As expected, the board adopted a tuition increase of $138 a year for students, a number in the range of what we reported last week was likely, and also cut 50 vacant positions (we said 40 was likely) and dipped into the dwindling reserve fund for another $1.5 million to barely close a $7.5 million gap in ECC’s $108 million budget.
There are growing signs that Erie Community College’s fiscal crisis may get worse in the near future and could turn into a political struggle as college officials seek to close a $7.5 million budget gap without putting most of the burden on students who have been hit with $300 tuition hikes each of the last two years.
We have learned that State Atty. Gen. Eric Schneiderman is expected to impanel a special grand jury in Buffalo on Monday (May 9) with the sole purpose of investigating former Erie County Democratic Chairman Steve Pigeon’s political activities, a continuing probe that follows the seizure nearly a year ago of computers and a cell phone belonging to Pigeon during a surprise raid at his waterfront residence.
National Fuel supplies natural gas to over 730,000 residential and corporate customers throughout Western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania. The Williamsville, NY-based oil and gas concern is vertically integrated across five business divisions: Exploration & Production, Pipeline & Storage, Gathering, Utility, and Energy Marketing, all operating largely within the Buffalo metropolitan area.
Community activist Amber Small, a relative political newcomer, is running an aggressive grassroots-oriented campaign in her bid to win the kind of support that will help her land the Democratic Party endorsement for the 60th District State Senate seat being vacated by Marc Panepinto who announced last month he won’t seek re-election amid hints of a staff scandal.
What better topic to introduce my new column in this paper than Trump’s visit to Buffalo Monday night? So there I was, in the press pen, literally walled off from the event with no food, no booze, no nothing. What a glamorous life the media lead. Most of the press sat stoically at their laptops, hammering away and rarely even looking up at the speakers. I had intended to schmooze some of them and get some inside scoops but I wasn’t feeling the warmth.
According to informed sources in the Buffalo development community, Mark Hamister is about $6 million short of the mark in financing for his much-hyped $35.7 million Niagara Falls hotel project on Rainbow Blvd. that was trumpeted by state and local officials more than three years ago as the city’s best hope to revive downtown.
rie Community College has filed a formal response to the Jan. 14 audit report by the state comptroller that detailed a “lax control environment” established by the board of trustees that allowed college management to assume board responsibilities and make key financial decisions with little or no board oversight.
The best way to learn a job may still be from the ground up, and the new CEO of the Buffalo Metropolitan Federal Credit Union is a perfect example of that process, starting as a teller in 1994 and rising to the position of chief executive officer last Nov. 1, leading a full-service financial institution with 16,500 members and $95 million in assets.
Artvoice makes no comment on the actual case, however are posting as we received as a press release.
Please see the attached Preliminary Statement Brief Regarding Plaintiffs: Jean Bridenbaker and Garry K Connors, the Estate of Matthew Connors, in opposition to the Defendants: City of Buffalo, Buffalo Police Department.
Two years ago this month, The Niagara Falls Reporter exposed what appeared to be a blatant case of bid-rigging perpetrated by the Saratoga Springs, NY-based LA Group, a landscape architecture firm chosen by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to implement portions of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $50 million Niagara Falls State Park “Landscape Improvements” plan.
It may be bloody and highly controversial, but mixed martial arts will be coming to New York in the not too distant future, and the popular sport will then face the challenge of lining up promoters to meet the requirements contained in the bill passed by the Assembly this week and headed to the governor’s desk.
It was in the Sept. 3, 2013 editions of the Niagara Falls Reporter that I broke the story that one of the top prosecutors in the Niagara County District Attorney’s Office was threatening to bring legal action against the county on her claims that she had been discriminated against in pay and work conditions on the basis of gender.
Flamboyant and entrepreneurial Rick Snowden, who owned a nightclub and the historic Miller Mansion on Nottingham Terrace in Buffalo where he hosted several spectacular parties between 2004 and 2010 – many of them to benefit local charities – has now become one of Donald Trump’s most ardent and visible supporters.
Hamburg Councilman Michael Quinn, a lawyer, former ironworker and an infantry paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division, has reportedly told Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner that he’s interested in running for the 60th District State Senate seat currently held by Marc Panepinto who unexpectedly announced on Tuesday that he will not seek re-election following an internal staff shakeup.
The sad truth behind the state development agencies that helped push through the proposed Hamister Hotel project in Niagara Falls four years ago is that silence is indeed golden, because despite all the talk about the city capitalizing on an opportunity too good to pass up, nothing has happened at 310 Rainbow Blvd. and requests for answers from the Cuomo bureaucrats are met with silence. And the Hamister Group, headquartered in Buffalo, also has nothing to say.
Some of the menu items at the recently-opened Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches on Elmwood Avenue may lend a whole new meaning to the term “bagging” lunch.
That’s because Jimmy John’s owner, James John Liautaud, is an avid big game hunter who loves to travel to places like Africa, seek out big, beautiful, wild animals, and shoot them dead––his notion of “sport.”
Just in case you are a newcomer to these parts, we’d like to remind you that St. Patrick’s Day next Thursday (March17) is more than a celebration of Irish and Irish American culture, it is the starting point of the political season and that’s particularly true this year with DA candidates Mike Flaherty and Johnny Flynn who will celebrate their Irish heritage and headline the annual civic luncheon on Friday (March 18) at the Irish Center on Abbott Rd. where politics is the main course.
At Artvoice we seek to serve the interest of the people. And, as we reviewed our cover story this week, it occurred to us that we could serve both the people, and the government which purportedly is in existence to serve them, by offering a revised emblem [or logo] for the National Security Agency, known also as the NSA.
News of potential import to the city of Niagara Falls broke late last year when details of an epic legal showdown at Yosemite National Park became public. Subsequent to losing a $2 billion, 15-year contract extension for hospitality (food, hotel) services to competitor Aramark at Yosemite, Buffalo-based Delaware North filed a lawsuit demanding $51 million compensation for trademarks it had secured for historic place names in the national park.
State Sen. Marc Panepinto may face a Democratic primary in the 60th District this year and if he is victorious he will likely face a strong Republican challenge from the winner of an expected Republican primary between Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs and Tonawanda attorney Kevin Stocker, but Panepinto is pre-pared to run on his record of voting against tax increases, increasing school aid for Western New York, and fighting to remove microbeads from New York’s waterways as part of his environmental agenda.