Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners

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Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “120 year-old documents threaten development on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Friday, February 17, 2006

Buffalo, New York —Savarino Construction Services Corp. has proposed a $7 million hotel project at the Forest and Elmwood Avenue intersection, according to The Buffalo News. The proposal calls for a 5-story, 45,000 square-foot 80-room hotel with underground parking for at least 50 vehicles, and 4,500 square-feet of retail space on the lower level.

Hans Mobius, the owner of the five properties to be purchased in the plan (1109 to 1121 Elmwood), reportedly signed a contract with Savarino to assemble the development.

“We saw a huge opportunity to bring something to the Elmwood Village that will make sense and bring a service that’s currently not available,” said Eva Hassett, vice president of Savarino. “Elmwood is such a wonderful place to eat, shop, walk and spend time. We believe this project will add to that vibrant environment.”

Some business owners in the area see it differently. Wikinews interviewed 2 of the 4 owners whose business’s would be demolished if the development goes through.

Nancy Pollina, of Don Apparel at 1119 Elmwood, who found out about the development only yesterday, said she is “utterly” against the proposal. Her apparel shop has stood at the same location for nearly 14 years. She has volunteered in the community, and helped create several gardens around bus shelters in the city, and served on Forever Elmwood Board for six years as head of Beautification. Patty Morris co-owns Don Apparel with Pollina.

“To say this is a good looking project, I want to say the emperor has no clothes. This [project] does not take into consideration the needs of the college students. I have been told by college students, these shops here, are the reason they leave the campus,” said Mrs. Pollina.

Buffalo State College is 500-feet from the intersection.

Michael Faust, the owner of Mondo Video said, “Well, I do not really want to get kicked out of here. The landlord was very open, and the deal he made with me when I moved in here was ‘the rent is cheap and I [the landlord] will not fix anything and that will not change.'” Faust said he first learned of the development plan, “about 48 hours ago. I found out on Tuesday when the Buffalo News called and asked for my opinion on this.” Faust has not said if he will make plans to relocate. “We have to see if this [house] is going to get knocked down first,” said Faust.

An “informational” meeting, where citizens can voice opinions and learn about the proposal, will be held on Tuesday February 21, 2006 at 5:00pm (eastern), at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center Gallery at Buffalo State College, Rockwell Hall.

Executive director of Forever Elmwood Corporation, Justin P. Azzarella would not comment on whether or not the organization supports the development, saying, “you will just have to come to the meeting.”

Forever Elmwood Corp. is designed to preserve and protect the unique and historic nature of Elmwood Avenue and its surrounding neighborhoods and encourage neighborhood commercial revitalization. The organization was founded in 1994.

Nearly two years ago, the Forever Elmwood Corp. assisted in the blocking of the demolition of the Edward Atwater house at 1089 Elmwood next to Pano’s Restaurant which is at 1081 Elmwood. Owner Pano Georgiadis wanted to expand his restaurant onto the property where the house now stands, but the Common Council denied his permit to demolish saying the house is a historical landmark and needs to be protected. Georgiadis, who has a bleeding ulcer, said that all the court cases landed him in the hospital. “I got a bleeding ulcer, and since then, I don’t care about this house anymore, or this city. I just go to work every day. I think [preservationists] are parasites,” said Georgiadis.

Georgiadis will not be attending Tuesday’s meeting saying, “I will be out of town.”

In 1995 Hans Mobius proposed a plan to develop a Walgreens, that was to be placed in the same location, but residents and business owners shot down the proposal. Walgreens eventually withdrew its request for a variance after pressure from the community.

Senior security official: “Hardly any chance” to ban German Church of Scientology

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Responding to a request of the chairman of the German Minister of Interior Conference, the interior affairs chief of the State of Saxony, Mr. Albrecht Buttolo, told the Associated Press (AP) today that he sees hardly any chance to ban the German Church of Scientology. His statement adds to heavy critique by the extremism expert of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Kristina Köhler, as well as speakers of all other Federal Parliament parties, who stated that it would not be a governmental task to ban a group like the Church of Scientology. The Berlin government expert Ulrich Battis added that a religious community like Scientology is almost impossible to ban.

The organization has been under investigation by the German government for over a decade by the German Office for the Protection of the Constitution. A spokesperson of the Office stated recently that a ban of the organization would be “not realistic” at the moment and that there isn’t enough evidence to support freezing its activities.

As German domestic security services prepared for a December 7 meeting, they found that the organization does operate in ways that may be perceived as hostile to the German constitution, but that at present the Church of Scientology has failed to successfully infiltrate German society; membership has stagnated. Investigators will initiate more intense surveillance through the Autumn of 2008 before deciding on whether to take further action.

Counterpressure

A speaker of the Federal Ministry of Interior, senior agency of the Office for Protection of the Constitution, stated that the public request for a ban was organized by some State Ministers of Interior as a “warning shot” for Scientology. The Church of Scientology had been increasing its public activities in 2006 and has opened new 41,000 square foot headquarters in the German capital Berlin in 2007. Also, in November 2007 well-known Scientologist Tom Cruise was awarded the German media prize “Bambi“, for courage in taking on the subject of German Resistance in the Third Reich in his newest movie Valkyrie. Cruise had been under public attack by the Federal Government first and refused permits for filming at historical sites. Later the Government dropped its concerns and decided to allow him to shoot scenes at the requested locations.

Hundreds of thousands rally in Australia against IR legislation

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

People rallied in 300 locations across Australia today to protest the Federal Government’s proposed changes to industrial relations laws, WorkChoices. According to police, around 150,000 people congregated in Melbourne, from where speeches were broadcast throughout the country. In Sydney, thirty thousand gathered in Belmore Park and Martin Place to watch the broadcast before marching to Chifley Square.

Sharan Burrow, President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), said that under the changes many working conditions would be under threat, including “penalty rates, public holidays, overtime pay, control over rostered hours, shift penalties, even 4 weeks annual leave.” The government has claimed, despite various expert assesment to the contrary, and opposition from major Australian religious and charity organisations and some concern from its own backbench, that the IR changes will improve the economy and ultimately benefit workers, and dismissed the protests as having “little effect”.

Nurseries not harmful to children, says new UK study

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A new study by a professor at the University of Oxford has concluded that attending nursery school does not have harmful effects upon “the vast majority” of children under two years old. The research contrasts with the views of other writers in the field, who argue that pre-school children achieve the best results when cared for by their parents full-time.

Kathy Sylva, Professor of Educational Psychology at the university, has based her findings upon data from the Effective Provision of Pre-School Education Project. This has been running since 1996, tracking the development of 3,000 children to discover the effects upon their development of pre-school care and education.

Sylva told The Sunday Times that “[a] lot of parents worry unnecessarily about this issue but my research shows that the vast majority of children are not impaired on any measure by attending nursery under the age of two”, although she admits that there is an increased risk for children from deprived background, and for boys. Those attending better-quality nurseries go on to make better relationships when they start school, she says, and urges parents to check the standards of nurseries for themselves.

Her conclusions come in the wake of a vast expansion in nursery care provision in the United Kingdom in recent years, aimed at getting mothers of young children back to work. One study states that 5% of “middle-class” parents in Britain put their children in full-time nursery care.

According to others such as the child psychologist Oliver James, however, full-time care by parents gives the best results for children. James states that there is evidence that nursery care is “highly stressful and can be harmful”, since levels of the hormone cortisol double after one hour in day care, and raised levels can be detected for some months afterwards. Sylva agrees, though, that some children who attend nursery before they are two are slightly more aggressive at primary school – a finding in line with other research – but says that this aggression disappears by the time the child reaches eleven.

Sylva, a Professorial Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, was awarded the OBE in 2008. She is a former special advisor to the UK House of Commons and the Scottish Parliament.

John Constable painting location mystery solved after 195 years

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The mystery of the location of a viewpoint used by English painter John Constable has been solved, after nearly 200 years. The Stour Valley and Dedham Church was painted in Suffolk, England, between 1814 and 1815, but changes to the landscape meant that the spot he chose was not known, despite the best efforts of historians and art experts.

Now the puzzle has been answered. Martin Atkinson, who works for the National Trust as property manager for East Suffolk, used clues from the painting and looked at old maps to track down the viewpoint. Trees had grown, a hedgerow had been planted and boundaries had moved or disappeared, but Atkinson eventually worked out where Constable had stood. He said, “When I discovered that I had worked out the location where Constable painted this particular masterpiece, I couldn’t believe it. All the pieces of the jigsaw finally fitted together.”

Atkinson used an 1817 map of East Bergholt, where Constable grew up, as a reference point, but found that the view would have changed not long after the painting was completed. “The foreground didn’t fit at all, it was quite unusual as we know Constable painted it in the open air so he would have been standing in the scene. The hedgerow in his work no longer exists and there’s another hedgerow that runs across the scene today which wasn’t there. When you stand on the road on which he would have stood, and use the oak tree as a reference point, you see the same view. It’s great to see where an old master stood – and be inspired by the same view,” he said.

Suffolk, where Constable painted many of his finest paintings, is often called “Constable country”. Most, but not all, of the locations that Constable depicted are known. The picture is now housed in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.

Wikinews interviews Finnish ‘Rock ‘N’ Troll’ band Kivimetsän Druidi

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kivimetsän Druidi? is a Finnish female-fronted band formed in 2002 whose music is a fusion of symphonic, fantasy and folk metal, which the band’s website dubs ‘Rock ‘N’ Troll’.

Brothers Joni and Antti Koskinen formed the band in Kouvola with Joni playing guitar and growling while Antti played keyboard and sings backing vocals. They joined up with a female lead vocalist, lead and bass guitarists and a drummer. The brothers write the songs between them, with Antti doing the main body and Joni writing the lyrics.

Together the band recorded and released three demos and an EP, all released independently, across 2002-6. Across October and November 2007 they gained international attention by supporting well-known Finnish folk metal band Korpiklaani across a large European tour.

On June 6 this year Kivimetsän Druidi? was announced to have been signed to Century Media Records in a global deal. The band have now entered Noice Camp studio in Turku to record their debut, with a planned release date in October. This summer the only performances will be at a handful of festivals while the band works on their new album, but after that is released a major tour will follow to support it. The band say they are “extremely pleased” with the deal.

Wikinews was able to discuss these events and what the future holds for the band with the Koskinen brothers and female vocalist Leeni-Maria Hovila, who also writes the vocal melodies in an exclusive interview, which is published below for the first time.

South Korea: Fire in hospital housing elderly people kills at least 37

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Friday, January 26, 2018

Fire broke out on Friday morning and destroyed the bottom two floors of a six-story hospital in Miryang, South Korea, killing at least 37 people, most of them elderly. More than a hundred injuries were reported, with eighteen people in critical condition. This is the highest death toll from fire in South Korea in almost a decade.

The fire is believed to have started at about 7:30 local time, according to fire chief Choi Man-woo. It originated on the ground floor in the emergency room as per various officials. The hospital has 98 beds and a medical staff of about 35, and specializes in long-term care of elderly patients. It adjoins a nursing home, all of whose 94 residents were evacuated. Staff carried some patients out of the hospital on their backs.

One patient, Jang Yeong-jae, who told his story to JoongAng Ilbo, said he escaped by removing a screen from a window to get to a ladder placed by firefighters. He described people “running around in panic, falling over and screaming as smoke filled the rooms”. The majority of the victims died from smoke inhalation and are believed to be elderly, said the head of the city’s public hospital, Chun Jae-kyung. A doctor, a nurse, and a nursing assistant have died, according to the fire service; it took three hours to put out the fire.

In a press briefing, Seok Gyeong-sik, the director of the hospital, apologized to patients and their families. Son Kyung-chul, its chairman, stated that there were no sprinklers because the facility was small. Sprinklers are being installed in the nursing home, where a new law requires them by June 30.

Last month, 29 people died in a fire in a gym in Jecheon; the owner and the manager were arrested for safety violations. In 2014, a blaze in a nursing home in Jangseong left 21 dead. The President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, responded to the Friday fire by calling an emergency meeting of his staff, and promised that the cause would be found rapidly “to prevent the recurrence of the fire in the future”.

Questions raised about McCain’s choice of Palin, aides insist “thorough vetting” process

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Various questions have been raised about the choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as Senator John McCain’s choice for Republican vice presidential running mate. There have been doubts over how thoroughly McCain had examined Palin’s background before announcing that he had selected her to be his running mate on August 29. McCain’s advisers insist that Palin was “thoroughly vetted,” a process that would have included a review of all financial and legal records as well as a criminal background check.

Palin is the Republican Party’s first female candidate for Vice President. In 1984, Geraldine Ferraro was Walter Mondale’s running mate on the Democratic Party ticket.

Yesterday, Palin and her husband issued a statement saying that their 17-year-old unmarried daughter Bristol is five months pregnant and that she intends to marry the father of the baby. The statement came after media speculation and internet rumours that Palin’s 4-month-old son, Trig, was in fact her grandson, and that the mother is Bristol.

Senator Barack Obama, McCain’s opponent in the 2008 election, was asked to comment on Palin’s family situation:

“Let me be as clear as possible… I think people’s families are off-limits, and people’s children are especially off-limits. This shouldn’t be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Governor Palin’s performance as governor or her potential performance as a vice president,” said Obama.

Obama further told reporters to “back off these kinds of stories” and noted that he was born to an 18-year-old mother himself. Obama became annoyed when asked about a news report that quoted an unnamed senior McCain campaign aide saying that Obama’s name appears in liberal blogs speculating about Trig’s parentage. “I am offended by that statement… There is no evidence at all that any of this involved us.”

“We don’t go after people’s families; we don’t get them involved in the politics. It’s not appropriate, and it’s not relevant,” Obama added. “Our people were not involved in any way in this, and they will not be. And if I ever thought that there was somebody in my campaign that was involved in something like that, they’d be fired.”

The McCain campaign said that Senator McCain was aware of Bristol Palin’s pregnancy before he asked her mother to join him on the ticket. McCain reportedly did not see the pregnancy as a detriment to Governor Palin’s selection as the vice presidential candidate.

McCain told reporters that he was satisfied with his campaign’s vetting process: “The vetting process was completely thorough and I’m grateful for the results.”

Governor Palin has hired a private lawyer in a legislative ethics investigation in Alaska into whether she abused her power in dismissing the state’s public safety commissioner, Walter Monegan. The investigation is checking into whether Palin dismissed Monegan for his reluctance to fire Palin’s former brother-in-law, Mike Wooten.

There is no sign that Palin’s formal nomination this week at the Republican National Convention was in jeopardy. The controversy adds anxiety to Republicans who are worried that Democrats would use the selection of Palin to question McCain’s judgment. Republicans were quick to note that Palin has “more executive experience” in elected office than does Obama and have gone on the offensive.

McCain’s choice of Palin came as a shock to some, after it was expected that McCain would choose Joe Lieberman, Tim Pawlenty, or Tom Ridge for the vice presidential nomination. McCain had reportedly met Palin only twice before her selection, and had his first face-to-face interview with her on August 28. McCain offered Palin the vice presidential spot just moments after their meeting concluded. The two appeared at a campaign rally event the following morning in Dayton, Ohio.

Ukraine passes bill on war-torn eastern regions

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

On Thursday, the Ukrainian Parliament passed a new bill called the “Donbass reintegration law”. It describes the regions — oblasts — of Donetsk and Luhansk as being “temporarily occupied” by Russia and declares Russia to be the “aggressor”.

The bill calls for a return of the regions to Ukrainian control by military force if necessary. There is no mention of the February 2015 Minsk agreement which was signed by the Ukrainian government and rebel groups, and brokered by France and Germany.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stated on Twitter, “We will continue to pave the way for reintegration of the occupied Ukrainian lands through political and diplomatic steps.” ((ukr))Ukrainian language: ??? ???????????????? ?????????? ???? ??? ???????????? ?????????? ??????????? ?????? ????????-????????????? ??????. Former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said this forms a legal basis for a United Nations peacekeeping force to “remove the Russian army from Ukrainian territory”. Legislator Ivan Vinnyk commented on why the Minsk agreement was not mentioned in the bill: “We can’t embed diplomatic and political agreements that are prone to change into the Ukrainian legislation”.

Russia’s foreign ministry quickly denounced the law and claimed it was proof Ukraine is preparing for a new war. Furthermore, the law “risked a dangerous escalation in Ukraine with unpredictable consequences for world peace and security”, the official statement said.

“Kiev has gone from sabotaging the Minsk agreements to burying them,” said Konstantin Kosachev, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee for the Federation Council in Russia. Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of one of the rebel groups in eastern Ukraine, also expressed sharp criticism. Zakharchenko said it was a violation of the Minsk agreement and could lead to an escalation of the armed conflict.

Fighting in eastern Ukraine began shortly after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and has by reports claimed over 10,000 lives. About 1.7 million people, Al Jazeera reports, have been displaced from their homes due to the fighting.

English Premier League: Week 32 round-up

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

The 32nd round of the English Premiership took place this past weekend with both the battles for the league title and the battle against relegation still raging on. The fate of one team has been sealed for the rest of the season as Derby County has been mathematically guaranteed relegation, setting a new league record for earliest relegation. At the top of the table, nothing changed this week as Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool all won.