Monthly Archives: April 2018

The 42 empty storefronts on Elmwood Avenue from Allen Street to Forest Avenue represent restaurants, boutiques and food markets that have closed their doors in recent years. Some of those businesses have moved to Hertal Avenue or other parts of the city.

Some business owners claim that high rents, crime and and aging infrastructure is the cause for the change but what ever the concerns the closures is resulting in a vacancy rate of over 24 percent and that has caught the attention of city and state officials.

Mayor Brown, Councilman Rivera and Councilmen Feroleto  will meet with State Sen. Chris Jacobs and Assemblyman Sean M. Ryan this week to discuss retail concerns on Elmwood, including parking, vacancies and decreasing foot traffic. An advisory group including representatives from the retail and residential communities will also be formed, Rivera said.

“That is an alarming amount of vacancies,” said Ashley Smith, executive director of Elmwood Village Association. “A healthy vacancy rate is 7 to 10 percent. You need some room for businesses to come and go, so I’m not overly concerned. The vacancy rate is high where blocks are in transition.”

To be sure, there are plenty of thriving shops and restaurants along the Elmwood strip, and some vacancies have been quickly filled. When longtime clothing store Urban Leisure and Luxury closed its doors in August after 25 years, for example, its location was filled less then two months later with a Ten Thousand Villages.

But while the Elmwood Avenue strip has seen businesses come and go for years, several blocks affected by the closure of Women & Children’s Hospital are a concern for community leaders.

The Elmwood-Hodge neighborhood is transitioning after the loss of Women and Children’s Hospital, Smith said.

“You’ve lost the economic activity of that hospital since November,” Smith said. “That’s an 8-acre redevelopment site, and the status of the build-out is not clear.”

Newbury Salads owner Paul Tsouflidis closed his shop at 470 Elmwood after his lease expired, Smith said. A sign on his former storefront said he moved the business to Hertel Avenue.

“You’re looking at a lunch business that decreased because of the hospital closing and less foot traffic,” Smith said. “I would not be surprised to see it vacant until we see the site development resolved.”

Tommy Cowan, 38, closed Mid-Town Kitchen at 451 Elmwood in December. The restaurant known for its strong lunch crowd and night scene had a dinner business that struggled, he said.

It’s a different story at Forty Thieves Kitchen & Bar, a pub that opened in August 2017 at 727 Elmwood, said Cowan.

“It’s like night and day, the difference between the 400 block and the 700 block of Elmwood,” said Cowan. “It’s like a ghost town in the 400 block. It’s weird.

“You see success with walkability. In other areas with vacant storefronts, you have destination spots where you park and drive, and park and drive.”

The former Casa Di Pizza at Hodge and Elmwood remains vacant, long after it relocated downtown. The former Habibi Sheesha Lounge at 476 Elmwood closed down in January 2015 and remains shuttered.

At least one property owner had an unusual approach to filling a vacant storefront. The new owner of Mother Nature Plant Emporium, 712 Elmwood, polled passersby with a sign, “What should go here?”

Feroleto hopes to introduce a Commercial Lease Assistance Program for Elmwood merchants similar to one offered small business owners in New York City. He also pointed to online sales, high rental rates and decreasing foot traffic as factors in the 17 percent vacancy rate.

The Elmwood Village Association works closely with residents and retailers to improve the quality of life in the commercial strip and surrounding neighborhoods, said Smith.

The marketing concept of geofencing may be coming to retailers along Elmwood, said Smith. The concept allows the store to send a location-triggered alert to passersby informing them of a sale or special offer.

“One of the hardest thing for business owners is to keep up with technological marketing trends,” said Smith. “A five-person business cannot compete with Amazon. What we do see prospering are salons, spas and tattoo shops – because you can’t get (those services) online.”

(BUFFALO, NY) – Some CCS Oncology patients are still trying to figure out where they will continue their cancer treatments.

The practice filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy early this month.

Just last week, 1,700 current patients received a notice from the practice that it’s closing on Friday at 5:00 pm.

“I really wasn’t expecting them to close, I really wasn’t,” said Tom Burns, CCS Oncology patient.

Burns has been a CCS patient for two years receiving treatments for throat and lung cancer. His treatments ended in 2016 and Burns is now seeing an oncologist for follow-up visits.

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center has agreed to make its services and facilities available for those patients requiring clinical care. A community patient forum was held Monday to meet with patients and discuss their options.

“We feel obligated in some respect to support our community. Whatever problem they have, Roswell Park is able to deal with it,” said Dr. Boris Kuvshinoff.

Roswell Park cares for about 30,000 cancer patients. Dr. Kuvshinoff says taking on 1,700 patients, if that’s the case, is a small number compared to the amount they see on a regular basis.

It’s up to CCS patients to decide whether they want to receive care at Roswell or someplace else.

“It’s not going to bother me, I’m okay with the switch. I’m comfortable with it, as comfortable as you can be,” said Burns.

Roswell Park officials say patients have already shared their concerns as many treatments could be interrupted, but they want all patients, especially those getting active treatments, to make the switch immediately.

“We understand what it feels like to be in the middle of something as serious as cancer and suddenly have your life line removed and so we just want to make sure the message to them is, we’re here,” said Dr. Kuvshinoff.

Appointments scheduled after Friday at CCS Oncology will be canceled. Officials told the public a small number of appointments may be kept as scheduled for next week, but the practice recommends checking with your doctor.

A federal appeals court on Thursday said the U.S. Justice Department cannot deny public safety grants to so-called sanctuary cities that limit cooperation with the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration.

By: Reuters

The Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court injunction in a case brought by the city of Chicago. The appeals court agreed the injunction should apply nationally while the lawsuit proceeds in federal court.

The case is one of a number of battles between the administration of Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic state and local leaders over immigration, healthcare, the environment and other issues.

Chicago sued last year after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he would cut off cities from certain Justice Department grants unless they allowed federal immigration authorities unlimited access to local jails and provided 48 hours’ notice before releasing anyone wanted for immigration violations.

The lawsuit contended that Sessions exceeded his authority by imposing new conditions beyond those Congress prescribed when it established the grant program. In its ruling on Thursday, a three-judge Seventh Circuit panel said its role was not to decide national immigration policy, but rather to protect the separation of powers between the branches of the federal government.

“The Attorney General in this case used the sword of federal funding to conscript state and local authorities to aid in federal civil immigration enforcement,” the court wrote. “But the power of the purse rests with Congress”

Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley said the agency believes it exercised authority given by Congress to promote cooperation with immigration authorities. “We will continue to fight to carry out the Department’s commitment to the rule of law, protecting public safety, and keeping criminal aliens off the streets to further perpetrate crimes,” O’Malley said.

Trump made tougher immigration enforcement a centerpiece of his campaign and presidency, along with a pledge to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexican border. All three judges on the Seventh Circuit panel were nominated by Republican presidents.

Police agencies in so-called sanctuary jurisdictions, like Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, have generally barred their officers from routinely checking individuals’ immigration status, and from keeping anyone locked up longer than otherwise warranted at the request of immigration agents.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said on Thursday the city will stand its ground when it comes to immigrants. “We’re not going to allow the Trump Justice Department to bully our values,” he said.

The grants at issue under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, or Byrne JAG program, typically are used to help police improve crime-fighting techniques, buy new equipment and assist victims of crime.

After a Chicago judge issued the nationwide injunction last September, the Justice Department said in a court filing it would be forced to delay grants to law enforcement across the country regardless of sanctuary status while the litigation proceeds.

Edward Siskel, Chicago’s corporation counsel, said on Thursday the city would continue to fight for the federal government to release withheld grant funds.

Would your relationship stand up to the scrutiny of the American government? Take the test.

Marrying an American citizen is considered a shortcut to getting a green card, but it’s not a guarantee.

Every marriage is tested at times, some more literally than others.

The marriages of immigrants to American citizens must stand up to the scrutiny of the United States government, which is always on the lookout for people gaming the system for a green card.

When did you meet? Does your spouse have a tattoo? What movies did you watch when you started dating? (One tip: Don’t say “Green Card.”) Couples must prove that their relationships are real by providing proof they live together or photographs of their time together.

Still, officials and immigration lawyers caution that answering all of the questions correctly doesn’t necessarily result in a green card. And lately, the bar has been a lot higher for immigrants in the country illegally.

Here is a sampling of questions gathered from immigration lawyers that you can test with your partner. (In the real world, officers can separate applicants to make sure they’re not gaming the system.) The questions will get more difficult as we go on.

  • How did you meet?
  • How soon after you met did you start dating?
  • When did you meet each other’s families?
  • How did you decide on getting married?
  • Where did you buy the ring?
  • What was the wedding like and who attended?
  • What did you do afterward?
  • Where did you eat?

The goal is to tell the immigration officer your love story.

In approaching the interviews, immigration officers assume the relationship is a fraud. The green card process is long and drawn out, and the burden of proof is on the couple. Anyone caught lying could face prison time and a fine of up to $250,000. The immigrant could also be barred from getting a marriage-based green card ever again.

“We have seen more scrutiny and more questions about marriage lately,” said Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch, an immigration lawyer in Austin.

Depending on the interview, an immigration officer might also ask more difficult questions:

  • Draw me a diagram of your bedroom.
  • How do you enter your home?
  • What subway does your spouse take?
  • What did you do last night?
  • What did you do for Christmas?
  • What gift did you give your spouse?
  • When was the last time your spouse saw the mother-in-law?
  • Where did you first meet your spouse’s brothers and sisters?
  • Does your spouse have any tattoos or hospitalizations?

The officer could also do a number of other things:

  • Visit your home or park outside to see if you both actually live there.
  • Talk to your neighbors.
  • Dive into public records.

If the immigration officer is still not convinced once the process is complete, the applicant could receive a notice of intent to deny. The applicant has a chance to respond and, if the response is denied, file a new petition or appeal, which can be expensive. In some cases, applicants are referred to immigration court. Red flags that immigration officials look for are disparities in age, religious and linguistic differences, and if either person has already been through the immigration process with someone else.

One tip from an immigration lawyer: Have an attorney present during the interview, and make eye contact, which in some cultures is not the norm. An officer could “judge this person through the lens of American culture, even though that person could be newly in the U.S.,” said Michael R. Jarecki, an immigration lawyer in Chicago.

Let us know how you did in the comments. Or if you’ve been through the process in real life, share your experiences. And here are more questions.



By Shreeya Sinha and Sean Plambeck


The Erie County Department of Social Services is pleased to announce the 2018 Erie County Summer Youth Program (SYEP). The program operates from July 9, 2018 through August 31, 2018. You are invited to participate!

If your family receives Temporary Assistance (Family Assistance/Safety Net), Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) benefits; or if the child receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your child is income-qualified for the program. Applicants who do not receive the aforementioned benefits must verify that their household income is less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

Erie County encourages the participation of children in foster care or juvenile justice systems, homeless and runaway youth, and youth with disabilities. Applicants must be between the ages of 14 and 20 years old on May 17, 2018. Youth accepted into the program participate 20 hours per week and earn minimum wage ($10.40 per hour). 

The following is a list of documents that are required to determine program eligibility; applications are considered complete when all required documents are received:

§  TANF Youth Service Application

§  Pre-Employment Interest Questionnaire

§  Signed Consent for Release of Information Form

§  Working Papers are required for all youth ages 14-17, and must be submitted with the application.

§  Working paper applications can be obtained at school and must be submitted through the school Guidance Counselor.

Please complete all of the required forms and submit the entire packet to:

Erie County Social Services, Comprehensive Employment Division, 290 Main Street – 10th Floor, Buffalo, NY 14202.     If you have any questions or need assistance in completing the forms, please call (716) 858-4584.   
The deadline for submitting an application is Friday, May 25, 2018.

Image result for Buffalo Employment and Training Center

Buffalo Employment and Training Center

77 Goodell St., Buffalo, NY 14203 

716-856-5627 / 716-856-5670– Fax  

Orientation Times: Monday – Thursday, 10 am or 2 pm.

Our job announcements, news and other info are also available on Facebook, LinkedIn, 

Twitter @BETC updates and Instagram @BETC716

Mayor: Byron W. Brown   County Executive: Mark C. Poloncarz  Exec. Director, BETC:  Demone Smith


Jody Starr
Career Advisor-Replacement/Retention Specialist
(Adult, Dislocated Worker, Youth)
Buffalo Employment and Training Center
77 Goodell Street

Buffalo New York 14203






NFTA Metro Police officers are asking for help finding a missing teenager.

Police say 14-year-old Beonica Henley was last seen Wednesday evening at a friend’s home in Buffalo.

According to officers, the Buffalo teenager may have been at a Metro Rail location over the past 24 hours. Transit Police are working collaboratively with the Buffalo Police Department.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Transit Police at 855-6405.

Annual wine tasting raises thousands for the fight against Parkinson’s disease

Buffalo, NY, 18 April 2018 – The Parkinson’s Foundation Western New York proudly presents its 14th annual wine tasting this year. “A Night of Hope for Parkinson’s” will be held on Friday, May 4th, at the Millennium Hotel on Walden Avenue in Cheektowaga. Festivities begin at 6:30 PM, and attendees will enjoy fine foods, wonderful wines, craft beer and locally distilled spirits. Tickets are $50 each in advance and $60 the day of the event. Couples can treat themselves to a pair of tickets and an overnight stay at the hotel for a mere $199. Tickets are available by calling 716 449-3795 or by visiting

This event has grown to become the second most important fundraiser of the year for the Foundation’s local chapter. The money raised is used to fund support groups, educational efforts and therapeutic programming that improve the quality of life for the tens of thousands in our region who are affected by Parkinson’s disease. Research shows that the rate of diagnosis with Parkinson’s is rising at a stunning rate, creating a growing population in need of these services. “A Night of Hope for Parkinson’s” also stands as a celebration for the extensive efforts the chapter puts forth in April, National Parkinson’s Awareness Month.

“The generosity of our local community has allowed us to expand our programming into areas, like the Southern Tier, that have been underserved,” says Chris Jamele, executive director of the Parkinson’s Foundation Western New York. “Our network of support groups has reached eleven locations, and our other programs are expanding as well.” Highly popular and successful therapeutic programs, like boxing, dance and yoga, are also fostered by this event.

The importance of the Foundation’s work is reflected in the growing popularity of the event. Nearly four hundred people attended last year’s wine tasting, raising approximately $40,000. “It is everyone’s hope that we can match and even surpass what we achieved last year,” said Vicky Glamuzina, chapter president and organizer of the event.

There is a chance for everyone to go home a winner. Attendees can bid on a wide array of incredible silent and gift auction items. The highly anticipated wine pull and a 50/50 raffle will also be a part of the celebration. Donations for the auctions are still being accepted. Donors are asked to call 716 449-3795 to make arrangements.

Desde el Senado informaron que las nuevas medidas se anunciarán tras las fiestas de mayo

Por: EFE

Moscú – La presidenta del Senado ruso, Valentina Matviyenko, advirtió que Rusia adoptará sanciones “dolorosas” contra los países occidentales y, en especial, contra Estados Unidos.

“No quiero que nadie se haga ilusiones: la respuesta de Rusia a las sanciones, las llamadas contrasanciones, serán obligatoriamente específicas, dolorosas y sensibles para aquellos países que adoptaron sanciones contra Rusia”, dijo Matviyenko a medios locales.

Matviyenko recordó que las sanciones son “un arma de doble filo” y que los países que secundaron a Washington deben entender que cuando ponen en marcha “ese mecanismo destructor de la cooperación internacional”, “especialmente contra países como Rusia, habrá graves consecuencias”.

Adelantó que, aunque habitualmente Moscú respondió a Estados Unidos casi de inmediato, las nuevas sanciones rusas se anunciarán tras las fiestas de mayo y antes de que terminen las sesiones primaverales en julio.

“Lo importante ahora es la calidad. No hay que precipitarse”, explicó.

A su vez, precisó que las sanciones serán analizadas con el máximo cuidado por el gobierno, expertos, empresarios, rectores universitarios, politólogos, diputados y senadores, y aseguró que en ningún caso dañarán a la economía nacional ni a los ciudadanos rusos.

La semana pasada un grupo de diputados rusos elaboró un proyecto de ley que contempla un amplio abanico de medidas restrictivas que incluye la prohibición o restricción de las importaciones de productos agrícolas, materia prima o alimentos de EE.UU. y de otros países que respaldan las medidas estadounidenses contra Rusia.

Además se propone cesar o suspender la cooperación internacional de Rusia con EE.UU. y con las entidades que se encuentren bajo su jurisdicción en el ámbito de la energía nuclear, la industria aeronáutica y la construcción de motores para cohetes.

Por su parte, el presidente de la Duma o cámara de diputados, Viacheslav Volodin, aseguró que medidas propuestas por los diputados como limitar el suministro de motores para cohetes aún deben recibir el visto bueno del presidente, Vladímir Putin.

En cuanto a las más de mil fármacos importados de EE.UU., precisó que en el caso de 90 de ellos, no hay análogos, por lo que no se verían afectados por hipotéticas sanciones.

De aprobarse la iniciativa, el gobierno ruso quedará facultado para prohibir o restringir la entrada en el territorio nacional de cualquier mercancía procedente de EE.UU. u otro país que apoye las medidas estadounidenses contra Rusia.


The Buffalo Employment and Training Center (BETC) will be holding its Spring Career Fair at its headquarters, 77 Goodell Street, Buffalo, NY 14203, on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2017, 10:00am to 1:00pm.

Employers are looking to hire immediately for a variety of positions ranging from entry level to managerial; blue collar and white collar.

For the first time in years, the unemployment rate is on the decline, and companies are hiring at a rapid pace. The BETC has aligned themselves with the companies looking to hire from the community. If you are looking for work or want to change careers, please attend the Spring Career Fair. Please dress appropriately, have a resume ready, and be well groomed to take advantage of this opportunity.

If you need a resume, interviewing skills, dress for success instruction or free business wear, Job Preparation activities will be held before the Spring Career Fair from April 30th and May 1st. You can obtain free membership to the BETC by attending any orientation. For more information, please do hesitate to contact the BETC at 856-JOBS.

The BETC is the region’s leading employment and training resource designed to prepare people for employment. It is a partnership between the City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. Funded under the Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Grant (WIOA). An equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. The BETC is a proud partner of the American Job Center Network

    El nombre del nuevo mandatario de Cuba sólo se conocerá en la sesión del jueves, anuncian medios oficiales

    Por: EFE

    La Asamblea Nacional de Cuba inició este miércoles la sesión constitutiva de una nueva legislatura, de donde saldrá elegido el sucesor de Raúl Castro en la presidencia de Cuba, nombre que se divulgará el jueves.

    Castro y el vicepresidente primero Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez entraron juntos a la sesión en el salón del Palacio de las Convenciones de La Habana con una cerrada ovación de los 605 diputados. Díaz-Canel, de 57 años, es el virtual sustituto de Castro en la presidencia del Consejo de Estado.

    La reunión, transmitida por la señal oficial de TV, se inició con la acreditación y el juramento de los diputados elegidos por la población en los comicios de marzo. Ellos luego elegirán a su mesa directiva. El presidente del Parlamento saliente es Esteban Lazo, de 74 años, quien ocupó el cargo desde 2013. No se descarta que pueda ser reelecto.

    Posteriormente, según el programa difundido por los medios oficiales, una comisión de candidatura presentará a los diputados la nómina para los 31 miembros del Consejo de Estado, incluidos el presidente, vicepresidente primero, cinco vicepresidentes, y otros miembros. La votación de la Asamblea será este mismo miércoles.

    No obstante, el nombre del presidente del Consejo de Estado, sucesor de Raúl Castro, sólo se conocerá en la sesión del jueves, anunciaron los medios oficiales.


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