New York Ends Vaccination Exemptions Based on Religious Beliefs

June 15, 2019

ALBANY – Amid the nation’s worst outbreak of measles in a quarter century, lawmakers at the State Capitol Thursday approved a measure halting the practice of some parents using religious beliefs as a reason not to vaccinate their children.

“Just as you don’t have a right to yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theater you don’t have a right not to vaccinate your child because of misinformation you may have received masking as a religious tenet,” said State Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Manhattan Democrat and sponsor of the measure in the State Senate.

After an at times contentious debate – with protesters shouting down from a balcony – the Assembly narrowly approved the measure, by a 77-53 vote, one more than required to pass a bill. [Hours later, after some lawmakers had seen how the voting played out, the official roll call vote was amended after nightfall: 84 for and 61 against.]

The demonstrators, many with small children in strollers, erupted in a storm.
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For Father’s Day, Mystery Solved That Began at Crystal Beach

June 15, 2019

Audrey Owen, right,  found out through DNA testing that she was born as part of a spontaneous date at Crystal Beach, which led her to a meeting with two Canadian sisters she never knew she had, all three the daughters of Fred McColman: Above, Audrey (right) meets Sharon Wingrove, left of Pine Lake, Ont., and Linda Lee Costen, of Brantford, at a reunion. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)
Audrey Owen, right, found out through DNA testing that she was born as part of a spontaneous date at Crystal Beach, which led her to a meeting with two Canadian sisters she never knew she had, all three the daughters of Fred McColman: Above, Audrey (right) meets Sharon Wingrove, left of Pine Lake, Ont., and Linda Lee Costen, of Brantford, at a reunion.

Leanne Domotor was not sure how to break the news to her mother and an aunt. She finally invited them over for dinner last month in Brantford, Ont. The three women and their husbands were at the table when Domotor took a deep breath.

She had a revelation to share about their beloved dad, her grandfather.

Whatever worries she felt soon fell away. The story stunned and delighted Domotor’s mom, Linda Lee Costen, 78, and Costen’s younger sister, Sharon Wingrove, 76. Within minutes, they were making a call to set up a meeting with 84-year-old Audrey Owen of Clarence.
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In one West Side Neighborhood’s Turnaround: Optimism, Uncertainty and $12 Toast

June 14, 2019

The diverse and once-blighted neighborhood around Rhode Island and West Utica, now dubbed “Five Points,” has seen an influx of investment in the past 20 years, ranking it among the city’s most dramatic neighborhood comebacks. But some fear being displaced.

It’s a luminous mid-May morning and Remedy House regulars are scowling into their Macbook Airs, hands twiddling headphone cords or gripping mugs or shielding faces from the cool white window glare.

Swedish pop pulses through unseen speakers. Ceramic plates clatter behind the marble counter. “Sitting here, pulling out my laptop, I feel like I’m at home,” says Evan Ortolani, an advertising director who recently relocated to the West Side from New York. “And by home, I mean Brooklyn.”

But among some other residents in the neighborhood, Remedy House has another reputation: They call it “gentrification station” and “white people fishbowl” for the floor-to-ceiling windows installed in 2016 as part of an extensive renovation. The diverse and once-blighted neighborhood around Rhode Island and West Utica, now dubbed “Five Points,” has seen a massive influx of investment in the past 20 years, ranking it among the city’s most dramatic neighborhood comebacks.
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California Man Convicted on Charges Related to Trafficking in Amherst

June 14, 2019

A San Diego man has been convicted by a federal jury on charges related to cocaine trafficking and maintaining a drug-involved premises in Amherst, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors said Raul Everado Ledesma Abarca, 36, and others conspired to possess and distribute cocaine kept in a rented storage unit in Amherst. The unit was rented on the same day that a 104-kilogram shipment of cocaine arrived in Buffalo, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A total of 43 kilograms of cocaine was discovered after the unit was purchased at an auction as a result of delinquent rent payments, prosecutors said.

The fingerprints of Abarca and other defendants were discovered on items in the unit, according to prosecutors.
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Corfu Woman Charged With DWI After Serious Amherst Collision

June 14, 2019

A 66-year-old Clarence man was hospitalized and a Corfu woman charged with driving while intoxicated after a collision on Transit Road early Friday morning, according to Amherst police.

The two-vehicle crash happened at about 12:30 a.m. in the 6900 block of Transit, near Wehrle Drive.

A southbound vehicle driven by Megan H. Hardy, 23, collided with a vehicle driven by Robert P. Allen, 66, police said in a news release.

Allen suffered serious head and back injuries and was taken by ambulance to Erie County Medical Center.
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UB Football Coach Leipold Buys $820,000 Home in Clarence Subdivision

June 13, 2019

UB football coach Lance Leipold recently paid $820,000 for this home in Clarence's Spaulding Green subdivision. (Photo courtesy of Drew Zinck for Howard Hanna)
UB football coach Lance Leipold recently paid $820,000 for this home in Clarence’s Spaulding Green subdivision.

University at Buffalo head football coach Lance Leipold got a new contract in February, and now he has a new home in Clarence, too.

Leipold and his wife, Kelly, paid $820,000 to buy the property on Glenview Drive in the Spaulding Green development from Mark Karrer, owner of M-Power Sales, and his wife, Barbara, public records show. The Karrers have owned the home for 2½ years, Mark Karrer said, but now they’re building a house on 9 acres in East Aurora.

The 3,780-square-foot Glenview Drive home, built in 2015, has four bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms and was listed by Howard Hanna’s Carol Esposito. Mark Karrer said the new owners should appreciate the open-space layout of the family room, kitchen and living room, large walk-in closets, finished basement and views of the backyard pond.
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Kellyanne Conway to Leave White House Immediately and Begin New Job at Kremlin

Satire from The Borowitz Report

June 13, 2019

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—The embattled Presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway will leave her post at the White House, effective immediately, and begin a new job at the Kremlin on Friday, the White House and the Kremlin have confirmed.

Conway, who has served as a counsellor to President Donald Trump, will serve as a counsellor to President Vladimir Putin.

The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, announced the news in sombre fashion. “Everyone here is happy for Kellyanne, but our nation has lost a great liar,” she said.

Conway told reporters that she was excited to work in “a country that doesn’t have dumb old laws like the Hatch Act.”

“As a federal employee, there were so many restrictions on getting involved in American elections, but at the Kremlin that’ll be my main job,” she said.

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Amherst Must Build Low Cost Apartments for the Older Generation

June 13, 2019

There is a heavy shadow looming over Amherst. It’s a very serious problem that must be answered quickly as well as the work needed to address this serious issue.

There is a large number of older people living in Amherst, who are living alone in large houses which they have a tough time paying the taxes. Many of these older people didn’t save enough to live comfortably after they retired and are simply living off their social security. Many are living in homes with only memories of their children when they were young. Now they are living alone in homes they brought 30 to 45 years ago, with the deafening sounds of silence and the crushing lack of money to pay for the high taxes in Amherst.

All of the housing developments which are here now or being built now are well beyond the price range of these older citizens.

Most of these folks are considering selling their homes because they can’t keep up with the taxes but they don’t want to leave the area. They are facing a real dilemma. So what are they thinking of doing?  Some may move in with their children, some will move to a state where there is affordable housing like North Carolina and many will be placed in nursing homes where their entire social security check will cover the cost until they die.

It’s clear Amherst is a place where older people’s problems with housing haven’t been on any of our past Supervisor’s minds or in their plans.

Older people want to stay in a place where they’ve lived their lives.  It’s up to the town to find ways to build or redevelop buildings where the rent would be low for these people.

Today there isn’t anywhere in Amherst where real low-cost housing is ready for these older folks to live and enjoy their last years. Every son or daughter whose parents are in this situation should join together to have the Town of Amherst find ways to help their parents. Remember what your parents did for you to succeed. It’s your turn to save them from a future of despair.

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Press Secretary Sarah Sanders Leaving White House

June 13, 2019

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is leaving her post, President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday.

“After 3 1/2 years, our wonderful Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be leaving the White House at the end of the month and going home to the Great State of Arkansas,” Trump tweeted. “She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job! I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas – she would be fantastic. Sarah, thank you for a job well done!

“Sanders was named White House press secretary in July 2017, just hours after Sean Spicer resigned from the position. She is the daughter of former Arkansas governor and two-time presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and grew up with a fascination for politics.
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Nicholas Langworthy, N. Y. State Republican Chairman, Please Stand Up For America

Jim Tricoli, Editor: amhersttimes.com

Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy. (Harry Scull Jr./News file photo)
Nicholas Langworthy

Mr. Langworthy, if you agree with President Trump’s statements last night.  He was saying that if a candidate is approached by a foreign county, or person representing a foreign country, offering information on his opponent, this is fine with him and he wouldn’t call the FBI unless it placed an imminent danger to our country.

Where do you stand on this issue? I would like a response from you letting the members of your party know if you agree with him or not.

Thank you,
Jim Tricoli

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