The past couple of years the state agency has been working overtime to clear-cut trees in some of its most popular Western New York parks, such as Niagara Falls, Allegany and Letchworth State Parks, in order to expand parking lots, bathrooms, roadways and in one case, ironically, construct a “nature center”, all pursuant to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $900 million “NY Parks 2020” plan.
Your local government high school is often the best drug store in town. Government schools are the key distribution point for illegal drugs in many communities. One study concluded that “80% of the nation’s high school students and 44% of middle-schoolers have personally seen illegal drugs used or sold and/or students drunk or high on the grounds of their schools.”
Well, after a long period of false starts and broken promises, all shrouded in “official” secrecy for lack of a better description, Cuomo announced on Tuesday that plans to build the $35 million Hyatt Place Hotel are at last underway because the Hamister Group has secured financing and is finally moving forward.
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.