Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Seedling sale

 A customer purchases organic seedlings at the Massachusetts Avenue Project’s second annual Growing Green Seedling Sale on May 4. A variety of organic seedlings such as greens, squash and tomatoes will continue to be sold at the farm stand at 389 Massachusetts Ave.  from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday throughout the month of May. Fresh produce will also be sold at the farm stand from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Saturday and on Tuesdays  when it becomes available.  By Malniquia Evans and Janiel Thomas

Surveillance cameras sought for West Side

By Bryan Price and Nick Stutzman
BengalNews Reporters
            Increased crime on the West Side has forced the Buffalo Police department to determine if new camera surveillance will help keep the area safe.
The City of Buffalo will be putting up three cameras on the West Side and four others will be placed elsewhere in the city.
According to Anthony Barba, chief  of Buffalo Police for the D District, determining the most important locations for each camera is vital because the cameras are $25,000 each.
Barba said that the department has been getting complaints from the public that more cameras need to be in place.
            “We have to look at crime stats and the complaints from citizens to determine where these cameras should be put up,” Barba said. “Reported crime has spiked in this area, so we need to weigh all factors from analytics to the cost.”
            The D District  has been trying to cut back on crime in surrounding neighborhoods as an . extra witness in crimes across the City of Buffalo. This will add to the current cameras Mayor Byron Brown has installed across the city, mainly on street corners, that have helped catch suspects and determine outcomes of crimes.
Along with the Buffalo Police, the West Side Youth Development Coalition is helping to get information out to the community about these cameras. According to Jon   Lindner, project coordinator with the coalition, his department receives information via the police, alerts his crime prevention coalition and  sub-committees, which then  get information out via social media.

Equine sentry nears 40 years on the job

By Michael Mazzuto
and Mike Provenzano
BengalNews Reporters
 It may not be Napoleon’s legendary white horse at the Battle of Waterloo, but the white horse in front of Frontier Discount Liquor & Beverage   is famous in its own right.
            The building’s original owner installed the horse at 121 Grant St. when it opened in 1974.  He has since sold the property to Bill Mackewitz and the horse came along as a package deal. The horse has since been refurbished with a new base and a fresh coat of paint.
            “People like it,”said Lakhi Singh, manager of Frontier Liquors. “We still bring it inside at night though, you never know what could happen.”
            Should you pass Frontier and notice the horse is missing, don’t worry. It isn’t the work of vandals.  Frontier Liquors often rents the horse out to local schools that wish to use it during events.
            The nameless horse was loaned out to McKinley High School over the weekend.
           “I don’t know what they use it for, but it always comes back in one piece,” Singh said.
            Being associated with Frontier Liquors doesn’t stop the horse from helping the Cricket  location and a convenience store located next door to entice customers. Mackewitz also owns both stores.
            According to Singh, the horse may not be the exact reason people are coming to the businesses but perhaps it may be a good luck charm that protects the stores overnight.

Monday, May 13, 2013

IN DEPTH: Anarchy in Action begins in the garden

Neighborhood residents gathered at the Normal Avenue Community Garden on May 4 with members of Anarchy in Action, an upstart group focused on education and volunteerism. It was a fun-filled afternoon of dirt digging and seed planting for community members, who learned from gardening experts the tips and tricks to growing and maintaining a successful garden as they planted their own. For Anarchy in Action,  it was a landmark day. Full story by Aaron Garland and Brandon Schlager

Buffalo’s youth show off at talent show

By Jasmine Peterson and Maria Yankova
BengalNews Reporters
Buffalo New Generations, an organization that promotes positivity for the city’s youth, recently held an event that showcased the talent of young designers and performers on May 4.
The second annual Stop the Violence Fashion Show took place at Holy Cross Church on 345 Seventh St. and benefited a local mentoring program for children and young adults called Youth with a Purpose. Proceeds from the event went towards their after school activities at the church.
            “They don’t have funding,” said Grace Modi, one of the event organizers. “They don’t have anybody that’s keeping them open. So we want everybody to come recognize this place and help the community.”
            Buffalo New Generations started last August by young adults looking to spread awareness about the city’s talented youth.
            “The reason we started it was because as you can see we have many talented people in Buffalo that nobody’s taking the time to recognize,” Modi said.
            The show featured eight young Buffalo designers. Nearly 30 models and a host of dancers, singers and rappers also participated.  
Kayla Bell, who helps run Buffalo New Generations, said there will be another show later this year for young people to participate in.  The organization welcomes youth who want to help build a positive environment in the city.
“I want everybody to know we’re here to help,” Bell said. “We want everybody to be known.”

Canalside celebration

Kelly Samera, Soraida Martinez, Betzy Martinez, Julio Lopez, Carlos Martinez and Luis Rosas of the dance group “Citali de Mexico” perform at Canalside's celebration of Cinco de Mayo on May 5. The Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY, a West Side-based non-profit organization that fosters past, present and future contributions made by the Hispanics in the community, and the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation/ Buffalo Place presented the event. The 14-member folkloric dance group based out of Claymont, Del. preserves and promotes Latin culture across the country through music and dance. The celebration was the first of this year's list of events set to take place at Canalside, located on Prime Street. By Anthony Howard and Lars Lewis

Sunday, May 12, 2013

It's that season...

Bakeries everywhere are preparing for the busy season ahead with cake orders for Communions and graduations. Wegmans Bakery Manager, Carly Kensinger, says that her bakery has at least 30 cake orders on a regular day and at least 100 on a weekend day. Wegmans, located at 601 Amherst St., can create cakes of different shapes, sizes and personalized designs that are decorated to fit any special occasion. By Brielynn Bell and Margot Harris

IN DEPTH: Martin Cooks up unique dining experience

Martin Cooks in the Horsefeathers Market is a recent addition to West Side culinary offerings. Chef and owner Martin Danilowicz explains why it is one of the most unique.   Full story by Michael Mazzuto and Mike Provenzano

Americans Feeding Americans

Michael Rivera, interim executive director/board chair at the Belle Center, discusses the organization’s involvement with Americans Feeding Americans, a nationwide food distribution project with Feed the Children. The Feed the Children organization worked with Tops Friendly Markets and PepsiCo to provide food to families in need. Volunteers from the Belle Center, the Buffalo Dream Center and other organizations distributed Frito-Lay and Quaker brand products from PepsiCo and oranges and non-perishable food items provided by Tops. The Belle Center located at 104 Maryland St. and has been one of Feed The Children’s distribution centers for the past five years.
By Janiel Thomas and Malniquia Evans

8 families to move into Cynthia Gardens

By Anika Rawlins and A.J. Speier
BengalNews Reporters
         Eight families were selected from a lottery of applicants to move into Cynthia Gardens, a new energy-efficient housing development located at 294-302 Hudson St.

Applicants, who can move in as early as June 1, were drawn from the lottery that closed in April.

Cynthia Gardens was built on an empty lot, after a fire destroyed the previous building 12 years ago. The new building is equipped with energy-efficient appliances and heat saving windows.

The housing development is a combination of two town houses, which includes four two-bedroom apartments and four three-bedroom apartments. Each apartment will include a dishwasher, a washer and a dryer.

To be eligible for the apartments, applicants had to be within an income bracket of $30,500 and $44,200. The applicants also had to complete the lottery application process by its April 19 deadline.

“There are eight apartments available for rent so all applicants must meet all the criteria to be eligible to be entered into the lottery” Stephanie Simeon, executive director of the Heart of the City Neighborhood Inc. said.

In an effort to enhance the West Side, Heart of the City Neighborhoods Inc. is taking steps to make the neighborhood more appealing, while improving the quality of residential living.

Cynthia Gardens is one of the few projects that Heart of the City Neighborhood Inc. is working on. In addition to building Cynthia Gardens, the organization is working on neighborhood upkeep projects including Home Ownership Provides Equity (H.O.P.E.), a program that will revitalize existing abandoned homes on the West Side.

“We have a few different programs going on currently and it’s construction season so we are very busy,” Kristine Conroy, program administrator of the organization said.

IN DEPTH: New beginnings toward an Open Buffalo

          PUSH Buffalo is sharing in a $100,000 grant to increase the influence of low-income and minority communities' influence in Buffalo. Full story by Malniquia Evans and Janiel Thomas

IN DEPTH: Credit union for W.S. in planning stage

A group of West Side leaders is looking to establishing a credit union  to create affordable financial services and a socially responsible community-banking alternative for residents.  Full story by Bryan Price and Nick Stutzman

Saturday, May 11, 2013

IN DEPTH: Tour highlights W.S. environmental issues

                    Hosted by students at the University at Buffalo Law School, the tour took visitors through various troubled locations throughout the West Side. It’s based on a 36-page report produced by the students about environmental hazards in the neighborhood. The report focuses on Squaw Island, Buffalo Sewer Authority Treatment Plant and Rich Products. Full story by Jasmine Peterson and Maria Yankova

Food drive

Pastor Eric Johns, West Side resident and volunteer at the Belle Center’s annual food drive, speaks on how the drive, which took place April 24, benefits families living in poverty on the West Side. The Belle Center, located at 104 Maryland St., has hosted the event for nearly 20 years, according to Johns. During that span, the drive has aided low-income area families with large amounts of food and other household needs. This year, families received up to 70 pounds of product. By Anthony Howard and Lars Lewis

Thursday, May 9, 2013

IN DEPTH: Art vendors praise area for its support

          Makers of jewelry, cosmetics, sculptures and other handcrafted items give credit to the West Side and the rest of the area for patronizing local artisans. Full  story by Brielynn Bell and Margot Harris

New shop ready to spread timeless trends

By Adrienne Boudreau and Caitlin Kupiec
BengalNews Reporters
The owner of Global Villages has opened a sister store, Global Chic, a few storefronts down, to focus on selling unique, handmade clothing from around the world.
 Louise Sano opened two stores within nine months of each other without any financial aid. Global Villages, located at 216 Grant St., is down the block from Global Chic, at 242 Grant St. 
“A lot of people told me I was crazy, but I said you know, what I’m going to try it  good things can happen, ” said Sano.
Sano got her start at the West Side Bazaar, where she received hands-on business training.
            Her first store, Global Villages, which opened in July 2012, is a gift shop described by Sano as perfect for picking up Mother’s Day gifts. Her new store, Global Chic, focuses on international fashions with a modern sensibility.
             “Global Chic has timeless pieces. Five years from now you can still wear it and it will be fashionable,” Sano said.
Since all the Fair Trade certified items are handmade, the store only carries one-of-a-kind garments and accessories. Sano said the items are long-lasting and durable.
“You can wear it any time and it will look like you just got it,” Sano said.
Each purse, skirt, dress or shoe is completely unique and affordable, priced between $14 and $40.
              Sano hopes that her ambition will inspire other people to open businesses.
              “Maybe other people will try and do the same things, there’s a lot you can offer,” Sano said.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

New beginnings

People gather at the grand opening of the West Side Bazaar on 25 Grant St, right. The bazaar, which holds many international small businesses and a diverse international food court, held the grand opening on April 17. Below, business owners and dignitaries circle around to officially cut the ribbon at the store entrance. The West Side Bazaar moved to its new facility after it outgrew its original location at 242 Grant St. By Bryan Price and Nick Stutzman

Sprouting a community

Adam Prentice of Anarchy in Action prepares recently constructed gardening beds at the Normal Avenue Community Garden for the garden’s grand opening May 4.  Anarchy in Action is a volunteer organization that works to involve neighborhoods through community service and education. The garden, located at the corner of Vermont Street and Normal Avenue, consists of 14 growing beds that will be used to raise organic vegetable crops for season-long community use. AIA will open the gardens to the neighborhood with a planting party, which residents can attend to learn the tricks of maintaining sustainable gardens on the West Side. By Aaron Garland and Brandon Schlager

Monday, May 6, 2013

Martin Cooks underway

Martin Cooks, a stand-alone version of the local catering business, will open to the public May 1 at Horsefeathers Market. According to Karl Frizlen, owner of the market located at 346 Connecticut St., an all day preview on April 21 brought a large crowd to the new restaurant. Martin Cooks holds two nightly dinner services Wednesday through Saturday, one at 6 p.m. and one at 8:30 p.m. Breakfast and lunch is available for walk-in customers Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The eatery seats 12 people and reservations for dinner are mandatory and can be made through its Facebook page. Martin Cooks joins the growing number of restaurants at Horsefeathers including Jolie’s Traditional Chinese Food Inc., The Pasta Peddler, Blackbird Sweets, and Singer Farm Naturals. By Anika Rawlins and A.J. Speier