Friday, October 31, 2014

West Side pharmacies provide flu shots

            Flu season is here, and there are various locations where West Side residents can receive theirs.
            Flu shots are available at the following Rite Aid locations: 291 West Ferry St., 284 Connecticut St., 424 Elmwood Ave., 1410 Delaware Ave. and 350 Niagara St., and at Walgreens, 650 Delaware Ave.             
           Flu season began in October and lasts through May. The flu can last from a few days to two weeks, and can lead to further complications, such as pneumonia.
According to the Visiting Nursing Association’s website, influenza viruses are always changing, so annual vaccination is necessary.
            “It’s a serious illness and many people die from it every year,” said Donna Sauer, director of the immunization program at the VNA. “It leads to complications resulting in hospitalizations or even death.”
Those who are at high risk include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, or heart or lung disease and people 65 or older. Also, healthcare workers and others who live with or care for high-risk individuals should be vaccinated to prevent spreading the flu.
            Rite Aid offers flu shots and states on its website that everyone six months of age and older should get one. The pharmacy also states that it’s important for those who are at high risk of developing flu complications to get vaccinated. By Sarah Minkewicz and Colleen Young

Compass House gets grant, preps for winter

Theresa Gibson, youth counselor at Compass House, the area’s only shelter for both male and female teens, shows off non-perishable items collected for the winter months. For 42 years, Compass House, 370 Linwood Ave, has helped runaway and homeless teens with safe temporary shelter and services to help transition them into adulthood. November marks the beginning of National Homeless Youth Awareness month, and the recent reinstatement of a $230,000 federal grant lost in January comes just in time for the most taxing season of the year for Compass House. Rising heat and electric costs as well as an increased demand for services has left the house still searching for seasonal donations. By Taylor Gesel and Nathaniel Smith

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

8th Biggest Halloween Bash set for Armory

The Connecticut Street Armory will be brimming with more than just ghost stories this Halloween.
 ­The eighth annual Buffalo’s Biggest Halloween Bash kicks off at 6 p.m., Oct. 31 at 184 Connecticut St. Shredd Ragan of 103.3 The Edge and Paratrooper Army Navy are hosting the bash.
“With all the haunted rumors about the place, it seemed like the best fit,” Mike Battaglia, promotion director for The Edge said.
Tickets can be bought for $20 at the Paratrooper Army Navy store located at 4239 Transit Road,  online at, or $25 at the door. A grand prize of $2,000 will be awarded for best costume. Attendees must be 18 years or older.
“We will have live music from Kurt and the Loders, That 80’s Hair Band, and DJ Sammy Diaz, Halloween themed rooms and a selfie casket room,” Battaglia said. “Attendees will be able to lay down in a real casket and take a selfie of themselves, psychics and palm readers, photo booth, cartoon caricatures, beer stands, food and more.”
 All proceeds from the bash are being donated to the Variety Kids Telethon, which aims to help and support handicapped and underprivileged children. By Laney Hill and Stephanie Vogel

Burmese refugees see no change from summit

Soe Maung, who runs Kyen Sein Hein, a Burmese restaurant in the West Side Bazaar, has been in this country for nine years after he and his family were forced to  leave Myanmar because of his parentspolitical affiliations. Though the new government is said to be less restrictive, he said he doesnt think there has been much change and doesn't expect much from the international summit to be held in Myanmar next month. Full story by Autumn Evans, Olive Porter and Melissa Zimmermann.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Merchants support breast cancer awareness

Susan and Ciara Morreale, owners of Her Story Boutique, 779 Elmwood Ave., bring Breast Cancer Awareness to the Elmwood Village a second year in a row through a month-long event called “Shoptober.” During October, over 40 participating businesses have styled their own unique bras and displayed them in their store windows for shoppers to vote on. Her Story Boutique sports its own bra designed by artist, Colleen Wall Darby, a breast cancer survivor. Participating businesses donated 15 percent of the proceeds from a designated shopping day to the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. By Andrea Chevalier and Lucy Lopez

Halloween doggy parade set for Saturday

Omar Zahzouhi, shop owner of Animal Outfitters, Inc., and his eight-year-old Shepard mix Star get ready to celebrate the upcoming holidays.  The shop, located at 986 Elmwood Avenue, is hosting its annual Halloween Pet Parade and Costume Contest on Oct. 25. The event is held each year to bring people and their dogs together to celebrate Halloween with treats, trick contests, games, pictures and the parade. It begins at 9 a.m. with registration at the shop and at 10 a.m. moves across the street to Bidwell Park  . where the parade will take place until 11 a.m. Prizes will be given out to the dogs with the best costumes as well as the best tricks. The shops also hosts an event for Christmas. Zahzouhi plans to dress up as Santa Claus and takes pictures with local customers and their pets during the first week of December. By Nicole Montanino and Ryan Gilliam  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Local beer-meisters differ on fall brews

As the craft beer industry continues to grow in Buffalo, breweries on the West Side disagree on inventory for the fall season. Resurgence Brewing Co., which  opened on Niagara Street in late June, embraces the change with autumn. Featuring beers with the popular fall flavors, such as pumpkin, Alex Jordon, account manager, explains the goal to produce a good transitional beer as the weather moves from hot summer days to a cooler fall afternoon. Around the corner is Community Beer Works, a  brewery with a different perspective on the seasonal changes. President and co-founder Ethan Cox explains how they don’t believe in drinking seasonally. Despite the differences, the leaders at both breweries say they support each other and feel that ultimately they can work together to help strengthen the power of local craft breweries in  Buffalo. By Ryan Gilliam and Nicole Montanino

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mob tour shows seamy days of old West Side

Brad Hahn, executive director of Explore Buffalo, discusses the influence of mob activity as part of a monthly tour through the West Side. The West Side Mob Tour, one of many tours hosted by Explore Buffalo, looks into the harsh lives of the mob families that made their secret livings as bookies, loan sharks and coordinators of other illegal activities, while they led prominent lives in the public eye.   Even today, Hahn says, many traces of the past exist, although the quality of life in the area has greatly improved. For more information on the tour, contact Explore Buffalo online at  The last tour of the season is scheduled for 10a.m., Oct 26 in front of Providence Social Restaurant, 490 Rhode Island St. By Taylor Gesel and Nathaniel Smith

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Press Raw Food & Juice expands, reopens

Zelda, a juicer at Press Raw Food & Juice, restocks the recently expanded selection of healthy food and drink products in the newly remodeled bottling boutique. After a prosperous year since moving her business from Connecticut Street   197 Grant St.,  owner and executive chef Esther Pica closed her shop for a week this September to remodel it, add more parking, extend business hours of the store and increase the availability of cold-pressed juices and raw organic foods, which the staff specializes in selling.  The store sells a selection of 20 daily-made juices, with more recipes being added weekly according to customer demands. By Sarah Minkewicz and Colleen Young

Local organizations prepare fall workshop

Liz Lipsitz, staff member of Urban Roots Garden Center, organizes locally grown pumpkins and gourds for the fall season. From 1-3p.m. on Oct. 18, Urban Roots, in collaboration with Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo, will host its fall garden workshop at 248 Rhode Island St. Participants will learn about preparing their gardens for winter, hear about garlic and how to plant it, how to do vermicomposting and gardening throughout all four seasons. Urban Roots is community-owned and operated, and teams up twice a year, during fall and spring, with Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo to host workshops. Grassroots Gardens cares for multiple gardens located all over the West Side. “It’s really important for us to host these workshops for our community gardeners,” Derek Nichols, program manager for Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo said. “Many of them are novices, and appreciate learning new skills.” Reservations for the workshop can be made by calling (716) 362-8982 or emailing By Laney Hill and Stephanie Vogel