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WolfEagle1499's blog: "Buffalo, NY"

created on 04/23/2007  |  http://fubar.com/buffalo-ny/b76478
The Oprah Winfrey Show Medical Miracles: A Dr. Oz Report It's a day of miracles with Dr. Oz! They said he would never walk again—NFL player Kevin Everett does the impossible. Then, she made headlines around the world. Meet the little girl born with four arms and four legs. In case you don't know the Story: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3012739
Everett plans emotional return at Sunday's Bills game
Appearance may depend on the weather By Mark Gaughan NEWS SPORTS REPORTER Updated: 12/20/07 8:49 AM
http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/buffaloerie/story/233081.html
The atmosphere should be electric at Sunday’s Buffalo Bills game, even though the Bills are out of the playoff race. Bills tight end Kevin Everett is planning to come to Buffalo to attend the game in Ralph Wilson Stadium, weather permitting, a source close to the Bills told The Buffalo News. Everett, 25, has made a remarkable recovery from the catastrophic spinal injury he suffered in the Bills’ season-opening game Sept. 9 and is walking unaided. With effort, he can raise his arms above his head, and he is regaining the motor skills in his hands. The Bills’ front office had no comment on whether Everett would attend the game against the New York Giants. It’s the last home game of the season, and it is sold out. It was not clear Wednesday just how much weather could affect Everett’s decision to attend. However, the early forecast was not calling for significant snow this weekend. Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 30s, with a chance of precipitation. Bills players said they would be overwhelmed to see their teammate. “It’s giving me chills just being asked about it,” punter Brian Moorman said. “I can’t imagine what it would be like on game day. I imagine there wouldn’t be a dry eye in the house. It would be great to see him, if it works out. If he’s not ready, then obviously we don’t want him to push himself. But obviously everybody in this locker room would love to see him. He’s an inspiration to us all.” “I think it’s something our team could use right now, after the disappointment we realized Sunday,” safety Coy Wire said, referring to the 8-0 loss in Cleveland that knocked the Bills out of playoff contention. “To be able to have one of our teammates who had something so traumatic happen to him, . . . none of us can fathom what he has gone through. That hurt us emotionally as a team. “Whether you try to not think about it or not, it still affects us as a team. To have a guy we’ve missed greatly be able to come back and be here would be very emotionally gratifying.” Everett’s improvement has continued throughout his treatment in Houston’s Memorial Herman Hospital rehabilitation center. Everett goes for rehabilitation treatments five days a week. He has been in his hometown since leaving Buffalo’s Millard Fillmore Hospital on Sept. 16. He was released from Memorial Herman Hospital five weeks ago. “To have him back in the facility and to see him walk and then hopefully — if he does come back — address his teammates, would be great,” Bills coach Dick Jauron said. “It would be just an unbelievable thing. We’ve gone through this whole thing with him. He’s never not been part of our team. We’ve certainly stayed in touch with him and it’s just a tremendous story. It’s really a tremendous story.”
I remember when I grew up camping, we always packed enough cold cuts/lunch meat for the whole trip. Because you just can't get the same stuff you can here in Buffalo, NY. Today, you have more of a selection, but still nothing beats some of the food from Buffalo, NY. Just to name a few: Redlinski or Salem Meats Sponge Candy Anchor bar wing sauce Webers mustard Nowinski Pierogis. Loganberry Soda Pop Well now you can get the stuff shipped to you: https://www.buffalofoods.com/home.htm And if you have never been to the Western New York region, then you are missing a LOT!!!! Stop by and see just some of the great things we have to offer!!!
Esmonde: Rink suit is a slap shot at decency
http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/story/124808.html Donn Esmonde Updated: 07/22/07 10:31 AM Shopping mall owners, beware. Arena officials, watch your backs. Anybody in charge of municipal parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities, duck and cover. If a woman named Charlene Van Dusen prevails, the folks in charge of public places have a new role: surrogate parents. Malls and rec centers are not supposed to double as kid-sitting services. But some people think that dumping their offspring at the mall or ice rink and taking off qualifies as exceptional parenting. Van Dusen is the mother of the notorious 10-year-old involved in the Amherst Pepsi Center dispute. Charles Schmidl and his 5-year-old son were at the center for a mid-April skate when, he said, the 10-year-old taunted him, shot hockey pucks at him and his son and dared him to do something about it. Schmidl, a 38-year-old autoworker, said he searched for 40 minutes in vain for staff, security or the boy’s parents before taking matters into his own hands. He dragged the obnoxious kid off the ice, at which point Charlene Van Dusen appeared and had him arrested. Amherst cops say witness accounts largely confirm Schmidl’s story. They also say the 10-year-old has a history of trouble at the rink and that his family is “familiar” to Amherst police, and not for the right reasons. I do not think it was smart for Schmidl to put his hands on the boy. But I understand his frustration. Getting bullied by a brat is not easy for any adult. When the kid in question is putting your kid at risk, restraint becomes a hard virtue to master. The plot thickened Friday, with the news that Van Dusen — mother of the wayward kid — intends to sue the Town of Amherst and its Recreation Department. She claims that the lack of supervision at the rink resulted in “physical injuries and emotional trauma” to her son. Essentially, Van Dusen is suing the town for not doing her job. If arrogance were an attribute, this woman would be Citizen of the Year. Granted, lack of staff at the rink fed the problem. But the entire incident raises the question: Where was she? In the real world, parents are supposed to be responsible for their kids. I am not the perfect parent, but I give it my best shot. I do not turn over kid-raising duties to mall security guards, parks workers or ice rink staffers. If my kid insulted an adult, threatened a 5-year-old and acted like the Spawn of Chucky, the cheese would hit the fan. For starters, the computer, the TV and the great outdoors would be privileges denied until Dad recovered — and recovery would be slow. Apologies would be made, punishment doled out and — hopefully — a lesson learned. Then I’d kick myself for leaving the wild child alone in a public place. I would not blame somebody else for my kid’s obnoxiousness. If my child had a history of bullying and abuse — and, according to numerous sources, this 10-year-old does — I would look in the mirror and wonder where I went wrong. Ms. Van Dusen apparently looked in the mirror and saw dollar bills. I am not familiar with Ms. Van Dusen’s parenting techniques. Maybe she knows something the rest of us don’t. But in the World of Real Parenting, not holding a kid accountable for his screwups just feeds the beast. The recipe for creating a minimonster includes coddling, excuses, myopia and blaming everybody else. Slap a lawsuit on top of it, and Little Joey or Johnny thinks he can do no wrong — even as he is cussing out adults and firing hockey pucks toward a 5-year-old. It is too bad there is no law against bad parenting. The Town of Amherst would have a heckuva case. If you'd like to comment on this issue, click here for Donn's blog posting.
Bass Pro deal likely to end up in court Critics charge concept doesn’t fit historic theme
By Mark Sommer Updated: 04/08/07 10:24 AM Here we go again. The battle over how to develop Erie Canal Harbor has returned with a tentative agreement to locate a Bass Pro Outdoor World on the Central Wharf. The result, critics predict, will now be what Buffalonians dread — more lawsuits and delays. They say the tackle and hunting store — and four multitiered parking ramps to be built within one block of the site — will irrevocably alter the historic site’s authenticity and pedestrian-friendly ambience. “There’s nothing wrong with putting Bass Pro on the water, but it is essentially a large suburban store being plopped down on the most historic urban site in the city,” said Richard Lippes, board member of the Preservation Coalition of Erie County. But Larry Quinn of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Board, who negotiated the nonbinding, predevelopment agreement with business leader Mindy Rich, said critics are overreacting and misinformed. He said the retail giant will be in a building that has “an authentic look and scale” and will generate the desired pedestrian activity for the inner harbor. The critics — including five business leaders who requested anonymity fearing political repercussions — also complain that closed-door negotiations upended a state-approved consensus plan in place after a painstaking, years-long public process. Lippes, who is general counsel to three organizations — Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, Sierra Club and the Preservation Coalition — that went to court to stop an earlier waterfront plan, said a new lawsuit is all but a certainty. “It is my expectation that those organizations will uniformly want to assure the [existing] plan continues, including litigation if necessary,” Lippes said. One business executive said planned parking spaces — a 300-car ramp at Erie Canal Harbor, 500-car parking ramps on the nearby Webster and Donovan blocks, and a 1,000- car ramp on the site of Memorial Auditorium — were too close to the site. “Parking structures are death to an urban landscape,” he said. “There is no vibrancy, no street activity, no visual appeal. It is like driving a stake through the heart of downtown.” Quinn countered that argument by saying development at the inner harbor requires substantial proximity parking to be successful. Departure from plan The biggest departure from the state-approved plan, Quinn claimed, is jettisoning the openair public and festival space along the Central Wharf. “I think the whole notion that you build a plaza that is the site for a couple of open-air concerts a year is a very limited vision of what the waterfront can be. We’re proposing a bigger vision,” Quinn said. He and other supporters say bringing a Bass Pro store to the newly named Canal Side district is the tourism magnet needed to jump-start development. They say shops and restaurants are sure to trail behind the anchor store, and with an added emphasis on fishing and boating, produce a thriving destination point. “This is the best project that will happen in my lifetime in Buffalo,” declared Anthony Gioia, chairman of Erie Canal Development Board. “We’ve got the money. We’ve got the client. We’ve got the developer. This thing is ready to go.” Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer, who visited Buffalo on Wednesday, applauded the tentative agreement with Bass Pro. The governor was unaware of criticism over the deal. “It’s the first that I’ve heard that there are significant concerns about the way that decision was made. The more important thing is that the project is moving forward,” Spitzer said. “We will take a look at it to see what the concerns are, but again it’s important that the project move forward.” The historic 12-acre canal site, centered around the recently excavated Commercial Slip, has a stormy history. Gov. George E. Pataki halted a generic plan in 2000, following public opposition and court challenges after buried slip walls were discovered. The governor’s call for a more heritage-based plan was finalized in 2004 after a lengthy public process. The plan celebrates the site’s history and incorporates public space, recreation, and small-scale, mixed-use development that includes shops and restaurants. Guidelines prohibit parking ramps and “large-scale big box retail spaces that discourage street level activity and interaction.” Quinn, however, questions whether the three-story Bass Pro, which he expects to occupy 120,000 square feet, fits that description, and said the store would generate enormous street traffic. A long courtship Pitfalls also have followed attempts to lure Bass Pro to Buffalo. A long courting begun in 2001 led to a November 2004 announcement that the retailer would be part of a 250,000- square-foot development in a retrofitted Aud. The company backed out last year, concluding it would not be economical. It then turned its attention to the smaller, nearby Central Wharf. Critics complain the negotiators did not solicit more input from the community. Scot Fisher, president of Righteous Babe Records and one of the activists who successfully fought for a history-based plan, expressed anger that the agreement already in place was being usurped. “Who appointed Larry Quinn and Mindy Rich to represent the community? Where are our elected officials?” Fisher said. “What’s happened is profoundly insulting to the people of Buffalo and Western New York, and we will fight this.” A business leader also expressed disapproval. “It wasn’t an inclusive process,” he said. “There was no involvement of organizations like the [Buffalo Niagara] Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Buffalo Place.” But Quinn pointed out that he consulted with political leaders and others, including Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, Mayor Byron Brown and County Executive Joel A. Giambra. “I involved everybody that I think had a place at the table,” said Quinn, who noted that business negotiations are typically conducted in private with a small number of people. The process of negotiating the Bass Pro deal isn’t the only objection. Some business leaders question the result. “I don’t like the economics of the deal, and I don’t like it from an urban planning perspective,” one business executive said. “It’s a big building, it’s too close to the water, and there is way too much parking around it.” A downtown business leader said he is concerned it’s a suburban plan for an urban setting. “People don’t want Disneyland, they want authentic history, and that is where we were headed with this site before Bass Pro landed there,” said the downtown business leader who requested anonymity. Mark Goldman, author of the newly published “City on the Edge: Buffalo, New York,” also expressed dissatisfaction with what he considers a doomed “silver bullet” solution. “I don’t think we should sell off our waterfront to big-box retailers. It doesn’t make any sense. Plus, from my perspective it’s too highly leveraged with [$25 million] of public money.” But Quinn said he has studied successful waterfronts in Chicago, Boston and elsewhere, and believes the proposal — which he said needs “refinement” — can make Canal Side a premiere destination attraction. The agreement calls for Bass Pro to receive $25 million for construction costs, along with free rent and no real estate taxes. In return it must pay $300,000 to support activities and cleanup for the entire site. Quinn defended the amount, saying it would cost Bass Pro “a fortune” to develop the company’s most challenging and unusual building. He also expects some to fiercely oppose it. Tim Tielman of the Campaign for Greater Buffalo said he’ll be among those doing so. “This is an absolutely redmeat issue for us,” Tielman said, “and I can’t believe they have the temerity to impose something like this on that site.” Reference: http://www.buffalonews.com/101/story/49162.html
Gas prices may brake Meals on Wheels http://www.buffalonews.com/102/story/59341.html
By Maki Becker NEWS STAFF REPORTER Updated: 04/22/07 7:17 AM Gas prices are back up to $3 a gallon, and among those hardest hit by the rising cost of fuel are the volunteers of Meals on Wheels. “It’s really getting expensive now,” lamented Juanita Tillmon, 80, of Buffalo, who has been a volunteer with Meals on Wheels of Western New York for 27 years. Living on a fixed income and taking care of her 103-year-old mother, Tillmon said she has had to resort to filling her gas tank with a little bit of gas every few days to make the most of her money. Tillmon receives a small stipend from Meals on Wheels that helps cover some of the costs for delivering hot meals to two dozen homebound seniors five times a week. But she worries that the reimbursement won’t be enough if fuel prices keep edging up. “I’ll continue until it gets to $4,” she vowed. Tillmon’s situation is one shared by many of Meals on Wheels of Western New York’s 1,800 volunteers, mostly retirees with limited incomes. Officials are worried about what the future has in store for the agency. The rise in gas prices over the last couple of years has already taken a heavy toll on the agency’s volunteer base. In 2005, Meals on Wheels lost 301 volunteers but attracted 275, nearly replenishing its ranks, agency officials said. Last year, the agency lost 370 and gained only 212 new ones. “There’s no easy solution to this,” said the agency’s spokesman, Tom Lucia. “We’re all kind of scared. If we don’t have the volunteers we need, we can’t exist. This is a big deal for us.” Further, more volunteers are beginning to ask for stipends, Lucia said. The nonprofit agency spent $2,627 in gas reimbursements last month, up 40 percent from March 2006. In addition, 151 volunteers asked for the stipends, 11 more than in March 2006. Lynette Mack, the site manager for Meals on Wheels at Our Savior Church on Brunswick Boulevard, said she has had an especially hard time finding new volunteers. “It’s hard to recruit in the city,” Mack said, pointing out that the need for food deliveries is highest within Buffalo’s boundary. Costly gas is the top reason people give for not being able to help out, she said. “I haven’t had a new driver in over a year,” Mack said. She said many of her volunteers wouldn’t be able to participate without their stipends — but she can only approve a limited amount of reimbursement. “It’s a hard sell,” she said. High gas prices are also hurting suburban volunteers. One longtime Orchard Park volunteer recently had to quit, citing the gas cost as the reason. “As sad as it is, I simply cannot afford to continue on,” the volunteer wrote. Meals on Wheels withheld the name to protect the identity of the volunteer. “As a retiree on a fixed income, I just can’t justify driving 15 miles a day, four days a week. . . . It is just too much,” the driver wrote. With the agency spending more on reimbursements, its cost per meal is also rising. Meals on Wheels currently spends $8.50 for the two meals — one hot and one cold — delivered a day. Clients are asked to pay $6 a day if they are able. “A lot don’t pay anything,” Lucia said. “If you need it, you’ll get the meal anyway.” As a result, the agency ends up receiving an average of $3 for each two-meal delivery. “As that gap grows larger,” he said, “that’s when the agency has to find money from corporate and personal donations.” He added that the costs won’t be passed on to the homebound and elderly who rely on the food deliveries. The organization has been trying to find new ways to save money. “We’re planning routes as efficiently as possible, shortening them up as much as possible,” Lucia said. The group has also tried to recruit nontraditional volunteers, seeking corporations willing to allow workers to do deliveries during lunch hours and high school students needing to do community service. it also is showing volunteers how to write off their mileage on their income taxes. Mack said she believes that donations of gas cards could help. “During the summer, grocery stores donate water bottles for us to give out,” she said. “We want to be able to supply the drivers with gas cards.” Lucia said Meals on Wheels knows that stipends are critical in keeping drivers and will do what it can to help. But, he added, “We’re relying on the compassionate nature of our volunteers. If you don’t need [the reimbursement] please don’t ask for it.” And, of course, the agency would be more than happy to find new volunteers. For information about donating to Meals on Wheels of Western New York, call 822-2002.
Bass Pro landed — at last Central Wharf site will be the location of multilevel store
After six years of casting its line, Buffalo has finally hooked a Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World store for the downtown waterfront. The long-sought retailer has signed a predevelopment agreement for a multilevel, period- style store on the former Central Wharf site along the Buffalo River. The 100,000-square-foot store … about half the size of the Bass Pro store originally proposed for the nearby Memorial Auditorium site … will be flanked by an Erie Canal Museum, 50-foot-wide waterside boardwalk, a public plaza, marketplace and a 300-car parking ramp. Bass Pro President Jim Hagale said the retailer intends to be "respectful of the historical significance" of what he called a "very special location." "Our store design will pay tribute to the heritage and national importance of the Erie Canal Terminus," he said. "I can't think of a more appropriate type of retail business to be located on the water's edge than Bass Pro Shops," said Anthony Gioia, chairman of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., which brokered the deal. "Bass Pro loves the idea of being on the water, and we feel the same way." The Bass Pro store will serve as anchor tenant for Canal Side, which is billed as a $275 million mixed-use development that will fill the Erie Canal Harbor neighborhood with a mix of shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, museums, a hotel, and residential and office space. Planners are predicting the reborn haborfront will attract 5 million visitors a year. The agreement also provides the City of Buffalo $10 million in state money to demolish the idle Aud, with promises of additional funding to meet costs in excess of that allotment. "What started as a one-dimensional project in the Aud has evolved into a visionary and far- reaching development plan that will finally allow for Buffalo's waterfront to reach its potential," Gioia said. The harbor development board approved the agreement in a special session this morning.That vote sets in motion a final design and environmental review process aimed at a spring 2008 construction start. The Bass Pro store and related venues could be open by mid-2009. "This is a significant project that will both energize development in Buffalo and connect the downtown area to the waterfront," Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer said. Mayor Byron W. Brown called the project blueprints "very appealing." "They are in keeping with the historic nature of the inner harbor," Brown said. "I think for the most part, the public and the community will be pleased." Under terms of the agreement, the harbor development corporation will invest $25 million in public funds to prepare the riverfront site and construct the shell of a three-story retail building, designed to resemble the original Central Wharf terminal that stood on the property in the mid-1800s. Bass Pro Shops will spend approximately $15 million to build out the interior of the store and also will pay $300,000 a year in fees to support Canal Side. Over the course of the proposed 20-year lease, those fees would total $6 million. And if Bass Pro exercises all lease renewals, that sum would climb to $15 million over 50 years. The store, which will employ about 1,000 full- and part-time staffers, is expected to generate $3 million annually in sales tax. The agreement also calls on the harbor development corporation to construct a 20,000-square-foot Erie Canal Museum and a 30,000-square-foot public market. Bass Pro and the development agency are thrilled about putting Bass Pro on the Central Wharf … adjacent to the historic, rewatered Commercial Slip and other artifacts of Buffalo's Erie Canal heyday. But preservationists have serious concerns. Tim Tielman, of the Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture, called the plan "an abomination." "This couldn't be farther from an homage to the Central Wharf. It's a themed retail environment designed by bureaucrats gone wild," he said. Tielman predicted the battle to retain the historic site as a public plaza with small-scale development will be fought beyond the preservation community. "Anyone who loves the waterfront will hate this," he added. Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, who is a champion the area's waterfront redevelopment efforts, disagrees with that assessment. "[The proposal] preserves the integrity of our city's great history and maintains public access for residents and tourists in a setting that draws people downtown seven days a week," Higgins said. Sen. Charles M. Schumer, D-N.Y., who also has pressed for a rebirth of the city's waterfront, said the project "pays homage to Buffalo's past even as it builds for the future." Harbor District Associates, LLC, an affiliate of Buffalo-born Benderson Development Co., also has signed onto the deal and will act as Canal Side's master developer. In addition to overseeing the projects on the Central Wharf site, it will lead a mix of private and public developments on the site of the Donovan State Office Building, the Aud and the vacant Webster Block in front of HSBC Arena. Buffalo's fishing expedition to land Bass Pro began in July 2001, when former Mayor Anthony M. Masiello went to Washington, D.C., to lobby the federal delegation for funds to create something then called the Erie Canal Harbor Urban Entertainment District. He told lawmakers the city might be able to attract the up-and-coming retailer to the empty Aud if he had $7.5 million in transportation funds to build a massive parking facility. In November 2004, Masiello's dream appeared to have come true, when Bass Pro announced it would turn the Aud into a 250,000-square-foot store with a museum, restaurant and hotel. But by mid-2005, those promises had produced no plans and negotiations toward a binding lease were at a standstill. The Bass Pro drive took on new life in August 2005, when the local harbor development panel was established to put a finer point on talks with the retailer. While success seemed likely through fall 2006, updated information on the physical state of the Aud and cost estimates associated with its conversion caused the ambitious plan to go belly up. On Dec. 18, 2006, Bass Pro was given 30 days to fish or cut bait, but as the deadline expired, the planners shifted their focus to the Central Wharf site, a fresh idea that kept the retailer talking.
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