06/03/09 06:44 - 62ºF - ID#48832
New Hamshire Allows Gay Marriage
Gay marriage bill signed into law in New Hampshire
By NORMA LOVE, Associated Press Writer Norma Love, Associated Press Writer - 10 mins ago
CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage after the Senate and House passed key language on religious rights and Gov. John Lynch - who personally opposes gay marriage - signed the legislation Wednesday afternoon.
After rallies outside the Statehouse by both sides in the morning, the last of three bills in the package went to the Senate, which approved it 14-10 Wednesday afternoon.
Cheers from the gallery greeted the key vote in the House, which passed it 198-176. Surrounded by gay marriage supporters, Lynch signed the bill about an hour later.
"Today, we are standing up for the liberties of same-sex couples by making clear that they will receive the same rights, responsibilities - and respect - under New Hampshire law," Lynch said.
Lynch, a Democrat, had promised a veto if the law didn't clearly spell out that churches and religious groups would not be forced to officiate at gay marriages or provide other services. Legislators made the changes.
Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont and Iowa already allow gay marriage, though opponents hope to overturn Maine's law with a public vote.
California briefly allowed gay marriage before a public vote banned it; a court ruling grandfathered in couples who were already married.
The New Hampshire law will take effect Jan. 1, exactly two years after the state began recognizing civil unions.
The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, elected in New Hampshire in 2003 as the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, was among those celebrating the new law.
"It's about being recognized as whole people and whole citizens," Robinson said.
"There are a lot of people standing here who when we grew up could not have imagined this," he said. "You can't imagine something that is simply impossible. It's happened, in our lifetimes."
Opponents, mainly Republicans, objected on grounds including the fragmented process.
"It is no surprise that the Legislature finally passed the last piece to the gay marriage bill today. After all, when you take 12 votes on five iterations of the same issue, you're bound to get it passed sooner or later," said Kevin Smith, executive director of gay marriage opponent Cornerstone Policy Research.
The revised bill added a sentence specifying that all religious organizations, associations or societies have exclusive control over their religious doctrines, policies, teachings and beliefs on marriage.
It also clarified that church-related organizations that serve charitable or educational purposes are exempt from having to provide insurance and other benefits to same-sex spouses of employees.
The House rejected the language Lynch suggested two weeks ago by two votes. Wednesday's vote was on a revised bill negotiated with the Senate.
Supporters had considered Wednesday their last chance to pass a bill this year.
The law will establish civil and religious marriage licenses and allow each party to the marriage to be identified as bride, groom or spouse. Same-sex couples already in civil unions will automatically be assumed to have a "civil marriage."
Churches will be able to decide whether to conduct religious marriages for same-sex couples. Civil marriages would be available to both heterosexual and same-sex couples.
New Hampshire's decision leaves Rhode Island as the only New England state not to allow same-sex marriages. A bill there is expected to fail this year, as similar ones have in previous years.
Associated Press Writer David Tirrell-Wysocki in Concord, N.H., contributed to this report.
Location: Buffalo, NY
06/02/09 08:08 - 60ºF - ID#48826
On a side note with all the picture stuff I do an multiple Social Networking sites, and (e:strip) I think I really need to get my own computer and have it set up where I can do other things like watch Hockey or wrestling or something as I upload and down load pictures.
Location: Buffalo, NY
05/29/09 07:23 - 61ºF - ID#48789
Snow All Year long in the falls
When I first read this I thought this sounds really cool. Then a little bit later I wondered how long it will stay open or if it ever will. I'm not from "the falls" so I don't know all the goings on up there. But every so often there is news of this great idea and for some reason they never happen. There was a water park that went out of Business so don't even get me started, how did that happen. I hope it works out and gets lots of people and stays open for years and gets other things in the falls so that NF USA is more like the Canada side, but different and still with that nice park.
Updated: 05/29/09 07:41 AM
Snow gets extended run
New Falls attraction to offer visitors taste of winter year-round
By Denise Jewell Gee
NEWS NIAGARA REPORTER
After failing to make money by redeveloping the Wintergarden, Joseph Anderson is giving winter in Niagara Falls another try.
Anderson, the Tuscarora cigarette and gasoline magnate, is building a 49-foot snow tubing hill on Main Street in the Falls. Scheduled to open next month, it would operate year-round. The city's newest attraction also includes a regulation-sized synthetic skating rink that requires no refrigeration.
Both are designed to capitalize on the region's chilly reputation, serve warm-and cold-weather visitors and do something scores of developers and entrepreneurs have been unable to accomplish: keep tourists on this side of the border for more than a few hours.
"That's the first new attraction here in a while that is family oriented," said Steven Fleck, co-owner of the Howard Johnson Closest to the Falls, across the street from the snow park. "Of course, you've got the Maid of the Mist and the Cave of the Winds and all that, but once people see the falls, there's really not a whole lot to keep them down in this end of the city."
The snow park has been under construction on a vacant parcel two blocks from the Rainbow Bridge since late last year, after Anderson's teenage son came up with the idea to build a snow tubing hill on land Anderson already held in the Falls.
Anderson, the entrepreneur behind the Smokin Joe's gasoline and cigarette chain, as well as the failed Smokin Joe's Family Fun Center in the Wintergarden, hired Snow Magic, a New Jersey company, to help develop a snow-covered tubing hill.
The company has built similar hills in Saudi Arabia and Japan.
"The beauty is, we can always make the snow regardless of the temperature," said Al Bronander, president of Snow Magic.
Unlike traditional snow-making machines-which rely on at-or below-freezing temperatures to produce artificial snow - Snow Magic's units freeze water into thin sheets of ice inside the machines before pulverizing the ice and shooting it out as small flakes.
The result is tiny crystals of ice - about 0.3 millimeters in diameter-that are about three times the size of artificial snow typically made at ski resorts.
Bronander said the company's artificial snow can be groomed like other snow and can be used for snowboarding but is not as fine as snow that is used at ski resorts.
"As the sun heats it up and it warms it up, it becomes a little bit more granular, just like anywhere," Bronander said. "For snow tubing, snow play, it's fantastic."
The hill will operate in all but extremely hot weather - if temperatures peak at more than 100 degrees for several days - or in extremely heavy rain or thunderstorms, said Jennifer Pauly, marketing coordinator for Smokin Joe's Trading Post and Snow Park Niagara Falls.
The synthetic skating rink is made of a polymer material produced by Super-Glide of Clearwater, Fla. The rink includes penalty boxes and a scoreboard.
Snow Park Niagara Falls is scheduled to open to the public June 15. Tickets will be $30 for two hours on the tubing hill and unlimited access to the snow play area and rink.
The tubing hill - which has removable lanes for tubes - will host the Red Bull Buttercup snowboarding event July 9, Pauly said.
Fleck and other hotel owners hope the snow park will give visitors a reason to stay in Niagara Falls longer.
Three attractions - a tethered helium balloon ride, the Niagara Aerospace Museum and Anderson's Smokin Joe's Family Fun Center - all closed in downtown Niagara Falls before last year's tourist season. The snow park is the first new attraction to open since then.
Anderson has had mixed success in Niagara Falls development deals. He owns two hotels and controls more than 20 properties in the downtown commercial area. In 2005, he opened a children's playground and arcade in the former Wintergarden building but closed it three years later.
He recently sold the Wintergarden to the state, which plans to raze the structure to create a roadway between Niagara Falls State Park and the Seneca Niagara Casino.
A no-bid concession license Anderson struck with the city in 2004 for an outdoor pedestrian mall was largely considered a failure.
Anderson pleaded guilty in November to a federal charge of devising a scheme to deprive citizens of "the intangible right of the honest services of a public official" in connection with a series of loans totaling $40,000 to former Mayor Vince Anello. Anderson has yet to be sentenced.
Despite all of that, city officials and tourism leaders say they believe the snow park will be a success.
The project, which received a 10-year tax break through the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency, was estimated to cost $5.2 million, according to information given to the agency.
Aside from the tax break, the project is privately funded by Anderson.
"We're just excited that there's anything going on, to tell you the truth," Fleck said. "And it's good to see someone with their own money coming in."
Location: Buffalo, NY
05/28/09 07:05 - 70ºF - ID#48777
The Tattoo shop
Location: Buffalo, NY
05/25/09 02:13 - 65ºF - ID#48751
For e:ladycroft and Others Buffalo
If there is anyone who is reading this and didn't see my previous post you might want to check out those pictures as well.
Around the time of the Bisons game I took some pictures of Buffalo here are some of them, don't worry no baseball pictures.
Hey I had to include some Buster Bison shots.
So some time back I read some article about how the people who control elmwood, sorry forget what they are called. Decided they wanted to make some new rules about what can and can't be built and signs and stuff. That got me thinking about how many places on Elmwood use Canopies . Well a lot of places do. But for my little informal study I was wondering how many places used them as there sign. But before I could take Pictures I had to decide what "The strip" was. I decided that it was from forest to Allen. That being said there are two bonus pictures. We never close I decided to include because even though the sign is metal and attached it looks like a canopy. I also took a picture of Pano's since I don't have a picture of it all New. Besides that if Pano didn't let the house fall apart and then tear it down and protests erupted I don't know as Elmwood Village Asocation might not have voted on new places with signs. I thought the ruling was that no new places can have a canopy as there sign. You will see some great examples of how they are used and some bad examples and maybe some just bad pictures as well.
I do have two other photo projects I do want to do but the third one I don't know what the best way to go about it is or even If I can. I would like to take pictures of people walking dogs and doing other things. It is tough to catch the essence and unlike buildings people move. I'm wondering if maybe there is someplace to hang out or sit and get pictures. The Next photo project I want to do is taking pictures of Places that have regular signs. Yes some places like Neo and Town have more then one kind of sign for their name so would I repeat? Not sure. But this last one I just did wasn't really political I don't really have a side I'm on. Then again Pride is soon and I want to take pictures of the March and I have an interesting Idea that I hope works.
On Thursday Before the Bisons game I did take some Pictures of the AUD. So if you don't care about random Pictures of the AUD this would be a good time to leave.
I hope everyone Has or Had a great Holiday Weekend. Tough to believe it is back to work on Tuesday but for a lot of people they work today or have to work weekends, hey it is great to BBQ but if no one worked where would people buy all the stuff?
Location: Buffalo, NY
05/25/09 12:30 - 65ºF - ID#48749
Memorial Day e:strip event
Two things I should ad before I forget.
1) No Photos where posed for they are candid shots
2) Backyards are often shady, I would have no idea how to take a picture with out shadows so hopefully they all look ok
Well I think that is all of them. I think (e:tinypliny) took a couple pictures in there, I think there are two pictures that face the wrong way that I forgot about. It was nice to see everyone who was there and it was a really nice time. I would like to thank (e:PMT) for having that and for their hospitality.
Location: Buffalo, NY
05/24/09 11:05 - 61ºF - ID#48736
After the movie I got off the Bus at Forest I started my Photo Project. Hey it was a nice day for a nice walk. Yes there where people out but not as many as I thought would be out. There was this really cute/sexy lady walking two dogs, not really a fan of dogs but her little killers looked cute. Plus there where some people out looking like they where sunbathing. Oh yeah my photo project is that I wanted to take pictures of places that use Awnings as there sign. Yes there are lots of places that have them but I only wanted ones that used them with information on them. It was a good time and hopefully after the holiday weekend some pictures will get posted.
From the end of "The Strip" I walked down to the Town Ballroom and waited in line to get tickets for As Summer Dies and Mushroomhead. It turned out to be a pretty good show. I had no idea there would be that many bands. There is no way to even remember them all and some of them I wouldn't be able to remember. But it was a great time. Well unless of course you are my camera trying to figure out the lighting. Oh yeah or unless you are my right ear that got smashed by sound from about 4pm to 1am.
Location: Buffalo, NY
05/20/09 06:38 - 74ºF - ID#48707
Location: Buffalo, NY
05/17/09 05:02 - 55ºF - ID#48684
Hospice Walk Around DT area
Even though the weekend isn't over yet it sure feels like it is, and it sure went by fast. Hope it was good to everyone.
Location: Buffalo, NY
05/16/09 06:32 - 63ºF - ID#48681
Motorcycle clubs Gangs
If any of you follow me on facebook you will notice that I put links up to news articles. I think you have to like click 3 times and it ads the link to your page. I don't know why but all this stuff with the Chosen Few is really interesting.
That being said. I think it is important for everyone who watches the news or reads it to remember something. The News is only one persons perspective. It is also important to know that profit is a big part of the news now. What I'm saying in a round about way is when you hear news don't just go oh ok. Think does that make sense and think about what you heard. I'm not saying that you should go look it up your self. But just remember that when something happens (more internationally then locally ) that perspectives of what happened will change how the story is told.
I find this very true with the Chosen Few articles. I feel like there is some stuff that doesn't make sense. There must be stuff that the news isn't telling us. I'm not going so far as to say they are with holding stuff maybe they just don't have all the information.
My first question is why are they and the Kingsmen rivals. The news says they are and says something about something at like a race of some kind. But it doesn't say what the Beef is.
One of the stories mentions that "The Law" met with the Chosen few and tried to stop the violence. At the very least to make sure if they went after The Kingsmen that no one else got hurt. That same story said that the Chosen Few where unable to stop the feud.
But they still don't say what the violence is about.
The part that I really don't get is if there is a supposed beef or even so called war, then why didn't they arrest any kingsmen. Maybe there is no reason to because maybe the left the feud in the past. But none of the articles say anything about it. Maybe some other agency is building a case on them. Maybe the kingsmen ended things and told the police that they them selves aren't a gang. I admit I have no clue. But unless I missed something nothing in the paper gives any answers to this. These articles leave the reader guessing.
I can admit that I know nothing about Bike Clubs. I would assume that once they start breaking laws they get called gangs. Just because someone puts on leather and likes to ride a big motorcycle doesn't mean they are in a club. I did see one documentary about some cop who got into I think the hells angels and it was pretty interesting. I remember being somewhere in Toronto maybe the skydome and they had a sign about not being allowed to wear your colors there. So I guess at least at one time it was a problem in Toronto I assume.
It would be nice if the news gave us readers all the information. I wonder if I'm the only one who read the articles and found them interesting but had questions. Sometimes I wonder if the news is turning something into a bigger then then it is to sell Papers. Other times I think they might not have all the info.
The Latest article on The Chosen Few
The local headquarters of the Chosen Few Motorcycle Club at 94 Main St., Depew, was bugged by the FBI.
Bill Wippert/Buffalo News
Updated: 05/15/09 07:44 AM
Biker club raid puts focus on theft case
By Dan Herbeck
NEWS STAFF REPORTER
When police raided the home of the president of the Chosen Few motorcycle club last week, they found about $5,500 worth of equipment allegedly stolen from his employer, the state Thruway Authority.
A wide range of items - including floodlights, electrical wire, raincoats, light bulbs, emergency flashers, numerous pairs of leather gloves and more than 30 boxes of paper towels - were seized from the Alden home of Alex Koschtschuk.
Police are investigating to determine how he got them, a federal prosecutor said Thursday.
"The Thruway Authority has been made aware of this investigation," Assistant U. S. Attorney Anthony M. Bruce said during a detention hearing for Koschtschuk.
Bruce also revealed that a series of diagrams were found indicating that the Chosen Few might have been planning to attack the local clubhouses and some homes of the Kingsmen, their rival club.
The prosecutor said the diagrams of Kingsmen clubhouses and homes were found by state police in Koschtschuk's home.
And he told a judge that authorities suspect someone in local law enforcement - possibly a suburban police lieutenant - has been illegally giving the Chosen Few police mug shots of rival bikers.
Koschtschuk, 58, and another Thruway Authority worker- Alan "Deuce" Segool, identified by FBI agents as the Chosen Few vice president - were arrested May 7 with 18 other members of the biker club. They are accused of waging a violent war against the Kingsmen.
During Thursday's hearing, Bruce called Koschtschuk a "danger to the public." U. S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy ordered that Koschtschuk be jailed until his case comes to trial.
The ruling was a disappointment to Koschtschuk's wife, Tracy, and to his attorney, Herbert L. Greenman, who said the federal investigation turned up "a lot of talk" but little evidence that Koschtschuk ever actually harmed anyone.
Greenman described Koschtschuk as a solid family man and working man whose past record includes no convictions for crimes of violence.
"[Koschtschuk is] not a danger to any person or to the community," Greenman said.
Bruce disagreed, saying federal agents used hidden recording devices in the Chosen Few's clubhouse in Depew to get tapes of Koschtschuk ordering his club members to go after the Kingsmen with guns, fists, ax handles and bombs.
"[Koschtschuk] is the unquestioned leader of this organization," Bruce said.
Both Koschtschuk and Segool, 48, of West Falls, are employees of the Thruway Authority, according to state records obtained after a Freedom of Information request by The Buffalo News.
Koschtschuk is a general mechanic for the authority at an annual salary of $47,049. He was hired in August 1999 and is currently on leave without pay because of a work-related injury. He receives workers' compensation pay.
Records show that Segool is a Thruway maintenance worker who was hired by the state in July 2001. Because of his arrest, he is on unauthorized leave without pay.
Before working with the Thruway Authority, Segool worked for six years as a police officer with the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, said his attorney, Angelo Musitano.
Segool has never been convicted of a crime of violence, Musitano said, but McCarthy said he did not feel that he could risk releasing Segool on bail.
"I think he's one of the key players [in the Chosen Few]," the judge said, "and I can't be certain that he would not instruct others to use violence."
A few other stories about them
Location: Buffalo, NY
- body art
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