Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal threatened by possible lawsuit

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Buffalo, New York — The property at 605 Forest in Buffalo was the center of attention at last night’s public meeting held at the offices of Forever Elmwood on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. Eva Hassett, Vice President of Savarino Construction Services Corporation, confirmed last night that the company will be seeking a variance for the 605 Forest property. Originally, both the 605 and 607 Forest Avenue properties were going to have variances placed on them. As it stands, 607 Forest will not be directly affected by the proposal, should it go forward. Both 605 and 607 are currently occupied by residents.

During Monday night’s meeting, Pano Georgiadis, owner of 605 Forest and owner of Pano’s Resuraunt at 1081 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, threatened to “sue” Savarino Construction if they tried to obtain a variance on his property to build the Elmwood Village Hotel.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a proposal by Savarino Construction that would be placed on the corner of Forest and Elmwood in Buffalo. In order for the project to move forward, at least five buildings (1119-1121 Elmwood) which include both residences and businesses will have to be demolished. The hotel was designed by architect Karl Frizlen of the Frizlen Group. Although the properties are “under contract,” according to Hassett, it is unclear whether Savarino Construction owns the properties. Hans Mobius, a resident of Clarence, New York and former Buffalo Mayoral candidate, is still believed to own them.

Currently, none of the properties is zoned for a hotel.

A freelance journalist writing for Wikinews asked Hassett what kind of zoning permit they [Savarino] would be applying for and, if 605 Forest is included, what zone that would be.

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
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  • “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  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006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

“There is a ‘special development plan’ in front of the council, which changes only one thing about the zoning. It allows one permitted use for just a hotel. The rest of the zoning remains as it is under the current Elmwood Business District zoning. 605 and 607 Forest are not required for the project. They are not part of the footprint for the project. Let me answer this question again. This is on the record, in council: 605 needs to be rezoned in order to facilitate the project because of the sideyard requirement. Anything in C-2 is excluded besides the hotel. So we’ve taken the C-2 and included the hotel as a permitted use, and excluded everything else and everything else remains the same.”

However, during the February 28 Common Council meeting, Hassett was quoted as saying that the two properties were “off the agenda.”

“Now Karl said, at the last meeting, that they will build this hotel right on the borderline [property line]. If a wall forty-five to fifty feet high goes next to this house, of course it’s not right. You really have to go with whatever the city code says, so you have to get back as many feet as the city code says,” said Georgiadis.

“If you try to get a variance to change the code, I will sue you. This is my home, number one,” added Georgiadis. “First of all I think we are all wasting our time here, you [Savarino], have already made up your mind, but if you go against city code, and you try to do the most rooms with a minimal amount of parking, again, I will sue you. If you build a hotel, in my idea its going to fail. It’s doomed, ok. [If] it’s going to be a home for the disabled, for the homeless, for recovery people, but that’s another story. Then how is it going to be when we say, well I told you so? You will be over and done with. Its very hard to take a four story building [hotel] down.”

Georgiadis stated last night that he was against the proposal and signed a petition to stop it, jokingly saying, “this isn’t a paper to sign to build the hotel, is it? Don’t make me sign the wrong thing.”

Joseph Golombeck, district councilman, was at Monday’s public meeting and said, “we also did request this and the reason we are doing this as a special business district is so that it has to be this specific plan. They [Savarino] can’t go halfway through it and in six months decide that [the hotel] it’s going to be three floors. They can’t decide it’s going to be five floors. It has to be, per law, exactly what it is that they brought to us [the public] so far, and then ultimately to the City of Buffalo Common Council when it’s approved. So if it gets approved, it has to be this specific, exact project. They couldn’t make it fifty parking spots, they couldn’t make it thirty. It has to be specifically what they have right here.”

A man who lives on Granger Street in Buffalo attended the meeting, speaking in favor of the hotel development. He claimed, “There are a lot of low property values. Hopefully if we embrace development, our property values, for those of us who have property, will go up. There are a lot of people unfortunately, who are working hard, that do not get a chance to come to these meetings. I myself was at work and wasn’t able to go to the last two meetings. I express that we appreciate that you [Savarino] invest in the City of Buffalo and for what you hope, because I do not think Savarino is into losing money. These people are not in business to be losing money here. They are hoping for the success of this [the hotel] more than any one of us. They are hoping that the property values in this area will go up more than any one of us, because it will benefit them [the residents and business owners], more than any one of us. I want this city to develop. I don’t think anybody else is here understanding that we’re looking for development in this city, we are looking for the city to get better. The councilman here is not interested in Buffalo failing.”

Evelyn Bencinich, resident of Granger Street, would have the hotel directly behind her home, if it were to be built.

“What about construction [time]? Is that just for the exterior, the nine months? Or does that include the interior? Is there going to be blasting through bedrock? Is there property protection for damage? Are you [Savarino and the Frizlen Group] responsible?”, asked Bencinich.

According to Frizlen, there is a layer of solid bedrock at least 30 feet from the surface of the land saying, “we anticipate that the bedrock is at least thirty feet down.” He also admitted that “we haven’t done any soil sporrings,” but did say “the bedrock is somewhere in between twenty-five and thirty feet [down], we don’t need to go that deep. So blasting is most likely out of it [the question].”

“Personally, I can only speak from the city side, but a few years ago we rebuilt Vulcan Street, in the northwest corner of Buffalo, and there were a couple of properties that were damaged and they [the owners] were able to file a claim against the company that did the work and they won in each case. It was the same thing with a school that was built on Military Road. There were a couple of problems with foundations on a couple of properties, and they weren’t sure if caused by the school or not, but the insurance company ended up paying them,” answered Golombeck.

“I would assume that Savarino is insured with someone. So if there is a problem with anything that happens to your properties, what I would recommend is that anybody that lives on Granger Place, if this does go through, that you get pictures taken of your basement and of your foundations, because God forbid if there is a problem, you want to have an[sic] before and after [picture]. You don’t want to come afterwards and there’s a crack in there [foundation] and you have no way of proving that it happened,” added Golombeck.

According to Golombeck, the properties that Mobius owns have been “in housing court on several occasions, but has a date of April 11, 2006 that he is going back [to court] for these properties. So it is in housing court and I wouldn’t know Mr. Mobius if he walked in this room right now,” stated Golombeck.

“I’ve gone after him on numerous occasions and everytime he gets out of housing court with a slap on the wrist. If I am a conspiracy theorist and say that there is a lot more going on than meets the eye. I can only get him into housing court. Once he’s in housing court, the judge rules on it. Now I don’t mean to take any shots at previous administrations, but I am hoping with the new administration, being in here, that the inspections department is going to be a much better department than it has been for the previous several years.”

The city’s Planning Board on March 14, 2006, agreed to send the Elmwood Village Hotel proposal back to the Common Council so that it may “be opened back up to discussion from the public.”

On March 2, 2006 the Common Council sent the proposal “to committee” for further discussion and also requesting that the public be “engaged further.”

During that meeting, Justin Azzeralla, Executive Director for Forwever Elmwood, said that the organization “supports the hotel project.”

Also on March 2, the planning board agreed to table, or postpone, any decision on the hotel proposal for at least thirty days, also citing the need for the public to be “more engaged.”

The Common Council is expected to meet on March 21, 2006 at 2:00pm local time where they may approve or deny the proposal.

According to The Buffalo News, at least six Common Council members support the hotel project and are pledging to vote to approve it at the meeting on Tuesday, March 21.

However, the city’s Planning Board will get the final say on the project.

Britain unveils flu pandemic preparedness plan, buys 14m courses of treatment drug

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Tuesday, March 1, 2005

The government of the United Kingdom has unveiled their strategy to deal with any future influenza pandemic in their Pandemic Influenza Contingency Plan.

The document, based on the World Health Organization‘s framework for responses, explains how the UK would respond to a major outbreak of flu.

Any flu pandemic would differ from the seasonal outbreaks of flu observed worldwide every year. While seasonal flu kills 12,000 Britons annually, a pandemic would affect far more people and could result in the deaths of up to 50,000 people in the UK if there were no medical intervention.

The government will have the power to cancel events where large numbers of people gather, such as football (soccer) matches. It could also advise travel restrictions to and from areas of high infection, but would not be able to enforce any such measures.

Schools might be closed in the event of a flu pandemic, and infected people would be asked to remain at home, although again no quarantine measures could be imposed by the government.

Further plans include education of the public to recognize symptoms of the flu and how to avoid infection.

Measures will be made to maintain basic services in the event of a pandemic despite staff absences through illness.

A major cornerstone of the plan is the prescription of oseltamivir, an oral neuraminidase inhibitor drug that combats influenza. The drug is currently marketed by Hoffman La Roche under the trade name Tamiflu®.

The UK Department of Health intends to stockpile 14.6m courses of the drug over the next two financial years, giving enough to treat one in four of the population – the ratio recommended by the WHO.

Canada and Australia have also bought the equivalent amounts of anti-viral drugs. The U.S. has also bought large amounts of similar drugs.

The total cost of the acquisition was not published by the government, but the BBC estimated the cost to be £180 million.

Unlike a vaccine, oseltamivir can be used to treat any strain of the influenza virus. Many new variants of the influenza virus are seen every year, and combined with the long lead times associated with the development of vaccinces, mass vaccination is frequently impractical.

Some parts of the newly-revealed plan already exist. The UK government recently gave £500,000 to the WHO for survellience of so-called ‘bird flu’ in South East Asia, a possible source for any future pandemic. The Department of Health will also continue to monitor flu-like cases seen by doctors and hospitals.

Turks and Caicos Islands Premier resigns

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Michael Misick, the Premier of the United Kingdom overseas territory the Turks and Caicos Islands, resigned Monday from his post in the West Indies territory. He is accused of corruption. Oliver Galmo Williams, a member of Misick’s Progressive National Party, has been sworn in to replace him as Premier.

Misick had previously announced plans to resign on March 31 but says he wants to allow his successor more time to form a government, even though the UK intends to suspend most of the constitution. A retired British judge is leading a Commission of Inquiry, with an interim report pointing to a “high probability of systemic corruption.” Misick also called the suspension of the constitution “tantamount to being re-colonised”.

“I still think I have the majority of support in the public and in the country but suddenly the majority of elected members, who represent voters at this time, wanted me to step aside, therefore I think I have done the honourable thing. At this time the country needs a unified government. I did not want to hold on to leadership at all costs,” he told the Caicos Free Press.

British Governor Gordon Wetherell is expected to be given power by the UK. Misick, a judge who trained in Britain, is accused of selling state lands to property developers for his own profit.

News briefs:August 3, 2010

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How To Perform Maintenance For Central Air Conditioning In Baltimore Md

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byAlma Abell

Your Central Air Conditioning in Baltimore MD is your home-based climate control system. This system of devices changes the temperature of air alters the level of water vapor in the air and removes unwanted particulates. To keep your AC system working right, it’s important to perform maintenance. This upkeep will help identify problems that need to be fixed and help prevent other problems from developing. Use the following guidelines to do this twice a year.

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Before you start working on your central AC system, locate the two main parts of the system. The condenser is outside the home on a flat surface, usually a slab concrete or piece of thick board. The evaporator can be found in the plenum, which is above the furnace. Turn off your AC system at the main entrance panel. It will have two circuit breakers, one for the interior unit and one for the exterior unit. Work on your AC unit when the weather is mild.

To clean the evaporator, carefully remove any insulation covering the plenum. Ensure that you don’t damage any tape on the insulation since you will have to replace it after this job. Remove the access plate to the plenum. Bring the evaporator forward as far as you can without disconnecting piping it’s connected to. Using a brush with stiff bristles, clean all around the evaporator. You can use a mirror to view the backside of the evaporator. It’s recommended to clean the tray beneath the evaporator with bleach. This tray holds condensation until it drains away from this component. After you finish cleaning the evaporator, replace it along with the access plate and any insulation.

Next, remove debris, weeds, and weeds from the area the condenser is in. These plants and rubbish can prevent the unit from working correctly. Use a commercial coil cleaner to rid the condenser of dirt and grime. Use the instructions that come with this product. The coil fins can be gently cleaned with a soft fin comb. Remove the protective covering to reach these fins. Afterwards, replace the protective covering. It’s a good idea to use a spirit level to make sure the evaporator is plumb.

By performing maintenance on your central Air Conditioning in Baltimore MD, you can prolong the useful life of the system. This will help you have a healthful personal environment. This is beneficial to all household occupants.

For more information contact Fitz Brothers Mechanical

Batman star Adam West dies aged 88

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Monday, June 12, 2017

On Friday night, Adam West, a US actor best known for his role as Batman in 1960s television series Batman, died at the age of 88 in Los Angeles, his family spokesperson said. Before his death, West “fought a short but brave battle with leukemia”, his family said via Facebook.

Actors Ben Affleck, Val Kilmer, and Mark Hamill, comic book writer Frank Miller, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane as well as author Neil Gaiman paid tribute to Adam West via Twitter. Affleck and Kilmer portrayed the titular character in, the 2016 film Batman v Superman and the 1995 film Batman Forever respectively.

Burt Ward, who played the role of Batman’s sidekick Robin in the TV series with West, paid tribute via The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Julie Newmar, who played the role of Catwoman in the 1960s show, paid tribute as well via the BBC World Service radio program Newshour.DC Entertainment president and CEO Geoff Johns and publisher Jim Lee paid tribute via DC Comics’s official blog.

Adam West, younger of the two brothers, was born on September 19, 1928 in Washington. His father was a wheat farmer and his mother was a pianist and an opera singer. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in English literature from Whitman College and worked as a station master at Stanford while he was a graduate student.

West worked at McClatchy station in Sacramento, California before moving to Hawaii, where he hosted a weekday show in the late 1950s. He moved to Hollywood, California in 1959 and signed a contract with Warner Bros. He appeared in multiple series before portraying Detective Sergeant Steve Nelson in the 1959–62 television series, The Detectives, from 1961 to 1962. His film debut was the 1959 film The Young Philadelphians, starring Paul Newman. Before Batman, West appeared in many films throughout the 1960s.

Lyle Waggoner and Adam West auditioned for the role of Batman while Peter Deyell and Burt Ward auditioned for the role of Robin. Batman TV series debuted on January 12, 1966 on the ABC network. Though the first season was a success, two subsequent seasons had a significant drop in the Nielsen ratings, and it was cancelled in March 1968.

After Batman, West was given typecast roles throughout his career. He voiced Batman in animated shows, like The New Adventures of Batman, Legends of the Superheroes, and Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show. He also voiced a role in an Academy Award-nominated 1997 short film Redux Riding Hood. He also voiced the role of Mayor Adam West in Family Guy, which MacFarlane called an “alternative universe” version of West.

West married Marcelle in 1970; each had two children from their previous marriages. After the marriage, the couple had two children. West is survived by his wife Marcelle, six children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Japanese earthquake death toll surpasses ten thousand

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Friday, March 25, 2011

The death toll from the Sendai earthquake has now increased to over ten thousand. In Japan, the National Police Agency has stated that 10,019 are now known to have been killed as a result of the disaster.

The Agency also reported that 2,775 had been injured and the location of 17,541 individuals was unknown. Meanwhile, 1,900 evacuation sites are now thought to be occupied by approximately a quarter of a million people.

When the event happened two weeks ago, 18,000 thousand households were destroyed and 130,000 were damaged by the earthquake and the subsequent tsunami. In spite of this, twelve of the fifteen north-eastern ports of Japan have recommenced operating, while the majority of the oil terminals of the country remained open, according to Inchcape Shipping Services.

Amongst the aftermath of the earthquake, plant number 3 at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant is suspected to have been damaged and may be releasing radiation. The Japanese government have reported that an ongoing investigation is occurring to attempt to discover the cause of the radiation leak at the power plant. Chinese authorities have reported two Japanese tourists were found to have levels of radiation “seriously exceeding limits” on their clothing and luggage. In Tokyo, the amount of radiation in the supply of water has decreased, however it remains high in various parts of the north of Japan.

According to BBC News Online, two workers were hospitalised because of the leak. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), who operate the building, reported that three employees placing electrical cables at the location were given treatment for being exposed to radioactive water; they had experienced ten thousand times the regular amount of radioactivity. Of those three men, beta rays caused two of them to receive burns. The two individuals did not stop working despite meters advising of unsafe radiation levels. It was later discovered that they were wearing inadequate protective footwear and failed to draw their attention to a radiation alert. TEPCO has since received government orders to improve worker management.

The radiation emitted from the plant has had a significant effect on the Japanese food industry. In the surrounding areas of the plant, shipments of foodstuffs have been prohibited. In Fukushima prefecture, residents have been advised not to consume eleven leafy green vegetable types produced locally due to radiation concerns. There has also been a significant decrease in customer demand at a fish market in Tsukiji.

Japanese product importers have discovered some foodstuffs to have a small radiation amount, which is not thought to be potentially deadly. Numerous Asian countries, the European Union, Australia, Russia and the United States have prohibited milk items, seafood and vegetables from being imported from various Japanese prefectures.

Closing the power plant down may take at least one month to achieve. Speaking to AFP, an individual talking on behalf of TEPCO stated that the company is “still in the process of assessing the damage at the plant, so that we can’t put a deadline on when the cooling operations will work again”. Residents living within thirty kilometres of the plant have been advised to avoid going outdoors to attempt to prevent radiation exposure as far as possible.

New fossils from 10 million year old ape found in Ethiopia

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Researchers say that new, ten million-year-old fossils found in Ethiopia, prove that the theory that humans may have evolved from a species of great apes eight million years ago, may not be true, but that humans may have split from apes as long as 10.5 million years ago.

At least nine fossilized teeth, one canine tooth and eight molars, of a previously unknown species of apes found in Africa were discovered by a team of researchers from Ethiopia and Japan who then compared the 3-D make up of the teeth to other fossils that date back as far as 8 million years and found that the fossils are likely a “direct ancestor” of apes currently living in Africa and that the new ape fossils were that of a species of gorilla who ate mostly plants high in fiber.

Current fossils and research say that the evolutionary split from apes to humans occurred at least eight million years ago. The new fossils say that the split may have happened as long as 10.5 million years ago.

“Based on this fossil, that means the split is much earlier than has been anticipated by the molecular evidence. That means everything has to be put back,” said researcher at the Rift Valley Research Service in Ethiopia and a co-author of the study, Berhane Asfaw.

Despite the finds, other researchers are not convinced that the findings are correct.

“It is stretching the evidence to base a time scale for the evolution of the great apes on this new fossil. These structures appear on at least three independent lineages of apes, including gorillas, and they could relate to a dietary shift rather than indicating a new genetic trait,” said a Professor at the London Natural History Museum in the United Kingdom, Peter Andrews who also added, “but the fossil evidence for the evolution of our closest living relatives, the great apes, is almost non-existent.

Researchers have named the newly discovered species Cororapithecus abyssinicus whose remains were found in the Afar Region of Ethiopia, the same place where the remains of Lucy were discovered in 1974.

Two slain in knife attack at Swedish IKEA furniture retailer

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Two people were killed yesterday afternoon and another seriously injured in Västerås, Sweden. The injured man is considered a suspect in the knife attack and was arrested in hospital. Another man was arrested at the scene, which was an IKEA furniture retailer. According to police, the two fatalities do not have any obvious connection to the suspects, but did know each other. The motive is, thus far, unknown.

Police were called to the scene at 13:00 local time and found three stab victims. Initially, all three were considered victims, but the status of one has been changed to suspect. The other two, a man and a woman, subsequently died from their wounds. Police have said CCTV is helping in the investigation. Local newspaper Vestmanlands Läns Tidning (VLT) has reportedly posted footage of one of the suspects being tackled by police.

VLT has further claimed to have identified the two victims as a mother and son, aged 55 and 28 respectively. According to the paper, the victims were not local residents, but did have a connection with Västerås, where they were vacationing at the time of the attack, which a police spokesperson has called “an act of madness” ((sv))Swedish language: ?En galen händelse.

“This is the worst working day of my life” ((sv))Swedish language: ?Det är den värsta arbetsdagen i mitt liv, said Mattias Johansson, the store manager of IKEA in Västerås, to Sveriges Television. IKEA spokesperson Anna Pilkrona-Godden told BBC News, “Our thoughts are with those affected,” and said the store is closed for the time being.

Västerås is in central Sweden, approximately 115 km (70 miles) west from the capital Stockholm. The population is roughly 110 thousand.

APEC leaders wear Driza-Bones for group photo

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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Leaders attending the APEC summit in Sydney, Australia have worn Driza-Bone coats for their traditional group photo in front of the Sydney Opera House. In APEC tradition, leaders wear attire which draws inspiration from the host nation’s national costume.

Australia’s choice was made by Prime Minister John Howard and his wife Janette. Australia does not have a national costume. In an APEC statement it was revealed that Driza-Bone had been consulted to produce an outfit that “captures the essence of Australia’s culture and environment.”

“Driza-Bone coats were born over 100 years ago when a sailor fashioned waterproof coats out of windjammer sails for protection against the harsh Australian trade winds,” the statement said.

“These coats were also perfect for people working on the vast Australian continent and have since been adapted into the perfect riding and outback attire.”

The custom-made knee-length coats worn by the leaders were the traditional dark brown of all Driza-Bones and had differing colours for the lapels and linings – slate blue for Australia’s vast coastline, mustard yellow for the sun and sand; red ochre for the outback and eucalyptus green for the bush. Leaders were given the choice over which highlight colour they wanted.

The choice of costume was a closely guarded secret by Australia officials, with speculation rife throughout the media. It has been suggested that the costume could include “budgie smugglers” (male swimwear)- and thongs (flip flops) to represent the beach;blue singlets and shorts favoured by labourers or khaki gear in memory of Steve Irwin.

The group photo is said to be one of the most anticipated parts of the APEC summit, with people wanting to see which leader looks the “silliest”. In the past leaders have been dressed in silk tunics, leather bomber jackets and Batik-print shirts.

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