Archive | June, 2007

Buffalo Spree Best of WNY Party – Thursday

27 Jun

Thursday at 6:30 pm, join the Buffalo Spree celebrate the best of WNY – proceeds to benefit the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Tickets are available online, and you can sample food from some of the best restaurants in the area, including Falafel Bar, Fiamma Steakhouse, and Nick Charlap’s. There will be a silent auction and wine tasting, to boot.

And yours truly will be there to pick up an award of some sort, so thanks for everyone who voted!

Buffalo First and Buffalo Old Home Week Announce Partnership

27 Jun

buffalo old home week

Buffalo First! to Sponsor “Buy Buffalo Week” July 1-7, as Part of Buffalo Old Home Week Activities

WHAT: Buy Buffalo Week
WHEN: July 1- 7, 2007
WHERE: Participating Buffalo First! Member Businesses, Restaurants and Organizations (see the complete list online

Celebrate independent businesses July 1- 7 and receive a discount for spending your dollars with local businesses. As part of Buffalo Old Home Week festivities and in celebration of Independence Day, Buffalo First member organizations will be offering discounts to participants. For a complete list of participating businesses and organizations visit

“We thought sponsoring a “Buy Buffalo Week” during the Independence Day holiday would be a great way to showcase our locally-owned, independent businesses and restaurants to fellow Buffalonians. When purchases are made at locally owned businesses, more money is kept in the community because locally owned businesses often purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms. By highlighting the members of Buffalo First! to Old Home Week participants we can tangibly demonstrate the cultural and economic value of local businesses,” explains Erin Cala, a board member of Buffalo First.

Cala believes offering discounts will help highlight locally-owned Buffalo businesses and encourage patronage. “A number of our members will be offering special discounts to the participants of Buffalo Old Home Week. Participants need only to show their “pin” or mention the Buffalo First ad in the Old Home Week program to take advantage of the discounts offered,” she said.

Buffalo First! an affiliate of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) is a local advocacy group that works to build long-term economic empowerment and community self-reliance through local business ownership, economic justice, cultural diversity, and environmental stewardship.

Buffalo First is comprised of local independent businesses and organizations that pool their resources to encourage area residents to support Buffalo’s local living economy.

To find out more visit and


27 Jun

cr15330041.jpgOr on the avenue; Delaware Elmwood Avenue, to be exact. Friday night movies on Elmwood are back! For several years, Buffalonians have cherished Italian movies at dusk on Fridays in July, thanks to the efforts of Cinema Sotto le Stelle, a nonprofit organization. This year, the founders of Cinema Sotto le Stelle are taking a much needed summer off.

Reluctant to see the free film festival fade, Rev. Joel Miller and the Unitarian-Universalist Church offered to cosponsor the outdoor films, enabling volunteers to hastily organize a program to continue the popular tradition, now called “Movie Night on Elmwood.” Films will be shown in the yard between the Church and M&T Bank on Elmwood north of Ferry.

“We didn’t want to trespass on Cinema Sotto le Stelle’s turf, so instead of showing Italian movies, which they do better than anyone, we’re showing oldies,” said Vincent Kuntz, a member of the Unitarian-Universalist Church and movie organizer.

“Movie Night on Elmwood” will feature classics from the silent era up to the film noir period,” promises Cynthia Van Ness, movie organizer. “Since we didn’t have the time or backing to negotiate rights and royalties, we selected a program that, according to good faith research, features films that are now in the public domain.” A schedule is underway and will be released shortly.

The public is invited to bring their picnics, blankets, lawn chairs, and sociability, and enjoy the movies under the stars for no charge.

Niagara Falls Makes Smart Parking Dumb Again

27 Jun

Looking through Autoblog yesterday, an article about a new type of parking meter caught my eye. This parking meter will take credit cards and is able to call you to notify you that the meter is about to expire, and you can supplement your fee remotely. That’s pretty handy.

The article mentioned that the meters are being installed in Vancouver and Niagara Falls. I thought “Ontario”.

But then it hit me – these things are installed on the American side, but they’re covered with black plastic right now. For years now, Mayor Elia and then Mayor Anello have been pushing to install parking meters throughout Niagara Falls. The plans had been abandoned for some time, with only metal poles sticking out of the ground for many years, due to the fact that the Seneca Niagara Casino offers free parking in a brand-new lot that’s just 4 blocks or so from the Falls. Free is hard to compete with.

Also, it makes perfect sense for the popular, tourist-packed Canadian side to treat parking like a commodity. It’s craziness for the unpopular, blighted American side to do the same.

The last few times I had been in the falls, I noticed that some sort of strange shape had grown on the end of those metal poles, but I didn’t stop to take a peek. This image represents perfectly the shape under the garbage bags:

I’m not convinced that this is the best expenditure of scarce money in Niagara Falls, NY.

The Spawn of EIB (Updated)

27 Jun

Ann Coulter is a heroine to the conservative movement. She says everything they wish they could say but don’t have the adam’s apple balls to.

Some time ago, she called Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards a “faggot”. She takes it back, though. She just wishes he had been killed in a terrorist attack.

Update – Elizabeth Edwards calls in during Hardball to politely ask Coulter to stop being a complete and utter asshole to her husband. She’s right. It’s one thing to debate and disagree on issues. It’s quite another to call someone a “faggot” or wish him dead, don’t you think, hm?

Jon Powers – A Leader

26 Jun

I attended Jon Powers‘ campaign kick-off at the Clarence Town Park this evening, and the place was packed with family, friends, and supporters. Powers has a boyish and earnest charm that’s hard not to like. He used to teach social studies at Clarence High School, and I can imagine that he was his students’ favorite.

This young man is well-known and well-liked in the community. He played football for the Clarence Red Devils. He’s an Eagle Scout. He obtained his college degree in education, and enrolled in ROTC. On 9/11/01, Powers was stationed in Germany and recounted his story about that day – the day he first realized he was an American soldier and what that meant.

Later, Powers served in Iraq and was moved by what he saw there. It clearly changed him and his worldview, and his interaction with Iraqi kids moved him to start the War Kids Relief – a nonprofit organization that aims to help young Iraqis affected by the war, and hopefully prevent them from joining the insurgency or any other guerrilla group.

Now, he wants to be your Congressman. The theme of his speech was leading by example. Powers recounted a story from the Army – people follow you either because of your rank, or because you’re right. He wants people to support him because he’s right. He won’t be beholden to party politics or other parochial concerns – he’ll work for the people of the 26th Congressional District. He’s seen problems and tackled them. He’s worked selflessly for others. He cares deeply about Western New York and wants to help people have a better life.

Powers is right when he says that Washington has lost its way. Most elected officials become consumed with inside-the-beltway concerns and forget why they’re there. He promises to be different. Getting to know him and learning his story, I know that he’s different.

Please consider signing up to help Powers’ campaign – whether it be with your skills or your money. Replace the cynical representative we now have with someone who offers hope, leadership, and a vision for the future.

Dogs and Cats Living Together

26 Jun

ghostbusters.jpgMass hysteria.

The Buffalo schools superintendent and the head of the Buffalo Teachers’ Federation – that’s James Williams and Phil Rumore to you – have worked out a deal to improve performance in the city’s worst-performing schools.

Teachers at those schools today will watch a video in which Williams, the Buffalo school superintendent, and Rumore, president of the Buffalo Teachers Federation, sit side by side and explain the reform effort. It will lengthen both the school day and school year, lower class sizes, stagger work schedules and provide coaches for both teachers and principals.

“This is huge,” said Amber Dixon, the school system’s executive director for project initiatives. “We were able to do this by working with the BTF. The process has been extremely collegial.”

Will the agreement lead to improved relations on a broader scale between the school system and its largest and most influential union?

“I think it already has,” Dixon said.

Rumore said the plan resulted from “an excellent working relationship” between the teachers union and an administrative team headed by Dixon.

“There seemed to be a lot more willingness on the part of the district to listen to our concerns,” he said. “We started out from completely different ends of the stratosphere. We heard each other out and reached an agreement.”

All hail compromise.

Jon Powers Kicks off His Campaign for NY-26 Today!

26 Jun

Jon Powers, former Captain in the U.S. Army, Iraq war veteran and Democratic candidate for New York’s 26th district is kicking off his campaign for congress at the Clarence Town Park today (Tuesday June 26th) at 7:30PM. All are invited to attend.

The kick-off will be from 6-9pm at the Clarence Town Park large pavilion.

Buffalo Niagara International Parking Lot

26 Jun

There isn’t enough parking at KBUF.

Here’s a map of the parking lot, with the private lots across Genesee.

And here’s a map of the expanded long-term lot that I have seen open for NFTA park & ride, and as a “cell phone parking lot“. That’s about it. So, it would seem to me that NFTA isn’t using its existing parking facilities to full extent.

An emailer poses a great question. How about the NFTA expand Metro Rail to the airport?

Prince Bouba

26 Jun

You can reply to


My name Prince Toto Bouba I am from Luanda Norte in the Central district of Angola. I am contacting
you for partnership in a very confidential financial transaction that involves the transfer and
receivership of some deposit.

This deposit came from private mining of diamond in our region which represent the major deposit of
diamonds in my country. Coupled with the rebels activities which are sponsored by illegitimate sales
of diamonds to foreign companies.

Presently the Government forces are occupying our regions which has forced us the locals out of the
country in search of lucrative business outside our shores for investment purposes. Your immediate
response will be appreciated as time is of essence. Details will be given to you when you respond.
Please include your direct phone number.

Sincerely,Toto Bouba