Educate to Elevate

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo Provide Teen Members a “Forum” to Discuss Concerns about Urban Public Schools in America.

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In light of recent events affecting our local High School Students, Teen Members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo Keystone Club have expressed their concern for urban public schools in America, in particular, Buffalo Public Schools. Keystone Club is a unique leadership development experience providing opportunities for Youth to participate, both in and out of the Club, in activities focusing on academic success, career preparation and community service. With the guidance of an adult advisor, Keystone Clubs aim to have a positive impact on members, the Club and community.  Recognizing that our education system is in trouble, and our youth are suffering because of it, we as an organization have decided to provide our Members with a forum to express themselves.

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The Educate to Elevate project is a round table discussion focusing on chronic absenteeism, high school “drop out” rates, the lower achievement rates of African American males, parent involvement, and school reform. Allowing our Members the opportunity to be heard is the best way we can support them in their academic objectives. Members have been focusing on 5 core questions to be answered as part of the discussion. The questions were created in partnership with leading education officials throughout WNY.

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To provide an even bigger impact, Educate to Elevate is being held in conjunction with our annual Lights on Afterschool event, held in partnership with the Afterschool Alliance and afterschool programs across the country in rallying for afterschool programs. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo are asking the general public to attend the forum, and listen to the needs of our youth, their concerns, fears, and suggestions.

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Educate to Elevate will be held on:

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Thursday Oct. 20th at 5:30pm
Eggertsville Youth & Community Center
4110 Bailey Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14226

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Candidate Craig R. Bucki Fundraiser A Success

Over 60 people were in attendance at Craig Bucki’s fundraiser at the Protocol Restaurant.  The mix of people including family, friends and  politicians, made for many different stimulating conversations.

Craig did an excellent job working the crowd mading sure he said hello to everyone.  He shone as a man who had confidence in himself.

Craig is seeking the New York Assembly seat in  the 148th Assembly District.

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Amanda Knox Returns Home To Seattle

She spent the last four years in an Italian jail accused of murder.  Yesterday an Italian appeals court overturned her conviction in the sex assault and killing of Kercher, her roommate in Italy.

The verdict took Knox from eating prison fare and scribbling in a diary while behind Italian bars, to savoring mile-high champagne, smoked salmon and prawn salad aboard a plane bound for home.

As she left the prison in the Italian city of Peruggia Monday night, hundreds of inmates gave her a rousing sendoff.

They shouted “Amanda, ciao!” and “Freedom!”
read more…

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New Jersey Governor Announces: ‘Now is not my time’

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie confirmed Tuesday he will not be running for President in 2012.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie confirmed Tuesday he will not be running for President in 2012.

No more waffling for Gov. Christie.  It’s official.  He will not be our next President.

Chris Christie’s heart was never really in it – and his runup rhetoric would have handed rivals a campaign cudgel if he jumped all-in on a White House race.

“It didn’t feel right to me – in my gut,” Christie concluded, noting he “thought long and hard” about challenging President Obama.
read more…

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Higgins Pushes for Pilot Fatigue Rule on House Floor

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) spoke on the Floor of the House of Representatives calling for action on a pilot fatigue rule now two months overdue.  Earlier today Higgins also announced a letter signed by over 100 members pushing for implementation of these critical aviation safety measures.

Below is the text of Congressman Higgins’ remarks:

Mr. Speaker,

I come before the House to call for the immediate implementation of the pending aviation safety rule on preventing pilot fatigue.

In February of 2009 Continental Connection Flight 3407 crashed in my community of Western New York.  

The investigation of the crash brought to light serious deficiencies in federal aviation safety standards, including our rules to prevent pilot fatigue.  In response Congress unanimously passed legislation to reform these rules.

Yet despite broad congressional support, implementation of the pilot fatigue rule is more than two months overdue.  Yesterday 102 of my colleagues and I sent a letter to the Administration urging the quick implementation of these reforms.

The old policies still in place do not adequately prevent fatigue or sufficiently protect the traveling public.

We must implement the overdue pilot fatigue rule.  While we delay, the travelling public continues to take to the skies bearing unnecessary risks.

(Access video by clicking HERE )

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Mass Appeal, Friday, November 18

Plan on attending the Elmwood Village Association’s own version of NYC Fashion Week.  This unique fashion show will display the diverse and vibrant clothing lines and collections of area designers and retailers. 

Take a peek at last year’s show HERE

All tickets can be purchased through the Elmwood Village Association website, www.elmwoodvillage.org or by calling (716) 881-0707.  General admission seats can be purchased for $30, and V.I.P. tickets sell for $125 and include runway seating and admission to the exclusive V.I.P. party prior to the event.  General admission tickets are also available at all area Wegmans locations.   

We’ll see you Friday, November 18, 2011 at the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church located at 875 Elmwood Avenue in the City of Buffalo.  Doors open at 7:00 p.m.  Show begins at 8:30 p.m. 

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Craig Bucki Fundraiser Set

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Higgins & Slaughter Protest William Street Postal Facility Closing

Brian Higgins

Congressmembers Ask Postmaster to Take Buffalo Off List

Congressmembers Brian Higgins (NY-27) and Louise Slaughter (NY-28) are joining forces to fight the proposed closing of the United States Postal Service (USPS) mail processing facility on William Street in Buffalo.

“The proposal to close the William Street facility would leave an indelible stamp on Western New York’s economy,” said Congressman Higgins. “It’s bad for working families and especially bad for local business and we are urging the Post Office to reconsider.”

“As someone who makes the drive between Buffalo and Rochester regularly, I can tell you that having our mail make that journey on a daily basis is foolish,” said Congresswoman Slaughter. “At risk is the certainty of next day mail that is vital for our local businesses which is one of the many reasons why we are asking the Post Office not to close the Williams Street facility.”

The USPS recently announced it will undertake a study of 252 mail processing centers nationwide to consider closings and consolidations.  The Buffalo facility is among those on the list. 

Higgins and Slaughter argue the closing would be a “job destroyer” not only for the 700 postal employees who would be displaced due to a closing, but the William Street closing would negatively impact thousands of businesses across Western New York that rely on next-day delivery.

Below is the text of the joint letter sent by Reps. Higgins & Slaughter:

October 4, 2011

Patrick R. Donahoe
Postmaster General
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW
Washington D.C. 20260-3500

Dear Postmaster Donahoe,

In a letter dated September 15th 2011, the United States Postal Service announced that it would be performing an Area Mail Processing (AMP), feasibility study for the William Street facility in Buffalo NY. We write to express our strong concern of this review which may be the precursor to a closure of the William Street facility and the permanent dislocation of its more than 700 workers. This potential closure would be a job destroyer for Western New York.  

The closure of the William Street facility would have an unprecedented impact on the economy of Western New York and would damage the community’s ability to compete both internationally and domestically. The William Street facility is geographically closer to both the sectional center facilities areas in Jamestown and Erie. The feasibility of maintaining the current next day functionality that is a staple of Western New York would be completely eliminated by moving processing to the Rochester facility. For those that rely on a consistent next day service for medication, Social Security checks, or other essential services, this closure would mean potential life threatening disruptions. Next day service is essential to international business and as one of the busiest northern border crossings into Canada, Buffalo is uniquely situated to facilitate international trade. Millions of pieces of mail are currently sorted at the William Street facility annually between the United States and Canada strengthening our economic ties and ensuring cross border business.

Western New York’s strong medical research facilities, banking, and manufacturing all rely on next day mail to maintain their edge and competitive advantage. Without the William Street facility operating, the immediate and long term economic health of our community would suffer. Buffalo is New York’s second largest city and has one of the largest volumes of mail of any sectional center facility. The closure of this facility would immediately and permanently create disruptions in service and that is unacceptable. The Postal Service has recently downsized the amount of processing plants from 675 to 508 nationwide. The efficiency gained by closing the William Street facility would be pale in comparison to the economic toll it would place on the families and businesses that rely on next day service.

We ask that the William Street office be taken off the list of facilities slated for a feasibility study and that you provide the families and businesses of Western New York with a strong signal of support ensuring that essential postal functionality will be maintained into the future. 

Sincerely,                                  

BRIAN HIGGINS                           LOUISE M. SLAUGHTER
Member of Congress                   Member of Congress

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Statement From Congresswoman Hochul On Passage Of Continuing Resolution

After passage of today’s Continuing Resolution that averted a massive government shutdown, Congresswoman Hochul issued the following statement:

“The House just voted for a Continuing Resolution that ensures the government will continue to run through November 18th.  I supported this measure since it not only helped avoid a massive government shutdown, but did so without balancing the budget on the backs of American families who have been victims of natural disasters.  Under the original Republican plan, FEMA assistance for disaster victims would have been pitted against American workers and job creators.  But today’s Continuing Resolution was about funding our government, while still providing vital services to disaster victims.”

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Poloncarz Campaign Blasts Collins’ Control over IDA

ERIE COUNTY, NY – In response to a recent Buffalo News story*, the campaign for Mark Poloncarz  for County Executive today blasted Chris Collins for lining his rich friend’s pockets as working families in Erie County struggle. The story revealed that the law firm Harris Beach, handpicked by Collins as counsel to the Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA), has collected more than $740,000 in IDA business, all while pouring more than $60,000 into Collins’ campaign coffers.

“Chris Collins has used the ECIDA as his own political playground, allowing his wealthy friends to pay and play,” said campaign spokesman Peter Anderson. “The process by which Harris Beach was ‘chosen’ was shameful and disrespectful to the taxpayers of this county. Steering county business towards big donors is always the Collins way, and Chris Collins is always willing to help out a rich friend. His ‘pay-to-play’ ways don’t work for Erie County; the only people he’s concerned about are himself and his big campaign donors.”

Poloncarz has proposed that when elected County Executive, he will change the way IDAs do business. Currently, the county’s IDAs compete against one another to poach businesses from one town to another instead of working together to strengthen the county’s economy as a whole. Poloncarz proposed consolidating all of the county IDAs into a one-stop-shop for economic development that would encourage business development.
 
“Since Chris Collins was elected, he’s raised taxes and decimated services at the same time the community has lost approximately 14,000 jobs,” Anderson said. “However, not everyone has felt the pain because his cronies have benefited from tax breaks, lucrative contracts and sweetheart deals. Erie County deserves a County Executive who isn’t worried about the bank accounts of his campaign contributors, but whether you can make ends meet.”

* The Buffalo News, “Backer of Collins reaps big money from IDA deal,” October 1, 2011: http://www.buffalonews.com/city/communities/erie-county/article578351.ece

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