Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Shelters offer health care to homeless

With flu and cold season in full swing, some shelters offer health services, and provide hot meals for hungry people, making the long winter more bearable.Full story

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pridgen sees need to coalesce city leaders

Rev. Darius Pridgen

 Rev. Darius Pridgen has recently been elected to join the City of Buffalo Common Council as representative of the Ellicott District. Brimming with new ideas on how to re-cultivate business in the area, Pridgen is hoping to bring a new outlook to the common council. He plans to work with Niagara District Councilmember David Rivera to bring the Niagara and Ellicott districts together, creating a new sense of pride and stability downtown. Full story

Sunday, December 19, 2010

English programs for immigrants get boost

Tutor and English-language student at First Presbyterian

 The number of English language learners on the West Side is increasing.
Assisting with this is the BELL Network, a committee made up of the Buffalo Public Schools, local resettlement agencies, Buffalo State College, Houghton College and the Refugee Tutoring Project.
 The focus of the network is to expand existing programs and create new programs supporting English language learners, as well as form a larger network linking the various programs in order to help them all work together. Full story

Saturday, December 18, 2010

UB dental school gives care on West Side

 For some Hispanic residents of the lower West Side, finding proper dental care is like pulling teeth. There is limited access to specialty care and to dentists who might be bilingual. That is why for the past seven years the UB School of Dental Medicine faculty and students hold an event to give residents free dental care and oral cancer screenings. Full story

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Peace Bridge viewed as source of bad air

 The last time plans were scrapped for a new Peace Bridge expansion project, it was for the safety of the birds. This time around, residents are hoping it’s for the safety of the West Side. There has been ample proof from local healthcare facilities, as well as national research studies, that there is a strong association between high Peace Bridge traffic rates and high community asthma rates. The Peace Bridge Authority has done little to resolve the negative health impact other than acknowledging that the problem “may exist”. A larger bridge would allow for more diesel trucks, which often idle in West Side neighborhoods, and thereby send out large quantities of harmful fumes into the air and into the lungs of residents.
Full story

West Side community spreads holiday cheer

 While some families are having a traditional dinner this holiday season, many families need help. Thanks to organizations such as Concerned Ecumenical Ministry, West Side Community Services and Angel Food, these families are able to have a dinner at home or in a soup kitchen. These organizations help families and individuals who find it hard to have a traditional holiday meal. During the holiday season, people who seek help from these groups will not have to be hungry-or alone. Full story

Women's health fair aids Burmese refugees

 With the influx of Burmese refugees into Buffalo, several local organizations such as HEAL-International Inc., Catholic Charities, Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum and the International Institute of Buffalo teamed up with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to host a health fair for Burmese women. The educational fair informed the recent refugees, many who lack any substantial knowledge on breast cancer, about early detection and preventive measures they can take. Full story

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Businesses work to improve the West Side

Jimmy Lorigo opened the Meating Place in 1975

 Four decades ago, Grant Street was flourishing with new businesses and a sense of camaraderie among the owners located up and down the street. In the years that followed, this sense of prosperity slowly faded away.
 Local businesses and organizations are putting forth a renewed effort to bring back that welcoming atmosphere that was once present in the area. Full story

GPS tracking to enhance plow operations

 The City of Buffalo has implemented a new plan that will help snow plow the West Side and other areas this winter. Incorporating new technology and parking time changes, the city hopes to make snow plowing more efficient. This will assist supervisors with tracking streets that have been plowed and which ones still need attention in residential areas. Full story

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Anticipated state award to improve Grant Street

Grant Street florist April Whalen
 Grant Street has lost its vibrancy over the years with businesses moving to other sections of the city and into surrounding suburbs. Now, striving to get some of that vibrancy back, People United for Sustainable Housing, a West Side non-profit organization has received a $500,000 grant to improve upon blocks of Grant Street. PUSH, community organizers and local businesses are hoping the grant will eventually lead to economic improvement and business development, once again restoring Grant Street’s reputation of being a gateway to the West Side. Full story

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

'Tis the season, again, to get a flu shot

 Nurse Barbara Sullivan
With another dreary winter approaching, local citizens are getting ready to begin a new season of influenza prevention. After the H1N1/swine flu scare that Buffalo’s West Side experienced a few years ago, there is an increased emphasis on the importance of receiving an annual flu shot, as well as at home disinfectant techniques. Full story.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

From old to new: West Side soon to recycle

New recycling initiative will help eliminate street clutter
 Plastic, paper, metal, and glass. Residents in the City of Buffalo will no longer be sorting through these items come recycling day. The Department of Public Works has decided to implement some changes in the ways residents do recycling. New totes designated for recycling will be distributed and the schedule for pick-up will be changed as well. The city is hoping these changes will encourage more residents to start recycling. Full story

Friday, December 3, 2010

West Side combats rising health concerns

 The West Side is currently facing a number of health issues affecting many of its residents. One issue is poor air quality directly related to the diesel exhaust from the Peace Bridge, which is causing respiratory problems. Another is a general health concern toward community members due to lack of exercise. Since its inception in 2002, the Near East and West Side Task Force is working to find solutions by advocating health education to the residents of its communities. Full story

Healthy menus lead to healthy choices

Dave Alessi, manager of  LaNova Pizzeria
 Erie County will be the first in the nation to start an initiative to put nutrition facts on local menus. Some West Side restaurants plan to jump on the bandwagon to create a healthier image for their consumers that either demand or request healthier options. Under this new initiative restaurant patrons will have the information to make healthy meal choices, if they so choose. The software Erie County hopes to implement to West Side and other area restaurants is called Menu Calc. This software allows local restaurants to analyze calorie counts, fat content, vitamins and sodium among other things. Full story.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Collaborative polishes up West Side to fight crime

Eight years ago, West Side Community Collaborative started a five-year initiative plan to revitalize Buffalo’s West Side community. The goals included increasing the commercial district by bringing in more storefronts, cleaning up the landscape by gardening and erasing graffiti and raising homeownership. Other goals included reducing abandoned buildings and reducing crime and violence on the streets and in the homes. It’s been three years since the plan has reached its conclusion, but that doesn’t mean the West Side Community Collaborative’s work is finished. The group continues to revitalize this Buffalo community and work to keep drugs and violence out of the neighborhood. Full story

Local gardeners learn how to winterize

 How does someone live in Buffalo and still take up gardening as a hobby?
 The cold, harsh winters are anything but a conducive atmosphere for some of the plants gardeners hope to see grow and flourish. However, Urban Roots, an urban agriculture and gardening center on the West Side, hopes to solve that problem with its overwintering plants workshop.
 The local business paired up with guest speaker and avid gardener, David Clark to help teach local gardeners how to preserve their exotic plants.
 It was a forum not only to hear a how-to from an experienced gardener, but also a gathering of neighbors and gardeners alike. Full story