Tag Archives: plane crash

Sunday in Clarence

21 Feb

Preferably, you’ll be home listening to Hardline with Hardwick than participating in this or this.

The designated protest area, as set up by the town and State Police, is the corner of Clarence Center & Goodrich.


That corner is over a block away from the Zion Lutheran church itself. Therefore, the town as crafted a time, place & manner restriction on the Phelps group so that memorial service attendees can come and go without ever seeing these monsters. All you have to do is approach on Clarence Center Road from the East, accessing it via Kraus or Strickler Roads, and you never have to see the corner at Goodrich.

If counterprotesters come to town, come and act as a human shield. No showiness, no angels – just a quiet line of people blocking the Phelps monsters from eyeshot. IMHO, the angel thing battles a spectacle with a spectacle.

And if you do decide to come, please read and abide by the instructions listed here.

Fred Phelps Spells Like a 2nd Grader

19 Feb

Turns out the Westboro Baptist Church (no link) isn’t just a ragtag group of assholes who picket memorial services for airplane crash victims, its members can’t spell, to boot.

I’ll have more details tomorrow about what the Town of Clarence’s plans are with respect to this nonsense as it relates to Sunday’s service at the Zion Lutheran Church.

But here’s what those absolute and utter pieces of Godless human excrement have to say about why they’re picketing. (does not link to their site)

UPDATE: There are plans for a counterprotest, as set forth in comments here, and can also be seen on Facebook here.

One Week Later

19 Feb

Churchbells throughout WNY will toll 50 times for the victims of flight 3407 at 10:20 tonight.

Clarence town Supervisor Scott Bylewski also relays a message from the Wielinski family, whose house was destroyed in the crash, killing Doug Wielinski. They do not want a house built on that property.

I don’t know if they made any comment about the petitions to bring Extreme Home Makeover to build something for them, but I suspect that their input should be sought first before the thing turns into another media circus.

The Westboro Baptist Monsters (UPDATED)

18 Feb

UPDATE: If you arrived at this post via link from another site, please go here. The designated protest area is far enough away from the Zion Lutheran Church that there is a way for attendees to come without ever seeing or hearing the Phelps monsters.

UPDATE: I spoke with town officials this morning and have concluded based on that conversation that, at least as far as the Clarence memorial is concerned, we want to avoid a circus from developing anywhere near the Zion Lutheran Church in Clarence Center.

I don’t know the answer as to permitting, but reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on demonstrations pass constitutional muster and are being looked at. If the Westboro Baptist imbeciles are required to limit their demonstration to the soccer fields at Clarence Center & Kraus, and required to use G-rated language on their pickets, that’d be swell. As long as they’re nowhere near Zion Lutheran, that, too, would be swell.

As despicable as Westboro Baptist is, it does not serve the interests of the community or respect the mourners and victims to have a confrontation within eye or earshot. But if they’re shunted to some remote area of the town, nowhere near the church, then I’d be down for standing before them, protesting their hatred, and standing for the victims, for the town, and for my neighbors.

Syracuse.com reported, via WNYMedia.net:

Buffalo, NY — Members of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., who are known for picketing the funerals of U.S. troops, are planing to protest two memorial services planned for the victims of Flight 3407, the commuter plane that crashed near Buffalo.

The group plans to picket a morning community prayer service at the Zion Lutheran Church in Clarence Center, and an afternoon memorial service for Alison Des Forges at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Buffalo. Both services are scheduled to take place Sunday.

Westboro Baptist Church is known for its anti-gay message and its picketing of funerals for members of the armed services killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The controversial church says God is punishing America because of what church members consider the nation’s permissive attitude toward gays and lesbians.

This Sunday, these sick, horrific people whose stock in trade is to terrorize the grieving, expect to disrupt memorial services for the victims of flight 3407? If 10 of these animals show up, we should have 100 people there to make sure that their signs cannot be seen and their yells cannot be heard. I don’t want these people in WNY. I especially don’t want these people in Buffalo or Clarence Center.

Then again, that just gives them the attention they want.

On Sunday at 10am, they’ll be at the Zion Lutheran Church in Clarence Center, 2 blocks from the crash site.

On Sunday at 1:45, they’ll be at St. Joseph’s Church at 3275 Main Street in Buffalo near UB South campus.

The “God hates Fags” people – do we ignore them? Do we counterprotest and shout them down? Do we just set up a respectful cordon so that they cannot be seen or heard by memorial attendees?

WNYMedia.net’s Coverage of Flight 3407

17 Feb

What do you do when you’re not a traditional media outlet, with no print, TV, or radio capabilities? You cover the biggest story in WNY in 20 years via Twitter and YouTube.

To keep track of what’s going on with the investigation and aftermath of Colgan Flight 3407, join Twitter and follow @wnymedia. To see video, go to YouTube and follow WNYMedia.



Flight 3407 Update

16 Feb

The other day, another website criticized the media for wanting to photograph or videotape the inferno caused by a plane slamming into a house. This, of course, is a silly critique because that’s what the news does, and copyright generally prohibits WIVB from using WKBW’s video, and vice-versa.

This past weekend, Clarence Center has been nigh-impassable due to throngs of looky-loos trying to get a peek at the scene of the crash. You can’t get onto Long Street, so they park on Goodrich – one street away – and try to peer through the backyards there. Three people were arrested on Saturday for crossing the police lines. In any event, it’s not a show – it’s a morgue, and people shouldn’t come to sightsee. Hence, Goodrich will be closed between Clarence Center and Maple Road near the four corners.

The NTSB held a press conference yesterday and noted that the aircraft was on autopilot when the “upset” occurred. The controls shook to indicate an imminent stall, and the pilots attempted to regain control of the plane. It’s unknown yet whether “severe” icing was a contributing factor, but it was noted that 3407 activated its deicing system 11 minutes after departure from Newark.

The aircraft lost 1,000 feet of altitude in just 5 seconds – from 1,800 to 1,000 feet. The G forces ranged from between .75 to 2g. Soon before impact, the aircraft pitched up, then down, and rolled left and then over-corrected to the right at 105 degrees – that’s 15 degrees past 90, so its wings were perpendicular with the ground. Just before everything started going wrong, the plane was traveling at 135 knots, and its last recorded airspeed was 100 knots at 100% power – when the plane started losing control, the pilots pushed the throttles to 100% in an effort to get out of the stall. Some say that, had they had maybe 1,000 more feet of altitude, given the fact that the plane crashed on its belly, it might have been able to pull out of the stall.

The following memorial services have been announced:

Monday, February 16th at 11am:

The Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church will host a Community Prayer Service held at the Church located at 8445 Greiner Rd. in Clarence

Sunday, February 22nd at 3pm:

St. Joseph’s Church located at 3275 Main Street in Buffalo will hold a service dedicated to Alison DesForges.

In Memoriam

15 Feb

Courtesy of Hero Design

Gratitude, Frivolity, and Flying

13 Feb

The plane crash has been on my mind all day. I have to thank my parents, who are taking awesome care of the kids, shielding them from the complete and utter madhouse that’s going on a few blocks away. A routine trip to Wegmans, a nap, a story, dress-up, and other wonderfully mundane stuff takes on new meaning today, and although it kills me to be away from them right now, I’m extremely grateful in a million different ways.

Lake Mead - Not Quite Adequately Watered

Lake Mead - Not Quite Adequately Watered

I spent the day going to Red Rocks and Hoover Dam, and got into arguments with people on Buffalo Rising, only to have the entire exchange deleted. No matter. The offending tweet has been deleted, never having been adequately defended. It’s hard to do that when the subject matter is indefensible. The first explanation was that it’s better to live in the city than the suburbs because landing paths avoid metropolitan areas. Except, I countered both BNIA runways have landing approaches over the east side, depending on the wind. Then the explanation had something to do with the media being nasty, covering an unprecedented aviation tragedy in Western New York. That, naturally, was beside the point. In the end, the whole thing got nuked.

Olivia visits Red Rocks

Olivia visits Red Rocks

I try not to be frivolous about things that I know will affect people on a personal level. Humorous? Yes. Snarky? Always. But seldom frivolous. It was the frivolity of the comment that really pissed me off.

I listened to CNN while driving around the valley today, and it hits you when it’s no longer 50 people, but 50 people with names. Names and achievements. Names and families. Names and jobs. Names and lives lost.

We return tomorrow evening. I can’t wait to get my bags from the carousel, get to the car, and drive home. I don’t even know if my regular route is available. I guess I’ll take Transit up rather than Harris Hill or Gunnville. I’ll get home and give everyone a hug and a kiss, thankful that they’re ok, we’re ok, and everyone’s home. Sunday we’ll go out and celebrate life and being together. We’ll celebrate being fortunate like that. We’ll celebrate it just being Sunday.

Thanks to everyone who reached out to check on us/me and find out if we’re ok. I really appreciate it.


13 Feb

Here is a photograph of the actual plane that crashed into a home last night on Long off Clarence Center Road.

Last night I got through watching Survivor at 9pm PST, and I started channel surfing. I paused when I heard familiar voices – Josh Boose? Scott Levin? Kevin O’Connell? On CNN? And the chryon says plane crash? And then it says Clarence Center.

We live in Clarence Center.

Panic struck because we’re in Vegas, and the kids are at home with my parents. Airplanes flying over the house are commonplace, since we’re near the final approach to KBUF. I called my parents, and we called the neighbors and everyone had unbelievably slept through it all (sorry for waking you, but this was extraordinary).

The crash location is 1/2 mile from my house as the crow flies. It’s a block from Mia’s daycare. Literally. We spoke to the owner of the daycare, who heard the plane flying too low overhead and witnessed the explosion a few homes away.

View Larger Map

While watching the news and switching between CNN, MSNBC, and Fox, I couldn’t believe what was happening. I got on Twitter and Facebook and kept track of what was happening. A Twitter hashtag #Clarenceplanecrash was created. Keith Burtis, a local man who boasts over 2,000 people following him on Twitter, was interviewed on Fox News, which found him on Twitter. He talked about how sparsely populated and wealthy an area it is where this accident happened. Except Long Road is in a part of Clarence Center that is an older, relatively densely populated neighborhood. It’s not a wealthy subdivision. He also got in a plug for his employer, Best Buy, while on Fox News. That’s great. People are dead in an incident that directly affects me, and somebody who says he lives 10x further from the location than I is making sure to get in a plug.

Another person on Twitter wrote this:

@GarrettSmith two minutes is better than 2 seconds. count your blessings & move out of the suburbs

Just now, I went onto Channel 2’s website, and I get this, which I’ve annotated appropriately:

The schools are closed:

My daughter’s daycare is within the perimeter that’s closed off around the crash site.

My heart goes out to everyone who was on that flight, and the victim on the ground, as well as all of their loved ones. I am so thankful that my family is safe and sound. Although I’m a bit nervous about flying tomorrow, I’ll be excited to come home and hug my family.

Photos by Sharyn Brunner via Flickr on WNYMedia.net