Trump Says He Made Up Facts in Justin Trudeau Trade Meeting: ‘I Had No Idea. I Just Said “You’re Wrong”‘

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Respect Town’s Green Space, Waterways

Mar. 15, 2018

The Amherst Parks Plan, based on the results of a citizen survey, was recently released. The results were almost identical to what was found in surveys in 1992 and 2002-03.

The citizens have consistently given priority to parkland, nature trails, and a general protection of green space, waterways, wetlands and wildlife. It is time to listen to the people and just do it.

There has been no demand for a fifth sheet of ice at Northtown Center. No demand for more hotels, especially one on town parkland with wetlands and a meager $50,000 annual return to the town.

There also has been no demand for more retail, apartments or office buildings beyond the people profiting. We were told by an economic analyst that Amherst is built out — as if we needed to be told.

We believe our eyes, not the town actors whose personal agendas are transparent and peddled for years, performing for many who lack the knowledge needed to decipher acting from facts and common sense.

A central park, preserving land in the middle of Amherst, rehabilitating the historical Westwood clubhouse with complementary cultural amenities on the grounds, and extending it to nearby green and open land, would all be extraordinary.

It would be a welcome change from the indiscriminate development that has been allowed to proliferate throughout Amherst.

Smart redevelopment is called for, not destroying green space and tinkering with wetlands to develop more. We now know, in hindsight, that these actors may be fine orators, but they cannot walk on water or build on it.

Respecting and preserving green space, waterways, wetlands, nature and wildlife have their own importance and value. And, they are an attraction for any person seeking quality of life, now and for the future.

Judy Ferraro
Donna Lea Boulevard

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What Are Basketball Fans to Do? UB, Bona Playing at Same Time in NCAA Tournament

Mar. 15, 2018
St. Bonaventure and UB will be playing at the same time in the NCAA Tournament (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

Call it March Scheduling Madness.

The odds of two Western New York college basketball teams qualifying for the NCAA men’s tournament have been pretty long over the past half century.

The University at Buffalo and St. Bonaventure qualified this March for the field of 68 to give the region two teams in the tournament for the first time since 1970 when Bona and Niagara were among 25 teams that qualified.

That is about four years before broadcaster Brent Musburger was credited with calling the tournament “March Madness” after hearing a high school tournament in Chicago referred to that way.

In an unfortunate bit of odds-defying timing, both local teams will be playing on national television at the same time.
Read more…

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Vladimir Putin Concedes Defeat in Pennsylvania Special Election

Mar. 15, 2018

Satire from The Borowitz Report

MOSCOW (The Borowitz Report)—Calling the result “close but no cigar,” Vladimir Putin has conceded defeat in Tuesday night’s special congressional election in Pennsylvania.

Speaking to reporters at the Kremlin, Putin thanked the many Russian campaign workers who tried but failed to propel the Republican candidate, Rick Saccone, into the winner’s circle.

“Our social-media trolls did some of their finest work to put Rick over the top, but, in the final analysis, we were a day late and a ruble short,” the Russian President said.

Putin had high praise for the Democratic candidate, Conor Lamb, who, he said, “managed to win in a district that I easily delivered to Donald Trump in 2016.”

But he belittled the attempts of Republican officials like the House Speaker, Paul Ryan, to sugarcoat the Pennsylvania defeat.

“Last night should be a wake-up call for Republicans everywhere,” Putin warned. “The midterms are less than eight months away. Let’s get to work.”

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Fish Fries With a Side of History

Mar. 15, 2018

The Leonard Post VFW 6251 Post at 2450 Walden Ave. in Cheektowaga offers a fish fry every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday during lent. Server Melissa Courtney presents a beer batter fish fry which is accompanied by German potato salad, coleslaw, macaroni salad and rye bread.

Once upon a time, Catholics gave up meat on Fridays not just during Lent, but all year round.

“It was brilliant,” said the Rev. Martin X. Moleski, who teaches at Canisius College. “Everyone knew that all of us were making a little tiny sacrifice that was meaningful. Fridays were different from any other day of the week. Every Friday was a little Lent, and every Sunday was a little Easter.”

The rules relaxed in the early 1960s. But that sacrifice was rewarded with a lasting treasure — the Friday fish fry.

We can get fish fries all year round — and we should. But there is a particular kind of fish fry that appears specifically during Lent. That is the grassroots fish fry.
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Deal With Racism Before Giving Teachers Guns

Mar. 15, 2018
It’s clear that too many teachers are either afraid of or expect the worst from black students, especially boys, says Rod Watson. (News file photo)

Some issues would be so much easier to sort out – the answers, in fact would be pretty black and white – if this nation had ever dealt comprehensively with race.

Take the death penalty, which is fine in theory. There are some murderers who deserve to die and for whom I’d gladly throw the switch with no compunction. In fact, I’d even expand the list to include rapists and child molesters.

But though I have no moral qualms about the government taking a life, I can’t support capital punishment because this nation is incapable of administering it fairly across racial lines. It has been well documented that black defendants are more likely to be executed, that those who kill whites are far more likely to be put to death, and that blacks are more likely to be excluded from juries in capital cases.

In short, race still plays far too great a role in who lives and who dies at the hands of the state to allow a punishment that, in theory, would be appropriate.
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Thanks Due Residents for Their Ideas, Concerns

Mar. 15, 2018

When my wife and I were deciding where to buy a home and start a family, we chose Amherst because it offers the best quality of life for young families in Western New York. It has excellent schools and beautiful parks, as well as libraries and cultural amenities that are second to none.

I decided to run for office because I wanted to do my part to help maintain the standard of living we all enjoy. I felt that one of my duties as a newly elected representative was to reach out to the people of Amherst and explore what they felt were important issues facing our town, so I began a listening tour in February.

This letter is to thank all of the residents who came by the Audubon Library over the past month to share their ideas and concerns.

These are some of the major issues that emerged out of that process:

• Development — We need to develop neighborhoods based on the needs of the communities that will be impacted by any proposed projects.

• Roads — I will work closely with the Town Highway Department and Erie County Department of Public Works to address residents’ concerns.

• Traffic — Smart development, with input from residents, will prevent the problem from getting worse.

• Westwood— I will work with Supervisor Kulpa to create a park that generations of Amherst residents will enjoy.

We face a diverse spectrum of issues, but solutions only manifest themselves once a problem is identified.

For those who were unable to attend, I will continue to hold these sessions in town libraries with the hope of bringing responsible, transparent government to the people who support it.

Thank you, and please never hesitate to contact me.

Shawn Lavin
Council Member
Amherst Town Board

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Good News About Cancer

Good job.

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Comptroller Calls For Special Investigation Into Dirschberger Rape Case

Mar. 14, 2018

Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw. (Photo courtesy of the Comptroller's Office)
Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw.

Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw has asked the County Legislature chairman to launch a special investigation into whether former Social Services Commissioner Al Dirschberger sexually harassed county employees prior to him being charged with raping a subordinate.

The request comes on the heels of a legal claim against the county from the woman who stated she was subjected to “repeated rape and physical assault” by Dirschberger. In her claim, she alleged the county was aware of “prior actions” in which Dirschberger harassed employees, and the county did not take necessary actions to protect them.

“The county appointed a special counsel to negotiate a Bills lease deal,” Mychajliw said. “There’s no reason we shouldn’t do the same for a rape case.”

On Tuesday, county spokesman Peter Anderson said in response to the legal notice, “The county executive and this office are not aware of any prior claims of harassment/abuse alleged to have been committed by Al Dirschberger.”

The Comptroller’s Office does not have the authority to hire an outside investigator to investigate any claim that Dirschberger may have been involved in prior incidents of employee harassment. But Mychajliw said that he believes the Legislature and Legislature Chairman Peter Savage, D-Buffalo, will recognize the severity of this matter and be agreeable to hiring one.

“It would be very hard for the administration to investigate the administration,” said the Republican comptroller. “We need an independent set of eyes with zero connections to Erie County government.”

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Comments From Citizens: Town of Amherst Spent Over $500,000 On Outside Lawyer Firms

Mar. 14, 2018

Comment 1:

Good grief! Can Amherst attorneys handle anything? Everything has to be farmed out? If it continues, Amherst attorneys need to be fired and hire ones that have some depth and breadth of understanding law. They are the “waste of taxpayer money.” Which one of the losers thought this was a good idea?

Comment 2:

To all the people who say the opoioid crisis is important, I’m not saying it isn’t, I’m complaining about the attorneys the Democrat town board hired can’t do this themselves, because we all know outside legal counsel is expensive.

Comment 3:

The Lawyers we have were gifts from Party Bosses. The Town Lawyers were given their jobs as a pay off for helping the party. The only decent one we had, Phil Meyer, quit. Now one of the remaining lawyers wants a title and huge paid raise. He deserves to be fired. THE TOWN HAS PAID OUTSIDE FIRMS OVER $500,000.

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