Sarah Palin Now An X-rated Punch Line

Sarah Palin (r.) could be waving good-bye to status as Tea Party darling after new book says she had tryst with former Knick Glen Rice (l.) while working as TV reporter.
Sarah Palin (r.) could be waving good-bye to status as Tea Party darling.

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When Sarah Palin was a fresh faced reported back in 1987, she had a “fetish” about black men.  Palin violated the most basic of journalistic tenets, bedding college basketball star Glen Rice in 1987 when she was a young TV sports reporter for KTUU in Anchorage.  I wonder what the Tea Party thinks about that.

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There is plenty of funny and jaw-dropping material in Joe McGinniss‘ book, “The Rogue,” but the one serious, grimace-producing revelation is that Palin had a one-night stand while covering the 20-year-old Michigan player who happened to be in town for a basketball tournament.

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According to the Alaskan’s acquaintances and neighbors interviewed by McGinniss, Palin, 23, had a “fetish” about black men. Rice reportedly confirmed the affair when asked by the author, though he wasn’t commenting on it Wednesday from his home in Coral Gables, Fla.
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Chamber’s Young Professionals Group to Host Networking Night

AMHERST, NY- The Amherst Chamber of Commerce’s Emerging Business Leaders, along with B-Team Buffalo, will be hosting a night of networking on Wednesday, October 5, 2011. The event will be at Morrisey’s Irish Pub, located at 30 Mississippi Street in Buffalo from 5:30pm – 7:30pm.

The Emerging Business Leaders are connecting tomorrow’s leaders by encouraging peer-to-peer networking with other young professionals at their monthly events. Whether looking to conduct business or meeting like-minded peers, it is important for young professionals to continue to grow their network through these events.

The EBL strives to advance the leadership potential of WNY’s young professionals by providing events that enhance skill development, leadership training and the building of synergistic relationships both personally and professionally. Individuals seeking excellence, professionalism, personal growth and career advancement through collaborative efforts now have a place to devote their time and efforts in our region.

B-Team Buffalo is a community of young leaders who create and execute high-impact projects aimed at creating a sense of pride and civic engagement in the City of Buffalo and Western New York region.  They inspire the residents of the Greater Buffalo area to work collaboratively and play an active role in our community – serving as a catalyst for change, enhancing the quality of life in Western New York through advocacy, partnerships and exemplary leadership.

The event is free for members of the Emerging Business Leaders and B-Team Buffalo and $5 for non-members. For more information or to make a reservation for this event, please visit the Chamber online at, B-Team Buffalo online at, or call 716.632.6905.

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Dr. Weinstein’s 9/11 Address

On Sunday September 11, 2011 Dr. Weinstein was invited to address the community members gathered at the Jaffarya Center at 5:0o. 

Here are his remarks: 

            Greetings and thank you for inviting me to share in this solemn event with all of you.  I extend to everyone my sincere wishes for peace in your lives. Our Amherst community is known as one where we can enjoy peace, happiness, and security in our everyday lives.  We are known one of America’s “Safest Towns”; we are known for our excellent schools, desirable neighborhoods, beautiful parks and recreational facilities, cultural attractions, employment opportunities and all those things that make life secure and happy.  Amherst has a diverse population composed of many ethnic groups, all working and living together as a community.

         While we enjoy peace here in Amherst, we must remember that there are many in the world not that fortunate.  We should not shelter ourselves in our safe community without giving a thought to how we can help to promote peace, not only at home but throughout the world.  The world is no longer composed of segregated countries or continents.  Technology has made the world truly global.  Communications can be sent across the world instantly.  Trade among nations can be speedily accomplished.  We have seen that economic, political, or social conditions in one country quickly affect others worldwide. 

         It is our duty as citizens, not just of Amherst or the United States but as global citizens, to realize the interdependence all citizens of the world share.  We must actively work to promote peace throughout the world.  You might ask, “What can I do?”  I believe the answer can begin in our own homes.  We must demonstrate to our children, through our words and actions, our respect for all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or culture.  After all, it is diversity that makes the world interesting.  We should celebrate our differences.  We should combine our talents and experiences in productive ways.  Technological advances should be used towards peaceful goals, protecting the environment, bettering the economy, and improving the lives of everyone across the globe.

         Our United States of America is a prosperous nation, yet there are people within our country who are struggling.  Reach out to them, possibly through one of our many charitable organizations, and help.  You can see that our country is not well if some of its citizens don’t have economic security.  The same is true worldwide.  Prosperous nations must share their wealth and technology with poorer ones.  We can and we must come together to meet basic needs in developing countries, simple things like drinking water, irrigation systems, communication systems, food, shelter, and clothing.  We must share our technology and knowledge to help people in underdeveloped areas achieve economic self-sufficiency.  Only when their basic needs are met can they enjoy real peace in their lives.

         Take an active role in your children’s lives, become involved in their schools, make sure they are being educated in a peaceful environment, set a good example.  After all, it is our children who will be faced with ensuring worldwide peace in the future.

         Thank you for sharing this time with me today.  May peace and harmony be with all of us.

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Higgins Says Post Office Not Fulfilling Responsibility to Inform the Public on Lackawanna Closing

Congressman Wants Better Community Outreach, Additional Time for Comments

In a letter sent to the U.S. Postmaster General and the Buffalo District Postmaster, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) is objecting to less than forthcoming and outright confusing information coming from the United States Postal Service related to the proposal to close the Lackawanna facility. 

“The USPS owes it to the citizens and customers they serve to clearly and appropriately inform the public of a potential closing and give weight to the customers voice to as you conduct your studies to ‘determine customer needs,’” said Higgins in his letter to the Postmasters.

Below is the text of Congressman Higgins letter to the Postmasters:

September 15, 2011

Patrick R. Donahoe                                                                                      John Phelan
Postmaster General                                                                                     Buffalo Postmaster
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW                                                                                1200 William Street, Rm 205
Washington DC 20260-3500                                                                   Buffalo, NY 14240-9345

Dear Sirs:

On July 26, 2011 the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced publicly it will conduct studies of approximately 3,700 retail offices to “determine customer needs.”  In meetings with local USPS representatives our office was assured the process would be open and fully inclusive of community input.  I write today to specifically object to the lack of appropriate community notification on the proposal to close the United States Post Office in Lackawanna, NY. 

Please find below our specific objections:

Community Survey:

  • Lackawanna residents & businesses have not received the questionnaire: According to the Proposal to Close the Lackawanna Branch (Docket: 1422790-14228, Item Nbr: 17, Page Nbr: 2) “On or about September 4, 2011, questionnaires were distributed to delivery customers of the Lackawanna Branch.”   However, a significant number of residents living in the City of Lackawanna have reported to our office that they have not received the customer questionnaire (Docket: 1433790-14228, Item Nbr: 10).  In fact, we have yet to hear from one individual living or owning a business in the 14218 zip code who has knowingly received the survey. 
  • Questionnaire fails to adequately disclose the intent to close the Lackawanna Branch:  A copy of the Postal Service Customer Questionnaire (Docket: 1433790-14228, Item Nbr: 10) provided to our office reads as follows:  “Your responses to the following questions are important to the US Postal Service and will be considered in the feasibility study for the Lackawanna Branch.” In no portion of the survey is it clearly defined that the Lackawanna facility is slated for closure and responses will factor into a final decision on that matter.
  • Questionnaire fails to mention details of the Community Meeting:  No portion of the customer questionnaire (Docket: 1433790-14228, Item Nbr: 10), purportedly mailed to 14218 customers, mentions the intent to hold a community meeting or the details of such meeting.

Public Notice:

  • Proposal and Request for Comments Not Clearly Visible to the Public:  The Invitation for Comments (Docket: 1433790-14218, Item Nbr: 16) and Proposal to close the Lackawanna branch (Docket: 1422790-14228, Item Nbr: 17) is posted in the facility foyer, significantly above eye level, on forms with extremely fine print (text which appears to be approximately 8 pt. font).   Visitors to the Post Office would have to look extremely hard to find the posting and reading it is even more difficult given the text size.
  • Community Meeting Not Publicized Through Local Media: With today being less than one week prior to the scheduled community meeting, the USPS has failed to publicize the meeting through print, radio, TV or alternative news sources from which the public is routinely notified of community events and news. 
  • Community Meeting Details Incomplete:  In the Proposal (Docket: 1422790-14228, Item Nbr: 17, Page Nbr: 2) the notification of the community meeting reads as follows: “On September 20, 2011, representatives from the Postal Service will be available at Lackawanna Senior Citizens Building: 340 Martin Rd to answer questions and provide information to customers.”   The information fails to include a meeting time or any additional information about the meeting agenda and process for community input. 

Community Feedback:

  • Conflicting Deadlines for Community Feedback:  The Customer Questionnaire (Docket: 1433790-14228, Item Nbr: 10) asks respondents to complete the survey and return it no later than 09/21/2011 however, the Invitation for Comments (Docket: 1433790-14218, Item Nbr: 16) reports comments will be accepted through 11/07/2011.  This is problematic not only because it leads to confusion about the authentic deadline, but as I have indicated in points above, residents have yet to receive the surveys containing the deadline listed as one week from today and the Invitation for Comments posted within the Lackawanna facility is not clearly visible. 

As per my letter dated August 9, 2011, I remain opposed to the proposal to close the only USPS facility in the City of Lackawanna based on the unique demographics and needs of the surrounding community.  But regardless of my position on behalf of the community I serve, the USPS owes it to the citizens and customers they serve to clearly and appropriately inform the public of a potential closing and give weight to the customers voice to as you conduct your studies to “determine customer needs.”

Given the inadequacy that has been documented in the above areas, it is the responsibility of the Postal Service to address these issues before any public hearing can be held. The legitimacy of the process depends on strong and thorough input from the community and documentation that significant outreach was deployed.  With that, I am requesting you delay the proposed community meeting, scheduled for September 20, 2011 in Lackawanna, until such time Lackawanna residents are fully aware of the meeting and prepared to attend.  In addition we ask you to extend the November 7, 2011 deadline for public comments given the points made above. 

Thank you for your consideration and please feel free to contact my Erie County District Office at 716-852-3501 if you would like to discuss these matters further.


Member of Congress

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Emerging Business Leaders Welcome Sharon Randaccio of Performance Management Partners, Inc

AMHERST, NY- The Amherst Chamber of Commerce’s Emerging Business Leaders, a young professionals group, is welcoming Sharon Randaccio, President & CEO of Performance Management Partners, Inc., as their special guest on Thursday September 29, 2011 as part of the “Food For Thought” series. The breakfast is open to ten young professionals from throughout WNY and will take place at the Amherst Chamber of Commerce located at 350 Essjay Road, Suite 200 in Williamsville at 8:00am.

Performance Management Partners, Inc. is a talent management company based in Upstate New York.  The firm helps clients make better people decisions to improve bottom-line performance.  Services provided include Succession Planning, Talent Assessments, Executive Coaching, Team Building, Career Transition, Executive Search and Employee Engagement Surveys.  Randaccio’s clients represent all industry sectors on a national and global basis with significant experience in the financial services industry.

The Chamber’s “Food for Thought” program puts a small group of young professionals at the same table as some of Buffalo-Niagara’s most influential leaders. These events are a great opportunity for young professionals to pick the brain of a successful CEO, ask career advice, learn how they got to where they are today & get an understanding for the organization they currently represent.

This event is $10 for Chamber members and $15 for non-members with breakfast provided. Space is limited so register today! For more information or to make a reservation for this event call the Chamber at 716.632.6905.

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A Letter from Rick Perry

Dear American,

For the last few weeks I’ve been under constant attack.  My opponents would have you believe that if I’m elected, you’ll be stripped of your Social Security benefits and will be scrounging for food in dumpsters with all the desperation of a feral cat.

Of course, that’s true.  But what they don’t tell you is what I’d replace Social Security with: an amazing new program I like to call PerryCare™.

Under PerryCare™, you’ll receive all the food, clothing and shelter you need, and it won’t cost a dime in taxes.  How if that possible?  Simple: you’ll be praying for all those things.

I expect that some of my opponents will laugh at my plan, especially that lawn gnome Ron Paul and Michele “Crazy Eyes” Bachmann.  Fine, let them laugh!  Laughter is the best medicine.  And if I am elected, there will be no other medicine.
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Amherst Chamber Announces New Hires

AMHERST, NY – The Amherst Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the addition of Amanda Finch, Operations Coordinator and Allison Whalen, Communications Coordinator to its staff of full time business professionals.

Finch joins the Chamber following a previous career in real estate.  She will finish her Bachelor of Business Administration, General Management degree from Bryant & Stratton College in December of this year.  Finch will be responsible for the management of all chamber information, including the Membership Database and the Emerging Business Leaders membership database.  She will also serve as information & technology liaison for the Chamber with outside vendors.

Whalen joins the Chamber following a successful ten month media internship with the Northeast Conference where she was the league’s media contact for seven collegiate sports.  She is a 2009 graduate of St. Bonaventure University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communications and a 2010 Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications.  At the Chamber, Whalen will primarily be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Chamber’s electronic communications and social media operations.  She will also be responsible for the design and creation of all chamber marketing materials.

“The Chamber is thrilled to be adding two bright and energetic new individuals to its staff,” said Colleen DiPirro, President & CEO of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce.  “Amanda and Allison will be excellent additions to our already dynamic team.  We look forward to the work they will be doing on behalf of the Western New York business community.”

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Poloncarz Releases Economic Development Strategy

Focus On Job Creation and Creating a “One-Stop” Shop for Development
ERIE COUNTY, NY – Today, County Executive Candidate Mark Poloncarz pledged to make job creation the top priority of his administration and released his plan to stimulate economic development in Erie County.

“Chris Collins said that Erie County must grow or die and that we should hold him accountable for his promises,” Poloncarz said. “It’s time to hold him accountable. Unfortunately in the last four years, Erie County has lost over 14,000 jobs and the unemployment rate is over 3 percent higher. It’s clear that our current approach isn’t working. That is why when I am elected County Executive, I will take the drastic steps needed to ensure Erie County’s economy gets back on track so that our skilled workforce can get back to work.”

Poloncarz’s plan proposes (1) consolidating Erie County’s six industrial development agencies (“IDAs”) and numerous municipal development agencies (“MDAs”) into a “one-stop” shop for economic development, (2) aggressively attracting business expansion from Canada and (3) tasking his Deputy County Executive with spearheading the county’s economic development strategy.

Poloncarz believes that Erie County’s economic development strategy has been too divisive for too long. Currently, Erie County has six different IDAs, each with competing interests, overlapping areas of responsibility, different mission statements and separate goals for development, which does little more than confuse businesses and force them to navigate a maze of red tape. Often, instead of working together to attract new business and economic development to Erie County, these IDAs compete against one another, and end up poaching existing businesses from neighboring municipalities. To solve these problems Poloncarz proposed consolidating Erie County’s six IDAs into one general agency as a “one-stop” shop for economic development. This will help focus initiatives, reduce administrative costs and ensure more equitable distribution of tax exemptions.

“When businesses get hundreds of thousands of dollars to move from one town to another without actually creating any jobs, or even threatening moving out of the area, we have a problem,” Poloncarz said. “We should not be fighting amongst ourselves, but working together as a county so that all cities, towns and villages can grow with each other, not compete. This will ultimately save taxpayer dollars and end the process of poaching businesses from one part of the county to the other.”

Second, Poloncarz called for an aggressive development campaign into Canada. Erie County is uniquely positioned to take advantage of its proximity to Toronto, Canada’s economic hub. A large part of Erie County’s economic development strategy should be working to attract businesses from Canada. Poloncarz pledged to work with the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (BNE) and Buffalo Niagara Partnership (BNP), two key local players in economic development, to expand the county’s scope into Canada.

“When I worked in the private sector, my law firm had an office in Toronto and aggressively marketed our ability to represent Canadian businesses in their America expansion,” Poloncarz said. “We must capitalize on our proximity to Toronto, Canada’s financial center, and become the American home to Canada’s largest businesses.  We are 90 miles away from Toronto but we might as well be 9000 miles away based on the decades long lack of effort to attract these strong businesses to our community. As County Executive, I will not only work to support existing partners, but aggressively work to attract new Canadian business to our county.”

Lastly, Poloncarz emphasized the need for his Deputy County Executive to work as a “Jobs Czar” for the county to spearhead all of these efforts. This person would be tasked with coordinating the region’s economic development tools and agencies to provide assistance to businesses who want to relocate to Erie County while nurturing the county’s existing businesses. The Jobs Czar would also hold monthly stakeholder meetings with local development entities, including the IDA, BNP and BNE to ensure all agencies are working together toward the betterment of our county.

“For too long, Erie County has been devoid of a cohesive economic development strategy,” Poloncarz said. “We must overhaul the system in order to drastically upstart our economy. My Deputy County Executive will create a streamlined, sustainable and efficient approach to economic development whose sole focus will be job creation. It’s time that Erie County taxpayers see a return on the investment of their tax dollars into economic development initiatives that show results.”

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Elizabeth Warren To Run For Senate

Warren appears before the Senate Finance Committee with TARP Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky and acting U.S. Comptroller General Gene DodaroHarvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, who helped create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, plans to announce her bid for U.S. Senate against Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) on Wednesday.

“The pressures on middle class families are worse than ever, but it is the big corporations that get their way in Washington,” Warren said in a statement. “I want to change that. I will work my heart out to earn the trust of the people of Massachusetts.”
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Demand at Target for Fashion Line Crashes Web Site

The designers Margherita Maccapani Missoni, left, and Angela Missoni greeted guests last week at a Target store in New York.

Black Friday came early to Target stores.  Yesterday the store debuted their new Missoni designer line and the crowd went wild.

Target’s Web site came crashing down on Tuesday as Missoni-loving fashion devotées invaded, scrambling to buy the high-end Italian designer’s clothes for a song.

With its limited-edition Missoni for Target line, introduced on Tuesday, and other low-price designer collections, Target has been trying to position itself as the chicest of the discount stores. Missoni’s clothing usually costs in the hundreds or thousands of dollars, but it had designed a number of cheaper items for Target, like a $40 skirt in its signature zigzag design and a $600 patio set. However, the limited-edition fashions were more limited than Target might have wanted.

In an unusual fumble for the large retailer, Target was unprepared for online shoppers’ hunger for the items. The site was wiped out for most of the day; the company said that demand for items was higher than it was on a typical day after Thanksgiving, and that is usually the biggest shopping day of the year.
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