Sunday, December 6, 2015

BreadHive’s 2nd location to open in spring

Emily Stewart, a worker-owner of BreadHive, an artisan bakery at 123 Baynes St., stands in front of the bakery’s second location at 402 Connecticut St., set to open spring 2016. The Connecticut Street location will host the bakery’s first sit-down café, serving sandwiches, pretzels and dips, soups, salads and light pastries. BreadHive will keep the Baynes Street location for the wholesale baking of its breads, bagels, pretzels and granola. The bakery has flourished into a booming business in its nearly two years of existence. Its success can be largely attributed to its community support. The bakery got its start in 2014 by selling 65 shares at $1,000 a piece to 40 individuals, which has led to the owner’s confidence to expand its venture, Stewart said. At least 50 individuals have inquired about the second location and offered their support. By Troy Licastro and Anthony Reyes

Santa pub crawl to benefit Carly’s Club

            Allentown will be filled with numerous Santas and other holiday characters later this month to raise money for charity at the seventh Annual Buffalo Santa Pub Crawl.
The pub-crawl will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 19 at Fat Bob’s, 41 Virgina Place. The pub crawl is open to everyone who wants to walk bar to bar dressed in their very best Santa, Mrs. Claus, elf or any other holiday costumes.
Participants donate $10 and receive a wristband that will give them access to drink specials at participating bars.
This year the Buffalo Santa Pub Crawl will be teaming up with Carly’s Club for Kids & Cancer Research in WNY.
The pub-crawl will continue to various locations along Virginia and Allen.
 “We decide to continually participate in this event because it’s good to be associated with such a great cause, and it’s a fun event to be a part of,” says Ryan Thomas, restaurant manager at Fat Bob’s. By Julia Waterman and Corrinne Wheatley

‘Artivists’ attempt change through words

Theater Artist Matthew Sekellick introduces the Buffalo Climate Change Theatre Action Players, a primarily West Side based group, at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Centeron Dec. 1 for an “artivist” display of solidarity with climate change protestors in Paris for the 2015 U.N. Climate Chance Conference.  The night featured a 90-minute performance of plays, poems and art focused on embracing change to save the planet. By Nik Malahosky and Jason Saul

IN DEPTH: Women help stitch together refugee lives

The co-founders of Stitch Buffalo have been hard at work for the past year and a half by teaching a group of refugee women sewing, beading, and embroidering.  Full story by Darius Crolle and Shavella Saint Preux

Healthy meal prep theme of cooking classes

Staci Halton, founder of Vitality Meal Prep, poses with a healthy snack she prepared for her class, in which she demonstrates how to eat healthily on a budget. Class are held fro 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Thursdays at 195 Grant St., home to Freddy J’s Babrecue. Halton teaches a group of six mostly working moms and others how to live a healthier lifestyle.“Being healthy isn’t as hard as it seems. The whole being healthy is expensive thing doesn't have to be,” Halton says. “Many people in the community seem uneducated on how to eat healthy without going broke and I want to change that.” Halton is a firm believer in supporting the community and gets all her ingredients from the Meating Place, 185 Grant St., and other local vendors. Classes cost $10 and cover ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Students get to sample each course. By Alexis Burnett and Hydeia Walker

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Shipping services expect extra busy season

FedEx Corp., United Parcel Service Inc., and U.S. Postal Service are expected to process more packages this year than in the past years.
Between the three services, there is expected to be somewhere between a 10.5 percent and 13 percent increase in the amount of packages to be delivered. The services are hiring seasonal help to accommodate the expected increase in packages.
“[Package deliveries are] on the upswing, which is probably a testament to how America shops these days, and that is online,” said Karen Mazurkiewicz, Western New York’s media contact for USPS.
USPS plans to collaborate with UPS and FedEx for package deliveries.
“We anticipate between Thanksgiving and New Year's’ Eve that we’re going to handle about 15.5 billion cards, letters, oversized letters, and packages...but packages, we anticipate about 600 million,” said Mazurkiewicz.
 The prices are dependent on the type of shipping that is chosen; shipping heavy packages longer distances in shorter amounts of time will cost the most.
According to Katie Wassmer, FedEx Communications Advisor, the peak season for delivery services begins on Black Friday and runs through Christmas Eve.
“The earlier you go to the post office in the holiday season, the more options you’ll have [for the package to arrive on time],” said Mazurkiewicz.
The UPS Store is located at 266 Elmwood Ave.; USPS is located at 465 Grant St. There are multiple drop-off locations for FedEx in the West Side. By Marcus Trueheart, Greg Twarozek and Kayla Yarington

Winter market at home at Horsefeathers

Mary Beth Hamilton and Steve Rockcastle, Green Heron Growers owners, are bringing their organic products to the West Side at the Horsefeathers Winter market, located on 346 Connecticut St. Green Heron Growers is just one of the 20 vendors that are partaking in the Winter Market. The Winter Market provides everything from farm-fresh produce and breads, to locally brewed kombucha teas. The Winter Market will be running from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays   until May 3.The Market shares its venue with several other permanent tenants including, Martin Cooks, Michelle’s Caribbean Cuisine, Jolies Traditional Chinese and Artisan Journey. Although the Winter Market usually includes Bidwell Market vendors, the new vendors are not associated with them and are entirely new to the Horsefeathers Winter Market. The Bidwell Market, however, has relocated to Buffalo State campus in Buckham Hall and will be open throughout the winter. By Darius Crolle and Shavella Saint Preux

Pop-up vendors settle into Key Center lobby

The four vendors taking part in this year’s Queen City Pop Up shop are open for business. The pop up is located in the lobby of the Key Center on Main Street at 50 Fountain Plaza this year, inside from Rotary Rink. It is open Monday thru Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and is closed on Sundays, and runs thru Dec. 24. The businesses will be participating in “Turnt Up Tuesdays” every Tuesday where music will be played throughout the shop and there will be sales on items as well. The pop up will also have extended hours on  Dec. 5 for the Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration. By Troy Licastro and Anthony Reyes

Donations of winter gear for kids sought

            As winter draws closer, ENERGY is looking for donations of children’s winter-wear as it prepares refugee and immigrant children for the impending season.  
            ENERGY, which stands for education, nurture, encouragement, readiness and growth for youth, is an after school program that teaches English language skills and American culture to children grades one through six.  It already has a “recipe for success” to help its students acclimate to their environment as the weather gets colder.  This list includes preheating the room before kids arrive and sharing a hot family style meal.  
            Many of the children have never experienced the kind of harsh winters that the West Side expects and will be using ENERGY’s outdoor playtime to learn how to do simple things that Western New Yorkers take for granted, like walking on ice.
            ENERGY is run by the Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI) and meets Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays after regular school hours.  Carol Greetham, the director of ENERGY, believes the program is successful because it gives the kids kind of experiences, knowledge and companionship that they can’t always find at school.
            “They don’t view it as class because they feel supported here.  To me it feels like a family, we sit and have a meal together, talk about their day and make relationships with each other, which is really important for the kids.  We do fun things too, we’re having a Halloween party soon.  We sing, read aloud, and do all kinds of enrichment activities.“ Greetham said. By Nik Malahosky and Jason Saul

IN DEPTH: Students swap vacations for 'alternatives'

While their classmates are packing and looking forward to a vacation at home, others participating in volunteer and service-learning programs are anticipating helping out in communities near and far. Each of the four college campuses across the West Side offers its own varieties of these programs. Full story by Troy Licastro and Tony Reyes

Sunday, November 29, 2015

19 St. homeowner welcomes overnight guests

West Side property owner, Joe Galvin, has recently registered one of his homes on 19th Street on an Airbnb website, which is  used for people to list, find and rent lodgings. This home was purchased back in 2007, a time when the conditions in the neighborhood were unsafe due to the crime rates stemming from gang violence, drugs, and prostitution. As many people feared staying in the neighborhood, placing for-sale signs on their front lawns, Galvin continued his renovation process by investing in the homes and staying in the crime-ridden area. The 19th Street home listed on the Airbnb website has contributed to increasing the value of the neighborhood and overall quality. By Darius Crolle and Shavella Saint Preux

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Co-op plans expansion to Hertel Avenue

Employee Eric Kendall stocks shelves at the Lexington Co-Op

The Lexington Cooperative Market has been in the Elmwood Village for more than 40 years, in about six months it   will be expanding and opening a second location at 1678 Hertel Ave.
Tim Bartlett, general manager of the co-op  Stressed that the success of the Elmwood location has played a big part in opening a second location. 
“We opened for business in 1971 over on Lexington Avenue and we moved to Elmwood in 2005, and the success of the store has been phenomenal,” Bartlett said.
Over the years the co-op  has grown from bringing in $2 million in sales at the Lexington location, to currently bringing in over $12 million in sales and serving more than 11,000 customers a week at the Elmwood location.
“I think the co-op   has really grown into being both a natural food store and a convenience store for the neighborhood,” Bartlett said.
Individuals can become members by buying a share for an $80 one-time fee.
Since there is not a single owner that will guarantee a loan, the owners have through a capital campaign  raised $2 million in unsecured money to get the Hertel Avenue project going.
The co-op  employs 85 people and expects to employ 50 to 60 more with  the opening of the Hertel location. The new location will be based on the same model as the current store, but will be twice the size and offer full-service meat and seafood. The current goal is to open in June 2016. By Troy Licastro and Tony Reyes

IN DEPTH: Buffalo winters don’t scare bicyclists

          Biking in Buffalo has become a major phenomenon lately and the bikers don’t seem to be intimidated  by the extreme weather during the winter, as long as they are properly prepared. Full story by Darius Crolle and Shavella Saint Preux

Sunday, November 1, 2015

‘Friends’ needs men’s clothing donations

            Friends of Night People is in especial need for men’s clothing for this upcoming winter.
             “We have received a lot of clothing thus far from donations but for some strange reason are not getting a lot of men’s clothing,” said Barbra Williot, a volunteer leader for the organization.
            This reality is highlighted inside of the organization’s storage room where the clothing is sorted out and hung up in different sections. On the men’s clothing rack, there are no more than three jackets hung at the moment.
            This problem is a grave concern for the homeless men who depend on the Friends of Night People for the necessary clothing for the cold weather.
            “We hope that we can get more men clothing before this winter arrives,” Williot said.
            The Friends of Night People located on 394 Hudson St. and is open for donations from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. By Darius Crolle and Shavella Saint Preux


Construction on Elmwood ahead of schedule

Local drivers may be excited to hear the completion of the construction on the Elmwood Avenue Bridge has been bumped up.
The original finish date was set for Dec. 31, 2016 but with updated costs and a new construction schedule, the completion date is set to be Nov. 8, 2016.
“We’re shooting for early November,” said Dan Pafkie, spokesperson for the Department of Transportation.
This project has been going on since early June 2015, and it is going to take a while for the bridge to be completed according to DOT standards. It will reportedly cost a little over $10 million for this project to be completed from start to finish.
The goal of this project is to reconstruct the Elmwood Avenue Bridge that runs over the Scajaquada Expressway near SUNY Buffalo State. By Marcus Trueheart, Greg Twarozek and Kayla Yarington

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Farmers market spends winter at Buff State

The Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday from May to November. With the fall season setting in, the growing season, along with the farmers market, will be coming to an end. Kent Miller, owner of Plato Dale Farm in Arcade, has begun to take his chickens and turkeys off the pasture along with covering up vegetables. Mary Oakes Wilson, treasurer of Lynoaken Farms and Chelsea Pelsone of Tom Tower’s Farm, two Niagara County farms, explain that they will be transitioning to selling just apples for the winter months. The last day for the outdoor market will be Nov. 28. The market will move inside, to Buckham Hall, located near the Grant Street side of the SUNY Buffalo State campus, from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Saturdays from Dec. 5 to April 30. Free parking will be available on campus during market hours. By Troy Licastro and Tony Reyes

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

DaVinci students lend a hand to 'Friends'

Leonardo DaVinci High School students, from left, Lul Abdi, Olivia Edwin, Tyler Spivey, Unique Cathcart and Majeesty Willis, sort clothing for  the Friends of Night People, 394 Hudson St.,  a charitable organization aimed at providing food, clothing, medical care, counseling and hope to those in need. The students were participating in the clothing drive by sorting out and hanging up clothes that were previously donated to the organization for this upcoming winter. The students were volunteering to fulfill their community service hours that is required for all DaVinci students. By Darius Crolle and Shavella Saint Preux

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Westside Stories continues its mission

Joe Petri, co-owner of Westside Stories, a  bookstore on 205 Grant St. Petri opened the shop with his wife after working with many refugees at Journeys End. The shop sells used books, bags and miscellaneous items. The book store contributes to the West Side  by having days where free books are given to refugees. By Alexis Burnett and HyDeia Walker

Saturday, October 24, 2015

IN DEPTH: Credit union gets federal OK, needs $300k

The Good Neighbors Federal Credit Union, a proposed credit union on the West Side that is two years into development, received primary federal approval to become a credit union in September, but must still raise $300,000. Full story by Troy Licastro and Tony Reyes

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Italian artifacts in St. Anthony museum

St. Anthony of Padua R.C. Church is a major cultural center for the Italian  community not only on the West Side, but all over Western New York. The Rev. Msgr. Fred Voorhes explains how the community's  pictures, statues and other artifacts have been assembled into a museum, which is in the basement of the church, 160 Court St.  By Marcus Trueheart, Greg Twarozek and Kayla Yarington

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Journey’s End prepares for Syrian refugees

Journey’s End Refugee Services case managers, Mateo Escobar and Ryan Trubits, keep busy doing paper work in preparation for Syrian refugees coming to Buffalo. The organization hopes to assist 50-100 refugees in relocate. The Civil War in Syria began in 2011, when teenagers were arrested and tortured for their paintings of revolutionary slogans on a school wall. This triggered a nationwide protest for President Assad to resign. Protesters joined forces to fight against the government, causing Syria to break out into Civil War. The community can help out in this process by making donations, especially of winter gear. By Haley Gorman and Alexis Wilensky

Saturday, October 17, 2015

IN DEPTH: Skate park helps revitalize waterfront

The Lasalle Park Skate Plaza has become a popular gathering spot for skateboarders since the first phase was completed three years ago. Now designers, skaters and others are coming up with plans to expand the park in a second phase of construction. Full story by Nick Malahosky and Jason Saul

Thursday, October 15, 2015

New barbershop adds diversity to Elmwood

Envy Us Looks is a recently opened barbershop that caters to the multicultural diversity in the Elmwood Avenue area. More specifically, Don Carlos, a West Side native, is one of the master barbers that works at the shop, and specializes in cutting different textures of hair. This barbershop is unique in that it accommodates to the diversity that permeates throughout the West Side area. By Darius Crolle and Shavella Saint Preux

Wegmans’ $75k donation puts it on the MAP

MAP'S Farmhouse project is set to expand with Wegmans' help

            The Massachusetts Avenue Project,  389 Massachusetts Ave.,  recently received $75,000 in funding from Wegmans to be used towards its Farmhouse Project.
            The Farmhouse Project is a $1.8 million campaign, of which $1.1 million has been raised. The tentative plan for the project is to break ground in the spring and have the bulk of the construction done by this time next year. MAP also is aiming to have a grand opening late next fall.
            The funding will help MAP in a number of ways. It will help build a new farmhouse,  which will house office space, expand cold and dry storage and expand the farm. Over the years, MAP has built a strong relationship with Wegmans, this being their most recent partnership venture.
            “We’ve always looked at them as a strong partner,” said Heather Brooks Newton, MAP’s development director. “The synergy is there, they’re about fresh healthy food as are we and I think that we are certainly reaching, particularly on the east side of Buffalo where our truck is, a different population, and it's really great to have Wegmans’ support.”
            But, it’s not just a monetary partnership; the organic section of Wegmans is the home of MAP’s salsa, chili starter and salad dressing. The kids in their youth enterprise program are the ones who make those products. The program was started to show the younger people what the “farm-to-table” food system was about all about.
            MAP is dedicated to helping serve the youth and making sure there is fresh local food readily available. By Troy Licastro and Tony Reyes

Monday, October 5, 2015

Market Arcade welcomes Buffalo Adore shop

          Buffalo Adore, a shop that specializes in handmade gifts by local artists, opened the doors to its second location at 617 Main St. inside the Market Arcade Building on Sept. 1.
          The idea of opening this second location came after it participated in the Queen City Pop Up, a program that was set up by the owners of the building to attract more businesses to Main Street. 
          Owned by Andrea and Eric Dacey, the shop sells things like jewelry, art, apparel, home décor and beauty products that have a specific Buffalo theme.
          Their main shop, located on Abbott Road in South Buffalo, has been open for about three years.
           “My sister, Andrea, who founded the store, has always been a pro-Buffalo person,” Kristen Arends said. “Before even the boom of people wanting to be downtown and shopping local, she’s just always been a big proponent of supporting small businesses, shopping local, that’s how you really make change in your community. So she thought that doing a store would be a great way to be a part of that."
           Follow the shop on twitter @BuffaloAdore. 
                                                       By Troy Licastro and Tony Reyes

Monday, June 22, 2015

IN DEPTH: Neighbors rid drugs from Garden Walk area

Camaraderie, teamwork and determination helped transform the once-struggling Cottage District from a neighborhood dotted with blighted properties and drug activity into one of the must-see stops on next month's Garden Walk. Full story by Jeffrey Mayne 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

New to You store aids area job growth

John Mack, store manager of New to You Shop at 289 Grant St. says that the thrift store has made a tremendous impact on employment for the youth on the West Side. On the Job Ministries is a division of West Side Ministries and provides programming to employ the youth, and might be contributing to the recently reported job growth in the Buffalo Niagara region. According to data released this month by the state Labor Department, the Buffalo Niagara region added 13,000 jobs during the past year.  By Linsday Frazier