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Western New York

January 3, 2019 - 3:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in GO ART!, photography, Western New York, news, Announcements.
A new photography exhibit entitled the "Beauty of Western New York" by Don Fryling is now showing at GO ART!, located in the historic Seymour Building at 201 E. Main St. in Downtown Batavia.
The exhibit runs through Jan. 20.
There will be an artist reception for Fryling from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17. Tavern 2.o.1 will be open.
Gallery hours are:
Thursday, Friday 11-7
Saturday 11-4
August 3, 2010 - 1:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture, Western New York, Gillibrand.

Here's a news release sent today from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

As Congress begins debate over the next Farm Bill, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that she will hold listening sessions around the state over the next several months to discuss new efforts to help New York farmers and farming communities.

(Times, dates and places have not yet been announced.)

As the first New Yorker to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly 40 years, Gillibrand plans to focus on key areas of the Farm Bill that will have major influence on New York.

These area include access to financing, new market opportunities, assistance for specialty crops, and investments in renewable energy. From dairy farms, black dirt farms, and apple orchards to vineyards, artisanal cheeses, and other specialty crops, New York farmers and communities will have a lot to gain in the next Farm Bill.

“New York is home to the hardest working farm families and the finest locally grown produce in the world, but outdated regulations and a bad economy are hurting our farmers and farming communities across the state,” Senator Gillibrand said.

“We need to make sure the next Farm Bill is a good deal for New York. I plan to take the next several months to listen to farmers and businesses in every corner of the state and discuss my ideas on how to help farmers survive and prosper in the new economy.”

She will begin the listening sessions this month in Western New York, the Finger Lakes region and the Hudson Valley.

June 15, 2009 - 8:12pm
posted by Steve Hawley in steve hawley, rules, Western New York, reform, State Assembly.


With Talk of Reform Taking Center Stage in Albany, Western New York Minority Delegation Unveil Own Package of Initiatives


            On Monday, June 8, a bipartisan coalition of state senators passed a comprehensive list of rules reforms that if enacted, would help bring long overdue transparency and accountability to the legislative process.  On the heels of that reform package, today, the Western New York Minority Delegation led by Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia), Assemblyman Joe Giglio (R,I,C-Gowanda), Assemblyman Jack Quinn (R,C,I-Hamburg), Assemblywoman Jane Corwin (R,C,I-Clarence), and Assemblyman Jim Hayes (R-Amherst) announced their own series of initiatives, which aims to increase government efficiency, reduce costs and create a more open, bipartisan democratic process.


            The Western New York Delegation package contains nine reform proposals, including:


ü      Term limits for Speaker, Majority Leader and Minority Leader of 6 years.

ü      Term limits for Chairpersons and Ranking Members of 8 years.

ü      Publish agendas and votes (floor and committee) online.

ü      All committee meetings video recorded and webcast.

ü      Create televised programming, NY-SPAN, by January 1, 2010.

ü      Divide any member items evenly.

ü      Messages of Necessity shall only be permitted in actual emergencies “such as legislation related to address acts of God, natural and man-made disasters and civil unrest.”

ü      Institute Member prerogative to provide each member an equal allotted amount of time to advocate for issues specific to their district.

ü      New motion and/or petition for Consideration created.

o       Separate and in addition to motion to discharge.  Permits a Member to move a bill for house consideration after 10 days on 3rd reading.  If approved by a majority of Members present, bill is placed on next day’s active list.  Petition process is same, except must be signed by a majority of elected Members.


“Citizens in the state should never be dependent on whether their representative is enrolled in a particular party,” said Assemblyman Steve Hawley.  “True representation has no party affiliation.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re an enrolled or non-enrolled voter, your needs should be met.  For too long, Albany has operated based upon party politics, not sound governing principles.  We need to open up the process and improve transparency in order to make sure the government stands accountable to the people, not the other way around.  These reforms take a step toward just that.”


“As a reformer, I have fought for changes to the way Albany does business since I came to office,” said Assemblyman Giglio.  “Last Monday, the Senate passed reforms to increase transparency in government.  Today, we should heed their example and take advantage of a unique opportunity to reform our own house.  I call on my colleagues in the Assembly to pass these reforms as a step toward the betterment of our system and accountability to the taxpayers of our state.”


            “Since I was elected to the Assembly, I have fought to change the way Albany operates,” said Assemblyman Jack Quinn.  “Repeatedly though, entrenched and powerful institutions have overridden common-sense initiatives.  However, calls for reform have amplified and if we’re going to break the status quo and usher in a new era of reform and openness, then the time is now.  The initiatives we introduced today mirror the proposed Senate reforms.  Together, they will help reduce the stranglehold that a handful of leaders have on the legislative process, ensure all bills receive a fair vote on the floor of the chamber regardless of party, and reaffirm our commitment to taxpayers.”


            “If events of the last few months have taught us anything, it’s that state government is broken,” said Assemblywoman Jane Corwin.  “Monday, a bipartisan coalition of senators passed comprehensive rules reform aimed to bring long overdue change to the legislative process, expand the power of legislative committees, and put to an end an archaic and corrupt memberitem process that doles out resources and community aid based on politics, not need.  This is our chance to instill balance and equality in the legislative process to achieve the results that New Yorkers were looking for when they went to the ballot box last November.” 



March 19, 2009 - 9:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Western New York, population.

The Buffalo News reports that while WNY continues to lose population, the declines seem to have slowed, according to recent estimates.

The News reports that Genesee County is down .04 percent.

While he can’t speak directly about the Buffalo region, Jan Vink, a Cornell University research specialist, sees some indication from the census estimates that migration patterns may be changing for the better in the state.

But the shift might have more to do with what’s happening in other parts of the country, whether it’s the job market or a cooling of the housing market.

“Either less people are leaving or more are coming in. I suspect it’s less people leaving,” said Vink, who reviews census data for the state. “It’s kind of an interesting trend going on all across New York State.”

Related: The D&C reports that birth rates in Monroe County, unlike the rest of the U.S., have declined.

February 13, 2009 - 10:21am
posted by Philip Anselmo in Western New York, polls.

Earlier this week, we picked up an article from Forbes magazine that dubbed Buffalo the 8th most miserable city in the nation. Just or unjust, we thought that may have touched on a few of the less desirable aspects of living in this part of the country. Sure, we've got much to boast about here in Western New York—the people, the history, the landscapes, the fresh water—but surely they are a few things about our region that we would get rid of if we could.

So, what would you scrap if you could?

December 11, 2008 - 1:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, genesee county, business, Western New York.

Buffalo Pundit links to a story about the economic hard times in Detroit and draws a comparison with Western New York.

From the Time.com story:

When a state lives with a story line of decline for so long, it doesn’t just affect the mood. It becomes part of the culture. Whereas America’s history has been one of expanding horizons, yours has become funnel-shaped. Much like the postbellum South, Rust Belt culture looks backward at an idealized past–a nostalgia not for plantations but for three-bedroom houses paid up on blue collar salaries. (See pictures of the remains of Detroit.)

“It used to be you could get a job at one of those factories, even without an education, and make a decent living to support your family,” says letter carrier Dina Schueller, 33, of Saranac. Now her husband has been laid off from his construction job, and her brother moved to Maryland for work. Like many left-behind Michiganders, she’ll be seeing fewer family members this season.

We've had discussions about the future of Western New York before, and I know some people are skeptical that the local economy can ever grow again, but when you look at efforts to bring new manufacturing businesses to Batavia and Alabama, for example, then it's hard not to be hopeful that renewed growth is a real possibility.

WNY has a lot going for it, such as natural resources, open spaces, an available work force, affordable housing.  There's no reason there can't be a renaissance of sorts.

Philip visited the Genesee County Economic Development Council today and is working on a post now about some of the things GCEDC is doing to help expand business opportunities in the county.

September 28, 2008 - 10:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Jon Powers, Western New York, green.

The smartest thing I heard from Jon Powers during his campaign was about turning Western New York into a decent place to start new, green businesses.

I thought of that when reading Thomas Friedman's column today.

But that is not the point of this column. The point is, we don’t just need a bailout. We need a buildup. We need to get back to making stuff, based on real engineering not just financial engineering. We need to get back to a world where people are able to realize the American Dream — a house with a yard — because they have built something with their hands, not because they got a “liar loan” from an underregulated bank with no money down and nothing to pay for two years. The American Dream is an aspiration, not an entitlement.

In a green economy, we would rely less on credit from foreigners “and more on creativity from Americans,” argued Van Jones, president of Green for All, and author of the forthcoming “The Green Collar Economy.” “It’s time to stop borrowing and start building. America’s No. 1 resource is not oil or mortgages. Our No. 1 resource is our people. Let’s put people back to work — retrofitting and repowering America. ... You can’t base a national economy on credit cards. But you can base it on solar panels, wind turbines, smart biofuels and a massive program to weatherize every building and home in America.”

So even if Jon Powers ain't the 26th District, why can't WNY be a leader in creating new green businesses? Does it take a congress rep to make that happen, or just visionary entrepreneurs?

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