Biggest Ethnic Group of Buffalo Area? German, and it is Oktoberfest

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Most ethnic groups in Buffalo know how to celebrate culture in a big way.

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Some 50,000 people, if not more, crowd along Delaware Avenue for the St. Patrick’s Day parade, polka dance near the Central Terminal on Dyngus Day, and take over a stretch of Hertel Avenue for the nation’s second-largest Italian street festival in July.

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But the biggest German celebration?

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Waldfest drew 6,000 over two days this summer at Spring Garden Park near East Aurora.

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The disparity seems more striking given that German roots run deep in this area. German ranks as the most common first ancestry in Erie and Niagara counties. One in six Erie County residents claim German as their first ancestry, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. And in Niagara County, it’s almost one in five.

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So come festival time, wo ist jeder? Translation: Where is everybody?

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“It’s been cooler to be Irish and Italian. It hasn’t always been cool to be German-American,” said Herbert Schmidt, business manager of Buffalo’s German American Musicians Association.

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But for the next several weeks, people will be kicking up their heels and raising their steins at Oktoberfests in Hamburg, Buffalo, Clarence and Williamsville.
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Williamsville Superintendent, Board Face Lawsuit by Suspended Administrator

Dr. Scott Martzloff

A top human resources administrator for Williamsville Central Schools claims the district superintendent and the Board of Education violated her right to free speech when they placed her on paid administrative leave last month.

Kim Kirsch, the assistant superintendent for human resources, notified the school district this week that she plans to sue over what she claims was a retaliatory decision to place her on leave after she brought complaints about Superintendent Scott Martzloff to a School Board member.

Kirsch’s suspension is one example cited by union leaders in the district of what they claim has been “retaliatory behavior” and “favoritism” by Martzloff. Two unions, which represent teachers and principals but not Kirsch, have pressed the Board of Education to conduct an independent investigation into their complaints.
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Poll: U.S. Military Action in Middle East Bound to End Well

Middle east war

by Andy Borowitz

WASHINGTON – A new poll released on Friday indicates broad support for new U.S. military action in the Middle East, with a majority of Americans agreeing with the statement, “This is the kind of thing that usually ends well.”

Among the features of the proposed military action that received high marks in the poll, an “undefined coalition,” “unspecified price tag,” and “no exit strategy” were all seen as encouraging ingredients for success. Additionally, the respondents agreed that identifying exactly who the moderate faction is in a Middle Eastern civil war is “the kind of thing the United States is really good at.”

Overall, the poll reflected the American people’s optimism about the latest U.S. involvement in the Middle East, with seventy-one percent agreeing with the statement, “What could possibly go wrong?”

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Williamsville Arts & Culture Committee Knit-a-Thon


Williamsville Arts & Culture Committee


Sunday, September 21, 2014

10:00am to 4:00pm

VFW Post #416 – 18 Spring Street, Williamsville, NY

Make check to: Williamsville Arts & Culture Committee

All proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior Project

Reservations recommended – You can also pay at the door.

Minimum $20 donation at the door (Cash or Check)

5565 Main Street, Williamsville, New York14221

(716) 308 – 1501

Knitting squares to join together into blankets which will be sent to military hospitals.

Some yarn will be available, but if you have some, bring it along with #8 needles.

Don’t know how to knit?

We’ll have instructors there to help you learn.

Refreshments will be served.

Door prizes and basket raffles.

Earn more chances to win the longer you stay and the more you knit.  Collect monetary donations from family and friends for this worthy cause.

Look for the event on Facebook!

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No Raises Again For Amherst’s Elected Leaders


Elected officials in Amherst will go without raises again next year.

Supervisor Barry A Weinstein hasn’t included them in the 2015 budget he’s putting together, and the rest of the Town Board agreed this week to set the same pay as last year.

That means Weinstein will earn $75,000 as supervisor next year. He will continue to serve as the town’s purchasing director, but will receive no pay for those duties.

Councilmembers Guy R. Marlette, Mark A. Manna, Steven D. Sanders and Ramona D. Popowich will earn $25,500. Marlette will receive an additional $3,000 for serving as deputy supervisor.

Town Clerk Marjory Jaeger’s salary will remain at $65,000.

The town’s supervisor, councilmembers and town clerk last received raises more than 10 years ago, said Robert P. McCarthy, Amherst’s director of personnel.
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Steven Meyer Wins Big In District 146

Steve Meyer

Tuesday’s primary produced one amazing fact.  Steven Meyer won his primary race with the largest margin of victory of any other race in WNY ~ 79% to 21%.  The people are learning he is a rare person.

Ray Walter now knows the opponent for 146 District is Steven Meyers, a young man who is eager to help Amherst and Pendalton.

Youth is served.

It is clear the people of Amherst realize the old cows sitting in their State Assembly chairs year after year chewing their cud, are very comfortable doing nothing but writing a column in the Amherst Bee.  How many citizens of the 146th District in our State Assembly have actually seen Ray Walter, our State Assembly representative?

Walters area includes Pendalton and Amherst.  His job is to help the people of these areas with their problems whether it’s a serious farming problems or a city problem.

Now he might actually come to Amherst or send his cronies to find the the real problems in Amherst and Pendalton.

Steven is becoming an honest politician.  He answers questions and emits the aura of caring and honesty for the people in his district.

I ran into Steve talking to a lady on her porch while he was going door to door.  He was there for 15 minutes. She seemed to be in stress.  When Steve left her porch I questioned his decision to spend that much time with one person.  Steven said to me, “I don’t walk away from my people when they need to talk.”  He didn’t tell me anything they talked about because it was private.

It’s clear Ray Walter must get his feet moving and stop throwing big money fund raisers.  Money won’t win this election.

Steven Meyer is hard walking and eager to make positive changes.  He isn’t owned by any political boss.  He plans to debate Walter but not in the debates given by the Women League of Voters at the Senior Center.

Steven wants debates in public places, like the high school, the Harlem Road Community Center and other places where serious questions can be asked openly.  Neighborhoods want their chance to ask questions in a debate form.

Every debate invitation Walter refuses creates a pocket of votes against him.

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“Mr. Democrat” Dan Ward Thanks The People of Amherst For His Victory

wardphoto 002

A sincere thank you from Dan Ward.

To All – thanks for all your help – as it turns out I was the highest vote getter not only in my election district, but in all the contested election districts in the Town of Amherst this year.

Thanks again, Dan.

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Winners In Tuesday’s Primary In New York


These are the victors in the major races in New York:

Cuomo-Hochul won

Tim Kennedy won over Betty Jean Grant

Stocker pulled an upset against Grisanti

Peoples-Stokes won over Antoine M. Thompson

Mark M. Mazurek appears to have beaten Camille Brandon

Steven G. Meyer –  this young man won over Ken Smith

Congratulations to all the winners of the Primary Day races.  Now it’s onward to November 11th.



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Get Ready to OMM PAH PAH!!!

Octoberfest 2014

Williamsville’s Oktoberfest

September 26th -28th

Lots of GREAT events planned for Oktoberfest ~~ Hay rides, Pumpkin Weigh Off, Kids Crafts, Parade, Miss Oktoberfest Contest with a $1000 scholarship to the winner, German Food, German Music and of course it wouldn’t be an Oktoberfest without German beer!! For more info on events go to

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Amherst Town Board Finds Fault With Draft Plan For Westwood Site


Time to circle the wagons once again.  Developers are raising their ugly heads and trying to breathe fire on the town.

Scrutiny over plans to build a sprawling mixed-use neighborhood at the Westwood Country Club in Amherst began Monday, kicking off what’s expected to be a very long and contentious process.

The Amherst Town Board began the vetting at its meeting on Monday by formally tagging the project with a positive declaration under the state environmental review process. In other words, the plans for housing, storefronts, offices, a hotel and parkland on 170 acres in the heart of Amherst could have significantly adverse effects and the town wants an extensive review of the project’s impact on the environment before it decides whether to vote it up or down.

In fact, the developer, Mensch Capital Partners LLC, already has submitted to the town a draft environmental impact statement as part of its application to have the property rezoned so construction can move forward.

But the Town Board countered on Monday and said the developer’s draft is incomplete.

“We find it to be inadequate,” Supervisor Barry A. Weinstein said.
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