John McCain’s Cancer Is ‘Godly Justice’ for Challenging Trump, Alt-Right Claims

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Good News: No Bomb Trains in NY State

Folks,
Although we witnessed two Bakken oil bomb trains during our May 2017 trainspotting effort, there are two reports that bomb trains have disappeared from NY State.
In their quarterly earnings conference call on July 19, CSX reports that crude oil transport “…has gone to zero”. CSX also reports the retirement of 26,000 freight cars and 900 engines.
Investors.com says: “Even railroad companies are warning on U.S. crude. During its quarterly conference call Wednesday, railroad operator CSX (CXS) said crude oil train shipments fell to zero.” This must have happened in June.
The declining economics of oil has made NY State’s environment, and its citizens, much safer. Hopefully that will be permanent as we rapidly build out renewables and electric cars and continue to drive down the price of oil.
That said, Forbes.com says in times of oil price instability, oil companies prefer shipment by rail because buying pipeline space locks in a very long term contract….if the price of oil tanks during the contract period, companies using pipelines pay a very heavy price…hence they like to have railroads around where the contracts are comparatively short term.
So let’s enjoy the moment and let’s confirm the information in Investors.com article and CSX conference call by doing another bomb train watch in Aug/Sept.
The eastbound bomb train we witnessed early Thursday morning, May 18, might have been the very last one in NY State. A member of the Albany bomb train group, PAUSE, reports that particular train reached the refinery in Philadelphia a week or 2 later….there was no rush to refine the oil…..
Investors.com article:
Forbes.com article:

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Capital Confidential Sun-Times

Good morning and happy Friday! Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be in New York City today.

It’s opening day of the 149th Saratoga meet — a sure sign that summer’s entering its home stretch. Whatever your plans, get out there and enjoy the weekend. To that end, let’s dive straight into the headlines:

About 75,000 people have applied for the state’s new tuition-free college program ahead of today’s deadline. New York set aside $87 million for the Excelsior Scholarship program’s first year after projecting about 23,000 people would qualify, and state officials are standing by the initial estimate, saying many who applied would not qualify for or accept an award. (TU)

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Where to Find Fearsome Fun in New York State

by Sally Writes

With the long summer vacation stretching ahead of you, it can be tough to find activities to keep yourself, friends and family entertained, even in a great town like Amherst.

There are many places across the state with a history to give you chills, as you wander around some surprisingly spine-tingling sites. If you want to venture somewhere new for a walk on the scary side, then here are a few places you could go:

  • ·         Seneca Hill – visitors report seeing a mother and child running as if scared of something before disappearing at the top of the hill.
  • ·         Happy Valley Road – a pleasant village from which all the inhabitants suddenly and mysteriously vanished!
  • ·         Morris Jumel Mansion – the oldest mansion in NYC, visitors say they can hear footsteps and that lights flicker when unattended.

There are many more great places to visit or hike through, so take a look at this great guide to haunted hikes in New York, for ideas to make your summer that bit more fun!

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Parents of UB Student Killed Crossing Sweet Home Road Sue Amherst, Erie County

The parents of UB grad student Angel R. McKnight-Miller, 23, filed suit claiming Amherst and Erie County failed to maintain traffic and pedestrian lights at an accident-prone intersection. (Google image)
The parents of UB grad student Angel R. McKnight-Miller, 23, filed suit claiming Amherst and Erie County failed to maintain traffic and pedestrian lights at an accident-prone intersection.

The parents of a University at Buffalo student struck and killed in May as she crossed an accident-prone intersection in Amherst have filed a notice of claim against the town and Erie County.

The traffic and pedestrian lights at the intersection of Sweet Home and Chestnut Ridge roads were “in a defective and unsafe condition,” according to the claim filed by Marcia and Carlton Miller.

Their daughter, Angel R. McKnight-Miller, 23, of New York City, was hit about 12:25 a.m. on May 11 by a northbound vehicle. The driver was not charged.
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Reikart House Hotel in Amherst Opens to Guests

The former Lord Amherst Hotel, reborn as the “upper upscale” Reikart House following a nearly $20 million renovation, is now open to guests.

The owners of the 92-room, boutique hotel at 5000 Main St. in Snyder held a soft opening Thursday. The hotel that opened in 1962 as the Lord Amherst motor lodge is the first in New York state to operate as part of Marriott International’s Tribute Portfolio, a network of “upper-upscale” independent hotels.
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Williamsville Science Teacher Selected as 1 of 10 STEM Ambassadors in Nation


A middle school science teacher in the Williamsville Central School District is one of 10 teachers nationwide chosen to help promote the STEM curriculum of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Kenneth L. Huff, a teacher at Mill Middle School, was named this week to serve as a 2017 STEM Teacher Ambassador. The program aims to train the teachers in communication skills so they can provide input on policies for K-12 STEM education on the local, state and federal level, according to a news release.

Selections were made by the National Science Teachers Association and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
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O.J. Simpson Granted Parole; Will Be Free From Nevada Prison by October

O.J. Simpson at his parole hearing, 2017. (Getty)
O.J. Simpson at his parole hearing, 2017

O.J. Simpson is about to be a free man once again.

Simpson has been granted parole by a unanimous vote the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners, and is eligible to walk out the gates of Lovelock Correctional Facility by Oct. 1 of this year. Simpson had been found not guilty of the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in 1995, and the attention surrounding this parole hearing echoed the frenzy that surrounded that mid-‘90s cultural touchstone.

Simpson has spent the last nine years as an inmate at Lovelock following his conviction on a range of charges arising from a September 2007 robbery. Simpson had conspired with several others to reclaim some of his own memorabilia, and broke into a Vegas hotel room where a memorabilia dealer was staying.

During the course of the six-minute invasion, Simpson ordered his associates to prevent anyone from leaving the room while another man brandished a gun. That was enough to get Simpson hit with both kidnapping and weapons charges in addition to assault and robbery, for a total of 12 counts. A Nevada judge sentenced Simpson to nine to 33 years in prison.
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After Rejecting Developer, Amherst Wants To Preserve 60 Swampy Acres as Parkland

The Town of Amherst is one step closer to preserving as parkland 60 acres of green space that were the subject of a bruising legal fight with a developer who wanted to build a subdivision there.

The land, largely made up of wetlands, was as far back as 2000 the intended site of the 57-home, Gramercy Park Estates subdivision between Casey and North French roads, west of Got Creek. The site has an address of 9434 Transit Road.

However, residents of the nearby Pines and Pines East subdivisions objected to developer Eliot Lasky’s plans, and the town beginning in 2003 took several steps to block the project.

Lasky took the town to court, but by 2014 had exhausted his legal options. So the town and the developer eventually agreed to a land swap.

The town as of December took over the roughly 60 acres north of Casey Road. That parcel sits just to the south of a 26.6-acre property the town is also turning into parkland in another swap tied to the development of a hotel at the Northtown Center ice rink.

In return, the town gave Lasky 4.8 acres described as isolated, undeveloped parkland on Penny Lane, off Campbell Boulevard, next to one of his existing subdivisions. The town also agreed to let Lasky keep the single-driest lot from among the 60 acres, off Twilight Lane, to develop it as a single-family home.

The town is seeking to rezone the 60 acres from single-family residential to recreation-conservation and preserve it as passive parkland. Amherst Supervisor Barry A. Weinstein said the town won’t build ball fields, install playground equipment or otherwise develop the park.

“You put on your knee boots and you walk out in nature,” Weinstein said. “It’s all wet. There’s really nothing we can do with it.”

The property also will serve as a habitat for wildlife, he said.

The Planning Board could take up the rezoning request at its August meeting. The Town Board ultimately must approve it.

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Amherst Asks State for $2.2 Million for Fifth Rink at Northtown Center

The Northtown Center currently has four rinks. (Buffalo News file photo)
The Northtown Center currently has four rinks.

A plan to build a fifth ice rink at the Northtown Center in Amherst depends on the town receiving nearly $2.2 million from the  state, town officials said this week.

“If we get that funding, then there’s no question that the project will pay for itself,” said Mary-Diana Pouli, executive director of the town’s Youth & Recreation Department. “It’ll cover not only construction expenses with the bonding, but also the debt service.”

Ensuring the expansion is at least a break-even proposition has been the main sticking point in discussions of a fifth rink in recent years. The Town Board this week agreed to seek a grant accounting for 20 percent of the total estimated cost of nearly $11 million.
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