02/12/09 06:48 - 33ºF - ID#47733
wild spring winter day
Location: Buffalo, NY
02/11/09 06:55 - 52ºF - ID#47719
elmwood village article
02/11/09 06:51 AM
Proponents push design standards for projects in Elmwood Village
By Brian Meyer
NEWS STAFF REPORTER
A plan that would impose strict new design standards on projects in the Elmwood Village was presented to Common Council members Tuesday, capping off a decade long effort by neighborhood advocates.
Speakers at a public hearing in City Hall said the effort aimed to prevent the type of "suburban-style" development that has occurred in some other areas, including the Delaware- Hertel corridor. The distinctive Elmwood Strip should never take on the aura of a Union Road, they argued.
If approved by city officials, new projects along Elmwood would have to be built close to sidewalks. Buildings couldn't have parking lots in front of their facades. The design standards also would favor mixed-use projects that would include upper-floor residences over businesses.
Before structures could be demolished, property owners would have to submit reuse plans for the parcels. The plan also would impose strong community- notification requirements, including signs on properties to alert people to development plans.
The proposed design standards were crafted with suggestions from 300 residents and business owners, said Justin Azzarella, executive director of the Elmwood Village Association.
Daniel Sack, an Elmwood Village resident who sits on the association's design committee, denied that the new rules could hinder economic development. He also highlighted figures showing that carefully planned projects along a business strip like Elmwood have greater economic value per acre than big-box developments or buildings with sprawling parking lots.
"It's not simply about aesthetics," he said. "It's about the . . . economic value of the land."
The Rev. Drew Ludwig of Lafayette Presbyterian Church urged city officials to adopt the new regulations. "These design standards will keep the Elmwood Village as the fantastic neighborhood that it already is," he said.
Every speaker at Tuesday's hearing voiced support for the new regulations. Some noted that in 2007, the Elmwood Village was christened one of the "10 great neighborhoods in America" by the American Planning Association.
Others underscored the importance of making sure that development on Elmwood takes into account pedestrians and bicyclists.
"This is a community [that ] likes to walk and likes to enjoy the vitality of the street," said Karl Frizlen, an architect and a member of the association's design panel.
Mayor Byron W. Brown recently announced plans for a citywide update of what some have branded antiquated zoning codes. But advocates urged Council members to approve the new standards for Elmwood, saying that waiting one or two years for a citywide revamping of codes makes no sense.
North Council Member Joseph Golombek Jr., who represents part of the Elmwood Strip, predicted lawmakers will approve the plan, noting that the design standards have been thoroughly debated since the late 1990s.
"I'm embarrassed to say it has taken this long," he said.
Most of the commercial activity on what is considered the Elmwood Strip stretches from North Street to Forest Avenue.
Location: Buffalo, NY
02/09/09 07:59 - 35ºF - ID#47694
Zack and Miri........
Location: Buffalo, NY
02/07/09 06:43 - 47ºF - ID#47672
Location: Buffalo, NY
02/06/09 07:17 - 23ºF - ID#47663
Facebook Converter and weird video
For those of you who have read a couple posts back I wrote about how TV stations will change from an analog signal to digital. I do have some issues with the change my self. I also included and article about how it looks like the date of when TV stations will go digital is going to change. Well today I read an interesting article on yahoo about how that change might make things confusing for people. Even after reading that I think pushing the date to June might be a good idea. Here is the article
Some TV stations to end analog signal on Feb. 17 (AP)
* Posted on Fri Feb 6, 2009 7:38AM EST
NEW YORK - Television viewers who use antennas and were expecting a few more months to prepare for digital TV may not have much time left before their sets go dark: Many stations still plan to drop analog broadcasts in less than two weeks.
When Congress postponed the mandatory transition to digital TV until June, it also gave stations the option to stick to the originally scheduled date of Feb. 17.
That means the shutdown of analog signals, which broadcasters had hoped would happen at nearly the same time nationwide, could now unfold in a confusing patchwork of different schedules.
Lawmakers wanted to address concerns that many households that receive TV signals through an antenna are not prepared for the switch. They were also mindful that a government fund has run out of money to subsidize digital converter boxes for older TVs.
Dozens of stations around the country now say they are going to take advantage of the option to drop analog broadcasts this month.
Many others are on the fence. The total number is likely to be in the hundreds, a substantial chunk and maybe even a majority of the country's 1,796 full-power TV stations.
The House voted Wednesday to delay the mandatory shutdown until June 12. The Senate passed the measure unanimously last week, and the bill now heads to President Barack Obama for his signature.
The legislation means analog signals could vanish entirely in some areas but persist in neighboring regions. In rural areas, low-power stations will continue to broadcast in analog even beyond June 12.
On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission ordered stations that still plan to turn off analog signals on Feb. 17 to notify the FCC by Monday.
Acting Chairman Michael Copps said the commission could prohibit stations from making the switch if doing so is not in the public interest. For instance, if all stations in a market want to turn off early, that would draw FCC scrutiny, he said at a commission meeting.
For many broadcasters, delaying the shutdown is inconvenient and expensive. Many of them have scheduled engineering work on their equipment to make the transition on Feb. 17.
The Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, the public broadcasting network in the state, said Thursday that it planned to cease analog transmission from its full-power antennas at 1 p.m. on Feb. 17.
"We have four full-power stations all with 30-year-old-plus analog transmitters that are costly to maintain, putting out less than a quality signal," said Mark Norman, deputy director of technology at OETA.
"Sitting right alongside them are brand-new digital transmitters that have been running now for a few years. We just think it's counterproductive to continue to put money into the old ones."
Keeping the analog equipment in operation until June would cost the station about $200,000 at a time when the state is considering cutting its contribution to the budget, Norman said.
PBS spokeswoman Lea Sloan said about half of the 356 public broadcasting stations across the country will make the switch on Feb. 17. Many will do it for financial reasons. PBS said last month that if all its stations had to delay the switch, it would cost an estimated $22 million.
The Utah Broadcasters Association said the commercial stations in the state still plan to shut down analog on Feb. 17, while the public ones will wait until June.
In Wisconsin, at least two stations in Madison and five in the La Cross-Eau Claire plan to flip the switch on Feb. 17. In Minnesota, at least four stations plan to keep that date, along with five in Iowa.
Copps, the acting FCC chairman, said CBS, Fox, ABC and NBC and Telemundo had committed to keeping the stations they own broadcasting analog until June 12.
Together, they own 85 full-power stations, mainly in large cities. The rest of the stations that carry these networks are affiliates not owned by the network. ABC spokeswoman Julie Hoover said some of its stations may still go early if all other stations in their market do so.
Gannett Co. and Hearst-Argyle Television Inc. also pledged to maintain the vast majority of their stations on analog, Copps said. They own or operate 52 stations.
"These broadcasters deserve our gratitude. I encourage other broadcasters to join them," Copps said.
The transition to digital TV is being mandated because digital signals are more efficient than analog ones. Ending analog broadcasts will free up valuable space in the nation's airwaves for commercial wireless services and emergency-response networks.
In a few areas, including Hawaii, stations have already abandoned analog broadcasting.
TVs connected to cable or satellite services are not affected by the analog shutdown. But that still leaves a lot of people who could see channels go dark on Feb. 17. According to research firm MRI, 17.7 percent of Americans live in households with only over-the-air TV.
Most of them are ready for the analog shutdown, according to the National Association of Broadcasters and analysts at the Nielsen Co. Nielsen said Thursday that more than 5.8 million U.S. households, or 5.1 percent of all homes, are not ready.
At the Oklahoma public broadcasting association, Norman believes viewers are ready for the switch. The network has invited viewers to call in with transition questions on several nights. Each time, the number of callers has been smaller, Norman said.
"We really don't think it's going be as major of an issue as people anticipated," he said.
AP Television Writer David Bauder contributed to this report.
Location: Buffalo, NY
02/04/09 08:09 - 11ºF - ID#47642
Obama art guy in trouble????
NEW YORK - On buttons, posters and Web sites, the image was everywhere during last year's presidential campaign: A pensive Barack Obama looking upward, as if to the future, splashed in a Warholesque red, white and blue and underlined with the caption HOPE.
Designed by Shepard Fairey, a Los-Angeles based street artist, the image has led to sales of hundreds of thousands of posters and stickers, has become so much in demand that copies signed by Fairey have been purchased for thousands of dollars on eBay.
The image, Fairey has acknowledged, is based on an Associated Press photograph, taken in April 2006 by Manny Garcia on assignment for the AP at the National Press Club in Washington.
The AP says it owns the copyright, and wants credit and compensation. Fairey disagrees.
"The Associated Press has determined that the photograph used in the poster is an AP photo and that its use required permission," the AP's director of media relations, Paul Colford, said in a statement.
"AP safeguards its assets and looks at these events on a case-by-case basis. We have reached out to Mr. Fairey's attorney and are in discussions. We hope for an amicable solution."
"We believe fair use protects Shepard's right to do what he did here," says Fairey's attorney, Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford University and a lecturer at the Stanford Law School. "It wouldn't be appropriate to comment beyond that at this time because we are in discussions about this with the AP."
Fair use is a legal concept that allows exceptions to copyright law, based on, among other factors, how much of the original is used, what the new work is used for and how the original is affected by the new work.
A longtime rebel with a history of breaking rules, Fairey has said he found the photograph using Google Images. He released the image on his Web site shortly after he created it, in early 2008, and made thousands of posters for the street.
As it caught on, supporters began downloading the image and distributing it at campaign events, while blogs and other Internet sites picked it up. Fairey has said that he did not receive any of the money raised.
A former Obama campaign official said they were well aware of the image based on the picture taken by Garcia, a temporary hire no longer with the AP, but never licensed it or used it officially. The Obama official asked not to be identified because no one was authorized anymore to speak on behalf of the campaign.
The image's fame did not end with the election.
It will be included this month at a Fairey exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and a mixed-media stenciled collage version has been added to the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington.
"The continued use of the poster, regardless of whether it is for galleries or other distribution, is part of the discussion AP is having with Mr. Fairey's representative," Colford said.
A New York Times book on the election, just published by Penguin Group (USA), includes the image. A Vermont-based publisher, Chelsea Green, also used it - credited solely to Fairey_ as the cover for Robert Kuttner's "Obama's Challenge," an economic manifesto released in September. Chelsea Green president Margo Baldwin said that Fairey did not ask for money, only that the publisher make a donation to the National Endowment for the Arts.
"It's a wonderful piece of art, but I wish he had been more careful about the licensing of it," said Baldwin, who added that Chelsea Green gave $2,500 to the NEA.
Fairey also used the AP photograph for an image designed specially for the Obama inaugural committee, which charged anywhere from $100 for a poster to $500 for a poster signed by the artist.
Fairey has said that he first designed the image a year ago after he was encouraged by the Obama campaign to come up with some kind of artwork. Last spring, he showed a letter to The Washington Post that came from the candidate.
"Dear Shepard," the letter reads. "I would like to thank you for using your talent in support of my campaign. The political messages involved in your work have encouraged Americans to believe they can help change the status quo. Your images have a profound effect on people, whether seen in a gallery or on a stop sign."
At first, Obama's team just encouraged him to make an image, Fairey has said. But soon after he created it, a worker involved in the campaign asked if Fairey could make an image from a photo to which the campaign had rights.
"I donated an image to them, which they used. It was the one that said "Change" underneath it. And then later on I did another one that said "Vote" underneath it, that had Obama smiling," he said in a December 2008 interview with an underground photography Web site.
Associated Press writer Philip Elliott in Washington contributed to this report.
I wonder how this will effect that site that has the Obama stuff you can get on T-shirts and stuff.
Location: Buffalo, NY
02/04/09 07:58 - 11ºF - ID#47641
The Digital Conversion Problem
My biggest problem is all the wrong information that is being told to people. Time Warner by the way is full of shit. They put all these ads on saying if you have cable you are covered. Well that is a fucking lie and here is why. Remember when they had that dispute where you couldn't get anything on WIVB was that CBS and the CW. Lets say they get into a dispute with another station like NBC (yes that is coming up in the future) or ABC. What you would have done in the past was just use those old rabbit ears or go out and buy some new ones. But now with the digital conversion if NBC isn't carried and you have an old TV that won't work. I think Time Warner wants to get people not get the boxes so they have more power, I also think that there ads are misleading. They are telling people you don't need to get the box just sign up for us. But what happens if what I said earlier happens. Or what if you lose your job and cut cable how would you get any TV then well you wouldn't.
What I did was apply for two coupons and then I bought my second box today. Yes I do have cable. Here is the reason I did that. If one of the networks gets dropped by Time Warner with out the box I won't be able to get that station. With out the credit the boxes run from about $50-$80 it would cost more to get them then. The other factor is what If I lose my Job and then I don't have the boxes and I don't have the money to get them, then what? The one thing of Rabbit ears I do have is pretty old and connects with screws so I think I will have to get new rabbit ears if I need them.
I want to make it clear that I don't know about what the other cable companies are doing so that is why I didn't attack them Like I did my company Time Warner. Yes sometimes I like them and some times I hate them. Overall there has been lots of information about this through ads with websites and numbers people can call. That being said a lot of people still don't really understand what is going on with the conversion. I think that I understand it pretty well but do get why people are confused and things like HDTV and the fact that there is HDRadio and all kinds of terms just makes things messier. Here is article I found on Yahoo today about the conversion date being changed.
WASHINGTON - After weeks of debate, Congress is giving consumers four more months to prepare for the upcoming transition from analog to digital television broadcasting.
The House voted 264-158 on Wednesday to postpone the shutdown of analog TV signals to June 12, to address growing concerns that too many Americans won't be ready by the Feb. 17 deadline that Congress set three years ago. The Senate passed the measure unanimously last week and the bill now heads to President Barack Obama for his signature.
The change is being mandated because digital signals are more efficient than analog ones. Ending analog broadcasts will free up valuable space in the nation's airwaves for commercial wireless services and emergency-response networks.
The delay is a victory for the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress, who maintain that the previous administration mismanaged efforts to ensure that all consumers - particularly poor, rural and minority Americans - will be prepared for the switchover.
The Nielsen Co. estimates that more than 6.5 million U.S. households that rely on analog TV sets to pick up over-the-air broadcast signals still are not ready. People who subscribe to cable or satellite TV or have a newer TV with a digital tuner will not be affected.
"The passage of this bipartisan legislation means that millions of Americans will have the time they need to prepare for the conversion," White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage said in a statement.
Wednesday's vote came one week after House Republicans blocked the bill under a special fast-track procedure that required two-thirds support to pass. This time, the bill passed the House under a regular floor vote, which requires a simple majority.
Among Democrats, 241 voted for the bill, while 10 voted against it. Among Republicans, 23 voted for the bill, while 148 voted against it.
Speaking on the House floor Wednesday, Rick Boucher, D-Va., chairman of the House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, said a delay was needed to prevent the digital transition from becoming a failure.
"It is unfortunate that Congress had to take additional action on this issue, but the prospect of leaving millions of consumers in the dark was simply unacceptable," subcommittee member Edward Markey, D-Mass., added.
Opponents of a delay warned, however, that the move will confuse consumers, create added costs for TV stations that will continue broadcasting both analog and digital signals for four more months and burden wireless companies and public safety agencies waiting for the airwaves that will be vacated by the switchover.
"It's time for us to move forward on this and keep our word to the American people," said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., calling for the transition to proceed on Feb. 17.
Democrats have tried to address these concerns by allowing broadcast stations to switch to digital signals sooner than June if they choose, potentially freeing up spectrum for public safety early. But it is unclear how many TV stations plan to take advantage of this option.
The Consumer Electronics Association, meanwhile, is warning that a delay could result in a shortage of converter boxes that translate digital signals back into analog ones for older TVs. Manufacturers and retailers have planned inventory based on a Feb. 17 transition date.
The new administration called for the digital transition to be postponed after the Commerce Department last month hit a $1.34 billion funding limit for coupons that subsidize converter boxes for consumers. The coupon program allows consumers to request up to two $40 vouchers per household to help pay for the boxes, which generally cost between $40 and $80 each and can be purchased without a coupon.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the arm of the Commerce Department administering the program, is sending out new coupons only as older, unredeemed ones reach a 90-day expiration date and free up more money. The NTIA has more than 3.7 million coupon requests on a waiting list - and those people would not receive their coupons before Feb. 17.
A separate measure, part of the economic stimulus proposal working its way through Congress, would add $650 million in funding for the coupon program.
Democrats on Capitol Hill and at the FCC have also questioned whether the government has provided enough on-the-ground support to help consumers hook up converter boxes - or whether enough call center resources have been arranged to handle what could be an avalanche of requests for help.
"The country is not prepared to undertake a nationwide transition in 12 days without unacceptably high consumer dislocation," acting FCC chairman Michael Copps said in a statement. "We've got a lot of work to do, but we now have an opportunity to do it better."
The National Association of Broadcasters also welcomed the delay. The group said it will provide new television spots to promote the June 12 deadline, and work with stations to coordinate additional analog shut-off tests to raise awareness and help consumers prepare.
One other thing that is odd for places like Buffalo is that Canada is changing to digital also but they are doing it at a different date that I don't remember when it is. So for people who want to get those channels they need a box that can take both analog and digital signals I think that is called a pass through box but not sure about that.
Location: Buffalo, NY
02/02/09 07:17 - 30ºF - ID#47607
Greatest Superbowl Ever??????
There have been teams that I have really liked that have won Superbowls like The 49ers, Raiders and Redskins so it is tough to base how good the game was on the result. I also remember really enjoying the Bills one until "Wide Right" but don't really remember any of it. In terms of how good a game it was I can only compare it to games that I have seen and compared to what I can remember it was a pretty good game. Of course though watching a game in a group vs. by ones self is always different. I didn't read the article on line since I didn't have time but some writer called this the 2nd best Superbowl of all time and The Steelers best.
I watched a bunch of Pregame before I went to the store to get stuff. I found it interesting that Micheal Phelps smokes or smoked weed, and now it is an issue. Hey maybe it is just me but I assumed it has smoked it for years. He is a white boy who listens to not sure if it would be hip hop or rap and I assumed he has been to plenty of parties with weed. It is to bad he said he is sorry. I know being an athlete can make things like smoking weed tough to admit but as long as he didn't use it a performance enhancer who cares. I get that people think of him as a role model but he isn't he is an athlete.
Here are some shots from my way to the party.
Then before the game like any other party with (e:strip)pers everyone was pretty much in the kitchen so here are the candid shots I got.
Then it was time to eat and watch some pregame stuff.
The next batch should be from the game. You will notice that there are pictures of the game going on. I assume that they look good I will see just when everyone else does when this is published. In theory they should look good since it isn't a TV screen with lines it is something projected but who knows.
The Boss at Halftime seemed pretty good to me, but I'm not a big Springsteen fan.
Some more pictures from the game and the activities
I admit I didn't answer if it was the best Superbowl game ever and I knew I never really could, it would be to hard to do. I know that it was a very good one, and that there where some pretty good ads on. I'm sorry that I don't have a link for people who want to watch them again or watch ones maybe they missed, not sure what my favorite one was. All in all the Superbowl is a great event for many reasons and it was nice to see everyone there and again thanks to Drew and Janelle. Here is the final thing of pictures of the 6 time world champion Steelers.
Location: Buffalo, NY
02/01/09 10:58 - 37ºF - ID#47589
Saturday NIght comedy
So during SNL I Saw that Heroes starts up on Monday and the NBC page has info and all kinds of stuff on the shows and Super Bowl stuff and SNL. In terms of SNL they have multiple ways to watch video from last nights show. I like that they Got the real McGuiver Richard Dean Anderson to play in the mockery of his own show and all the Pepsi stuff was funny to me also. Then the entire Diaper that you can eat thing was funny. Then the Paterson stuff was funny on weekend update. All in all a great show and Steve Martin Sings a song with a band, all in all a great show I thought. By the way the 1st part of the pregame starts in just over and Hour then I guess the net work stuff starts at 1pm, go Steelers!!!!!!!!!!!
Location: Buffalo, NY
01/31/09 03:35 - 14ºF - ID#47583
Thunder Slam 09
So for you fans of Monster Trucks you can still go tonight, the trucks are there for two nights and they race and do freestyle and then they have some smaller trucks race and some freestyle motocross. I Had A good time. I'm not good enough to get great pictures of the trucks in action they come out blurry or dark it seems so I may not post any of those. Before the event they have a Pit Party and those are the pictures below.
But first some Pictures of Downtown Buffalo Before the show
Ok now onto the monster trucks
Hope these pictures were or are Ok. I know I had a fun time on this superbowl weekend doing something that had nothing to do with football and I hope everyone who goes to the show tonight enjoys them selves and there are no one gets killed.
Location: Buffalo, NY
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