Sunday, December 15, 2013

IN DEPTH: West Side figured notably in War of 1812

            Often described as very brief but bitter time period, the War of 1812 is not only essential to the history of Western New York, but especially essential to the West Side. Although the area was young and developing during the time of the war, the West Side was actually home to a lot of its key events. Full story by Ebony Linzy

IN DEPTH: Press Raw Foods plans to open on Grant St.

After months of planning, Press Raw Foods & Juice is almost ready to open its doors to health food lovers on Grant Street.  Since moving from Horsefeathers Market on Connecticut Street, owner Esther Pica is excited to officially put down her roots on the West Side. Full story by Sean Dwyer  and Youleidy Vega

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Global Book Hour

 The Global Book Hour, facilitated by SUNY Buffalo State undergraduate and graduate elementary education teaching students, integrates geography, vocabulary, music, visual arts, and healthy eating into a weekly, one-hour, session held at the West Side Value Laundromat. By Sade McKenzie and Shytisha Taylor

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Buffalo State cops grow goatees for charity

         SUNY Buffalo State University Police officers are sporting a new look for charity this month.  
          The University Police Department has temporarily suspended its typical grooming standards through Jan. 2, allowing officers to grow goatees during that time period.
          The officers who choose to participate are each donating $50 to the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of WNY.
          The University Police department will donate more than $1,000 to the charity, which provides youth, senior and housing services in Buffalo.
          “I think it’s a good idea as a charitable fundraiser,” Chief of Police Peter Carey said, sporting a goatee of his own. “It’s something different for the officers to be able to do within our grooming standards while still maintaining a professional appearance. And it personalizes us to the community.”
          Other local police departments have participated in similar fundraisers in the past, and Carey said his officers wanted to start one of their own at Buffalo State.
         “This same thing was done by the Town of Tonawanda police department earlier this year,” Carey said. "The officers in our department saw that and asked if they could do a similar program.”
           Twenty three officers have signed up for the fundraiser so far. By Chris Dierken and Leif Reigstad

Freddy food

Fred Daniel,   chef and owner of Freddy J’s BBQ, 195 Grant St., conducts cooking classes on Wednesday through Saturday starting at 11 a.m. Cooking classes range from four to five hours and are $35 per person.  Register for a class at  By Shanice Core and Elias Taveras 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

'Tis the season

This house located in Days Park is decorated all out for the holiday season.  More houses likely will light up in the neighborhood as well to compete for the best-decorated house in the West Side’s Sixth Annual Neighborhood Festival of Lights. The celebration kicked off on Thanksgiving and runs until Jan. 6. By Caitlin Kupiec and James McDonald

Monday, December 9, 2013

Tats for tacos

A Cantina Loco bartender shows off his tattoos while serving one of the bar's  specialty margaritas. One tattoo he is missing is one of the restaurant's logo, which would get him or any patron agreeing to the tatoos free tacos for a year at the restaurant at 191 Allen St.  By Matt Bove and Gabrielle Mediak

Fashion never fades


           Elmwood Avenue boutiques such as Half & Half Trading Company located on 1088 Elmwood Ave., have been sharing their individuality and style for over 40 years.  The owner, Debra Sidel, describes what it’s like to own a business on Elmwood and how she has been able to remain successful.  Half & Half Trading Co’s style varies from a cozy winter sweater to an elegant formal dress.  Existing across the street at 1005 Elmwood Ave. is a new boutique called Blush that is based off of New York City trends.  Blush has a style that varies from a casual day at the office to a night on the town. Lexie Furlong, owner and stylist, has been open for four months and intends to gain success by keeping up with trends, and styling clients to perfection. By Marybeth Calabrese and Ally Selva

Community service

Zoe Fabian, of Monthly Service Corps, discusses the mission of the organization as well as monthly vounteer opportunities. Based out of Buffalo State College's Community Academic Center, Monthly Service Corps recently held an event  benefiting the homeless, community gardens and veterans. Bringing together local youth, college students and community members, the event is one of many held throughout the year by the organization. This particular event took place on Buffalo State's campus in Bacon Hall. By Ebony Linzy

Broderick Park improvements enter Phase II

              Broderick Park is about to complete the first stage of its overhaul to commemorate its part in the Underground Railroad.
              Phase II is expected to begin soon.  However, despite receiving $800,000 in funding from the City Bond Funds, additional funding is required.
Phase I, a $1.5 million project, began last Spring and includes an amphitheater, a new entrance plaza, south parking area, canal side railings, improved lighting, and a new shelter. Phase II is expected to add improvements to the interpretive center, completion of the north parking area, landscaping and the installation of the Freedom Walk.
Historical and conservationist groups came together with Matthew Mattison, assistant director of Bioregional and Urban Design at Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, to create a “master plan” for the park.
“The overall goal of the Master Plan is to create a park that serves as a memorial to commemorate escaped slaves' pursuit of freedom,’” said Mattison.
According to Mattison, the City of Buffalo is in the process of advertising a request for construction bids for the next phase of construction.
“Additional funding is needed, and will be pursued, to continue to implement the Master Plan in its entirety, including public art and interpretation components,” said Mattison. By Sean Dwyer and Youleidy Vega

IN DEPTH: W.S. Beer gardens: What's old is new again

          Beer gardens had their heyday on the West Side and elsewhere in Buffalo before prohibition put an end to them. But it looks like beer drinkers will get  another shot at them  with the opening of Resurgence Beer Co.  beer garden at 1250 Niagara St. come April. Full story by Lauren Coppola and Samantha Wulff

Sunday, December 8, 2013

IN DEPTH: Olmsted's pruned trees ready for new storm

             Seven years after the October surprise storm, Buffalo’s trees and parks have made a full recovery, and should another surprise storm hit the city, the trees will be better prepared thanks to the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy's pruning crew. Full story by Chris Direken and Leif Reigstad

Buffalove paints so W.S. houses can pop

Bernice Radle, co-founder of Buffalove Development, above, stands in the stairway of the 351 Massachusetts Ave. house that she is currently working to rehab. Buffalove Development purchases houses on the West Side and brightens them up, inside and out. The organization just started a fundraising campaign online, Paint Out Loud!, where the goal is to raise $15,000 by the spring to paint houses whose owners cannot necessarily afford to do it themselves. “Even if we don't meet our goal, I think that we will take that paint and repaint porches, and try to repaint the front door of every house on the block as well, to make it pop and make it look a little more loved," Radle said. By Lauren Coppola and Samantha Wulff

IN DEPTH: Magazine keep 'old neighborhood' alive

           There was a time when  Italian families living on the West Side left their windows open and doors unlocked and when the smell of Sunday sauce wafted through the street, everyone was invited for dinner. Today there's a magazine to help bring those memories and local history alive. It is edited by West Side natives and written by anyone with a connection to the old neighborhood's Italian culture. Full story by Marybeth Calabrese and Ally Selva

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Speaking the same language

IT Garden, located at 212 Grant St., is owned and operated by Aung Kaung Myato and Mustafa Abdo. Through their fluency in six languages, they are both helping make the West Side’s computer and cell phone issues easier to understand. By Sean Dwyer and Youleidy Vega

Homework help

Abinash Kami,13,works on his homework during the after school program at the WASH Project, 417 Massachusetts Ave. The afterschool support program is a simple wind down from a long day, where several students receive tutoring from volunteer teachers and college students from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. By Shanice Core and Elias Taveras

IN DEPTH: Buffalo CarShare revs engine for expansion

Buffalo CarShare has its foot on the gas and is driving to expand its services to the city of Buffalo, including the West Side. The non-profit organization, which offers access to a lower-priced and environmentally friendly transportation system, recently received a $300,000 grant from the John R. Oishei Foundation to double its number of vehicles to 30 by December 2015. Full story by Caitlin Kupiec and James McDonald

Friday, December 6, 2013

West Side part of immigration docudrama

        A docudrama about immigration in Western New York during the Great Depression, with reference to the West Side, will be shown at SUNY Buffalo State’s Burchfield Penny Art Center.
The film titled, “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” details the Italian-American community from 1939 to present. It was written and directed by Michael Giallombardo and Joseph Giambra. The scenes were shot around all areas of Buffalo including a special cameo of Guercios and Sons Inc. on Grant Street.
         The next screening of the film will be  at 7:30 p.m. on  Dec. 12. General admission tickets are $10 each.
         Mary Ann Lauricella, a promoter for the show, explained how it took four years to produce and more than 450 volunteers dedicated their time. Buffalo State College helped support this production by giving a $6,000 grant towards this film. All stories featured are told through narratives and re-enactments of real-life situations.
         “So many people in the community gave their time and authentic materials. For example, a lot of interviews were done right on Buffalo State’s campus, where people provided letters that they had from loved ones who were away during World War II,” Lauricella said.
         One of the directors, Joseph Giambra, 80,  encourages people to see the history that lies within their own backyards.
         “There are parts of the film where people will laugh and parts where people will cry, but most importantly I want them to see all the memories that people have shared,” Giambra said.
         The screenings will offer DVD copies for purchase at the end of the film. By Marybeth Calabrese and Ally Selva