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United Way of Greater Niagara Seeks to Raise $1.3 Million

United Way of Greater Niagara Seeks to Raise $1.3 Million

Surrounded by a number of individuals who know the benefits of United Way support, officials from United Way of Greater Niagara today announced its fundraising goal for the annual Community Care Campaign. This year, United Way has its sights set on raising $1,310,000 during its ten-week campaign.

The campaign goal was unveiled at the Lockport facility of Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara, the largest not-for-profit organization in Niagara County providing programs and services for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. Opportunities Unlimited is one of more than 20 agencies across the county that receive funding support from United Way of Greater Niagara. Carol Houwaart-Diez, president of United Way of Greater Niagara, made the announcement alongside Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour, who will once again serve as the honorary chairman of the Community Care Campaign.

Niagara University Unveils Institute for Civic Engagement

Niagara University Unveils Institute for Civic Engagement

The grand opening and blessing of Niagara University’s new Institute for Civic Engagement was held on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011.

An initiative developed through the President’s Office, the institute’s purpose is to reinforce the university’s commitment to the region by strengthening existing community partnerships and forming new town-gown relationships. It will immediately serve as the university’s primary point of contact for community members and organizations.

“This began over 10 years ago when Father (Joseph) Levesque returned to campus as president and said that he wanted to help the community, specifically the city of Niagara Falls,” said Dr. David Taylor, a longtime faculty leader who will serve as director of the institute. “We were looking for something to rally around and to provide some resources, and this is it.”

Law Enforcement to Serve Patrons Not Tickets at Niagara Falls Applebee’s

Law Enforcement to Serve Patrons Not Tickets at Niagara Falls Applebee’s

Local law enforcement officials will be on-hand at the Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar restaurant in Niagara Falls, NY from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.on Thursday, September 29, but they won’t be enforcing laws or serving up tickets.  Instead, the officers will be serving Applebee’s customers all to raise funds for Special Olympics athletes in New York State. More than 40 Applebee’s locations across the state will participate in Law and Orders night.

Officers will join forces with employees of the Niagara Falls Applebee’s located at 1608 Military Road, and assist servers and hosts by performing their various tasks. In return, Applebee’s customers will have the option to tip the officers, directly benefitting the more than 51,000 Special Olympics athletes in New York State.

Gov. Vetoes War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission

BUFFALO, NY - Following in the footsteps of Governor Paterson, Governor Cuomo has rejected an idea pitched by local tourism types, hoping to take full advantage of an upcoming anniversary.

A bill sponsored by NYS Senator George Maziarz (R-Wilson) to set a up a state commission to foster and coordinate events to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812 (significant portions of which were waged on the Niagara Frontier) has suffered its third veto in as many years.

In his veto message the Governor noted:

"Although cultural and historical tourism is an important industry, the
Commission's activities are estimated to cost the State over $350,000

Power Authority Decides Against Off-shore Wind Turbines

Power Authority Decides Against Off-shore Wind Turbines

Steve Orr, Democrat and Chronicle

The New York Power Authority today formally ended its push for off-shore wind turbines in Lake Ontario or Lake Erie.

   At a meeting at the authority's Westchester County office, NYPA's trustees voted unanimously to shelve the idea. "This was not an easy decision to make," trustee John Dyson said.

   Cancellation of the so-called Great Lakes Offshore Wind project was widely expected. Decision-making on the project was months behind schedule, and critics were insisting it would not make financial sense.

   NYPA staff agreed. "We’ve decided we are recommending it’s not fiscally prudent at this time to proceed," Jill Anderson, a renewable-energy executive for the authority, told trustees. The Democrat and Chronicle monitored the meeting on a live video feed.

Wallenda One Step Closer to High Wire Walk Over the Falls

NIAGARA FALLS - High wire artist Nick Wallenda is one step closer to making his daredevil trek across Niagara Falls.

State Senator George Maziarz tells 2 On Your Side that  Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Friday that had been passed overwhelmingly by state legislators, which essentially gives special permission for a one-time lifting of a state law banning stunts at Niagara Falls State Park.

But the deal is not sealed quite yet. Canadian officials have yet to sign off on the event. If Wallenda does not get permission from the Canadians to walk across the border, some have suggested the daredevil may simply walk across the American side of the Falls.

After meeting with state and local officials in Niagara Falls, New York for the better part of two hours last month, Nik Wallenda and his team had pretty much been given the green light -on this side of the border--for his plan to traverse the Horseshoe Falls on a two inch tight rope next year.

Opponents Speak Out Against Bringing "Fracking Fluid" to Niagara Falls

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- It's not often that people pack into the Water Board hearings in Niagara Falls, but concerned residents say history has taught them an important lesson.

"We don't want this to be another Love Canal," Rita Yelda with the group WNY Drilling Defense said.

Yelda refers to early plans by the board to treat so-called "fracking fluid" at the wastewater treatment plant on Buffalo Avenue in the Falls.

Water Board Executive Director Paul Drof said safety is the top priority, and the fluid would only be treated at the plant if it can be proven safe and approved by the state.

"Right now, the Niagara Falls Water Board is not either pro or con against the acceptance of fracking waste," Drof said. "That's a decision of New York State to decide as far as what their policy is."