create almost 3,000 direct and indirect manufacturing jobs.

From home sales to employment, figures over the last 5 years show that the region is indisputably on the rise

To all you skeptics out there: it’s really happening.

The Buffalo Niagara economy is turning a corner, and the slow-moving numbers that economists follow are showing it.

• The region is roughly matching the national employment growth.

• Average annual pay in Erie County grew by 3.2 percent last year, slightly faster than the 3.1 percent pay hike that workers nationally received.

• Home sales during the first half of this year are up 3 percent and had the second-strongest first half since 2010, according to data from the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors.
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Buffalo School Superintendent Promises ‘a system reboot’

Taking charge of a school district in crisis, Kriner Cash gets specific on ambitious goals for everything from attendance to graduation rates

Kriner Cash is introduced to the community during a forum at the Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts school in Buffalo Thursday, August 13, 2015. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)
Kriner Cash is introduced to the community during a forum at the Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts school in Buffalo Thursday, August 13, 2015.

Buffalo’s new school superintendent wants the graduation rate to hit 100 percent in the next five years, and by that time, he also wants 80 percent of students meeting state standards.

On Tuesday, Kriner Cash offered for the first time some specifics on how he will try to make that happen.

Cash acknowledged that it is an ambitious goal – and that previous school leaders failed to deliver on similar promises – but said that it’s important to set the bar high.

His plan includes a focus on attendance, student safety and on overhauling parts of the district that aren’t effective.

The heart of it is creating more academic programs and choices for families, something he says will drive district outcomes.

Although he wants to make some quick gains, Cash said, the district’s ultimate success requires rebuilding the entire school system, which cannot currently deliver good results. That could take up to six years.
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Cutting Losses, Kochs to Sell Scott Walker

WICHITA (The Borowitz Report)—Saying that “things just didn’t work out,” the billionaire Koch brothers have decided to put Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker up for sale.

The Kochs, who earlier had purchased Gov. Walker with great fanfare, announced their plan to sell the politician in a terse statement from Koch Industries headquarters in Wichita.
“Scott Walker is a fine individual, and we wish him well,” the Kochs’ statement read. “We are confident that he will be a good fit for some other billionaire industrialists.”

Republican insiders, however, called the Kochs’ plan to sell Walker highly optimistic, and noted that the market for the Wisconsin Governor was, at this point, virtually nonexistent.

The Kochs, who reportedly had been frustrated by Walker’s poor performance in the polls, finally decided to sell the Wisconsinite after last weekend’s odd pronouncement, in which he seemed to support a border wall with Canada.

According to a Koch associate, “Ignorance has always been a part of Scott’s appeal, but that Canada thing was just too much.”

After their plan to sell him was announced, the Kochs immediately pulled Walker off the campaign trail for fear that he might say something that would further reduce his dwindling market value.

In Iowa, an aide to Walker said that the Governor was “still processing” the news that he had been put up for sale. “It takes a while for Scott to understand things,” the aide said.

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Opening Tip Off is on Sept. 13

basketball and sneakers-1

Here is an invitation from SS Peter & Paul RC Church in the village of Williamsville:

Come join us for the weekly Sunday night recreational basketball games starting September 13th from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. in the school gym.

Teams are determined based on whoever shows up and by bringing both a white and dark colored shirt we can intermix into balanced teams.

We call our own fouls and have a mixture to 20 through 50+ year-olds and women are welcome.

So if you have young legs or run at a slower pace we welcome you to a night full of exercise.

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