Daily Archives: Jan 9, 2019

BIRDS ON THE NIAGARA: A Winter Celebration

Bird life along the Niagara River Corridor is fascinating year-round, but during wintertime, birds flock to the river from all corners of the world. On January 25th and 26th, Buffalo Audubon, Tifft Nature Preserve, Friends of Times Beach, Pollinator Conservation Association, Niagara River Greenway and NYS Parks will launch a weekend celebration of all things avian, from Buffalo to Lewiston. This FREE, family- friendly event will include guided bird-watching activities, hands-on workshops and demonstrations, and keynote address by Twan Leenders, President of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History (RTPI) in Jamestown, New York.

The weekend’s events will highlight the Niagara River Corridor as a designated Globally Significant Important Bird Area, due to the diversity of habitat and migratory bird species that call the river home throughout the year.

Keynote speaker Twan Leenders is an internationally known expert on conservation, birds, mammals, plants, and tropical amphibians, and has ventured around the globe on research and educationalexpeditions. The RTPI, named for one of America’s best known bird experts, is a widely regardedorganization that was founded to house Roger Tory Petersons personal collections and promotes conservation, art, and education.

Other programs include a Friday night kick-off on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor with birding at the Buffalo Harbor State Park starting at 3 pm, and a Celebration Kickoff at Tifft Nature Preserve starting at
5pm. Presentations will include a program about why Western New York and the Niagara River have important and globally significant important birding, and a panel led by Jay Burney of the Friends of Times Beach Nature Preserve and the Pollinator Conservation Association, about responsible and ethical birding strategies for bird enthusiasts and photographers. Owl Prowls will be conducted at Tifft by Chuck Rosenburg of the NYSDEC, and Tom Kerr of Buffalo Audubon, at 7pm.

Saturdays events will include displays and information at the Western New York Welcome Center on Grand Island from 8am-noon. Guided birding events will include guided walks at Beaver Island State

Park starting at 9am, Birding for Families at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo starting at 10am, Goat Island Gulls at 11am.

Special vendor and displays will take place at Niagara University from noon-5pm at St. Vincents Hall, with programming including workshops for birders from 2:00pm- 2:45pm, a community science workshops (eBird) from 3-345, with keynote address at 4pm at St. Vincents Hall.

“Birdwatching is such a gift during these winter months when outdoor activities can be limited and/or costly. It’s a delight to find birds right in our backyard that have traveled from Alaska and beyond to winter along the Niagara River. Most Western New Yorkers are unaware of the incredible diversity of


species that can be found only here, and we’re hoping to share that story with a broader audience,engaging new folks in birding as an accessible activity that can be enjoyed in any part of the region, any time of year.”, said Melissa Fratello, Executive Director, Buffalo Audubon.

“This festival is an important way to both recognize the significance of the Niagara River Globally Significant Important Bird Area and the species that use it, its conservation needs, and the importance of this resource to an eco-tourism economy.”, said Jay Burney, Friends of Times Beach and the Pollinator Conservation Association and Festival Co-organizer. “Our programming will include important lessons about how and where to see winter birds, and provide ethical guidelines for both bird watchers, the general public, and photographers that work hard to capture the beauty of our incredible diversity of winter birds in the Niagara River strait.”

“This is a great event that uplifts natural assets that all of us benefit from. The incredible natural biodiversity that depends on the Niagara, including the many species of birds and fish that help make our local and global natural systems healthy and productive, and the very valuable economic development contexts that involve tourism, quality of life, and conservation will all be on display during this festival.


January 25th

3:00 PM – 4:30 PM – Birding the Buffalo Harbor: Gulls, Fowl and Owls! Meet at Buffalo Harbor State Park Parking Lot

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM – Celebration Kickoff at Tifft Nature Preserve: Why WNY is a Big Deal in the World of Birds, and Be a Responsible Birder!

7:00 PM – Owl Prowls with Chuck Rosenberg and Tom Kerr, Tifft Nature Preserve January 26th

9:00-10:00AM -BeaverIslandBirds:MorningGuidedWalk Meet at the Casino

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM OR 12:00 – 1:00 PM – Birding for Families Guided Walk at Tifft Meet at in the Nature Center at Tifft

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Goat Island Gulls Meet at Parking Lot 3

12:00PM-5:00PM -TheBirdHub:Workshops,Vendors,DemonstrationsandSpecialGuests, Niagara University, St Vincents Hall 4th Floor

2:00 PM – 2:45PM – So You Want to Be a Birder? Optics, ID Workshop for Beginners with Tom Kerr OR WNY Wildlife Rehab with SPCA Erie County

3:00 PM – 3:45 PM – Community Science/E-Bird

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Keynote Speaker Twan Leenders of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Niagara University St Vincent’s Hall

*There will be warming stations at the WNY Welcome Center at Alvin Rd, Grand Island from 8AM –12PM and at Niagara University, St Vincent’s Hall, 4th Floor from 12PM – 5PM on Jan 26th

Important Weblinks:

Facebook Event Page: www.facebook.com/events/339833690173613/Buffalo Audubon Society: www.buffaloaudubon.org/
Niagara River Greenway Commission: www.niagararivergreenway.com/ Tifft Nature Preserve: https://www.tifft.org/

Friends of Times Beach Nature Preserve: www.friendsoftimesbeachnp.org/ Pollinator Conservation Association: www.pollinatorconservationassociation.org/

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Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History www.rtpi.org/

Western New York Welcome Center: www.thruway.ny.gov/travelers/travelplazas/welcome- centers.html

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The Buffalo Audubon Society is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization that promotes appreciation and enjoyment of the natural world through education and stewardship.

Readers of all ages are encouraged to “Warm Up with a Good Book” this chilly season as part of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library’s Winter Reading 2019 community literacy campaign, which kicked off with Buffalo Sabres hockey player Tage Thompson this afternoon at the downtown Central Library.  

“During the winter months, readers of all ages can keep warm and cozy by visiting a local public library, reading a good book and participating in the Winter Reading Challenge.” said Library Director Mary Jean Jakubowski.  The 37 Libraries have dozens of free Winter Reading-themed family programs scheduled through March 15 including performances, book clubs, costume parties, tours, crafts, exhibits, and more-all designed to encourage reading, discovery and fun!  To participate in the free Winter Reading Challenge and be entered to win awesome prizes, children, teens, adults, and entire classrooms can read an age-appropriate book, and submit a short book review on the Library System’s website. The more books one reads, the greater the odds of winning.  Prizes include gift cards, library tote bags and the Buffalo Snow hardcover book by local illustrators and writers Elizabeth Leader and Eve Tulbert.  One grand prize winner will be selected to win a Kindle Fire 10 HD eReader.  Details can be found here:http://becpl.ny08.readsquared.com/. 

Buffalo Sabres forward Tage Thompson, who wears jersey #72, along with popular mascots Sabretooth and Reada Book Owl assisted with the announcement by showing their love for books by reading to first graders from Buffalo Public School #81.  Thompson is in his first season with the Sabres and has five goals and four assists in 36 games this season. 

To participate in the Winter Reading Challenge, stop by any of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Libraries or visit www.BuffaloLib.org for details.  Erie County residents and those who work or go to school in the county can get information about free library cards by calling 716-858-8900. 

Sabres fans can visit the Library on Wheels bookmobile outside KeyBank Center at “Library Day @ the Sabres” on Saturday, February 23 as the winning Sabres host the Washington Capitals at 1:00 p.m. Discount tickets are available for children, and the first 5,000 children through the gates will receive a Sabretooth-themed giveaway. 

Winter Reading is co-sponsored by Western New York Family MagazineFor more information on library programming, services and Winter Reading, visit the Library System website at:www.BuffaloLib.org or call 716-858-8900.

Illustration attached for use by media.

Follow the library on http://www.buffalolib.org/sites/default/files/images/fb.pnghttp://www.buffalolib.org/sites/default/files/images/twitter.pnghttp://www.buffalolib.org/sites/default/files/images/pinterest.png Flickr instagram.png  Podcast

Buffalo & Erie County Public Libraries have more than 3.2 million materials – books, eBooks, DVDs, music & more. Free library cards (traditional and eLibrary) are available to Erie County, New York residents and to those who work and/or attend school in Erie County, NY. Follow the library on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr and on our podcast All Booked Up! Information: 716-858-8900 or http://www.buffalolib.org.

Rochester, N.Y. – Rochester City Council said it plans to take on City Hall on the issue of police oversight. It will likely table legislation from Mayor Lovely Warren in favor of a plan that would likely require a change to the city charter and give some community groups a bigger say in police discipline.

“The police are policing themselves. It undermines the community’s ability to trust that process,” said City Council President Loretta Scott.

Last May, a wrongful arrest was caught on cell phone video. Christopher Pate was struck with a stun gun and beaten in the face. One of the two RPD officers involved was eventually charged with a crime.

Community advocates say the victims need a voice at the table when it comes to investigating these incidents and particularly in doling out police discipline.

“We can’t just always take a police officer’s word or the police union president’s word,” said Ted Forsyth of the Police Accountability Board Alliance. “We have to hear all the voices and put them in a position where they have a stake in the process with real power.”

For months, the Police Accountability Board Alliance has been meeting with Rochester City Council and other organizations to come up with a civilian review proposal. In December, Mayor Warren introduced her own legislation.

As a candidate in 2013, Warren campaigned in the national shadow of the death of Treyvon Martin – an unarmed African-American teen shot by a Hispanic man. Some citizen groups who tried to work with her on civilian review say they are disappointed in the details of her proposal to create a civilian review board.

Warren’s legislation calls for citizens to investigate and recommend discipline for officers accused of wrongdoing. Yet the board has no recourse if the police chief rejects their input.

“We expected more. A more powerful board that would have teeth to administer the discipline piece we’re looking for,” said Pastor Wanda Wilson of the Police Accountability Board Alliance.

The Rochester City Charter, which dates back to 1834, gives sole disciplinary powers to the police chief under the oversight of the mayor. In a statement Mayor Warren said her proposal is the only one that will stand up to a legal challenge.

The Police Accountability Board Alliance is asking her to pull the legislation. However, Council President Scott said it will likely be held up in committee while the council drafts its own bill with more enforcement powers.

“By pushing the envelope we recognize it will likely call for a charter change to change who has the authority to discipline,” Scott said. “But we think if we don’t move forward now, it won’t happen.”

The charter was issued by New York State. Some changes require a referendum before voters. Others are handled by petition, followed by a vote from state lawmakers.

“What we’re trying to build is a process that will withstand not just the current mayor, but a process that will change the system beyond us,” Forsyth said.

The Public Safety Committee is scheduled to take up the legislation Thursday. The competing council legislation may not be ready by that time so the matter will be put on hold.

Mayor Warren’s complete statement:

The City Administration’s proposal will create a Police Accountability Board that is legally permissible under the laws of the State of New York. Other proposals that have been suggested would not withstand legal challenge. As proposed by the Administration, the Police Accountability Board would have unprecedented authority – including subpoena power to compel testimony and the production of evidence – to investigate complaints as well as work toward better policies related to the use of force. I am looking forward to working with City Council and community stakeholders to develop a legally permissible Police Accountability Board that will improve public safety by improving the public’s trust and creating a fully transparent investigative process that’s fair to both the community and the officers.

Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo Scholarship Process Now Open
Buffalo, NY —The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo scholarship application process for the 2019 – 2020 academic year is now open. Applications are due by April 1, 2019, and must be submitted online.
To be eligible, applicants must:
• Be a current resident of one of the eight counties of Western New York (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, Wyoming)
• Have a minimum of a “C” average or a GPA of 2.0 or greater
• Be admitted to a nonprofit 501(c)(3), U.S. Department of Education accredited school for full-time study for the fall 2019 semester.
All students in Western New York, including Say Yes Buffalo applicants and scholars, that meet these eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply. Scholarship awards typically range from $1,000 to $6,000.
Since 1924, over 200 individuals, families, foundations and organizations have established scholarship funds through the Community Foundation. In 2018, the Community Foundation remained as one of the region’s largest scholarship providers, awarding scholarships totaling $2.6  million to more than 3,000 Western New York students.
For more information on the Community Foundation’s scholarship program, including application instructions, please visit www.cfgbscholarships.org or text SCHOLARSHIP to (716) 259-2499*.
Celebrating its centennial year in 2019, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo was established in 1919 to enhance and encourage long-term philanthropy in the Western New York community. A 501 (c)(3) organization, the Community Foundation’s mission is: Connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York. For 100 years the Community Foundation has made the most of the generosity of individuals, families, foundations and organizations who entrust charitable assets to the Community Foundation’s care. Learn more at www.cfgb.org.
*By taking this action you are affirming that you will receive recurring Scholarship Deadline alert text messages from the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.Please click here for our Privacy Policy. Text STOP to opt-out, HELP for more information. No purchase necessary. Message & data rates may apply. 


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