Sunday, March 31, 2019

Parks Conservancy preparing for spring

Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, a non-profit organization geared towards maintaining and operating the city's historic park system, has been working a great deal in preparing its parks for the spring season. District 3 Supervisor of Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy Eileen Martin, says that steps are being taken to create a healthy, well-grown site for the community to enjoy. Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy serves the West Side by making sure its recreation sites, such as Delaware Park and Front Park, among all its other sites, are set to flourish during spring. By Brittany Edward and Kaitlyn Mayrose

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Hotel Henry’s carriage rides well-received

By Brittany Edward and Kaitlyn Mayrose
Buffalo Review West Reporters        
            A horse and buggy was a common source of transportation until the early 20th century and since then, has turned into a tourist attraction.
            Horse and  carriage rides became a controversial subject circa 2013. Images and videos of horses collapsing in Central Park, New York had surfaced the web and angered civilians. Since then, many people have been very vocal regarding their disapproval of carriage rides.
            Opponents say that horses are not meant to be used as a means of transportation in the New York City urban setting. However, the environment in Buffalo differs greatly from New York City.
            The Hotel Henry Urban Resort Conference Center, 444 Forest Ave., offers carriage rides every other Sunday until April 28. There was a waitlist in February for the carriages, which showed the popularity of the rides in Buffalo.
            Hotel Henry has collaborated with Banner Farm WNY in Perrysburg for the carriage rides. These rides generate revenue for the coachmen to provide everything necessary that is needed to take care of their horses.
            “Our collaboration with Banner Farm puts money towards feeding and caring for the horses, as well as supporting the horses’ mental and physical stimulation,” Jessica Mancini, digital marketing manager at Hotel Henry, said.
            The carriage rides at Hotel Henry have been popular. The  people who work with horses, and are educated on the proper needs horses require, are happy  to see a local company supporting a local farm.
            Although the carriage rides have been popular,  the hotel has received some negative comments about the concerns of animal abuse. However, Hotel Henry and Banner Farm take these comments as an opportunity to educate people on the topic.
            “We respond saying, ‘We understand your concerns. These horses are very well fed and taken care of, and are in no way being abused’,” Mancini said. 

Banner Farm WNY Coachman Jonny O’Loughlin:

            The horses used to pull carriages are referred to as Clydesdales. These horses are actually bred to work, and if they do not work their bodies could potentially suffer mentally and physically.
            “It wasn't that long ago that horses were the main mode of transportation, moved goods, and were inextricably linked to people's lives,” Erika Abbondanzieri, owner of Banner Farm, said.
            The farm does not only take care of horses that pull carriages, but it is also home to a few retired racehorses, a rescued wild-caught mustang and a pony that came from a neglectful home.
            Banner Farm has 120-acres of farmland for the horses to live on. The horses have 24/7 access to a large pasture, fresh water, shelter and hay.
            “Every six weeks they go to the farrier to have their hooves trimmed or their shoes reset, and when horses need it, we have the chiropractor out to be sure they are in tip-top shape,” Abbondanzieri said. 
            The Buffalo area is not as familiar with carriage rides as New York City is. In Central Park, carriages line up waiting to give pedestrians a ride around the city, among the busy traffic within the urban area. The scene is different in Buffalo, which is the reason why horse-drawn carriage rides are not seen as a top priority with the SPCA Serving Erie County.
            The SPCA faced a few issues regarding horse-drawn carriage rides and abuse back in 1867, which took part in the creation of the organization. However, since horse-drawn carriages have made a fresh comeback to the Buffalo area, the SPCA does not have much experience dealing with this controversial issue.
            The SPCA’s mission is to create a “caring and kind community that encourages fair and humane treatment of all creatures.”
             If we receive a report on local carriage horses being mistreated and abused, it will be investigated without question,” Gina Browning, SPCA chief communications officer, said.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Debts force auction of student apartments

Monarch 716, a student housing complex at 100 Forest Ave. near SUNY Buffalo State, will be auctioned on April 8 after a wave of legal issues. The property was foreclosed last November due to $44 million in unpaid construction bills, plus additional liens and lawsuits filed against DHD Ventures, the building’s developer. Timothy Gordon, vice president for student affairs at SUNY Buffalo State, explained that while the college has no relationship with Monarch 716, his understanding is that the complex remains open and leases will continue to be honored. By Nick Lukasik and Zach Rohde

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

WNY Peace Center riding the wave of march

Women's March participants at City Hall
 The Western New York Peace Center is still riding the #WomensWave from its third annual Buffalo Women’s March held on March 10.
            The center will hold the Women’s March Forum and Discussion from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., March 13 at the Frank E. Merriweather Library on 1324 Jefferson Ave. to discuss the outcome of the march and how the community can proceed to promote change.
            Victoria Ross, executive director of the Western New York Peace Center, was pleased with Sunday’s gathering.
            “I feel like the turnout was good when you think about just how terrible the weather was,” she said. “I think we had about 500 people.”
            The center, 1272 Delaware Ave., was founded in 1967 and has advocated for various social justice causes, including gender equality, human rights and environmentalism.
            The organization’s experience with underrepresented populations on the West Side, including immigrants, refugees, and lower-class families, allows the center to identify and advocate for marginalized groups regionwide.
             “We’re mostly in Buffalo and, more than anything, on the West Side,” she said, “but we feel it’s about gathering everyone together and working together and uniting the struggles.”
            Ross explained that the center aims to create a support network, and events like the march are necessary to highlight challenges endured by different populations within society.
            “There are all kinds of forms of oppression, so we still have a lot of work to do,” she said. “We still have a long way to go to get full rights.” By I’Jaz Eberhardt and Dylan Sleight

Friday, March 8, 2019

W.S. brewery prepped for new competition

Ethan Cox, president of Community Beer Works, believes hospitality and quality beer are  what helps bring customers in the door. Community Beer Works, 520 7th St., is in direct competition with other breweries in Buffalo, N.Y. and on the West Side. Cox says he knows of at least five or six other breweries opening up. There are also expansion plans from current well-known breweries such as Resurgence, 1250 Niagara St., and Thin Man, 492 Elmwood Ave. Community Beer Works is one of 33 member breweries of the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association, which shows how crowded of an industry beer is. By Nick Luksik and Zach Rohde

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Women in Black continue protest for peace

Three members of Buffalo’s division of the Women in Black network, from left, Valerie Niederhoffer, Sue Phibbs and Ann Marie Bowman, gather at Elmwood Avenue and Bidwell Parkway to protest President Donald Trump’s threats of military intervention in Venezuela. The protesters have been affiliated with WNY Women in Black since its start. On occasion, they have been assuced of anti-patriotism and have been pelted with food and other items. The group made significant allies over time, however, including legendary folk singer Pete Seeger, who attended one of their protests in 2013, and Buffalo photographer Milton Rogoven, who frequently protested with them until his death in 2011. The group has been meeting every Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. since 2003, following the United States’ initiation of the Iraq War. Women in Black is an international network that was founded by women in Jerusalem in 1988. By I'Jaz Eberhardt and Dylan Sleight

Buffalo PD preps for St Pat’s Day parade

The Buffalo Police Department is preparing for the St. Patrick’s Day parade, which will take place on Sunday, March 17.
 The police are strengthening efforts to have an increase in the number of officers on duty. Their goal will be to monitor uncontrolled alcohol consumption, particularly by minors.
“We’re keeping an eye out for underage drinking and will be enforcing laws against public intoxication,” said Deputy Police Commissioner Barbara Lark.
Body cameras have been a running factor within law enforcement. Last year, the police department initiated the pilot body camera program and were pleased with the results of it.
“Body cameras will help to make sure everyone is kept safe, both the parade-goers and officers on duty,” Lark said.
The parade starts at 2 p.m. and will run from Delaware Avenue, near the McKinley Monument, heading north to North Avenue.
         The St. Patrick’s Day parade has been running since 1913 and is one of the largest celebrations in Buffalo. The celebration has been ranked number four on Wallethub’s Best Places to Go for St. Patrick’s Day in 2018 and ranked 14th overall for 2019. By Brittany Edward and Kaitlyn Mayrose

Albright dedicates exhibit to Ralph Wilson

Ben Ingalls, 23, a Buffalo Bills fan and local art lover, is one of the first to get a look at The Albright Knox Art Gallery’s “Humble and Human” exhibition. The exhibition, which runs through May 26, is dedicated to former Bills founder Ralph C. Wilson Jr., who passed away five years ago this month. This is another display of Wilson’s and The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation’s continuing philanthropy in the West Side. Last fall the foundation announced it would invest $100 million to transform the  LaSalle Park, this is the largest single donation ever made to the city of Buffalo. By I'Jaz Eberhardt and Dylan Sleight

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Vinyl Records Making a Comeback on W.S.

By Nick Lukasik and Zach Rohde
Buffalo Review - West Reporters
Black Dots Co-Owner Quinn Moore

Remember that old stack of vinyl records you left at your parents’ house 15 years ago? Or maybe the turntable you saw at your grandparents’ house and wondered aloud “what is that thing?”
            Well, you might want to head back and pick up those records, or ask your grandparents for one of their old record players.
            Vinyl records are in something of a resurgence, even in the current digital age of streaming music on platforms such as  Spotify and Apple Music. After seemingly being surpassed by 8-track tapes, CDs and cassettes, vinyl records are still being pressed and sold in record stores. The West Side is home to two record stores: Black Dots and Revolver Records.
Both Black Dots and Revolver Records find themselves in budding neighborhoods of Buffalo. Black Dots is located on Grant Street while one of Revolver Records stores is on Elmwood Avenue.
Black Dots co-owner Quinn Moore said Black Dots was originally located at the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Grant Street has been a really good place for the business to start. The store was originally located at the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Grant Street before moving into the more spacious location it occupies.
 “There were little things starting to pop up when we were starting like Sunday Skate Shop was over there for a little bit and that was one thing where I was like ‘Whoa. The ball is starting to roll’,” Moore said.
Philip Machemer, the owner of Revolver Records, started selling records online and at record shows, as well as weekly markets in the Elmwood Village.  He then opened his first store on Hertel Avenue before opening the other on Elmwood Avenue.
“Growing up, Elmwood was always kind of the shopping and cultural hub of the city and I feel like even with the renaissance that the city is going through, Elmwood is still kind of the center of what is going on,” Machemer said. 

Machemer, on collecting vinyl:

Jeff Allen is the administrator of the Facebook group WNY Vinyl Collective. The WNY Vinyl Collective is a group focusing on the record industry in Western New York, with over 3,500 members.
Jeff Allen, administrator of the Facebook group WNY Vinyl Collective, stated that local record stores play a very important role in the vinyl industry. Allen said he sees the industry focusing on the newer vinyl releases going forward.
“Local record stores are not just a place to buy records, this is where we go to learn about music and meet other people that have the same interests,” Allen said.
Both Revolver Records and Black Dots have created ways to separate themselves from larger retailers who sell vinyl records, such as Amazon. For Revolver Records, it is focusing on the used record market among other things.
Although online shopping is more convenient, Machemer considers record shops to be the best place to buy used records. He also admits that it is hard to compete with Amazon prices for new vinyl, but he has tried a few different things.
            “There are a lot of Indie exclusive releases for records on certain color vinyl and certain releases that are only released at record shops. you can’t buy them online and you can’t buy them on Amazon so we try to stock a lot of stuff like that,” Machemer said. 

Refugee agencies unite amid travel ban

Despite national hurdles in the last two years since President Trump’s travel ban, Catholic Charities and other local refugee resettlement agencies have regrouped and strengthened, says Bill Shukaly, director of Catholic Charities Relocation Services. By I'Jaz Eberhardt and Dylan Sleight