“The 9,500 patients of indicted pain doctor Eugene Gosy are being well treated,” says Joel Daniels, the attorney who represents Gosy who is accused in a federal indictment of issuing over 300,000 illegal painkiller prescriptions over four years.
Under a new arrangement, Dr. James Hitt, a pain management specialist who formerly worked at Roswell Park and the Veterans Administration hospital, is the medical director at the Williamsville offices of Gosy & Associates Pain Treatment Center, and Dr. Gosy is there every day.read more
The ongoing controversy about whether to close Grand Island’s West River Parkway to create a bike path can be seen as part of a larger conflict, one that pits longtime residents against more recent arrivals in determining the future of what has traditionally been a semi-rural bedroom community.
The lightning rod is Town Supervisor Nate McMurray, who scored an upset victory over longtime incumbent Mary S. Cooke in the November election by a margin of fewer than 15 votes. He favors the state’s bike path proposal.read more
That’s how longtime Grand Island activist Russ Thompson described the series of events that led to his being charged with felony of false voter registration and using that false registration to cast ballots on Grand Island. Thompson turned down an offered plea bargain, and the charge carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison.
Thompson is perhaps best known for his advocacy to end the tolls at the Grand Island Bridge, a toll he’s long maintained has hurt businesses on the island. He lived on the island for more than 20 years and owns a business – Mini Max Concrete – there.read more
Guest View: By a ‘Concerned Grand Island Resident;
The town of Grand Island recently elected a new Town Supervisor, Delaware North’s Nate McMurray, VP of Business Development.
The North Tonawanda native won by less than 10 votes. He is currently pushing projects to open rural Grand Island to a larger audience including VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owners), markets, shopping facilities, a new bike path and would like to rid the bridges of the tolls.
All of these issues have their pros and cons and the residents of Grand Island should be able to freely speak their minds. This is not the current vibe.read more
Political operative and former Erie County Democratic Chairman Steve Pigeon faces nine felony counts in a state prosecution involving former State Supreme Court Justice John Michalek who has already pleaded guilty to two felony counts, including taking bribe, and who is expected to be a key witness against Pigeon if the case goes to trial.
But Pigeon and his lawyer, prominent defense attorney Paul Cambria, seem prepared to vigorously fight the charges brought by the attorney general’s special grand jury, claiming Pigeon did nothing wrong in his dealings with Michalek.read more
On Saturday evening, July 30, starting at 7:30, the Penn Dixie Paleontological & Outdoor Education Center will afford the public an opportunity, weather permitting, to view through telescopes “The Classical Planets of Antiquity”.
Absent significant cloud cover, all in one night people will be able to see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.
In classical antiquity, the naked eye planets were these five, plus the Sun and the Moon.
Penn Dixie is in Blasdell, a 54 acre, outdoor educational center, located at 4050 North Street.read more
Carrie Cohen was a big-time prosecutor with corruption-fighting U. S. Attorney Preet Bharara in the Southern District of New York and before that, with the State Attorney General’s office. But she left it all behind a few months ago to return to possibly greener financial pastures in private practice with the New York firm of Morrison & Foerster where she once worked as an associate.
Well, Cohen’s first high-profile defense case could hardly be called a win compared to her Shelly Silver days as she represented then-State Supreme Court Justice John Michalek last month as he pleaded guilty to two bribery-related felony counts in the long-running investigation of political operative Steve Pigeon who was indicted the next day.read more
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Buffalo Billion” project, now under investigation by both the U.S. Justice Department and state Attorney General Eric Schniederman, is in major league trouble and the massive project may be derailed by growing nervousness from IBM and other investors over the continuing corruption probes.
According to veteran New York Post investigative reporter Frederic U. Dicker, IBM — a major player in the state’s high-tech development efforts for more than a decade — has decided to “cease all new investments and additional hiring’’ regarding the plans until the probes are concluded.read more
True to form, and doing exactly what we predicted he would do in our March 31 issue, Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week approved the diversion of millions of gallons of Great Lakes water to the small city of Waukesha, Wisconsin, a few miles west of Milwaukee. Cuomo discounted the express opposition of dozens of environmental groups, regional newspaper editorial boards and various politicians of his own party in giving the green light to the unprecedented water withdrawal.
Briefly, Waukesha (pronounced “War-cah-choo”) was ordered nearly two decades ago by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take measures to reduce radium levels in its rapidly depleting wells, on which it had been relying for several decades to facilitate unrestrained suburban sprawl. After half-hearted attempts at water conservation programs, and despite the opinions of some experts who contended that the radium contaminant could be adequately filtered out, the city found it expedient to seek permission to construct a pipeline to Lake Michigan as a solution to its water woes.
In order to accomplish that, it was necessary for Waukesha to capitalize on a loophole in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. Enacted by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008, a key provision of the compact is that no municipality located geographically outside of the Great Lakes basin is allowed to draw on its water.
However, while the city limits of Waukesha lie 1.5 miles outside the watershed boundary, a technicality in the statute allows for towns, villages and cities of counties that straddle the boundary to be eligible to apply for a special exemption to help themselves to the abundant and seemingly boundless natural freshwater resource, and that’s precisely what Waukesha did.
As nominal modifications to the initial application, the total amount of water Waukesha will be allowed to withdraw was scaled down from 10.1 million gallons to an average of 8.2 million gallons a day, and the proposed service area, which included the surrounding town and a small number of associated districts, was effectively halved, in furtherance of a fig-leaf “compromise” designed to give political cover to Cuomo and the other seven Great Lakes governors including Ohio’s John Kasich, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Indiana’s Mike Pence and Minnesota’s Mark Dayton, all of which have, at one time or another, expressed aspirations for the US presidency which a veto on the Waukesha request, affecting swing state Wisconsin, might have complicated.
The existential danger to the rule of the Great Lakes compact, the natural resource it is supposed to protect and the viability of an economy in the many billions of dollars that supports a vast population across the region, including Western New York, is that this vote established the primacy of political rather than natural criteria in determining how to allocate Great Lakes water assets, which will now prove scarcer and more precious in future years.
The city of Waukesha lies entirely outside of the Great Lakes. If Waukesha has a right to tap into the Great Lakes based entirely on political considerations, what would ultimately restrict others from doing so? It’s a slippery slope from the kitchen taps of Waukesha, to the golf courses of Arizona, corn fields of Nebraska, frack wells of Colorado, fountains of Las Vegas and raging wildfires of California.
Seem farfetched? With the US population on track to reach a half billion by 2100, don’t be too sure. Factor in the tens of millions of individuals displaced by climate change across the globe migrating to western democracies, making the present exodus from the mid-east to Europe, with the attendant social upheaval, look like a tea party. Cuomo and his pals cracked the door to the Great Lakes. The exigencies of coming decades may force it open like a battering ram.
Although the original scheme was to supply similarly water-stressed municipalities near Waukesha through their distribution system, “the city will be less likely to expand its borders through annexations and the communities originally included in the service area won’t have the safety net of turning to Waukesha if there is a problem with their water supplies,” according to the Milwaukee Business News, “…(b)ut leaders for the city and the other communities say they don’t expect a reduced service area to hurt development moving forward.”
“I still see us having really good development potential,” reassured Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly.
Indeed, the growth paradigm is alive and well in Waukesha. Having outstripped its own resources, it can now bravely sprawl forward, thanks to the rights to Great Lakes water secured for it by Cuomo et al.read more
What better topic to introduce my new column in this paper than Trump’s visit to Buffalo Monday night? So there I was, in the press pen, literally walled off from the event with no food, no booze, no nothing. What a glamorous life the media lead. Most of the press sat stoically at their laptops, hammering away and rarely even looking up at the speakers. I had intended to schmooze some of them and get some inside scoops but I wasn’t feeling the warmth.
I did chat with a few local reporters whom I know. One wanted to know what the libertarians think. I said, some hate him, some support him based largely on his anti-foreign intervention, America First views. How many illegal foreign wars has Hillary started or supported, I asked rhetorically. Only professional spooks know for sure. Keep in mind that the founder of the modern libertarian movement, Murray Rothbard, supported (“cheered for”) LBJ in 1964 because he ran as the peace candidate: “We are not about to send American boys 9 or 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.”read more
It may be bloody and highly controversial, but mixed martial arts will be coming to New York in the not too distant future, and the popular sport will then face the challenge of lining up promoters to meet the re-quirements contained in the bill passed by the Assembly this week and headed to the governor’s desk.
Event promoters will be required to provide at least $500,000 in accident insurance coverage for com-petitions and they would have to provide fighters with a separate insurance benefit of at least $1 million for the treatment of life threatening brain injuries.
But as Assemblyman John Ceretto (D.-Lewiston) said after helping to win support for the measure, “once the legislation is signed into law we will join the rest of the nation and begin to reap the economic benefits by legalizing this popular sport. Professional MMA events will attract tourists, create jobs, and generate millions in economic activity.”
Mixed martial arts champion A. J. Verel has been involved in the fight to legalize the sport since 1997 and he sees the legalization as the reward for all the effort that has gone into the fight to educate law-makers and the public.
“It has been a long battle, but we have finally won,” said Verel of South Buffalo who is a former kick-boxing champion and inductee into the Pro Martial Arts/MMA Hall of Fame. “The challenge will be now for the New York State Athletic Commission to come up with a set of regulations for professional and am-ateur competition, a daunting challenge.”
The passage by the Assembly lifts a ban on professional MMA that has been in place in New York since 1997, with New York now becoming the last state to legalize the sport that has many opponents who call it a “nasty” spectacle but realize that it enjoys widespread popularity. This year was the first time in seven years the MMA measure has reached the Assembly floor despite winning passage over the last seven years in the State Senate.
Convicted former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver had blocked the Assembly from voting on MMA and supporters were hopeful that with Silver now gone, they had a chance for success. They were right.