Sunday, April 26, 2015

West Side food pantry feeds pets in need

           West Side Pet Clinic, 1245 Niagara St., has started a small food pantry for cats and dogs.
            Pet owners who are in need of cat or dog food can go to the clinic and get an emergency bag of food with no appointment necessary.
            This initiative was inspired by a previous effort to feed pets on the West Side, according to office manager Joe Speranza.
            “There was a church downtown that used to do it but then the church shut down, so we realized that we are in a position to do it,” Speranza said.
            He is excited for this new addition to the clinic and hopes it reaches greater heights once fully set in motion.
            “We want to have enough food at all times, we never want to have to say ‘no’ to anyone,” Speranza said.
            The clinic gave away their first emergency bag of food last week, a four-pound bag of food for a cat and dog.
            Donations are welcomed.
            Those wishing to donate food can find out how on the clinic website or Facebook page. Buffalo CARES, an animal rescue organization, has contributed seven bags of food so far. 
            The clinic wants the pantry to be a success and continue to feed cats and dogs on the West Side.
            “We are hoping to keep this going all year around”, Speranza said. By L'Oreal Adams

Public Espresso plans cafe on Grant Street

Sam Scarcello, co-owner of Public Espresso hopes expansion of his flagship café attracts customers from all over the West Side when its doors open at 368 Grant St.  Public Espresso is known for its signature pour-over method and self-serve stations. Construction on the new venue is underway but in the meantime Public Espresso can be found in the Hotel Lafayette lobby, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week at 391 Washington St. By Steven Cornelio and Omon Ejemai

IN DEPTH: West Side Rowing Club preps for Henley

The West Side Rowing Club is forming teams for the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, an international competition that takes place annually in St. Catharines, Ontario. Boathouse Director and Head Coach Miles Schwartz said the race attracts the best rowers from around the world. Full story by Jessica Miranda and Ashley Stobnicki

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Students pitch in during W.S. clean up

Khyla Reddick, a freshman at SUNY Buffalo State, chips in with her teammates on the college rugby team during the recent Grant Ferry Spring Community Clean Up. “I’m happy to be a part of something that will make the community look better. Everyone deserves to live in a clean environment,” said Reddick. Hosted by the West Side Business & Taxpayers Association, the event was meant to spruce up the West Side after a rough and messy winter and in anticipation of upcoming events such as the association's Taste of Diversity in June. Photo by Kim Kowal

‘Barberette’ to take reins on Elmwood Ave.

Those wanting a haircut from the most colorful barber on the West Side may want to hurry. Paul Indelicato, owner of The Traveling Barber, 57 Elmwood Ave., will soon be handing the business over to his apprentice Jaclyn Elson. Indelicato is a well-known figure around the West Side for his unorthodox business practices such as talking religion, testing his customers’ blood pressure and taking a photo of them after each haircut. By Ryan Beiter and Jonny Moran

Monday, April 13, 2015

Program helps new Americans learn to farm

With spring right around the corner the students of The Green Shoots for New Americans Program hope to learn how to grow healthy and culturally relevant produce.
The Green Shoots Program runs through the summer and is affiliated with Journey’s End Refugee Services, a refugee resettlement agency.
Beginning in October 2013, the main goal of The Green Shoots Program is to teach refugees farming and marketing skills.
The program starts in the classroom and will eventually move to the fields. Refugees from Burma, Bhutan and Iraq, most who live on the West Side, participate in the program.
 “The program started because of the growing number of refugees that are resettling in Buffalo,” Program Manager Kyla Jaquish said.
            Many refugees have experience in farming and this program helps them integrate a part of their background to the West Side. 
Green Shoots participants

            “This program began not only to support the agricultural backgrounds of many of the refugees, but also to ensure they had access to healthy and culturally relevant foods,” Jaquish said. 
            The program helps refugees make farming a significant part of their life and income by giving them an opportunity to sell the produce they grow. 
            They will be selling seedlings and vegetables at the ECMC Farmers Market on Fridays at the West Side Bazaar and the Tri-Main Rummage Sale.
            The Green Shoots Program is looking for volunteers from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 18 to will help build raised beds on the vacant lot at 36 Brewster St. 
            “Many of the participants do not have space at home to have a garden, and through this program are able to grow things for themselves that they wouldn’t be able to otherwise,” Jaquish said. By Ryan Esguerra, Amber Rinard and Dallas Taylor

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Last-minute tax filers should not panic

     When filing taxes at the last minute, there are many issues to consider before handing receipts over to your preparer. 
      “There isn’t much of a difference between filing later rather than early. People are still always in a rush to get their money,”  said tax preparer Elizabeth Strohn of Jackson Hewitt, 293 Grant St. “There are only certain things that you should not forget.” 
      Strohn said if you regularly donate to charities, remember to include documents or letters that prove so. In failing to do so, you forfeit money that could have been a great addition to the refund that is always looked forward to this time of year, she said.
      For parents and students, there are several tax benefits connected to student loan interest or education payments. For student loans, the lender provides the borrower with an interest statement that is taken to a tax preparer. 
      Double-checking all personal information is a must, Strohn said. A simple mistake such us the wrong bank account number, social security number and birthdate can hinder the tax returns process. It is important to make sure all information is correct, she said.
     “Make sure all the documents you need are in order” Strohn said."Do no panic if they aren't."
     Realizing that deadline is close sends most people into a frenzy, which causes even more mistakes, Strohn said. Filing  for an extension is an option for those who know that they will not be making the April 15 deadline. This allows an extra six months for people to get their documents in order without having to worry about rushing.  By Steven Cornelio and Omon Ejemai

IN DEPTH: Sweetness 7 awaits liquor license renewal

Sweetness 7 Cafe, 220 Grant St., has closed its taps on alcohol while awaiting license renewal from the State Liquor Authority. Full story by Ryan Beiter and Jonny Moran