Wednesday, October 26, 2011

All treats, no tricks at the BPO on Sunday

 Get in the Halloween spirit this Sunday at Kleinhans Music Hall with the “Ghosts, Goblins and Ghouls!” event.
 Presented by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra as part of its family series, the main event is an hour-long concert with conductor Matthew Kraemer. Children are invited to come dressed in costume and parade across the stage.
  Kraemer will play Halloween music, as well as songs from "Harry Potter," "Jaws" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Doors open at 1 p.m., with the concert beginning at 2:30 p.m. and lasting an hour with no intermission.
  “Pre-concert activities include an interactive theater event led by the Theatre of Youth in the Mary Seaton Room,” said Jennifer Smith, media and community relations manager for the BPO.
 Smith added that treats will be given out to the children after the performance as they trick-or-treat with BPO musicians and staff.
  Admission is $10 for children age 2 to age 17, $8 for students and $15 for adults 18 and older. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 885-5000. By Kevin Freiheit and Melissa Kania

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

IN DEPTH: Rose Garden shows youngsters life’s basics

 Acquiring basic skills through playing, baking, singing and other interaction is the focus of childhood development at The Rose Garden Early Childhood Center. For three years, Lafayette Ave. has encompassed the joyous laughter of these children. Director, Judith Frizlen, credits the center’s success to practices of the LifeWays model. By Samantha Murphy and Desiree Wiley Full story

PRUNED TO PERFECTION - Richard Stedman, president-owner of Wright-Frontier Tree & Lawn Care Inc, recently held a pruning workshop at the Urban Roots Garden located at 428 Rhode Island St. Video by Brian Geerhart and Erica Lindo
HELPING HALLOWEEN - Marcus Samerson (left), a junior electrical engineering technology major, gets a hand from sophomore media production major Emma Stollberger (right), as the two help set up for a haunted house at 33 18th St. Stollberger and Samerson were among the students participating in Buffalo State College’s Community Service Day. The haunted house, sponsored by Making Fishers of Men and Women, is scheduled for Oct. 30.
Photo by Julia Merulla and Mike Meiler

Trick-or-treaters take to college dorms

D’Youville will be hosting its fourth annual Neighborhood Halloween Party for West Side children from 1:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 30.
Children ages 3-12 from local elementary schools and community centers are invited to play games, get their faces painted, enjoy snacks, and trick-or-treat throughout the dorms.
“Every year a different student organization comes in to take the lead,” said Lori Marasco, secretary of Campus Ministry, the group that runs the event.
Marasco said students and local alumni volunteer their time to make the event a success. 
                                                                                          By Mike Meiler and Julia Merulla

House party to celebrate new beginning

Heart of the City Neighborhoods Inc. is having a moving out house party on Nov. 3 from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at its current location, 42 Plymouth Ave. 
The organization will move to 192 Whitney Place when its lease expires at the end of November. 
            The house party is open to the public. Heart of the City is asking for $10 donations to go toward preparing the new location.
                                                                     By Brian Geerhart and Erica Lindo

Local health center rescued at last minute

Kaleida Health and Neighborhood Health Center have reached a new lease agreement to continue operations at the Mattina Health Center, located at 300 Niagara St.
The center was originally supposed to close Nov. 1 due to financial issues, but the new lease agreement will allow patients to continue to receive treatment with minimal disruption in service. The center will reopen fully at the end of the month.
According to its website, Neighborhood Health, the new owner of the property, is a community-based organization providing care such as physical exams, lab testing, sick care, pediatric, nutritional and dental services, regardless of patients’ financial status.
Once the new site is fully reopened, it will be named the Neighborhood Health Center Mattina in order to maintain some of the location’s heritage.
                                                                                 By Kevin Freiheit and Melissa Kania 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

IN DEPTH: West Side locations host flu shot clinics

 With flu season beginning, West Side residents can visit a number of locations in the area to receive a vaccination for little or no cost. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone over the age of six months get vaccinated yearly, because the influenza virus changes over time. New vaccines are created each year by the World Health Organization, depending on which strains of the virus are predicted to be ‘at-large’ that flu season. This year’s vaccination includes components to protect against three different flu viruses, and is now available for residents. By Kevin Frieheit and Melissa Kania Full story

D'Youville sets open house, visit schedule

 Prospective students looking for information about D’Youville College may be interested in a number of upcoming events at the campus, located at 320 Porter Ave.
 Weekend visits will begin on Oct. 29 and continue once a month through May 5, with no visit in January.
 “Weekend visits are basically a recruiting event,” said Megan Harmon, assistant director of admissions. “We’re looking for prospective students. Weekend visits are a smaller-scale version of our open house.”
 Weekend visits include information sessions about individual programs offered at the college, as well as campus tours led by students.
 In addition to the weekend visits, open houses are also beginning at the college, with the first on Oct. 22.
 While weekend visits last under two hours, open houses run from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
 The open houses begin with an introduction by the director of admissions, including a discussion of the history of the college and what the college’s mission is. Attendees are then split into groups and participate in individual sessions, where faculties from different departments discuss more in-depth information.
 Campus tours and financial aid seminars are also available during open houses.
More information can be found at D’Youville’s website or by calling the undergraduate admissions office at 829-7600. By Kevin Freiheit and Melissa Kania

Horsefeathers to host food week celebration

 National Food Celebration Week beings Oct. 22. To kick off this year’s celebration, the Frizlen Group has organized an event at 346 Connecticut St., known as the “Horsefeathers Building,” where merchants will have a place to sell their food and people will have a chance to buy and try new foods.
 The Frizlen Group recently acquired the Horsefeathers Building and is in the process of rehabilitating it. The plan is to convert the space to accommodate living and office spaces as well as a farmer’s market. This historic building, which was once vacant and used only as a warehouse, will hold its first event in years.
 “We plan on putting a Foodmaker’s Market on the main floor and basement,” said Karl Frizlen, president of the Frizlen Group. “This celebration will not only celebrate National Food Week but be a pre-construction celebration also.”
 The festivities will begin at 5 p.m. and everyone is encouraged to come out and enjoy, Frizlen said. By Brian Geerhart and Erica Lindo

CarShare seeks expansion to Buffalo State

 Buffalo CarShare is looking to expand to Buffalo State’s campus. Executive Director Creighton Randall says it’s only a matter of coming to terms with the school’s directors.
 Members of Buffalo CarShare can reserve and rent cars hourly for errands and other trips.
 “It’s a little bit of a leap for us,” he said. “But it’s something we’re really looking forward to,” he added.
 The organization is seeking the approval of Buffalo State leaders and financial support to expand services.
 Buffalo CarShare’s office located at 14 Allen St. For more information about becoming a member go to By Kaitlin Fritz and Kaitlin Riznyk
SAFETY TIPS - The city's Youth Program Coordinator Michael Milovich offers some advice for a safe Halloween. Video by Samantha Murphy and Desiree Wiley

D'Youville partners to cultivate cures

The D’Youville College School of Pharmacy is partnering with the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens to grow an of healing plants. The team plans to cultivate indoor and outdoor medicinal plant gardens.
     “There will be an outdoor botanical garden and indoor displays from time to time. The indoor displays are intended to be educational and will highlight the use of natural products to treat various diseases,” said Gary Stoehr, dean of the School of Pharmacy.
     The indoor medicinal gardens are in place and the two sides are working together on obtaining funding for the outdoor gardens that will be available in the spring, said John Kennedy, director  of Development at D’Youville.
    The medicinal gardens will add to the three glass domes and nine greenhouses already situated in the botanical gardens  located on South Park Avenue. Stoehr said D’Youville anticipates having students available on garden tours. Tours will be open to the public but tour hours are tentative. By Samantha Murphy and Desiree Wiley

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Preservation Trust tours historic West Side

West Side neighborhoods and historic landmarks will be a major focus of The National Trust for Historic Preservation conference when it begins on Wednesday.
There will be tours of the historic neighborhoods surrounding Kleinhans Music Hall on Wednesday Oct. 19 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.  The price is $10. The trust also will be at Kleinhans on Thursday, Oct. 20 from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. for the presentation of the 2011 National Preservation Awards.  The event is free and open to the public.  
There will be free tours of the Connecticut Street Armory every hour on Wednesday, Oct. 19 and Thursday, Oct. 20 beginning at 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
On Thursday Oct. 20, a special event called Museums By Moonlight will allow the public to tour the H.H. Richardson Complex, the Albright-Knox, Burchfield-Penney and the Buffalo State College Art and Conservation Lab from 6:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. for $30.
Guided tours of the H.H. Richardson Complex will continue Sunday, Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. and 11 a.m. until 12 p.m. The cost is $15.  This is the first time in 10 years the complex will be open to the public. By Kaitlin Fritz and Kaitlin Riznyk

Sunday, October 16, 2011

LIGHTS ON- The finishing touches are being added to a newly renovated section of the first floor of the H.H. Richardson Complex. The 19th century psychiatric hospital is in the process of being transformed into a multi-use architecture and visitors center. This building will be among those visited by more than 2,000 members of the National Trust For Historic Preservation during its conference held in Buffalo from Oct. 19 through Oct. 22. Photo by Kaitlin Fritz and Kaitlin Riznyk

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

MAP to host urban workshop this weekend

 The Massachusetts Avenue Project will host an urban agriculture trainign weekend from Oct. 14-16.  MAP will focus on apsets such as food policy, urban agriculture, aquaponics, social enterprise and youth centered agriculture. According to MAP’s website, “the weekend includes 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, a cocktail reception and intensive, hands-on training opportunities.’
 Most of the workshops will be held at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and MAP’s Growing Green urban farm. The workshop is open to the public and has a fee of $225. By Samantha Murphy and Desiree Wiley

PUSHing to raise money for the West Side

   PUSH Buffalo will host a fundraiser Nov. 10 at Trinity Episcopal Church, 371 Delaware Ave.
 Donations are accepted but there is no cost to attend the fundraiser. Breakfast will be served for those who attend.
  “Our people are the actual building blocks, but we are actually building [city] blocks,” said Britney McClain, development director at PUSH.
 PUSH Buffalo’s mission is to create affordable, sustainable housing and create strong neighborhoods in the city of Buffalo. The organization aims to increase property ownership by low-income residents and also builds houses on the West Side.
 For more information about the event or PUSH Buffalo, contact the organization at 716-884-0356 or visit their office at 271 Grant Street.  By Melissa Kania and Kevin Freiheit

YOGA FOR RELIEF- On Oct. 1 a class of 50 yoga enthusiasts participated in the Buffalo Yoga Aid Challenge. The class was organized by Yoga Aid and Power Yoga of Buffalo and was held at the West Side Rowing Club on Porter Avenue. The objective of the event was to raise money for the African Yoga Project, which teaches yoga in African communities in order to bring about change. Photo by Brian Geerhart and Erica Lindo

West Side Bazaar leaves its comfort zone

 The West Side Bazaar is going on the road this fall to sell its international goods outside of its Grant St. home.
 The bazaar, located at 242 Grant Street, opened in March and hosts vendors who are immigrants and refugees from countries such as the Ivory Coast, Peru, Indonesia, South Sudan and Rwanda.
 Mary Joy Buscemi, the bazaar’s marketing coordinator, has made it her goal to get the vendors acquainted with different communities in Buffalo including the arts, the Elmwood Village, Buffalo State College, and the suburbs. The bazaar will be found at
· Tri Main Center, 2495 Main St., Oct. 18 and Oct. 19 from 10:30 a.m.- 3 p.m.
· “Bazaar Gives Back” Guercio & Sons parking lot, 250 Grant St., Oct. 22
· International Institute 864 Delaware Ave. and “Girls Night Out” at Salvatore’s Italian Garden, 6461 Transit Rd., Nov. 3
· Buffalo State College Student Union 1300 Elmwood Ave., Nov. 15 and Nov. 16
· ZGM Fine Arts Gallery 1045 Elmwood Ave., Nov. 17 through Dec. 30, Thursdays and Fridays from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
 At several of the locations, the merchants will donate a portion of their proceeds to the following organizations that help immigrants and refugees just like them: Journey’s End, Jericho Road Ministries, Buffalo Without Borders and Child & Family Services: Haven House.
 The Grant Street location will also have special holiday hours on Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. from October 20 until January. By Kaitlin Fritz and Kaitlin Riznyk
PUSH has created a demonstration home on the West Side of Buffalo to model various techniques that can be used to make a house environmentally "green." The house is often used during tours, such as the WNY Solar Homes and Green Buildings Tour on October 1. Development director Britney McClain describes the award-winning house and the 'green' aspects of it. Video by Melissa Kania and Kevin Freiheit

IN DEPTH: MenuCalc helps local bakery stay healthy

 Over a year ago, the Department of Health kicked off the Healthy Choices Program. Under this initiative, 200 restaurants in Erie County were given a free trial of MenuCalc software, a computer program developed to count calories and allow restaurants to print nutritional facts on their menus. So far, a bakery and a restaurant on the West Side have agreed to participate and have taken steps to put the software to use. By Mike Meiler and Julia Merulla Full story

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Livery project groundbreaking delayed

 The October 1 ground breaking for the historical White Brother’s Livery has changed. Due to minor setbacks, Savarino Properties has postponed construction until October 11.
 “The ground breaking and press conference have moved back to the 11 and that is still subject to change,” said Julia Spitz, commercial property manager and vice president of Savarino Properties.
 The White Brother’s Livery Stable was once one of the largest horse stables in the city of Buffalo during the late eighteen hundreds. In 2008 the city planned to demolish this piece of history but residents fought to keep it alive.
 Savarino Properties purchased the building for only $1 but will invest nearly $3.4 million into the project. The company’s plan will house 14 affordable apartment units while preserving the building’s original structure. By Samantha Murphy and Desiree Wiley

Urban Roots workshops begin fifth year

 The fifth year of gardening workshops began Sept. 24 with local gardener Richard Price at Urban Roots Community Garden Center. Urban Roots has been offering these workshops since 2007 to teach people about gardening techniques, composting and winterizing gardens.
 Price presented about seed saving, a technique that allows gardeners to save seeds from fruits, vegetables and other plants for reuse the next year. This maintains farms and gardens. He will also present a workshop on composting Oct. 22.
 “I've been gardening organically since 1970,” Price said. He is a member of the Seedsavers' Exchange, an international organization that maintains thousands of different plants in one of the largest seed banks in North America.
 The workshops continue on October 8 with Richard Stedman, president and owner of Wright-Frontier Tree Care, Inc. He will present on the pruning process.
 Three more workshops will take place during the month of October, with more occurring in the spring. A full schedule can be found at the organization's website at All workshops are held at the Urban Roots store, 428 Rhode Island St.
 Urban Roots is a cooperative garden center located in the West Side, offering affordable gardening supplies and organic plants to the neighborhood in an effort to encourage urban renewal and community education.
Registration is required, so interested persons should contact Urban Roots at 362-8982 or via e-mail at By Kevin Freiheit and Melissa Kania

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

 BETTING ON BOOKS - Independent bookstores are becoming endangered everywhere else but the West Side, where Joe Petri and a business partner recently opened West Side Books. Petri talks about the new store and what it offers. Video by Julia Merulla and Mike Meiler

IN DEPTH: It’s school then athletics at Lafayette

A new principal’s decision to put academics before athletics has Lafayette High School divided. By Kaitlin Fritz and Kaitlin Riznyk Full story.

Center to focus on youth, graduation rates

 Buffalo State College’s off-site Community Academic Center is opening up this October. The Community Academic Center located at 214 Grant St. aims to support Buffalo’s youth and improve high school graduation rates.
 “We were looking for something situated on the West Side,” said Maureen McCarthy, CEURE associate at Buffalo State’s Volunteer and Service Learning Center. “This location is just past Lafayette High School and in a hub of a lot of activity so we’ll be able to reach out to that community well.”
 The center’s activities are still being worked out but right now organizers hope to have an afterschool art program, a girl talk group for young teens and depending on the communities’ needs, English as a Second Language (ESL) classes also. Partnerships are in the process of being built between the Academic Center and West Side schools like Lafayette High School and Grover Cleveland High School.
The Community Academic Center is expected to be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Oct. 18. By Brian Geerhart and Erica Lindo

Engine 2 pumps up firefighting capability

 About three weeks ago six new pumpers and two new ladder trucks were put into service in the city of Buffalo. Engine 2, located on Virginia Street was chosen as one of the engine companies to receive a new pumper. Not only do these new trucks show remembrance of 9/11 but also have a few added features that will help on many occasions.
 The trucks were put in to service on 9/11, marking the 10th anniversary of the largest terrorist attack on the United States and the loss of 343 fellow firefighters. In honor of their lost brothers, a 9/11 decal was posted on the side of every new truck.
 “I think it’s a nice idea,” said Capt. Jay Tillotson. “We like to show our support for the firefighters who died in New York City,” he added.
 There is a reason this engine company got a new truck. The men of Engine 2 respond to about 3,000 calls a year, most of which are on the West Side. This includes fire and emergency medical service (EMS) calls. This makes it the busiest engine company in the entire city of Buffalo and has been for the past 20 years.
 Not only do these new American LaFrance “rigs,” as firefighters refer to them, have a new decal, but they also have Class A foam, which Engine 2’s old pumper didn’t have. Class A foam is a water additive that helps water soak deeper into burning materials. This helps put a fire out faster, which will cause less water damage to burning buildings of the West Side. It also helps firefighters by reducing the amount of time they spend searching for possible hidden fires.
  The new pumper also has heat in the back where the firefighters ride to each call. This makes a cold and wet ride back from a mid-winter fire easier to tolerate.
  Lt.Mitchell Stewart is excited about the new pumper and said, “it’s like getting a new car.” He also believes this change was well overdue.
“We needed a new one,” he said. “We were over a 120,000 miles on our last pumper and it probably should’ve been taken out of service about six years ago.”
By Kaitlyn Fritz and Kaitlyn Riznyk

West Side Rowing Club sets Niagara Regatta

 The West Side Rowing Club will host the 2011 Head of the Niagara Regatta on Oct. 15.
 The 2.5-mile race, held in the Black Rock Canal, will feature both adult and youth divisions. Every winner will be awarded a cash prize.
 “We’re hoping to get boats from Rochester and Southern Ontario,” said Matt Logue, director of boathouse operations at the West Side Rowing Club. “We’re looking for a good turnout and some help from the weather.”
 The race is open to the public. Entry information can be found on the club’s website, By Julia Merulla and Mike Meiler

Monday, October 3, 2011

TAKING ROOT - Erin Sharkey, background, creative director at the Massachusetts Avenue Project, guides Canisius College students through MAP's urban farm. Tours are held Saturdays at 11 a.m. and are open to the public. There is no fee for the tours but donations are appreciated. MAP hopes the tours will draw in more volunteers and continue the project's growth within the community. Tours continue through November. Photo by Samantha Murphy and Desiree Wiley