Erie County Water Authority to be Totally Cleaned Up From Past Practices

June 16, 2018
Jerome Schad Must Be Removed
The history of the Erie County Water Authority (ECWA) is that it has been a place where political bosses dumped stooges who had been loyal to their party. This is how Jerome Schad was placed on the Board by Erie County Democratic Chairman, Jeremy Zellner, in 2015.
Zellner was well aware that Mr. Schad had no qualifications to be on this Board. The ECWA has committed several crimes disguised has things that were “needed.”
It is of the upmost importance that the Board remove Jerome Schad, who is their Chairman. He is the last clog of the old school political appointees. Jerome can then devote his time to his other jobs as a lawyer and the Chairman of the Amherst Democratic Committee, who under his leadership has charged dues of its members. The word dues has been changed to “donations.”
 
The problems at the ECWA can partly be solved if it were run by the government with strict rules of transparency and the hiring of people who are actually qualified and capable.

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Taking Migrant Children From Parents Is Illegal, U.N. Tells U.S.

June 16, 2018

A Border Patrol agent talking with migrants who illegally crossed the border from Mexico into the United States near McAllen, Tex.

GENEVA — The Trump administration’s practice of separating children from migrant families entering the United States violates their rights and international law, the United Nations human rights office said on Tuesday, urging an immediate halt to the practice.

The administration angrily rejected what it called an ignorant attack by the United Nations human rights office and accused the global organization of hypocrisy.

The human rights office said it appeared that, as The New York Times revealed in April, United States authorities had separated several hundred children, including toddlers, from their parents or others claiming to be their family members, under a policy of criminally prosecuting undocumented people crossing the border.

That practice “amounts to arbitrary and unlawful interference in family life, and is a serious violation of the rights of the child,” Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, based in Geneva, told reporters.

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In Dairy, a Cutthroat U.S. Business Versus a Canadian Cartel

June 16, 2018
The dairy industry is distinctly different in the United States and Canada.(Buffalo New file photo)
The dairy industry is distinctly different in the United States and Canada.

A little comparison shopping goes a long way toward explaining why President Trump decided to wage a trade war with Canada.

A gallon of milk cost $2.89 at the Tops Friendly Supermarket on Niagara Street last week, while the same product at the Avonmart on Garrison Road in Fort Erie cost $3.35 in American dollars. And Fort Erie shoppers are getting a bargain: According to Numbeo, a crowd-sourced comparison price guide, the average cost for a gallon of milk throughout Canada is $6.32 in American dollars, nearly twice the U.S. price.

And it’s all because the United States and Canada operate their dairy industries in ways that are as different as a bald eagle and a maple leaf.

The U.S. dairy industry, which is 10 times the size of its Canadian counterpart, runs like a cutthroat business. And plenty of farmers, including hundreds in Western New York, are getting their throats cut. The eight counties of Western New York lost 205 dairy farms between 2012 and 2017 amid a milk glut that farmers themselves are helping to create.
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Seeing Double: Two Amhersts, and Two Slogan Contests

June 16, 2018
College Hall on the Amherst College campus in Amherst, Mass., which tried and failed to come up with a new slogan for that community. (Wikimedia Commons)
College Hall on the Amherst College campus in Amherst, Mass., which tried and failed to come up with a new slogan for that community.

Amherst, N.Y., is holding a contest to pick an official town slogan, as part of its bicentennial celebration.

Amherst, Mass., has gone down this road before.

The communities share a namesake, Lord Jeffery Amherst, best known for saying the British should provide smallpox-laced blankets to Native Americans.

The Massachusetts town has for a decade used the informal motto “Amherst, MA: Where Only the ‘H’ is Silent.”

A local business group, the Mill District, last year started a contest with a $100 grand prize to pick a new slogan.

The district said it received numerous ideas around culture and education – Amherst College is one of several institutions of higher education there – but never picked a winner.

“It’s hard!!” the district said via Facebook. “Yours is easy though: ‘Amherst, NY – where the college isn’t.'”

We won’t tell them about the University at Buffalo North Campus.
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Case Study of How the Water Authority Broke Transparency Laws

June 16, 2018
The Water Authority was repeatedly faulted for its improper handling of FOIL requests. (News file photo)
The Water Authority was repeatedly faulted for its improper handling of FOIL requests. 

Among the many faults that a state oversight agency laid at the feet of current and former Erie County Water Authority leaders was the improper handling of Freedom of Information Law requests.

They ignored them, delayed responses, provided less information than required, censored information that was public, and improperly denied appeals, the Authorities Budget Office said in a report.

“The Erie County Water Authority has been very, very difficult to deal with,” said Investigative Post Editor Jim Heaney. “They’re evasive, they’re nonresponsive, and they appear to have great contempt for the public’s right to know.”

The Water Authority even repeatedly denied FOIL request information sought by the Authorities Budget Office, the state agency with direct oversight over it, resulting in harsh criticism by the ABO.
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Village of Williamsville Update Information

June 15, 2018

California Drive Apartment and Townhouse Project

Good Day to You ! For friends, neighbors and Village residents with continued interest in this project, a little update. It can be said, inquiring minds want to know, ” what is happening, why hasn’t something started.”

After this weeks Village Board Meeting and discussion with board members, be informed the formal agreement for the swap of the Village DPW Side Yard for the Pink Section House and property near by has not been finalized. There is some discussions on the amount of monies to bring the Section Hopuse back to respectability along with a few other details that are being ironed out.

My thinking is, although the Village Board has approved the swap and the Planning Board has approved the site plan, everyone wants to be sure all the Ts’ are crossed and Is’ are dotted before any demolition and construction begins. It should not be too long now until we are being visited by hundreds of construction vehicles on a daily diet.

Note the excellent article and more updated information on this project provided by the Amherst Bee in this weeks paper. Page 2, “Williamsville Considers S. Long Exit for Asher Crossing.” https://www.amherstbee.com/pageview/viewer/2018-06-13#page=2

Thank You.
Larry Zasowski

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Thank You, Governor Cuomo

June 14, 2018

Thank you Governor Cuomo for quickly responding to the traffic problem on Niagara Falls Blvd.

Hopefully people will not meet their demise on NFB. The street will be striped. There will be other things done to make this strip of land safer for everyone.

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Vitamin D: Good For Bones, and Possibly the Colon

June 15, 2018

Dr. Karine Tawagi

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Keep Amherst Weird? After 200 Years, Town Wants a Slogan

June 15, 2018
The interchange where the I-290 Youngmann Expressway meets the I-90 main line Thruway in Amherst, pictured on Thursday, July 10, 2014. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)

You’ve come a long way, Amherst?

Keep Amherst weird?

Amherst: For real?

After 200 years, the region’s largest suburb wants an official slogan.

There’s plenty of fodder for a memorable motto. This is, after all, the town known for gridlock at the Big Blue Water Tower, top-rated schools, sprawling office parks, crowded retail corridors, the historic Williamsville water mill and go-go development fueled by tax breaks.

Start crafting an entry now, because the town will hold a contest to pick the winner as part of its bicentennial celebration.
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Liquor License Held by Chuck E. Cheese’s in Amherst Under Scrutiny

June 14, 2018
Chuck E. Cheese's on Harlem Road in Amherst, pictured in April 2014. (Sharon Cantillon/News file photo)
Chuck E. Cheese’s on Harlem Road in Amherst.

The state Liquor Authority has launched an investigation into the latest outbreaks of violence at the Chuck E. Cheese’s in Amherst as a member of the state Assembly wants to bar the sale of alcohol there.

Assemblyman Raymond Walter has joined Amherst Supervisor Brian J. Kulpa in asking the authority to revoke the venue’s license to sell beer and wine.

“A liquor license is a privilege,” said Walter, an Amherst Republican whose district includes the Chuck E. Cheese’s on Harlem Road.

The authority is looking into Saturday’s fight between two employees, other previous violent encounters and the high volume of police calls to the venue, said William Crowley, a spokesman for the agency. Authority officials also have requested a meeting with executives from CEC Entertainment, which operates Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurants here and across the country.
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