Friday, July 23, 2010

New York State to Kill thousands of Geese

The state plans to eliminate 170,000 Canadian geese.

That means two-thirds of the current population could be exterminated.

The aggressive plan is a reaction to the crash of US Airways Flight 1549 last year.

Earlier this month, 400 geese in Prospect Park were euthanized and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been removing the birds from several locations near JFK and LaGuardia Airports.

State Senator Eric Adams lead a vigil for the departed geese last Saturday. Adams said there are more humane ways to deal with the birds. Please join on Facebook and try to stop this?

Monday, July 12, 2010

I dream a dream

I dream a dream of when the Lake is once again free of oil slicks and raging internal combustion engines. I dream of when the smelly churning engines that fowl the waters and create wakes that cripple sail boats and swimmers and those who canoe like the natives who once fished these waters are no longer present. I hope I live to see the day when only small angler's boats with 10 horse engines ply these waters and sail boats are king again of this magnificent Lake I grew up on and love so dear. It's been a dream of mine since I was a small child in Wahmeda that the roar would be silenced and only the sound of the wind would be heard on the water. May I live long enough to see it come to pass.

When Lake Drive was Dirt.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Beata (c. 1918)

Beata (c. 1918)

How strange to me who know and love her so
That words fall dead and purposeless, to count
The careless many that have passed her by
Unseeing, or at best have only marked
The beauty of that smiling face she turns
To welcome all the world. I was a child
When first I came to know her, and my love
Grew with my growth as I could understand
More and more clearly those ideals she holds
Before her children. That instinctive love
A child gives to its mother, first I gave.
She was so very fair! The silent groves,
God’s temples truly, and the murmuring lake,
These were my playmates, and a wide sweet peace
Pervaded everything, so unaware
Even my childish nature gained in strength
And worshiped where it could not understand.

It was the summer I was eight years old —
And to myself I scarcely seemed all child —
When first I gained my larger heritage.
At early morning as I stood alone
Saying farewell to the calm nature world
That had been mine a golden summer long.
A soft September silence held the hills
Dreaming of summer, and as still I gazed,
Suddenly from my wistful thoughts was born
A hope and a desire, all imperfect yet
And unexpressed, only I dimly longed
To be more good, more worthy to be hers.

How often since have I gone back to her
Forgetting all that I had tried to do
And failed in trying, only gaining strength
To try again! How often have I crept
Past the white columns of the silent Hall
That is her soul, and laid a swift caress
With reverant hands on each familiar thing,
Praying with silent lips! But only God
Can know how often those hidden seeds
Planted in silence, blossomed silently
Into self sacrifice.

Yes, she is fair;
The columns of the Hall gleam through the trees;
Music is everywhere, nor hushed from dawn
That wakes the birds, until the vesper chimes
Pour peace and benediction over all.
Yet to her children who have learned her speech
There is a beauty richer far than this,
Most beautiful because most unexpressed
Except in lives inspired by its touch.

— Ethelwyn Dithridge Hotaling

From Dan Hermann written by his Grandmother

My Sanctuary

My Sanctuary (c. 1908)

Far in a leaf-loved, summer-circled place
That nature built for worshipers apart,
Where little lights the timid shadows chase
And sudden bird-calls through the silence start,
My sanctuary is; life’s weary mart
Grows dim and distant dreaming on thy face,
Far in a leaf-loved, summer-circled place,
That nature built for worshipers apart.

Thou dwellest there in gentleness and grace,
Who through all change in spirit changeless art;
And I, turned neophite a little space,
Yield reverantly the homage of my heart,
Far in a leaf-loved, summer-circled place
That nature built for worshipers apart.

By Ethelwyn Dithridge Hotaling

From my friend Dan Hermann whose grandmother wrote these lines in 1908

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Chautauqua's 2010 Season begins tomorrow

Newly Restored Kellogg Hall is now a Gallery

Kellogg Hall is now called the Fowler-Kellogg Art Center

Midsummer Solstice

I lie beneath the dome of noon,
The lapis lazuli of June
And fulcrum of eternal spring.
There's time, there's time, for everything.

The poplars lean against the air
To comb the wind's unruly hair
And all the world is blossoming.
There's time, there's time, for everything.

The hawk moth in the trumpet vine,
And I am yours, and you are mine,
The measured sweep of heron's wing.
There's time, there's time, for everything.

In humming fields, the longest day,
Before the grasses turn to hay,
With darning needles hovering,
There's time, there's time, for everything.


From my Friend Dan Hermann written by his mother Rachel E. Hermann a life long Chautauquan.
copyright 1965, all rights reserved

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Theft'? Loss of cheap power at issue!!!!!!

Low-cost electricity that benefits WNY may shift to statewide program for businesses
By David Robinson

A chunk of cheap electricity that now helps hold down the monthly power bills of Western New Yorkers and other upstate residents could be snatched away and used as the cornerstone of a plan to expand a program that provides inexpensive electricity to businesses statewide.

Supporters say the proposed shift would make better use of a valuable resource that currently saves upstate residents just a few dollars a month, when it could be turned into a powerful tool to create jobs.

But critics say the proposal is another power grab by downstate interests that will prevent businesses from Buffalo Niagara to Albany from reaping all of the benefits from one of upstate's most valuable economic resources.

"To me, it's really just a theft of a regional asset," said Assemblyman William L. Parment, D-North Harmony.

At issue is the future of the state's Power for Jobs program that provides low-cost electricity to 440 businesses and nonprofit groups across the state.

While four competing proposals — one from Gov. David A. Paterson and three from state legislators — are being discussed, the existing program is set to expire May 15.

Each of the proposals would expand the availability of low-cost power to businesses by taking the 455 megawatts of low-cost hydropower that now is used to reduce upstate utility bills by an average of $2 to $4 a month and shifting that electricity to businesses.

That move would more than double the amount of reduced-cost power available to businesses under a program that currently supports 440 companies that provide nearly 240,000 jobs statewide. A total of 72 companies with nearly 14,400 employees in Erie and Niagara counties receive more than 36 megawatts of low-cost power through the program, which typically costs 5 percent to 20 percent less than market rates.

Supporters of the shift contend that using the power to encourage business growth will provide a much greater economic boost to the state by creating or retaining jobs, rather than providing upstate consumers with a small savings on their electric bills.

Critics, however, say the reallocation will shift electricity that currently benefits only upstate consumers and put it into an economic-development program that operates statewide.

One of the bills, from State Sen. George D. Maziarz, R-Newfane, would allow companies statewide to participate in the expanded program, but upstate recipients would reap far greater cost savings than firms downstate.

"I think upstate has to be given preference," said Maziarz, the chairman of the Senate's Energy Committee.

Parment, for instance, said he would support a plan that moved the residential electricity into the economic-development program if it limited its use to businesses located within the areas served by National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas and Rochester Gas & Electric — the only utilities that now benefit from the low-cost "rural and domestic" power.

But Andrew J. Rudnick, president of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, said he doubts such an approach would win approval in the State Legislature.

That puts upstate business interests in a sticky position. On the one hand, they can go along with an enlarged statewide Power for Jobs program that will benefit more businesses upstate and also includes new guidelines that would help prevent past abuses, which in the past has seen cheap electricity flow to downstate nonprofits, including a Boys & Girls Club in the Bronx.

Or they can fight an uphill battle politically to keep the power exclusively upstate, and risk a stalemate that could jeopardize the entire Power for Jobs program, said Rudnick, whose group has long advocated converting the residential power into an economic-development tool.

Paterson administration officials defended taking what is now a benefit for upstate residential customers and spreading it around to industrial and commercial users across the state. They said upstate manufacturers will be heavy beneficiaries of the additional power allotment.

"It's a statewide asset. Why should only one area be able to take advantage of that asset?" said Thomas Congdon, Paterson's deputy secretary for energy.

Each of the proposals would try to offset the impact of the shift in varying ways. The Paterson proposal would offset the costs entirely for one year by providing a $70 million subsidy funded by the Power Authority that then would phase out in equal increments over the following five years. The Paterson proposal also would provide a $5 monthly credit to low-income customers and create a $10 million program to fund energy-efficiency improvements by consumers, a 38 percent increase from current funding levels.

Paterson vowed Wednesday that he will not settle for anything less than a long-term extension of the program after five years of stopgap, one-year extensions that the governor and business leaders have said makes long-term planning difficult.

Richard M. Kessel, the Power Authority's president and chief executive officer, said the Paterson plan would remove a legislative roadblock that has prevented new companies from enrolling in the program in recent years. He also noted that the Power Authority must walk a fine line as it reviews the qualifications of existing recipients at a time when jobs are scarce and the economy is sputtering.

Meanwhile, Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y, wrote a letter to Kessel, urging him to craft a longer-term energy agreement with Steuben Foods of Elma.

The food company is planning a major expansion, but the Power Authority only offered Steuben a seven-year contract for low-cost hydropower — even though the agency also offers 10- and 15-year contracts. A longer contract would help the company with its expansion plans, Schumer said.

Tom Precious of The News Albany Bureau and News Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Zremski contributed to this report.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Speeding drivers

Not only are the (speeding) tolerances much lower, but the frequency of a warning instead of a ticket is way down. Most people, if they're stopped now, are getting a ticket even if it's only a minor violation of a few miles per hour." James Baxter, president of the National Motorists Association, suggesting that the recession may be leading police departments to stop allowing a 5 to 10-mph “cushion” in order to raise more revenue. (USA Today)

This suits me just fine the speeding summer people and people visiting Chautauqua Institution during the season for the weekend have almost killed me going to the mail box. The speed limit here is 45 and they are doing 70mph on county road 33 also known as the Panama-Stedman road. I really worry about the many small children living on our road here in Stedman. The speeding last summer was just terrible.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Washington Portrait Goes for $1 Million in Rochester

By Sean Dobbin, Democrat and Chronicle

GENESEO - Throughout his childhood, the portrait of George Washington was just another of Oliver Chanler's parents' paintings.

On Saturday, it had the attention of art collectors and history buffs all over the world, and with more than 400 people in attendance at Cottone Auctions in Geneseo, the painting sold for more than $1 million.

The buyer, a private dealer from York County, Pennsylvania, made the winning bid of $925,000 after a lively auction that lasted about a minute and a half. A buyer's fee of 15 percent pushed the final total for the portrait, which was painted by famed presidential portraitist Gilbert Stuart about 200 years ago, to more than $1.06 million.

"I thought it was going to go for more from what I've been reading, but it's fine," said Chanler, a Geneseo resident who discovered the value of the painting about 10 years ago.

Bidding opened at $250,000 and quickly escalated to more than $700,000, when the action slowed down. Grant Holcomb, director of the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, was one of the last remaining participants, but bowed out when bidding reached about $750,000.

Jeff Bridgman, the owner of Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques in York County, Pennsylvania, was the winning bidder.

Bridgman, who deals in antique American flags and American folk art, said that he knew the painting would sell for much more than the estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. While Stuart reportedly painted more than 100 portraits of Washington, they aren't available on the open market very often.

"There hasn't been one sold for five years," said Bridgman. "I'm very pleased."

While the final bid often exceeds the estimate, items don't always sell for more than expected. For example, a Tiffany floor lamp - which finished with the second-highest final bid of the nearly 300 items auctioned on Saturday - sold for $575,000, after being estimated at $500,000 to $800,000.

But based on art market trends and the historical significance of the painting, officials at Cottone Auctions thought the painting would be sold for between $400,000 and $600,000, said Matt Cottone, co-owner of the auction house.

The winning bid ended up being much more, breaking a record for Cottone Auctions. Previously, the most expensive item sold at the auction house was a James A. McNeill Whistler painting that was sold in July 2006 and had a final bid of $910,000.

"High-end pieces are bringing record prices right now," said Cottone.

Chanler discovered the portrait's worth when appraisers came to value his mother's estate 10 years ago. He can only definitively trace his family's ownership of the painting to his great-grandfather John Winthrop Chanler, who served in the House of Representatives from 1863 to 1869.

However, the portrait could conceivably date all the way back to his great-great-great-great-grandfather John Jacob Astor, who also at one time had his portrait painted by Stuart.

Collectors at the auction said that the provenance created additional interest in the portrait.

Rochester D&C

Monday, February 1, 2010

This is wrong on so many levels!

Tensions erupt, resident arrested at Lackawanna Council meeting
By Harold McNeil

Long-simmering tensions between Lackawanna lawmakers and 1st Ward residents boiled over Tuesday night, triggering the arrest of one resident who refused a police order to leave the Council Chambers.

Shanon Richardson, of Gates Avenue, was physically removed by police officers from the Council meeting and jailed — a move that angered the 1st Ward’s largely black residents who have long charged that lawmakers ignore their community’s issues.

Residents became irate when Council President Charles Jaworski informed them that, individually, they could address the Council for only 3 minutes instead of 5, and only on issues that were on the Council agenda for that meeting. Both changes had been adopted unanimously at the Council’s Jan. 4 meeting. Richardson was among those who complained about the changes.

“You just cannot tell us . . . that you don’t want to hear what we’re concerned about, because our taxes pay your salary and we put you in a place to make sure that our voice and concerns and every one of our issues are dealt with,” Richardson said.

As Richardson continued with his grievances, he wound up angering Jaworski by accusing lawmakers of facilitating crime in the 1st Ward through neglect.

“You guys are manufacturing crime in the 1st Ward to where you guys have all the jobs. It’s all the same names on the School Board,” Richardson said.

Richardson’s comments were drowned out by other residents shouting in support and Jaworski ordering police to remove him from the Council Chambers. When Richardson refused — protesting that his 3 minutes were not up — he was handcuffed and removed.

That act, in turn, sparked an uproar among residents — some protesting bitterly before leaving the chambers.

Jaworski, meanwhile, called for more police officers as a precaution before adjourning the meeting.

As the 100 people filed out of the meeting, many were surprised to see officers — accompanied by police dogs — watching them closely as they left.

Several residents remained in City Hall, and more then 50 signed a petition protesting Richardson’s arrest.

Richardson’s mother, Sharon Thompson of Steelawanna Avenue, said others remained after the meeting to help raise the $1,600 bail required for Richardson’s release.

Lackawanna police declined Tuesday to confirm the charges against Richardson, but his mother said he was charged with disorderly conduct, obstructing governmental administration, trespassing and resisting arrest.


Councilmembers Say Resident Took Too Much Time To Speak

There was not an empty seat inside Lackawanna City Council Chambers. Residents were there to be heard and voice displeasure about the arrest of a resident who spoke too long at the last meeting.

Shanon Richardson ended up in the slammer because Lackawanna City Council members say he spoke too long when he attempted to criticize them a couple of weeks ago.

This year, the Council approved a new rule limiting public comments to three minutes and the public can speak only about items on the agenda.
This year, the Council approved a new rule limiting public comments to three minutes and the public can speak only about items on the agenda.

Council President Chuck Jaworski says he will bend the rule. "I personally, as Council President for the last two years do not have a timer. If the people are speaking and talking about the agenda items, really there is no time limit."

Residents were able to speak longer than three minutes and about various topics at Monday night's meeting.

John Ingram, a resident of Lackawanna told the Council, "the citizens are not here to fight you, we want to work with you, but if you're looking for a fight, or trying to start a fight, we will fight."

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Feast of the Three Kings

Feast of the Three Kings ceremony held
Celebrates day when three kings visited baby Jesus

Updated: Wednesday, 06 Jan 2010, 10:26 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 06 Jan 2010, 10:26 PM EST
Vic Baker
Posted by: Eli George

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - It is the "Feast of the Three Kings," or the Epiphany: the day when Christians believe the three kings arrived to visit the baby Jesus.

Buffalo Police officer David Rodriguez led the walk of the three kings in front of his mother's West Ferry Street home. It included a live camel. Officer Rodriguez organized the ceremony to honor his mother Carmen for her dedication to keeping a nativity outside her home for many years.