Sunday, March 27, 2016

BNW Social media director profile

Name: Asiria Cornielle
Where are you from? Queens
What are your interest/hobbies? Softball, poetry, creating flyers 
What interest you about the West Side? The culture is what interest me the most. So many different backgrounds brought together just makes me want to learn more about the local business and what they have to offer.
What are some of your previous work experiences in the communications field? Public relations chair for SUNY Buffalo State United Students Government, social media chair for NYPIRG

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Student drivers offer alternative rides

Student driver Darryl Roberts behind the wheel
By Kadija Bah and Deshawn Bolden
Bengal News West Reporters
Video games, drinks, food, and good company are what every college student looks forward to after a long week of classes, however, giving up these nights to make a little extra cash has become the routine for some student drivers.
College students on the West Side have created what is known as the underground cab service. Using their own cars, these drivers provide fellow students with a more affordable means of transportation to get pretty much anywhere they need to go.
Since 2014, this underground cab service has become a lucrative business that benefits both the students and the drivers. In turn however, it is a disadvantage to already established taxi companies in the Buffalo area. 

Graduate student Darryl Roberts, 23, participates as one of the student drivers knowing he can triple the amount of money he would make by working at a retail store. Making extra cash on the side by driving others became the new thing.
Roberts has made roughly $3,000 since he started sixth months ago. He mentioned that he has made up to as much as $150 in a single day.  
“I didn’t have any money,” Roberts said. “I like to look out for my people, that’s another reason why I started it.”
Students have the opportunity to get to their destination with the convenience of having a possible classmate be their driver.
Facebook groups serve as the primary channel to get a ride somewhere. It is as simple as posting in the group and waiting for a timely response from one or even multiple people offering their services. However, word of mouth is just as effective. People exchange numbers and before he knew it, Roberts started receiving calls from other campuses such as D’Youville College, Canisus College and University at Buffalo.
“It’s convenient, comfortable and very affordable for students,” said Gordon Carr, a student at the University at Buffalo. “Ten dollars to the bus station and $20 to the airport, you can’t beat it.”
While student drivers have become more popular to college students, it has begun to take a toll on established taxi services throughout Buffalo.
“Yeah they take away some customers but we do what we do,” said Nicole Price of Buffalo Transportation, Inc., one of Buffalo’s many 24/7-taxi companies. “At the end of the day we’re a business, we’re going to get ours.”
Not only do taxi drivers around the city have to worry about student drivers, they also are concerned about companies such as Uber and Lyft coming and taking fares too.
Lyft and Uber are not currently operating in Buffalo, there’s no doubt that a desire is brewing to make it available throughout the city. While Lyft was in Buffalo for a short period of time, service was suspended in August 2014 in compliance with NYS insurance laws. New York City is the only place where Uber is allowed throughout the state while legislature battles to pass a bill that will alter state insurance laws and allow these companies to operate statewide.
While Mayor Byron Brown continues his support of bringing Uber to WNY, Buffalo remains the largest city in the country without the popular taxi app.       Although they may get around state legislature by staying underground, Roberts mentioned a possible organization making it possible for all student drivers to work together.
Advocates of these alternative cab services say it’s convenient and affordable. That’s why this underground service excels throughout colleges in Buffalo.
“We’re definitely taking away from their business. But, I think we should be very unapologetic about that,” Roberts said. “They have no reservations about overcharging us so I think we should take every last penny we can.”

Year-old Inn Buffalo part of city’s rebirth

By Julia Waterman and Corrinne Wheatley

Bengal News West Reporters

Walking up the stone steps and through the thick wooden door of the Victorian Hewitt mansion, guests are welcomed in this grand entrance by innkeepers.
Joseph Littieri owns Inn Buffalo with his wife, Ellen
On the left is a meeting room with silk damask wall coverings and on the right is the library with 22-karat leafing with hand-painted artwork covering the walls and ceiling. The music room down the hall is dressed with jacquard tapestries.
Elsewhere, oriental rugs cover the floors in almost every room in the house. Light shines through the many stained glass windows decorating the mansion and original onyx stonework borders each of the 11 fireplaces in the house.
              Inn Buffalo, 619 Lafayette Ave.,  is celebrating its one-year anniversary, and the owners, Joseph Lettieri and his wife Ellen, couldn’t be more proud of their success so far. Although this is preservation in progress and they still have more work to do before the finished product, the feedback and support they’ve received over the past year has been more than they had ever hoped for.      
            “This first year has exceeded our expectations, we were very excited. We knew we had a special property,” said Lettieri.
They won the Small Business Administration award of 2016 and the Small Business Development Entrepreneur award from SUNY Buffalo State, which is also funded by Small Business Administration.

Inn Buffalo has been rated number one out of 22 hotels in Buffalo on the travel website TripAdvisor. There have been a few celebrities who have stayed there as well, including John Rzeznik, lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls, who mentioned the inn during an interview on WKSE Kiss 98.5.
 “I was just back in Buffalo and I was staying at a place called Inn Buffalo on Lafayette, I can not believe how our home town is just becoming this insanely amazing destination,” Rzeznik said.
The architecture and the craftsmanship of this house may be what draws you into Inn Buffalo, but it’s the hospitality, and warmth the Lettieris bring to your experience that is going to make you want to come back.
“I want our guests to get a real authentic experience, we want nothing more than to make our guests feel welcome, and taken care of,” said Lettieri, “whether that means you want to see a lot of me, or as little of me as possible. Whatever you need, we will make sure you get it.”
The hotel is filled with culture and history, which is one of the main attractions and uniqueness that you will appreciate during your stay.
“Inn Buffalo is a great historic mansion, it speaks for itself in terms of beauty,” said Brad Homer, of Visit Buffalo Niagara. “In the grand scheme of Buffalo, there are many bed and breakfasts but this is one of the best.”
Some might say that Buffalo is becoming an up and coming city, and the Lettieris want to be a part of that.
“In the future we want to continue to help Buffalo,” Lettieri said. “Be a part of its rebirth, a part of showing and telling people our story while showing off and talking about what made Buffalo great back in the turn of the century.”

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Brunch is back, thanks to millennials

SUNY Buffalo State students and West Side residents, from  Olivia Smith and Emily Niman
enjoy brunch and a few laughs at Sweet_ness 7 Cafe

By Annaliza Guard and Madison Marquardt
Bengal News West Reporters
The first to walk through the restaurant door on the weekend are the parents with their young children.  As the morning progresses, a rush of young people flood the restaurants and cafes for the first social event of the day: brunch.
Brunch is making a comeback among the millennials who seem to have the disposable income and an entire weekend for as many social events as possible.
Restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries on West Side, are jumping on the trend. Two of them are BreadHive Bakery located at 123 Baynes St. and Sweet_ness 7 Café located at 220 Grant St. 
The reason millennials are waking up to eat brunch is due to a couple of things.
First, there’s the social aspect.  After going out the night before, they want to sleep in.  By the time that they get out of bed, they want something packed with carbs and a little alcohol on the side.
“To be honest it’s a Saturday morning so people have probably gone out the night before,” Valerie Rettberg-Smith, co-op member of BreadHive bakery, said. “So then you wake up with a hangover and what do you really want more than a bagel sandwich?  Even on Sundays people just want to wake up, not think and get some amazing food.”
BreadHive supplies the food for its collaboration with Hydraulic Hearth located on Swan Street for a Saturday “Breakfast and Booze” brunch.
“It’s family friendly, and it’s also a place for young people who have gone out the night before and want to hash out the details, ” Emily Stewart of BreadHive said.
Another reason brunch has gained popularity is the money lining the pockets of these young individuals.  Millennials have more money due to the economy improving as well as the fact that young people are getting married later and don’t have the same responsibilities for their money.  They have more to spend, and they spend it on food and social events.
“With the young people, it’s the social aspect, but also their propensity to spend,” Daniel Ricigliano, a business professor at SUNY Buffalo State, said.
A third reason is people are more aware of where their food is coming from, especially millennials.  They like to see that their food is locally grown and organic. Sweet_ness 7 guarantees locally grown and organic ingredients on the top of its  “Brunchy Feasts” menu.

          “People are taking a bigger interest in the food that they are eating,” Elizabeth Dashnaw of BreadHive said. “I think there’s a rise in people that are here and making amazing food.  We do everything by hand here, so there’s that element, and people are interested in that process.”
In addition to picking up on the demands of the community around them, businesses like the BreadHive and Sweet_ness 7 are benefiting from the city’s renaissance.  Young people are moving into the city and venturing into its more unique neighborhoods.
"We’re in an up and coming neighborhood,” said Rob Fussell, café manager of Sweet_Ness 7’s Grant Street location. “A lot of people will walk in and discover this hidden gem.
BreadHive has a take-out window,  but will expand to include table service at the new location at 402 Connecticut St.
"It’s a cool time to be doing a popular brunch because people know who we are that might not be coming to our take-out café,” Allison Ewing of BreadHive said.   “And we are about to open a café, so people who might have had our bagel sandwiches [at brunch] can make that connection more easily.”
Fussell said brunch is so busy for Sweetn_Ness 7, that the cafe no longer worries about drumming up business in the evenings. 
Local businesses can’t really explain why brunch has been so popular.  Maybe it’s the late start. Maybe it’s the good food. Maybe it’s the mimosas. Maybe it’s the laid-back environment created for the late mornings that you can only experience on a weekend. 
Whatever it is, the local restaurant business has made changes to accommodate this trend and it looks like brunch isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

BNW reporter profile: Madison Marquardt

Madison Marquardt
Where are you from?

What are your interests/hobbies?
Sports, reading, swimming and coaching

What interests you about the West Side?
Learning about the various communities, meeting new people

What communication experience do you have?
Intern at Time Warner Cable News

#MadisonMarquardt  #BengalNewsWest

BNW reporter profiles: Annaliza Guard and Julia Waterman

Annaliza Guard
Where are you from?

What are your interests/hobbies?

What interests you about the West Side?
I love the different cultures and the unique places on the West Side. You always seem to find that diamond in the rough.

What communication experience do you have?
Copyediting and reporting for The Record, personal blog

#AnnalizaGuard  #BengalNewsWest

Julia Waterman
Where are you from?

What are your interests/hobbies?
Reading, playing soccer, adopting animals

What interests you about the West Side?
It's my neighborhood; I live there.

What communication experience do you have?
Journalism coursework

#JuliaWaterman  #BengalNewsWest

BNW reporter profile: Jamal Richards

Jamal Richards
Where are you from?

What are your interests/hobbies?
International politics

What interests you about the West Side?
People always say that the West Side is the new booming place to be and I am curious to know why.

What communication experience do you have?
Writer for Word on the Street newspaper

#JamalRichards  #BengalNewsWest

BNW reporter profiles: Kadija Bah and Corrinne Wheatley

Kadija Bah
Where are you from?

What are your interests/hobbies?
Dance, woman empowerment

What interests you about the West Side?
Discovering the neighborhood

What communication experience do you have?
Internship with WBAI in NYC, currently working at WBNY and interning at The Odyssey Online, radio show at a previous college

#KadijaBah  #BengalNewsWest

Corrinne Wheatley
Where are you from?

What are your interests/hobbies?
Irish dance and photography

What interests you about the West Side?
I live on the West Side, so I am interested in the issues affecting the area around me.

What communication experience do you have?
Journalism coursework 

#CorrinneWheatley  #BengalNewsWest

BNW reporter profile: Jae Tomlinson

Jae Tomlinson
Where are you from?

What are your interests/hobbies?
Cooking, music, entertainment, sports, tattoos, the sunrise and sunset

What's your experience with communications?
Journalism major, mini film projects with friends

#JaeTomlinson  #BengalNewsWest

BNW reporter profiles: L'Oreal Adams and Deshawn Bolden

L'Oreal Adams

Where are you from? 

 Long Island

What are your interests/hobbies?

My interest includes reading, and writing. Some of my hobbies are listening to music, dancing, going out to eat, shopping, and making clothes. 

What interests you about the West Side?
What interests me about the West Side is its diversity. There are so many people from different parts of the world it allows you to learn more about their culture. It reminds me of a mini Manhattan.

What are some of your previous work experiences in the communications field.
I wrote for our school newspaper, The Record. I was a member of BSC-TV where we created our own news segments that aired on campus television. I’m currently training at our campus radio station to have my own talk show on WBNY 91.3FM. 

#L'OrealAdams #BengalNewsWest


Deshawn Bolden
Where are you from? 

The Bronx
What are your interests/hobbies?

Sports, hanging with friends, and anything else that’s fun

What interests you about the West Side

Its history and the amount of work that can be put it to improve the atmosphere

What are some of your previous work experiences in the communications field? Interned at TWC News Buffalo and at WABC-TV in NYC

#DeshawnBolden  #BengalNewsWest