Amber Small announces campaign for New York State Senate

Community leader and advocate Amber Small today announced her candidacy for the New York State Senate in Erie County’s 60th District. Small will seek the Democratic Party’s nomination this fall.

The Small campaign made today’s announcement by releasing a video titled “Think Big, Vote Small,” which can be foundĀ HERE.

Small will seek to unseat Sen. Marc Panepinto. She listed public corruption and economic fairness as key issues in her campaign.

“It’s time to elect a senator who will put our needs first,” Small said. “I am running for Senate because we need to send someone honest to Albany. Someone who will focus on bettering our communities and bringing back the resources Western New Yorkers deserve.”

Small is a graduate of the University at Buffalo, and resides in North Buffalo’s Parkside neighborhood with her family.

New York’s 60th Senate District is located wholly in Erie County and includes the communities of Tonawanda, City of Tonawanda, Kenmore, Grand Island, Orchard Park, Evans, Brant and the City of Buffalo.

For full details, click here.

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Village of Lewiston: Paladino plaza, Fairchild on Planning Board agenda

It’s time for another round of discussion and debate concerning the two largest active construction proposals in the Village of Lewiston.

The Historic Preservation Committee/Planning Board expects to receive updates Monday on Ellicott Development’s plan to build a commercial plaza on Center Street’s north side, as well as developer James Jerge’s designs for the former Fairchild Manor nursing home site.

Unlike past meetings, which have been numerous for both projects, the Planning Board is ready to consider and approve first submittals from both parties.

“What we’re looking for Monday is any changes that they’ve made – material changes to the concept,” Planning Board Chairman Norm Machelor said.

“The only thing that was lacking on the first submission (at previous meetings) was the water plans and, since they’re in, then we’ll let them go,” he added. “And then, of course, we start into the second submission, which gets into even more detail.”

Village of Lewiston residents are encouraged to attend the 6:30 p.m. meeting, which is expected to take place inside the Red Brick Municipal Building gymnasium, 145 N. Fourth St.

To read the whole story, click here.

Brickyard expanding, taking over Brio

Top Lewiston restaurateurs Ken Bryan and Eric Matthews are expanding by subtraction.

They have closed one of their four village restaurants, Brio Pizzeria, 440 Center St., in order to merge the business and building with their most popular eatery, the neighboring Brickyard Pub & B.B.Q. Their new, two-floor establishment will be called Brickyard Brewing Co.

As its name suggests, beer will be brewed on site – similar to what’s seen at Pearl Street Grill & Brewery in downtown Buffalo.

A new kitchen will connect the two existing buildings, as will a small people moving-section. The Brickyard’s east side kitchen smokers will be moved inside the restaurant to accommodate the union.

The Brickyard Brewing Co. will have a rebuilt first floor and refurbished outside patio. The second floor will be expanded and used for banquets. It will boast an outdoor deck overlooking Center Street.

To read more on the expansion, click here.

Mount View offers seniors a new lease on life

At Mount View Assisted Living in Lockport, seniors aren’t considered “old people.” They’re not forced into stereotypical hobbies or limited on what they can or can’t do. In fact, they’re encouraged to think past limitations – age, sickness, injury or anything else that would slow a person down.

“We try to do things that are different here,” owner David Tosetto said. “We are not your average assisted living (facility). Our expectations are a lot higher for our residents, which means that our expectations of ourselves are a lot higher.

“We don’t store people here. We really restart their life and give them a whole different place to go. And it starts with their surroundings.

“We get them to a point where they don’t believe that they can get to. We support them and get it to that point. But then I tell them all, ‘Now I surprise you; now you surprise me.’ ”

Mount View offers nursing assistance, medication management, medical care coordination and personal, hands-on attention.

The assisted living program’s level of state licensing allows its personnel to bathe and dress those in need of such services.

“We’re the highest level of assisted living,” Tosetto noted.

That said, Mount View takes pride in coaching clients back to health.

“This is more than just assisting people with their medication; more than assisting them getting dressed. This is assisting them, literally, rejoining society,” he said. “And it’s awesome.”

When residents are back up on their feet, they can enjoy a dinner theater performance in the main dining room, meet with family and friends in the ’50s-themed diner, or engage in the activities listed on that hallway calendar.

There’s even a full salon.

“You look at the salon,” Tosetto said. “You go to any assisted living facility, the salon would be a quarter this size. Why? Because you make no money off of the salon. …

“In our world, I want people to sit here and gather and talk and socialize. Because think about your mom. Think about your grandmother. What’s a happy place for them to be? In the salon.

To read more about this fantastic facility, click here.

A B.A.S.I.C. winter recess at NU: Serving those in need

When college students travel during the winter semester break, it’s rare they do so to harvest potatoes, pick carrots and feed the homeless – unless said college students attend Niagara University.

Thirty-seven students from the Lewiston-based, Catholic and Vincentian university volunteered earlier this month to assist the less fortunate in underserved sections of Camden, New Jersey, Philadelphia and the Republic of Panama. The pilgrimages are part of the university’s Brothers and Sisters in Christ program, or B.A.S.I.C. as it’s referred to on campus, and offered through Niagara’s office of campus ministry.

“I decided to return to Camden this year, because I was truly touched and inspired by the caring individuals we met last year who made a difference in the poverty-stricken community,” Diez said. “As a future ESL teacher, it is my goal to contribute to the development of school classrooms that strongly value diversity and multiculturalism, and provide equal opportunities to learn for all students. The diverse population of Camden’s city schools and high population of English language learners (43.9 percent of students, as of 2015) also contributed to my interest in returning, since teaching English to speakers of other languages is my future career path.”

Along with assisting in schools, the NU students in Camden worked at a soup kitchen, met with local youth groups, attended bilingual Mass, volunteered at a homeless shelter, spent time with impoverished children and elderly in the community, and participated in community cleanup projects in parks and alleys.

“What stood out to me was not only how welcoming the people of Philadelphia were, but how thankful the people were that we had traveled from so far to serve. Even the children in the after-school programs were ecstatic to see us every day,” noted the Niagara Falls resident. “The experience showed me that what Niagara is doing makes a difference. Every action, no matter how seemingly big or small, has a powerful effect.”

For the full details, read here.

Adell’s School of Dance raises over $4,000 for Niagara Hospice

Dancers from Adell’s School of Dance performance/competition team recently held a fundraiser that raised money for their team while supporting their community. The fundraiser was successful and resulted in an impressive donation of $4,430 to Niagara Hospice, while also raising much-needed funds for the dance team to offset the cost of costumes, workshops and competition fees.

The dancers sold Mighty Niagara Discount Cards to their families and friends. The cards, offered by Niagara Hospice, offer discounts to local restaurants and businesses and are sold by local organizations as fundraisers while a portion of each sale is donated back to Niagara Hospice.

The dancers began with 400 cards and quickly sold out, requesting more cards to sell. A total of 886 cards were sold.

Stephanie DePadre, who has two daughters on the dance team, coordinated the fundraiser along with Adell’s School of Dance owner Adell Manarino.

“At Adell’s School of Dance, you learn more than just dance. Our passion is contagious,” Manarino said. “All of our dancers played a big part in selling the cards and raising money for hospice.”

To read the heart-warming story, click here.

Buffalo Sabres, Roswell Park unite to inspire cancer cures

United behind the shared vision of reducing cancer’s impact in Western New York, the Buffalo Sabres and Roswell Park Cancer Institute have launched a collaboration that will see the National Hockey League franchise and the National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center teaming up to arm fans and supporters with important guidance on cancer risk, prevention and research. Over the next five seasons, the two organizations will initiate a broad-based educational campaign with the tagline “One Goal: Inspire Cancer Cures.”

Roswell Park, the official and exclusive comprehensive cancer center of the Buffalo Sabres, will provide evidence-based tips on cancer prevention, early detection and risk reduction to hockey fans and audiences through a variety of platforms, inside and outside of First Niagara Center, the home of the Buffalo Sabres. Fans will also have the opportunity to support the most promising research at Roswell Park through donations, and will be able to take advantage of free cancer screening programs (as medically appropriate).

“We know that every year in Western and upstate New York, about 37,000 people will face a new diagnosis of cancer, and projections call for that figure to keep increasing over the next few years. The best way to reverse this concerning trend is to make sure our community is informed about cancer risk and prevention, and we’re thrilled to be able to bring our fans the latest guidance from experts thanks to our partnership with Roswell Park, the region’s only comprehensive cancer center,” said Pegula Sports and Entertainment President Kim Pegula, who co-owns the Buffalo Sabres with her husband, Terry Pegula.

The “One Goal” campaign will inform audiences, for example, about which cancers are associated with behavioral choices such as smoking and tobacco use, obesity and certain diets.

“No one fights cancer alone. That’s a truth we see in action every day at Roswell Park, and one our patients and their loved ones remind us of frequently,” Johnson added. “Our best chance for reducing cancer’s impact on our lives and collectively on our community is through the team approach, bringing everyone into the fight and uniting our resources. … Our team just got bigger and better with this collaboration. The Buffalo Sabres, The Buffalo (Sabres) Alumni and The Junior Sabres have supported Roswell Park and our patients in so many ways over the years, and our expectations are high as we launch our latest joint effort.”

For the full story, click here.