Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Journey’s End seeks mentors for refugees

Journey’s End has launched the Refugee Asylee Mentoring Program, to help refugees make connections within the Buffalo area, particularly the West Side, says Program Director Paige Kelschenbach. The program will pair refugees with mentors, who will act as life coaches, introducing and guiding them through life in America.  The program is funded by a state grant for five years. After that the program will look to renew and expand, says Kelschenbach.  The program is accepting mentor applications.  Journey’s End offices are located at 2495 Main St. By Gabrielle Kime and Conner Wilson

Monday, November 18, 2019

Campus Walk establishes safety measures

SUNY Buffalo State student Nicole Stewart signs into a guest log at Campus Walk Apartments while the security guard Michelle Howell protects the front entrance of the building. New security measures were put in place in September for the two buildings,  
140 Rees St. Campus Walk made headlines in September when shots were fired during a fight outside the complex. More recently, robberies on the property have left residents feeling unsafe.  Robert Wombles, assistant general manager, made several safety adjustments to the property. “Guests now have to sign in once the office is closed for the day. Security officers are posted at exits in both buildings,” Wombles said. Campus Walk also has an after-hours emergency hotline.  By Jasmine Huntley and Bianca Moise

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Salvation Army to host Thanksgiving dinner

              With Thanksgiving just around the corner, The Salvation Army, is doing its part in providing dinners on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, for people who may not have anywhere to go.
             The day will begin with a worship service at 10:30 a.m. prior to the dinner, and food will be served at noon until 1:30 p.m. The events will take place at its main location, 960 Main St.
              Laurie Krajna, who is the development director for the Western New York region, has been organizing Thanksgiving dinner for the Salvation Army for over 40 years.
               They plan on serving over 200 dinners throughout the day, many to those who are homeless and would like to have fellowship with them.
              “Lots of new people come in each year to be part of our mission but also many of the same, some who are homeless, and a lot come who don’t have family or friends in town to share it with,” Krajna said.
               More than 50 volunteers come out every year and help on this day to serve the people, but the Salvation Army is always looking for more.
               “Most of the people that volunteer come in only on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but we need people to reach out 365 days of the year to reach our mission. It is important to us that we give back and provide food and shelter to the one’s in need,” Krajna said.
                 Krajna has seen progress throughout the years during the holiday season, with more people willing to donate their time and give to others. By Christian Gaffney and John Propis

Albright art truck stops at Belle Center

The Albright-Knox Art Truck recently visited The Belle Center, 104 Maryland St., and Program Coordinator Vicente Rondon, led a  button-making activity with the children there. The Albright-Knox instituted its new Art Truck in October, “to bring art activities to different community centers in Buffalo, but not just Buffalo, but to all eight counties,” Rondon said. This is a free program and can be accessed by request form on the Albright-Knox website. By Bethany Clancy and Kristina DiBlasio

Monday, November 11, 2019

Sponge candy season coming up for Watson’s

Mike Watson runs the 738 Elmwood Ave. location of Watson’s Chocolates, a fourth-generation business that has been in Western New York for over 70 years. Watson's makes sponge candy by hand, from the beating of ingredients, to letting it rise, to slicing it and finally coating it with chocolate.  With the holiday season approaching, Watson says this month begins the company's busiest time of the year, with sponge candy in demand through to Easter. By Christian Gaffney and John Propis

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sweet_ness 7 Café owner expecting to sell

Sweet_ness 7 Cafe owner Prish Moran expects to sell the long-time gathering place on Lafayette Avenue and Grant Street.
By Tommy Corsi and Ryan Williams 
           On the corner of Grant Street and Lafayette Avenue, a grand brick building is glowing with the artistic mural below the blue awning that symbolizes the Sweet_ness 7 Café. To pull open the ornate front door reveals the home-style, old-fashioned space filled with the scent of coffee brewing and food sizzling on the flat-top behind the counters.
           The owner of Sweet_ness 7 cafe and The Tabernacle, Prish Moran, is looking to sell the building that has been the longtime home of her two businesses.
           Moran will continue to own both businesses and the current management will still carry out the day-to-day operations as usual until any further progress is made in terms of a sale. They hope to keep business running smoothly throughout the course of the sale when one is made.
           Moran opened the cafe in 2008 within the Victorian-era building that she purchased and successfully restored it to its now current artistic state that it has become known for today.
           The renovated building in its current state represents the creation that Moran had envisioned 12 years ago when she purchased the building.
           While 220 Grant St. is home to the Sweet_ness 7 Café, the building accommodates more than just coffee lovers and the early-morning crowds.
           “It is kind of like a conglomerate. The cafe has always been the anchor point for everything, but the storefronts and the apartments upstairs add to it all,” Steven Zaionz, café general manager, said.

Steven Zaionz says it's business as usual ahead of the possible sale of the cafe.
           The building includes renovated apartments and storefronts along with the Tabernacle and the Sweet_ness 7 café for which it is most knownThe renovations included turning office spaces upstairs into apartments, and completely restoring the area that is now known as the Tabernacle, the event space next door to the cafe.
           “I hesitate to say much about the selling of the place, because we don’t really know much at this point,” Zaionz said. “I think (Moran) is just ready to move on from the business side of things, step back and spend more time with her family."
           There has been no public discussion of when the change of ownership is planned to occur, and at this time no potential buyers have even been identified. It has only just recently been discovered that Moran now has plans to sell the building at some point in the future.
           It is said that Moran hopes to sell the building along with her business to someone who will continue to carry on the legacy of her empire and continue to serve the community in a similar fashion as she has throughout the years.
           The cafe can be seen as what was the beginning of a movement that brought a flux of businesses to the Grant Street area.
           “After Prish opened this spot up you really saw other people start taking an interest in the neighborhood and starting their own small businesses around this area,” Zaionz said.
           The café has become a relied-upon neighborhood gathering place, so regulars such as Alaysa Dale, a Virginia Street resident, are hopeful that new owners will continue to operate it as it has been.

 Dale, on her impressions of Sweet_ness 7:

           “She has owned the spot for as long as I have been going there, which has been over the past four or five years,” Dale said. “The place is pretty unique because of the focus from around this area she had put into it. But I have faith she will keep it in good hands.”  


Allen St. repairs a headache to businesses

Siobhan Taylor, store owner of Ms. Eye Candy Boutique, stands at her storefront at 85 Allen St. with construction underway behind her. Taylor says that businesses such as hers on Allen Street have lost not only foot traffic, but have minimal space to park because of the construction to widen the street. “It’s just been a deterrent so we're not getting the drive through traffic,” Taylor said. The construction has been going on since early March and it is expected to finish up in summer of next year. By Gabrielle Kime and Conner Wilson