Planning to take Dad to Niagara Falls, Ontario for Father’s Day – feed him at Ribfest.

If you are planning on taking Dad to Niagara Falls, Ontario for Father’s Day, why not feed him at Ribfest?

Niagara Falls, Can - Rotary Club

Niagara Falls Ribfest, Ontario’s #1 Rib Festival is a fundraiser by the Rotary Club of Niagara Falls Sunrise.  June 14,15,16  Optimist Park.

Fun for the whole family.  No pets or coolers allowed in the park.  Free Parking.  Bring your own lawn chairs.  It’s a picnic.

Money raised during this event goes back into the community. We contribute to Rotary House, Pathstone Mental Health, School Breakfast Program, GNGH Foundation, Boys and Girls Club of Niagara, Habitat for Humanity and Literacy Niagara to name but a few.

For Ribfest details click here: http://www.niagarafallsribfest.com/

For information on Rotary Club of Niagara Falls Sunrise visitwww.niagarafallsrotary.com

 

Greater effort needed expanding Western New York presence on global agricultural export market?

1.  Farmington Fresh Processing Facility 2.  Air Cargo Loading Pad

1. Farmington Fresh Processing Facility
2. Air Cargo Loading Pad

Greater effort needed in expanding Western New York presence on global agricultural export market?  Buffalo-Niagara Enterprise should take a look at the Modesto, CA airport processing operation as a potential for business model.

A September 2009 report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture said:

Buffalo-Niagara Enterprise should take a look at the Modesto, CA airport processing operation as a potential for business model.    

A September 2009 report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture said:

New York produces agricultural products that are exported worldwide. In 2008, the State’s cash receipts from farming totaled $4.7 billion, and exports were estimated at $1.2 billion. Agricultural exports help boost farm prices and income, while supporting about 13,899 jobs both on the farm and off the farm in food processing, storage, and transportation. Exports are increasingly important to New York’s agricultural and statewide economy. Measured as exports divided by farm cash receipts, the State’s reliance on agricultural exports was 25 percent in 2008.

New York’s top agricultural exports in 2008 were:
• dairy products — $333 million
• wheat and products — $152 million
• fruits and preparations — $149 million
• feed grains and products — $125 million

Ten years ago the “Statewide Cultural Tourism Coalition” prepared a White Paper Report where it announced that Agriculture and Tourism are the #1 and #2 revenue producers in the state economy totaling $39 billion.

The California central valley city of Stockton (291,000 pop) has capitalized on its proximity to the great agricultural production from the area.   Stockton Metropolitan Airport has a main runway that is of similar length to NFIA at 10,650 ft.  The airport also has something that Niagara Falls does not, a fruit packing and distribution company with concrete loading pad for exporting produce.  The processor is Farmington Fresh:

Farmington Fresh Sales handles fresh produce importing and exporting for the agriculture and food industry. In 1995 five local growers formed the company as a refrigerated produce-handling and airfreight operation at Stockton Metropolitan Airport in Stockton, Calif. Stockton’s Metropolitan Airport was chosen because of its largely unused capacity to handle wide-body aircraft. The facilities also permit consolidation and staging of large volumes of perishable food products for dedicated airfreight shipments by charter carriers. It is a full-service airport with a 10,000-foot, all-weather runway and landing system. Farmington Fresh is located east of San Francisco in California’s San Joaquin Valley, one of the world s largest agricultural production areas.

So a little used airport with its low fee schedule has become home to a major business with international cargo flights because it was able to attract a progressive tenant looking to improve market share.  While Western New York may not be in the same club as that region what is done there might still be doable here. 

Cornell Univ. statistics show that 61% of all U.S. exports go to #1 Canada, #2 Taiwan, #3 Hong Kong, #4 United Kingdom, #5 Mexico, and #6 Indonesia.  New York state would lose the Asian market place battle but on the Middle East-South Asian – African front there might be new opportunities for business expansion for our farms and orchards.  When it comes to apples another fact comes into play, the fact apple production within the European Union is declining.  Germany an apple producer now imports better than a half million tons of apples.  France has seen its orchards reduced by nearly 40%.  On the other hand Poland, Ukraine and Turkey have increased apple production.  Still, quality could be an issue and in our favor. 

Last year, an associate, Jeanne Gittler, and I met with Niagara County officials last year at the county business development center to pitch the idea.  We also brought to their attention  a  large Dubai, UAE based food importer/exporter  named  Greenbelt Food Stuff LLC Satwa and Al Awir.   We wondered if such a company might have an interest in doing business with local producers and quite possibly invest in a airport facility as in Stockton.  The idea seemed intriguing when you consider Gov. Andrew Cuomo has placed a one billion dollar development plan on the table.  

 We were politely received but found no interest and  received no follow-up.  The same for the New York Apple Association.  Plenty of phone calls, put on hold, then told he’s not in you can leave a message.  Emails were never answered.  But that is really not surprising.  Twenty years ago  the Department of Agricultural Economics, New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences @ Cornell University took a statewide survey of packer/shippers.  Surveys were mailed to 38, responses were received from only 17.  A pretty sorry 45% response rate.

You would think that with the economy in bad shape that businesses would be interested in investigating a new lower cost transportation opportunity, a new market, and exploitation of declining production by competing apple producers on the global market.

Buffalo, NY’s cost of living is not what you think.

Buffalo, NY’s cost of living is not what you are telling everyone. I continue to be amazed at some of the things that get said and written by people that are so far from the truth but are accepted as fact by far too many people. People complain about the cost of living here, the cost of taxes, the cost of health care, etc. They move elsewhere and tell everyone how can you live there is it so expensive. You pay too much for everything.

I’m finally decided to put together something I’ve always know to be true and based on statistics, not wishful and many times mean spirited, chip on the shoulder attitudes.

Below you will find a chart containing the Top 51 largest metro areas in the United States. I’ve made it 51 because our friends in Rochester, 65 miles down the road, are ranked #51. I used figures produced by Sperling’s Best Places. For those who don’t know Sperling’s is mentioned on Wikipedia and says this: Sperling’s BestPlaces is a website created and maintained by author and researcher Bert Sperling. It offers information about cities and zip codes in the United States including climate, economy, population, demographics, education, cost of living, and employment.

To the left of every city is it’s population rank with the largest, New York City, being #1. To the right of the city is its Overall rank. The smaller the number the least expensive it is to live in that city. The United States is shown as #100. That is the national average. You are able to find out where each of the cities stand in the national average.

For the people of the area, you will have to decide if what you are telling everyone is reality. You will also have to decide if what you are telling everyone is hurting or helping this area’s economic recovery.

Chart Note:

Pop. Rank is the population ranking of the 51 cities.
C.O.L. Rank is Sperling’s Cost of living ranking. The lower the number the least expensive the city.
U.S.A. 100 – the the benchmark average national ranking.

City Pop. C.O.L. Food Housing Utilities Transportation Health Misc.
  Rank Overall            
Memphis, TN 41 75 95 37 85 90 98 87
BUFFALO, NY 49 78 93 32 109 102 92 89
Detroit, MI 14 79 98 30 104 102 97 96
Birmingham, AL 48 82 90 54 106 83 82 95
Cleveland, OH 29 84 110 31 96 102 112 104
Louisville KY- 43 84 91 57 105 98 89 94
Rochester, NY 51 84 95 37 114 105 102 100
St. Louis, MO 19 84 94 61 193 98 97 93
Houston, TX 5 85 89 78 94 94 96 97
Cincinnati, OH 28 86 97 57 99 97 96 97
Milwaukee, WI 39 86 95 55 111 105 113 89
Oklahoma City, OK 42 86 92 65 85 101 97 94
San Antonio,TX 25 86 85 66 91 97 97 96
Columbus, OH 32 87 92 60 102 102 102 96
Dallas, TX 4 88 98 52 105 105 100 101
Jacksonville, FL 40 88 99 61 103 107 90 96
Phoenix, AZ 13 88 100 60 100 101 102 96
Pittsburgh, PA 22 88 106 52 103 111 93 98
Tampa, FL 18 88 99 60 99 103 92 97
Baltimore, MD 20 90 111 61 111 102 96 94
Indianapolis, IN 33 90 93 74 96 101 94 95
Orlando, FL 26 91 100 57 108 100 92 109
Charlotte, NC 23 93 100 82 95 97 94 99
New Orleans, LA 45 93 97 87 93 100 89 97
Atlanta, GA 9 94 99 75 96 95 103 103
Kansas City, MO 30 94 98 70 109 99 99 107
Las Vegas, NV 31 94 106 70 93 102 104 106
Nashville, TN 36 98 95 102 86 96 90 102
Richmond, VA 44 98 102 88 108 104 110 99
UNITED STATES 0 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Philadelphia, PA 6 101 119 69 122 102 109 114
Austin, TX 35 102 84 123 99 96 99 95
Raleigh, NC 47 102 100 108 104 95 103 98
Chicago, IL 3 105 108 107 99 110 104 102
Hartford, CT 46 105 123 75 118 113 114 116
Minneapolis, MN 16 105 106 99 99 105 106 111
Salt Lake City, UT 50 106 93 130 79 98 95 106
Miami, FL 8 108 105 120 95 108 108 104
Sacramento, CA 27 108 111 100 114 113 112 108
Denver, CO 21 110 102 133 88 95 107 108
Riverside, CA 12 112 109 122 111 108 102 108
Providence, RI 38 113 112 90 130 103 114 134
Virginia, VA 37 114 99 147 110 95 98 102
Portland, OR 24 116 105 146 94 109 110 104
San Francisco, 11 119 114 426 92 110 111 116
San Diego, CA 17 143 106 237 112 111 110 103
Seattle, WA 15 143 110 231 93 107 118 107
Washington, DC 7 143 111 235 118 109 100 101
Los Angeles, CA 2 144 110 235 115 112 111 103
Boston, MA 10 149 117 211 130 108 123 135
New York, NY 1 160 110 299 135 108 112 118
San Jose, CA 34 186 116 314 129 112 118 101

Who would have thought there could be an algae bloom with snow on the ground?

Lake Erie is the fourth largest Great Lake- is 210 miles long by 57 miles wide totally nearly 10,000 sq. miles of water.  It is called a lake but because of its shallow 62 foot average depth with a 210 foot maximum acts like a river.  The whole mass is inexorably flowing towards the Niagara River, a plunge over the Niagara Falls and exit into the final Great Lake, Ontario.

At one time Lake Erie was a great commercial fishery.  American and Canadian boats would head out into the Lake daily to catch, Walleye, Perch and other species.  Then environmental disaster hit the lakes and industrial waste began to decrease fish stock.  All the while 150 years of navigation on the Lakes aided by the Erie Canal at first and then more dramatically with the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway   ballast water transfers from such ships have introduced invasive species such as zebra and quagga mussels, spiny waterfleas, Eurasian ruffe, sea lamprey and the round goby joined in suppressing native fish stock.

By 1970 the New York fishing fleet based in Dunkirk shut down.  Today all that remains is Canadian fleet with some 178 licenses. (Source: Walleye Central).  Canadian sportsmen don’t like that at all.

Compared to the old days Lake Erie was pretty much dead.   Things were so bad that both the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, OH and the Buffalo River in Buffalo, NY each caught fire.  Well, it really wasn’t the rivers that burnt it was the chemical and industrial wastes that had found their way into those streams and ignited.

That was 40 years.  Environmental laws were enacted, heavy industry died, phosphates were removed from soaps and detergents, dredging operations were done in the most seriously affected feeders streams and shorelines  to aid in the clean.  The lake started making a comeback.  By 2000 Lake Erie became one of the world’s great freshwater sport fishing destinations. Fishing charters sprung up.  Captains made money, sportsmen were happy.  There was potential in the air.  The Bass Masters even came to Buffalo Harbor and the Niagara River to run one of the great fishing competitions.

Lake Erie could once again become another plank in the hull of the ship that was once Western New York’s thriving economy.

Are red flags being raised once again?  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Environment Visualization Laboratory  released a report 2 days ago that said:

February 2013 was 9th Warmest on Record

Recently released analysis by NOAA scientists at the National Climatic Data Center reveals that the February 2013 global average temperature of 54.93°F (12.67°C) was the 9th warmest year on record (dating back to 1880). This image, using data from NCDC’s Global Historical Climatology Network shows areas of warmer (red) and cooler (blue) than normal temperatures. Most areas of the world experienced higher-than-average annual temperatures, including eastern Europe, western Russia, the Middle East, much of Canada, and southern Greenland. Meanwhile, northern and western Alaska, far northwestern Canada, a large swath of the contiguous United States, western Europe, northwestern Africa, Siberia, Mongolia, and most of the eastern Pacific Ocean were notably cooler than average. In addition, the Antarctic sea ice extent reached its annual minimum extent on February 20th at 1.42 million square miles, marking the second largest annual minimum extent on record.Of itself it would appear that there is no real connection to the rebirth of Lake Erie as an attraction.  Except that in November 2012, NOAA released a satellite photo of the Lake.  And what was shocking was the sight of a massive algae bloom covering nearly all of the western end of the lake.  It was a very late season bloom and snow was covering the ground at the same time.

 In October 2011, the NASA Earth Observatory reported: 

Lake Erie has been invaded by zebra- and quagga mussels, carried into the lake in the ballast of ships. The mussels are bottom feeders, and they do a good job cleaning the water. They remove so many particles that Lake Erie is very clear in the spring and early summer. But zebra and quagga mussels don’t like microcystis. “They selectively feed on other phytoplankton species, removing competitors so microcystis can thrive,” says Mouw. As the mussels digest, they release phosphate and ammonia into the water, and these nutrients give microcystis an additional boost. When microcystis blooms develop, they create a green scum on the surface of the water that is visible from space.

Though not directly toxic to fish, the bloom isn’t good for marine life. After the algae dies, bacteria break it down. The decay process consumes oxygen, so the decay of a large bloom can leave “dead zones,” low oxygen areas where fish can’t survive. If ingested, the algae can cause flu-like symptoms in people and death in pets.

In its January 2013 issue Scientific American reported:

Although harmful algal blooms have been documented for more than a century, recently the number and frequency of cases have drastically increased.

According to research published in leading scientific journals, Lake Zurich is by no means alone. Cyanobacteria now threaten the ecological well-being of some of the world’s largest water bodies, including Lake Victoria in Africa, Lake Erie in the United States and Canada, Lake Taihu in China, the Baltic Sea in northern Europe, and the Caspian Sea in west Asia. They’ve also been found in Lake Kokotel in eastern Siberia, which is next to Lake Baikal, the world’s largest, deepest and most ancient freshwater lake. Baikal contains 20 percent of the world’s total unfrozen freshwater reserve.

Red Flags should go up.  Who would have thought that you would find an algae bloom on Lake Erie with snow on the surrounding shore?

Cold Weather Algae Bloom on Lake Erie Source:  Earthgauge.net

Cold Weather Algae Bloom on Lake Erie
Source: Earthgauge.net

 

 

Buffalo Billion Investment Development Plan already has misssed the boat.

The well-connected are planning regional development for the Buffalo (Erie County) and Niagara Falls (Niagara County) region. Their impetus is the result of a $1 billion development offer from New York State by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and will operate under the moniker – Buffalo Billion Investment Development Plan.

It just made the following announcements

A Message from the Co-Chairs

On behalf of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, we are proud to present the Buffalo Billion Investment Development Plan.  The Plan was developed at the request of Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Plan encompasses an in depth analysis of the levers that drive Buffalo’s and the region’s growth within a global context, promotes strategies based  upon Buffalo’s unique assets, and advances early initiatives for implementation.  The plan’s  success depends on the continued input and commitment of Buffalo’s and the region’s stakeholders.

Many people have contributed to the Plan’s development.  Whether providing leadership and direction, research and analysis, conducting interviews, providing global context , the collaboration of people and organizations have made this plan possible.  We would like to  acknowledge the members of our Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, as well as the members of the Buffalo Billion Advisory Group, the many hundreds of people  who served on design councils and our partners at Empire State Development.  We would also like to acknowledge the work done by the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, McKinsey & Company, and University at Buffalo Regional Institute.  The combined insight and  work has the power to positively impact the economic growth trajectory of Buffalo and the  region.
In particular, we thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership, as well as his dedication to Buffalo
and the region.  Governor Cuomo recognized the potential of WNY, and that recognition inspired the Plan contained within.  We also thank Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy for his vision throughout this process, and for his continuous support of our Regional Economic Development Council and of our Plan.

Thank you in advance for joining with us as we move forward.

Sincerely,
Satish K. Tripathi                          Howard A. Zemsky

It acknowledges the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council membership:

Chair-

Robert J. Duffy, Lieutenant Governor, New York State

Regional Co-Chair

Satish K. Tripathi, President, University at Buffalo and Howard A. Zemsky, Managing Partner Larkin Development Group – Regional Co-chairs

Members -
Crystal Abers, Cattaraugus County Director of Economic development, Development, Planning & Tourism – designee of Cattaraugus County Legislature Chair;  Pamela R. Henderson, Managing Partner,  Henderson-Woods, LLC;  John R. Koelmel, President & CEO, First Niagara Financial Group, Inc.;  Aaron Bartley Executive Director, PUSH (People United for Sustainable Housing) Buffalo; Thomas A. Kucharski, President & CEO, Jeff Belt Buffalo Niagara Enterprise: President & CEO, SolEpoxy; Brenda W. McDuffie, President & CEO, Bufflao Urban League;  Robert T. Brady, Chairman & CEO, Moog;  Deanna Alterio Brennen, President & CEO Niagara USA Chamber of Commerce; Jennifer J. Parker
President & CEO President, Jackson Parker Communications, Black Capital Network; Byron W. Brown, Mayor of Buffalo;  Mark Poloncarz, Erie County Executive;  Paul Brown, President, Buffalo Building & Construction Trades Council;  David Porter, Plant Manager, Cummins, Inc.; Michael H. Ranzenhofer, New York State Senate, 61st District; Curtis Crandall Chair of Allegany County Legislature; Colleen C. DiPirro, President & CEO, Amherst Chamber of Commerce; William Ross, Chair of Niagara County Legislature;  Paul A. Dyster,  Mayor of Niagara Falls;  Duncan Ross, President, Arrowhead Spring Vineyards;  Andrew J. Rudnick, President & CEO, Buffalo Niagara Partnership;  Dr. Charles Edmonson, President, Alfred University;  Greg Edwards, Chautauqua County Executive, Robin Schimminger, New York State Assembly, 140th District;  Robert Gioia, President, The John R. Oishei Foundation ; Samuel Teresi, Mayor of Jamestown;  Dr. Rosa Gonzalez, Owner/Assistant Professor & Chair, Emergency Management Program, R. Gonzalez Consulting, Inc./ Erie Community College;  Dr. Connie Vari, Executive Vice President & COO,  Kaleida Health; Dr. Raul Vasquez, Founder & CEO, Urban Family Practice

Buffalo Billion Advisory Group –

Martin Berardi, President, Moog Medical Devices Group;  Robert Shibley, Dean, University at Buffalo, School of Architecture and Planning; Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker,  President/CEO, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo;   Rich Tobe, Deputy County Executive, Office of Erie County Executive.

It has defined its areas of interest for regional investment and development as being: 1)  Advanced Manufacturing; 2)  Health and Life Sciences; and,  3)   Tourism.

This site has its focus on tourism and travel.  So I will stick with the Tourism focus of the plan and express the opinion that its members choice of Regional Attractions are not necessarily a reality check as much as it could be a “we want these” opinion.

The BBIDP identifies what it calls the 18 top regional attractions.  They are:  1. Niagara Falls State Park; 2. Buffalo Olmsted Parks; 3. Ralph Wilson Stadium; 4. Canal side; 5. Buffalo Zoo; 6. Buffalo Museum of Science; 7. Albright Knox Art Gallery; 8. Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens; 9. Niagara Wine Trail USA; 10. National Garden Festival; 11. Old Fort Niagara; 12. Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society; 13. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House Complex; 14. Theodore Roosevelt Historic Site; 15. Buffalo Sailing Adventures; 16. Buffalo Transportation/Pierce Arrow Museum;17. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Graycliff Estate; 18. Forest Lawn Cemetery.

All are attractions except one.  Ralph Wilson Stadium.  It is a sporting venue that attracts people only on game day.  It is not a tourist destination.  Over 40 years it has never been a place that attracts out-of-town visitors to come by take a look and spend money in the process.  How many of you go to New York City and have Yankee Stadium or the Meadowlands on your must se list?

Why I find interesting is that some very serious attractions are left off the list from Niagara County even though the Mayor of Niagara Falls, President of Niagara USA Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the Niagara County Legislature are members.

The committee has ignored for major local attractions where people come by bus, personal car, and rental by the tens of thousands to do something interesting.. They come to Lockport, NY to see and experience the 200-year-old Flight of Five Locks from the Original Erie Canal.  They take the canal trip through Locks #34 and #35 on one of the two tour boats operated by Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Tours.  This company has been featured in segments of television programs on the History and Discovery Channels. They walk the 175 year old Lockport Cave and take the underground boat ride. The Erie Canal, America’s greatest engineering feat, by itself is not even considered as a regional attraction to be developed by the group let alone receiving well-deserved World Heritage Site recognition after 188 years of existence.  Its name known world wide and this area continues to not capitalize on that global recognition.

When they leave the City of Lockport if they haven’t done so earlier, the take a trip to the Lewiston  to take in the great Niagara Power Project Power Vista.  The engine that drives New York State and  areas of its neighboring states.

There is the place that is a treat to kids.  A place tailored to their entertainment.  A place to have fun when a family needs a break in their sightseeing agenda.  That is the 52-year-old Martin’s Fantasy Island on Grand Island.

Finally, if you want to attract tourism to this area.  It means you must end the New York City monopoly on international air travel in to the state.  The Buffalo Billion group “must” avail itself to an active pursuit of travel airlines and their tourist packages to Niagara Falls International Airport.  Until done, this area will never meet its full tourism potential because it will always be subjected to the whims of travel brokers located elsewhere.

This Plan needs hard-working, involved and committed tourism specialists and educators to do the leg work.  As far as I can see, this group does not have people with that back ground.

Buffalo’s Best Kielbasa Contest looking for competitors.

612 Fillmore Ave., Buffalo, New York 14212

Maybe you even think that your kielbasa is the Best in Buffalo. Applications are actively being sought for Buffalo’s Best Kielbasa Contest in both Commercial and Homemade categories.

Here’s your chance to prove it. Adam Mickiewicz Library & Dramatic Circle (Mickey’s) and Tornspace Theatre are bringing back the spirited “Buffalo’s Best Kielbasa Contest” on Dyngus Day, April 1, 2013 at noon. This way you can start your Dyngus Day celebration early in Polonia at Buffalo’s M…ost Authentic and Original Dyngus Day Celebration.

This Contest will converge Dyngus Day revelers, polish beer connoisseurs, and polish sausage lovers into the Heart of Polonia to determine Buffalo’s Best Kielbasa. The sponsor of this event is Fillmore District Council Member David A. Franczyk and he is looking for the best kielbasa-makers in the area.

The winner of this year’s contest will receive a basket of Polish Cheer and best of all, the honor of being designated Buffalo’s Best Homemade and Commercial Kielbasa and People’s Choice Winner.

The contest will be held at the Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle, 612 Fillmore Ave, Buffalo, NY from Noon- 3pm. During the contest, a Polish Beer Tasting Bar will be conducted at the bar with the unique brands of Polish Beer we feature throughout the year. Tastings will be offered (3 for $1 or 6 for $2) and you can certainly buy a bottle to enjoy.

Anyone who wishes to participate in the kielbasa contest must register in advance by completing a registration form. Any questions can be emailed to

buffalobestkielbasa@gmail.com, or by calling 716-479-2342.

Admission to the contest is $10. Admission includes a ballot to vote for the People’s Choice Contest, one draft beer, a commemorative cup for beer tasting, and admission to evening activities at Mickey’s beginning at 5pm

Note: Adam Mickiewicz Library & Dramatic Circle, Inc. is pleased to announce that Amtec from Brooklyn, NY, will once again be sponsoring the prizes for the winning kielbasa in both the Commercial & Indiviudual categories. Also, the Amtec tasting bar will be returning.

Buffalo’s Best Kielbasa Contest looking for competitors.

612 Fillmore Ave., Buffalo, New York 14212

Maybe you even think that your kielbasa is the Best in Buffalo. Applications are actively being sought for Buffalo’s Best Kielbasa Contest in both Commercial and Homemade categories.

Here’s your chance to prove it. Adam Mickiewicz Library & Dramatic Circle (Mickey’s) and Tornspace Theatre are bringing back the spirited “Buffalo’s Best Kielbasa Contest” on Dyngus Day, April 1, 2013 at noon. This way you can start your Dyngus Day celebration early in Polonia at Buffalo’s M…ost Authentic and Original Dyngus Day Celebration.

This Contest will converge Dyngus Day revelers, polish beer connoisseurs, and polish sausage lovers into the Heart of Polonia to determine Buffalo’s Best Kielbasa. The sponsor of this event is Fillmore District Council Member David A. Franczyk and he is looking for the best kielbasa-makers in the area.

The winner of this year’s contest will receive a basket of Polish Cheer and best of all, the honor of being designated Buffalo’s Best Homemade and Commercial Kielbasa and People’s Choice Winner.

The contest will be held at the Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle, 612 Fillmore Ave, Buffalo, NY from Noon- 3pm. During the contest, a Polish Beer Tasting Bar will be conducted at the bar with the unique brands of Polish Beer we feature throughout the year. Tastings will be offered (3 for $1 or 6 for $2) and you can certainly buy a bottle to enjoy.

Anyone who wishes to participate in the kielbasa contest must register in advance by completing a registration form. Any questions can be emailed to

buffalobestkielbasa@gmail.com, or by calling 716-479-2342.

Admission to the contest is $10. Admission includes a ballot to vote for the People’s Choice Contest, one draft beer, a commemorative cup for beer tasting, and admission to evening activities at Mickey’s beginning at 5pm

Note: Adam Mickiewicz Library & Dramatic Circle, Inc. is pleased to announce that Amtec from Brooklyn, NY, will once again be sponsoring the prizes for the winning kielbasa in both the Commercial & Indiviudual categories. Also, the Amtec tasting bar will be returning.

It is mid-season, how are the Sister-Cities football clubs doing?

As was the case the last time I did this I placed the Tottenham Hotspur in the mix.  The London borough of Haringey, home of the Spurs, is not a Sister-City, but, as a supporter I give them benefit of the doubt.

At the moment the Sister City clubs aren’t shining but with half the season to go they all have much to play for, particularly poor AC Siena.  Siena is now at  the bottom of the Italian Serie A and face a struggle to avoid relegation to the 2nd division.  Dortmund, Tottenham and Rzeszow are in battles for league honors.

Good luck to all.

Club League Points Position
Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga – Germany 36 3
Tottenham Hotspur Premier League – England 42 4
Stal Rzeszow Division 2 East- Poland 31 4
Volga Tver Division 2 West – Russia 21 8
Bursaspor Green Pearls Premier League – Turkey 24 9
LOSC Lille Metropole Ligue 1 – France 30 11
Siena Serie A – Italy 14 20

A great idea from Brazil worth taking a look at.

I’ve done some research into Brazil lately.  Their economy is booming.  The Football (Soccer) World Cup is coming in 2014  followed by the 2016 Olympics. University population is growing.  Favelas previously dominated by drug gangs are being up.   While still troubled by much poverty, personal income is rising and Europeans are seeking out Brazil as a place to resettle and begin their careers.

What just caught my eye was a story published by USA Today, (to read – click “Brazil Makes Tourist Strolls Smartphone-Friendly.”)   The Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro is embedding QR Codes that give relevent tourism information in its sidewalks at nearly three dozen locations around the city.  You may not  recognize the name QR Code, but you have seen it and probably even scanned one or more with your cell phone.  I thought the idea was wonderful and with the City of Buffalo in the process of reinventing itself as a tourist destination I believe this is an idea that needs consideration for local use.

Our area from Buffalo up to Fort Niagara and from Canada’s  Niagara-On-The-Lake down to Fort Erie offer many opportunities for travelers looking  to be educated, entertained, excited, wined and dined.  It is unfair to expect  visitors  to spend time  hunting for attractions and looking for directions .  This simple and inexpensive method will improve their experience.

The great thing about the QR idea is that it does not need be embedded in tile or concrete  as in Brazil.  We have winter weather.  Sidewalks could be snow-covered.  The Tourist QR Code might  be mounted on poles and covered  with a protective glass or graffiti proof coating allowing for easy access.  I hope this new tool gets fair consideration.

If you do not have a CQ Code Reader you can download an Android version from Google Play by searching  for “QR Code Reader..”

If you have a code reader you can try it out on this.

Visit Buffalo QR Code