Category “Local News”

Tribute to JT

Jan. 18, 2020


Jim Tricoli

A man, a Husband, a Father, a Grandfather

An AMherstionian telling the truth as he saw it in a town that often didn’t appreciate that bright light

Not a big guy but a fighter without regard for your status or political party in what is a public service arena

For me he was a friend since at least since 2006 if not longer

He made my trips to Wegmans just a little more fun

A phone call set off a research project for me to help him find out what I could substantiate on the issue

He checked his facts with both sides even if “no comment” was the best they could do with the query

He has been asked to leave and he has been escorted from town meetings and the party he chose to register with

In a world of double meanings and Fox vs CNN for any semblance of facts Jim surprised both camps with what he uncovered

Yes, he would have been so happy as a Woodward and Bernstein no doubt

No donations, no free stuff, no frivolous awards for the scraper born of immigrants

I trusted him and his local view made you smile if you saw him, the Leprechaun with the typewriter

All those meetings where the basic facts are woven into a swampland, Jim sand and listened and asked for explanations for all those years

If you lasted into you seventies yo have seen history repeat itself but this week you walked through the checkout line one last time

Jimmy, I’m glad I knew you

Frank Bellotti

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Honoring Jim

Jan. 15, 2020

One last word concerning Jim’s service on Saturday.  Several people have called asking if they might offer a tribute in Jim’s honor.

Our family would be greatly honored if donations were made to Roswell Park Alliance Foundation in honor of Jim’s sister, Mary Bertola.

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Sleeping Giants Are Amazing

Jan. 13, 2020


Jim Tricoli 1942 – 2020

Sunday morning was unlike any I have experienced before. That was the morning my husband Jim Tricoli, owner and editor of this blog, went home to be with his God.

Jim’s story is very similar to many of our readers. But at his most basic level, he was a man of deep faith and love for his family.  As a first-generation American and the youngest of twelve children, his love of family was a part of his DNA well before 23 and Me was even a thing.  When it came to family, there was never a question of cost or resources, he just needed to hear about someone in need and he was there.

In many ways, Jim was the magician of the family.  No problem was too big or too small to overcome or solve, he would always find a way to make it happen. It was the way he approached everything in his life; raise a family on two teachers salaries and occasional food stamps, check; pay for two children to attend college, check; survive a heart attack at 40, cancer at 60, and everything in between, check, check, check; attend almost every town board meeting for the past 30 years, CHECK!  The man was a machine driven by a clear sense of right and wrong; the physical manifestation of the conscience so often missing in today’s “most spin wins” culture.

This blog was one of the primary tools he used to give voice to those who couldn’t speak for themselves and the concerns of the citizens who didn’t have his platform.  He never asked for money or fame or any recognition beyond knowing the truth was exposed and those trying to hide it, or hide from it, were held accountable. Jim proved what Speaker Tip O’Neill made famous when he said “…all politics are local”.  And now that voice has forever gone silent.  That voice, which was a lion and never backed away from doing the right thing, impacted so many of us to be better versions of ourselves and not settle for mediocrity.

For those of you who’ve had the opportunity to know Jim personally, we want you to know how much he loved and cared for you and your friendship.  It meant so much to him to talk and learn about people of all walks of life and learn your stories and how he could help.

He worked at many jobs before he finally decided to go to college, Canisius. Upon graduation, he took a teaching job with BOCES until his retirement due to a disability. He began attending Town Board meetings and became deeply involved in various issues that were being contested at the time. Politics were always a keen attraction for him. He even worked for John Kennedy when he ran for President in the 60’s.

When Jim retired he was still young and decided to write a blog that he named the Amhersttimes. That happened in the early 2000s and he posted stories on it every day until now.

Through the years he exposed many wrongdoings and was proud of the ‘wrongs’ he could help turn into ‘rights.’ He loved living in Amherst and did all he could to help it evolve into to best town it could be.

Jim is survived by his wife Margaret (Davis), his sons Jeffrey (Maria Rivera) and Joseph (Linda Dees) and his sister Mary Bertola. He has 5 grandchildren: Emily and Daniel Dees, Gabriella, Dante and Dominic Tricoli as well as many nieces and nephews.

Jim will be missed by many family members and friends. God grant you rest and peace.

A memorial service will be held at 9:30 on Saturday Jan. 18, 2020 at Ss. Peter & Paul RC church on Main St. in Williamsville.

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Amherst Police Warn of Gift Card Phone Scam

Jan. 11, 2020

(John Hickey/Buffalo News file photo)

The Amherst Police Department released a statement Friday reminding the public that police departments or government agencies will not ask someone to purchase gift cards to settle debts or to avoid arrest.

The advisory came following a local report of a fraud where the individual identified himself to a caller as an Amherst police officer.

Police said the initial call was automated and was reported to be from a federal agency. A subsequent call did display the phone number of the Amherst Police Department on the victim’s caller ID, police said.

The Amherst Police urged residents who receive a similar call to hang up, and contact their local police department.

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Amherst Eyes New Turf Field to Serve Daemen, Youth Athletes

Jan 11, 2020

The Town of Amherst is planning improve West Royal Park, near the 90-290 interchange, in a project that includes partnering with Daemen College on a new artificial turf field. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)
The Town of Amherst is planning to improve West Royal Park, near the 90-290 interchange, in a project that includes partnering with Daemen College on a new artificial turf field.

The Town of Amherst wants to construct an artificial turf field at West Royal Park that would serve Daemen College athletes, youth soccer and football players and other users.

The field is one of a number of improvements the town is weighing for the park just to the south of Main Street and the Interstate 90-290 interchange.

Amherst and Daemen officials have discussed the project, which would see the town pay for the construction of the field and other amenities and see the college pay to use the field.

The work would “renew and reinvigorate” West Royal Park, Amherst Supervisor Brian J. Kulpa said in his State of the Town address Friday.
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Bar-Bill North Opens, Bringing Wing Vision to Clarence

Jan. 10, 2020

Served at the new Bar-Bill North are, clockwise from top left, Hot Spicy barbecue wings, beef on weck, Sicilian wings, hot wings and Cajun Honey Butter wings. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)
Served at the new Bar-Bill North are, clockwise from top left, Hot Spicy barbecue wings, beef on weck, Sicilian wings, hot wings and Cajun Honey Butter wings.

Buck up, Buffalonians: one of the best wing places ever has taken flight to the Northtowns.

Bar-Bill North is now open for lunch at 8326 Main St. in Clarence. If you go, be patient during its shakedown cruise.

Owner Clark Crook bought the Clarence property on Nov. 2017, but it took a bit longer than he expected to open. The renovations merged a modern expansion and kitchen facilities with the 250-year-old foundations of the structure that was surrounded with train cars as the Old Red Mill.

The addition of a patio room with doors that open to the breeze, a second-story seasonal deck and more seating has increased its capacity to about 150, about twice as large as the East Aurora original. A large parking lot behind the building can handle quite a fleet.
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African Wild Cats Land Amherst Man Court

Jan. 10, 2020

A serval in the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya. (Getty Images)
A serval in the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya.

Christopher Casacci is in the business of selling cats, but it’s not the domestic ones that landed him in federal custody Thursday.

Prosecutors say Casacci trafficked in African wild cats – caracals and servals – and some of them died in his care.

Charged in a 33-count indictment, the Amherst man is accused of violating the Lacey Act, a federal law prohibiting the illegal importation and sale of certain types of fish, wildlife and plants.
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Roswell Park Plans Expansion of Cancer Care Into Amherst

Jan. 10, 2020

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center intends to open a satellite facility next to this medical office at 199 Park Club Lane in Amherst. The Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. project still requires town and state approval. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center intends to open a satellite facility next to this medical office at 199 Park Club Lane in Amherst. The Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. project still requires town and state approval.

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center plans to open a satellite service site in an Amherst office park, according to town officials and public records.

Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. has submitted plans to construct a three-story, 50,000-square-foot medical office building on Park Club Lane near the Interstate 90 and 290 interchange.

Documents filed with the town’s Planning Department don’t identify the prospective tenant but Amherst Supervisor Brian J. Kulpa on Thursday confirmed it would be Roswell Park.

Kulpa, who will highlight the project in his State of the Town address on Friday, touted the benefits for patients from Amherst, Clarence and other points north and east who need follow-up chemotherapy and other services from Roswell Park.
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Developer Mark Croce Mourned by WNY Leaders As ‘part of our resurgence’

Jan. 10, 2020

Mark Croce was the owner of Statler City, Curtiss Hotel and the Buffalo Chophouse. (Derek Gee/News file photo)
Mark Croce was the owner of Statler City, Curtiss Hotel and the Buffalo Chophouse.

Developer Mark Croce, who put his stamp on Buffalo with his involvement in several prominent projects, was mourned Friday by Western New York leaders in the wake of the news of his death in a helicopter crash Thursday night in Pennsylvania.

Croce was the owner of Statler City, Curtiss Hotel and the Buffalo Chophouse.

Croce, 58, and Michael Capriotto, 63, both of Orchard Park, were killed in a helicopter crash Thursday evening in Mechanicsburg, Pa., the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office reported.
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Former Captain Gets Conditional Discharge After Stealing From Fire Department

Jan. 9, 2020

Former captain gets conditional discharge after stealing from fire department

An East Amherst man has been sentenced by State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski to a three-year conditional discharge, following his Oct. 30 guilty plea to fourth-degree grand larceny and first-degree falsifying business records, according to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.

As part of his sentence, 36-year-old Brent Dewitt must perform 100 hours of community service, and is prohibited from handling money on behalf of any organization for the next three years, prosecutors said.

Dewitt admitted that, between Nov. 1, 2018, and April 30, 2019, he stole $23,725 while he was working as a captain for the Swormville Fire Department. Prosecutors said Dewitt made numerous unauthorized transactions with the fire department’s credit card and sent the money to his personal PayPal accounts.
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