City Planning Board postpones decision on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal

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City Planning Board postpones decision on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal
By mYCZNbxh On February 14th, 2019
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  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006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

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Buffalo, New York —In an unanimous vote, the City of Buffalo‘s Planning Board voted to table the Elmwood Village hotel Proposal, postponing voting on legislation for up to 30 days.

The Board said its decision was due to the lack of public involvement, saying that there have not been enough meetings.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a proposed project by Savarino Construction Services Corporation and was designed by Karl Frizlen of The Frizlen Group. The hotel would be placed on Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo, New York. In order for the hotel to be built, at least five buildings, that include both businesses and residents, must be demolished.

The Forever Elmwood Corp. is a Buffalo-based non-profit organization founded in 1994. Justin Azzarella, the Executive Director for the organization voiced support for the proposal, stating: “I am here today to lend Forever Elmwood’s support the hotel project. Particularly, Forever Elmwood is encouraged by the fact that this building follows the more stringent Elmwood Village Design Guidelines. We have been speaking with Savarino Construction, and they have promised us [Forever Elmwood] that they will engage the community further, including the surrounding Block Clubs and businesses. For that reason, while Forever Elmwood is in support of this project and the type of project that it is, we are asking also that the project be tabled so that the community can be further engaged. Specifically the surrounding Block clubs which include the Granger, Claremont, Asland and The Lincoln Parkway Block Clubs.”

“Because of the excellent work that Karl does and the game plan that they have, I think its an ideal use of this particular location. I think that this particular type of development needs to be encouraged and promoted as opposed to roadblocked,” said a man who owns five properties near the proposal site.

However, Evelyn Bencinich, a resident of Granger Place and whose house would be located directly behind the hotel said, “My property value will be depreciated or non-existent because no one is going to want to live behind a multi-story hotel. We are facing up to a year of noisy and dangerous demolition and construction. Children, pets and even drunk rebellers could wander on site and get hurt. Traffic tie-ups caused by large machinery and garbage bins is inevitable. Where will pedestrians walk? We could experience increased unsanitary flooding in our yards and basements due to the digging and cementing for the underground parking garage. Rats will be displaced into the immediate neighborhoods and be in great abundance. Once we get past the year of nightmare construction, what if you build it and they don’t come? We could ultimately have a seven million dollar rooming house on our corner.”

Patty Morris, co-owner of Don Apparel with Nancy Pollina at 1119 Elmwood also asked that the project be tabled saying, “this has only been public knowledge for less than two weeks and the public never saw the redesign. How can you vote on anything that no one has seen yet? The Board cut off Morris saying, “so specifically you don’t have any problem with it [the design] you just…” Morris then said, “Oh I am totally against this project, but thats besides the point isn’t it.”

The planning board is also concerned that the current design may still be too big.

At one point Board member Susan Curran Hoyt said, “we know you’ve cut down your number of rooms on this project, but we still see it doesn’t seem to fit the description of a ‘botique’ hotel,” and asked Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarino Construction, “we wonder if you could reduce the rooms further.”

“One thing I didn’t talk about was the price levels of these rooms and that will be important to know. The room rate will be somewhere between US$120 and $160 a night, which is about the same price of the Hampton Inn down town and the smaller you make the hotel, the more expensive the rooms will get. We believe that we’ve made a good compromise in terms of the size of the hotel and perhaps botique means different things to different people,” said Hassett.

The board was also concerned that there is not enough parking asking, “are there alternative plans for valet parking off-site, in the event that you have a full hotel or a large event going on?”

“We are exploring several possibilities with respect to additional parking for valet and parking near-by,” replied Hassett. “We are also exploring the possibility of using the rear of 1105 Elmwood for additional parking, which would give us an additional ten or eleven spaces.”

The new design has a total of 55 parking spaces for 72 rooms, with 39 of them underground and the rest on ground level.

Hassett also said that a “parking study” will be done on the area.

Concerns that the second floor of the hotel will be too close to the property of 605 Forest were also brought up. The board asked how far the hotel would be from the property and Karl Frizlen replied saying it would “be approximately five feet from the property line,” but he also admitted that, “I do not know exactly how close the house next door” will be from the hotel, but did say “I think the house is about four or five feet away from the property line and we [the hotel] sit right on the property line.”

The board is concerned the setback from the property is not enough saying the space between the building and the hotel is “pretty narrow.”

The City’s Common Council also agreed to table the proposal also citing the need for more public engagement and the need for more organizations to respond including the Buffalo Preservation Board and the Office of Historic Preservation.

During that meeting, Hassett also said the proposal to try and get a variance to obtain the properties of 605 and 607 Forest were “now off the agenda.”

The Common Council is expected to meet and hold a public hearing about the project and the rezoning of the properties to be demolished (1119-1121 Elmwood) on Tuesday March 7, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall. At the moment the properties are not zoned for a hotel.

Wikinews tours London Paralympic Village wheelchair repair workshop

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Wikinews tours London Paralympic Village wheelchair repair workshop
By mYCZNbxh On February 13th, 2019

Saturday, September 1, 2012

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London, England — Yesterday Wikinews had the opportunity to tour the Ottobrock wheelchair repair workshops at the Paralympic Village in London.

It is one of a network of workshops at every Paralympic venue. They are run by Ottobrock, which has been repairing wheelchairs at the Paralympics since 1988. The workshop opened on August 22 and will remain until September 10.

The Ottobrock employees include people from 20 countries. Between them, they speak 23 languages. They liken themselves to the pit crew of motor sport — except that they have no idea what sort of equipment they will have to work with. The store room contains 15,000 spare parts, with everything from spare carbon fibre running blades to spare tyres — over 2,000 of them. They stock Ottobrock parts and their competitors’ too, as they have no idea what will arrive at the workshop next. Athletes from around the world bring in all manner of equipment.

The prosthetic technicians have to deal with everything from flat tyres to broken spokes to full-scale rebuilds. They have to be expert problem solvers. They frequently collaborate on determining how best to effect a repair. The objective is to get the wheelchair repaired and back in service as soon as possible.

Wheelchairs vary somewhat in design, depending on the sport. Those for wheelchair basketball and rugby have cambered wheels so they can spin around. Aluminum and titanium parts are used for strength. Ottobrock has a welding workshop where frames are repaired; the teams’ equipment managers understandably cannot bring such heavy equipment with them to the games, so they rely on the workshops. When a repair job is required, it is often required in a hurry. At the Turkey vs United States game, a chair was repaired during the match.

In addition to wheelchairs, the workshops handle all manner of work with prostheses. Carbon fibre running blades are adjusted. Broken feet and legs are a challenge. The Chinese Boccia team brought in its power chairs to have the electronics adjusted. In that sport, having the controls working perfectly is all-important.

There are 4,200 athletes at the Paralympic games. So far, the workshops have carried out 1,100 repairs.

Bush’s Iraq ‘Strategy’ seen as public relations exercise

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Bush’s Iraq ‘Strategy’ seen as public relations exercise
By mYCZNbxh On February 13th, 2019

Sunday, December 4, 2005

The US commander of the Multinational Security Transition Command in Iraq said that he had no knowledge of the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq document released by the US President. This, along with speculation that the document was chiefly authored by a public opinion analyst recruited by the White House have led to some critics claiming that the drafted ‘strategy’ is targeting US public opinion, not the Iraqi insurgency.

The military, political and economic strategy for Iraq, outlined last week by President Bush in a speech at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, was based by a 35-page document titled the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq. A metadata tag on the document posted on the White House website identified its author as a computer user ‘feaver_p’. It is believed to refer to Dr. Peter D. Feaver, a special advisor to the National Security Council staff.

A political scientist at Duke University, Dr. Feaver analyzed public opinion polls about the Iraq war and attitudes towards war casualties. Dr. Feaver found that US public opinion will support military engagement abroad, despite growing casualties, provided that the public believed that the war was being fought for a worthy cause and that victory was achievable.

Dr. Feaver was one of the people who helped “conceive and draft” the document, according to a White House staffer, who said that Meghan L. O’Sullivan, the deputy national security adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan, and her staff played a larger role. White House officials confirmed to the New York Times that the document’s “creation and presentation strongly reflected the public opinion research”.

The document “reflects the broad interagency effort under way in Iraq” according to an NSC spokesman Frederick Jones and had received major contributions from the Departments of Defense, State, Treasury and Homeland Security, as well as the director of National Intelligence.

On Friday, Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey, whose Multinational Security Transition Command is responsible for building Iraq’s security forces, told reporters that he had seen the strategy document for the first time when it was released to the public. The White House had said that not all senior officers in Iraq had necessarily seen the document and Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that he had read and critiqued the document on several occasions.

Earlier, replying to questions about the President’s strategy, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said that the document was an “inter-agency document” and an “unclassified version” of the administrations “strategy for victory in Iraq” published for the public to view.

Christopher F. Gelpi, of Duke University, who co-authored Dr. Feaver’s work titled Casualty Sensitivity and the War in Iraq, stated, “The Pentagon doesn’t need the president to give a speech and post a document on the White House Web site to know how to fight the insurgents. The document is clearly targeted at American public opinion.” In their work together, Gelpi, Feaver and Reifler found that the most important factor which determines the US public’s tolerance for US military deaths in a war is the public’s beliefs about the likelihood of success, and a secondary, but still important, factor, was found to be the public’s belief in the rightness of a war.

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Why Hire A Lawyer In Rockwall Tx For A Dwi?

By mYCZNbxh On February 13th, 2019

byAlma Abell

A common occurrence in the Rockwall area as well as the rest of the country is a motorist being arrested for a DWI. Many people who are arrested for DWI do not realize that it is much more serious than a speeding ticket. It is considered a misdemeanor conviction. That means a person convicted of DWI will have a criminal record. With a criminal record, it will be more difficult to rent an apartment or to get a job. Background checks are so cheap that many employers and landlords are doing them. Furthermore, the ability to visit foreign countries could be limited since many nations do not allow those with criminal records to enter. Because of the severe consequences of being convicted for DWI, it is highly advised that those who are charged with driving while intoxicated consider hiring a lawyer in Rockwall TX area.

The result of each individual DWI case will vary. A lawyer cannot guarantee any specific outcome. The outcome will depend on the circumstances of each case. However, defendants should not assume that DWI charges will result in automatic convictions. The prosecutor may make defendants believe that when offering a plea bargaining deal that offers very few concessions. A lawyer in Rockwall TX that practices DWI law can often find problems with the prosecutor’s case that can reduce the chances of conviction.

For example, field sobriety tests are often administered improperly. A field sobriety test administered on snow and ice will often cause sober drivers to fail. A person who has mobility issues may fail the field sobriety test regardless of the blood alcohol. Another example of a common problem in some DWI cases is when the breathalyzer has not been maintained in a long time. Lack of maintenance could lead to erroneous results. All of these can cause doubt in a juror’s mind. The prosecutor has to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Problems in DWI cases found by the defense attorney can make the case difficult for the prosecutor.

In many instances, the problems with the DWI case that are found by the defense attorney may result in charges being dropped, a much more favorable plea deal, or a chance of winning at trial. There is no guarantee of a favorable result after hiring legal counsel, but those that don’t hire lawyers are almost guaranteed to be convicted with an unfavorable plea deal. Visit Law Office of Tim Hartley for more information.

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3000 homeless after fire breaks out in Chad refugee camp

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3000 homeless after fire breaks out in Chad refugee camp
By mYCZNbxh On February 13th, 2019

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A fire broke out in a refugee camp in eastern Chad Friday, leaving 3,000 people homeless and injuring 10, according to the United Nations (UN) refugee agency United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Refugees have been living in the camp as a result of the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan.

The fire started in the Goz Amer camp triggered by a cooking fire that had gone unwatched. The fire moved quickly through the camp due to high winds. Many of the refugees lost all of their belongings and food rations in the blaze. After receiving tents from the UNHCR in 2004, many of the refugees built traditional dwellings out of sticks and mud, and these shelters burned rapidly in the fire.

In a UNHCR press release, Emmanuel Uwurukundo, acting UNHCR head in Koukou-Angarana said: “Everybody around, refugees and all our partners alike, rushed to the spot and tried to extinguish the fire with whatever they had: clothes, extinguishers and water. The teamwork was outstanding.”

The refugees have already suffered so much tragedy and now face yet another trauma.

In Geneva the UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres commented on the situation: “The refugees have already suffered so much tragedy and now face yet another trauma. I am deeply relieved that there was no loss of life in this devastating fire. We will do everything we can to help and to get shelter and food supplies to them as quickly as possible.”

Families affected by the fire were housed at three area schools, and the UNHCR announced on Friday that it planned to deliver aid supplies including sleeping mats, blankets and kitchen sets. The World Food Programme was also asked by the UNHCR for an extra monthly food ration to be delivered to the families whose homes were destroyed in the blaze.

The Goz Amer camp houses about 20,500 refugees, and is located approximately 70 kilometers from the Sudanese border. Goz Amer is one of 12 UNHCR-run camps along the Chad-Sudan which all told contain over 240,000 refugees from Darfur.

Chad and Sudan signed a peace agreement on March 13 in an attempt to end a five-year conflict, and the leaders of both countries agreed not to back rebel groups that are active near their borders.

Approximately 2.2 million people from the Darfur region have left their homes since the beginning of the violence in 2003. The UN puts the number of deaths due to the Darfur conflict at over 200,000, and the Sudanese government has said that only 9,000 have died.

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CanadaVOTES: NDP incumbent David Christopherson running in Hamilton Centre

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CanadaVOTES: NDP incumbent David Christopherson running in Hamilton Centre
By mYCZNbxh On February 12th, 2019

Friday, September 26, 2008

On October 14, 2008, Canadians will be heading to the polls for the federal election. New Democratic Party incumbent David Christopherson is standing for re-election in the riding of Hamilton Centre.

From 1985-1990, he served as a Hamilton City Councillor for Ward Four. He was elected to Ontario legislature in 1990, defeating a Liberal cabinet minister. Under Bob Rae, Christopherson served as Minister of Correctional Services and Solicitor-General. He did not seek re-election to legislature in 2003, opting to run for mayor of Hamilton. Considered a frontrunner, he lost to Larry Di Ianni.

He returned to politics just months later, changing his focus to federal politics. Christopherson beat Liberal cabinet minister Stan Keyes, the incumbent, serving as NDP critic for cities, community infrastructure, labour and steel policy. He has served as a member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Accounts, and Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Steel Caucus.

Wikinews contacted David Christopherson, to talk about the issues facing Canadians, and what they and their party would do to address them. Wikinews is in the process of contacting every candidate, in every riding across the country, no matter their political stripe. All interviews are conducted over e-mail, and interviews are published unedited, allowing candidates to impart their full message to our readers, uninterrupted.

First elected in 2004, David Christopherson is the only MP to have represented Hamilton Centre, which was created in 2003 from parts of three other ridings. Only 38 km², small versus other area ridings, its located on the south side of Hamilton Harbour. Alphabetically, Christopherson’s challengers are Anthony Giles (Libertarian), John Livingstone (Green), Lisa Nussey (Marxist-Leninist), Leon O’Connor (Conservative), Ryan Sparrow (Communist), and Helen M. Wilson (Liberal).

For more information, visit the campaign’s official website, listed below.

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BBC Radio Bristol presenter fired over ‘racist’ phone call

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BBC Radio Bristol presenter fired over ‘racist’ phone call
By mYCZNbxh On February 11th, 2019

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A United Kingdom radio presenter with the BBC was fired on Saturday, and replaced, after an allegedly racist off-air phone call. Sam Mason of BBC Radio Bristol had earlier called up a taxi firm to arrange a booking for her 14-year-old daughter.

Mason asked the operator not to send an Asian cab driver. She said, “A guy with a turban on is going to freak her out.” After the operator refused Mason snapped back claiming, “You’ve managed it before.”

The original female operator had passed the call over to another operator. Mason then accused the first of having “a bad attitude”, and said, “I work at the BBC. I’m far from racist and that uneducated woman has no right to call me one.” The call then ended but she called back to complain.

The female operator who took the call was also fired from her job for illegally recording the call.

A statement from the taxi firm stated that “We confirm that a telephone call from Radio Bristol presenter Sam Mason to the company was illegally recorded by an employee. That employee was dismissed for similar offences on 3 November.”

A copy of the call was sent to British tabloid The Sun, which broke the story on Tuesday. The Sun informed the BBC.

A guy with a turban on is going to freak her out.

A BBC spokesman said: “Although Sam Mason’s remarks were not made on-air, her comments were completely unacceptable and, for that reason, she has been informed that she will no longer be working for the BBC with immediate effect.”

According to BBC News, Mason, who worked at the station for only six weeks, was unavailable for comment.

The incident comes just weeks after the Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross prank call scandal involving Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs.

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Viktor Schreckengost dies at 101

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Viktor Schreckengost dies at 101
By mYCZNbxh On February 11th, 2019

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Viktor Schreckengost, the father of industrial design and creator of the Jazz Bowl, an iconic piece of Jazz Age art designed for Eleanor Roosevelt during his association with Cowan Pottery died yesterday. He was 101.

Schreckengost was born on June 26, 1906 in Sebring, Ohio, United States.

Schreckengost’s peers included the far more famous designers Raymond Loewy and Norman Bel Geddes.

In 2000, the Cleveland Museum of Art curated the first ever retrospective of Schreckengost’s work. Stunning in scope, the exhibition included sculpture, pottery, dinnerware, drawings, and paintings.

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In Pictures: Helsinki Pride 2018 ends after record number of attendees

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In Pictures: Helsinki Pride 2018 ends after record number of attendees
By mYCZNbxh On February 10th, 2019

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

On Sunday, the annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Helsinki Pride came to an end. According to organisers and police in the Finnish capital Helsinki, an estimated 100 thousand people attended the Saturday march of the Pride, which ran from June 25 to July 1 — about thrice the number of attendees of last year’s Pride.

Via their official website, the pride organisers said this year 80 events in 50 different locations were planned for the week. Human rights group Heseta organised this year’s event, Finnish broadcaster Yle reported. Saturday’s march for equal rights started at 1 PM local time at the Senate Square, according to Yle. Later the Pride marched to the Kaivopuisto park where it ended.

Helsinki police tweeted saying, “Clearly more marchers this year than before”. According to reports, about 35 thousand people participated in the march last year.

Singer and voice actress Saara Aalto attended various events during the Pride. Aalto said, “I am very proud to be lesbian and I feel very much like I am lesbian, totally. […] I have worked on my own mental health always. I have always been very fine with who I am and never cared about people’s opinions.” She also said, “I’m so grateful to all the people in my life who have given me the opportunity to become who I am […] Love is the most important thing!”

Finnish legislation legalised same-gender marriage in 2014.

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Child released after spending entire life in Australian detention centre

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Child released after spending entire life in Australian detention centre
By mYCZNbxh On February 10th, 2019

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A Malaysian woman and her three year old daughter were released from Villawood Detention Centre on bridging visas yesterday after media coverage in Australia and Malaysia. Naomi Long, who recently turned three, was born in the Centre. Her mother, Virginia Long, was detained after trying to leave Australia on a false passport four years ago.

The plight of the young girl was revealed on ABC Radio’s PM program on March 5. Michael Dudley, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Sydney Children’s Hospital who has visited the mother and daughter, spoke on the program of the importance of children mixing with others their own age, and the harm that prolonged detention was doing to Naomi.

“I mean that’s crucial to social development and emotional development in children and also, a sense of identity development and so on. She doesn’t have that opportunity and she’s also basically been brought up in prison, but in a highly abnormal environment with highly distressed people. It’s not an environment conducive to child development,” he said.

According to refugee advocate group ChilOut there are currently 28 children detained at Villawood, and 68 across all immigration detention facilities. The Federal Opposition Leader Kim Beasley has called for all children to be released.

“Kids don’t belong in detention, full stop,” he said.

According to ABC Online, Federal Liberal backbencher Petro Georgiou intends to introduce a private members bill against long-term mandatory detention, and detention of women and children. Prime Minister John Howard has indicated that he is mindful of the need for compassion, but he does not support a conscience vote.

“Mandatory detention is not a matter of conscience. It is a Government policy,” Mr Howard was quoted as saying. Howard has been a staunch supporter of hardline immigration and asylum policies since the mid 80’s.

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