Birthday Week!! (Summary & Photos!)

I turned 27 on 7-16. Lets just say it has been the best birthday week I’ve ever had!
Jason surprised me with the best suite in the Lafayette hotel, a “close friends” surprise party, great gifts and a dinner at Mike A’s. Lynette made me a heart shaped banana cake. Bridget took me to Martin Cooks! We saw wilco and Bob Dylan on Thursday… And on Friday, Nate Neuman and I threw a joint birthday party at the Croatian Club! We had a BLAST and everyone danced all night long!!! I couldn’t have asked the party to go any better.

On top of all that, ECC was in SIX news outlets and we had 40 people show up to the Tuesday meeting. It was a big deal!

That was just the short list of awesome things that happened.. Thank you to everyone who made this such a crazy special week!!! Love all of you so much!















Help Stop Sprawl and Discrimination – ECC Meeting on Tuesday at 1pm! COME!


On Tuesday, July 16th at 1pm in the Common Council Chambers – WE NEED YOU.

There is a VERY important community input meeting where we need supporters to stand up and speak in favor of supporting a stronger downtown campus. We need all hands on deck for this.

If you cannot attend – we are urging you to write a letter and send it to your common council members, Governor Cuomo and ECC. Any questions – Email us at
Buffalo Contact Info:

Quick ECC Talking Points:

  1. With 47% of ECC Students coming from Buffalo, the City Campus should be the only place where a new building gets built.
  2. Currently the City Campus only serves 25% of the entire campus, which is not enough!
  3. Space isn’t an issue – the County purchased several vacant lots downtown for the expansion of ECC City back in the 2000’s.
  4. The proposed $30 Million dollar STEM building has 8 or 10 programs that are NOT STEM related. This is a disquise for ECC to get the building they want put in Amherst.
  5. Our smart growth legislation sign in 2011 says that continued support for Sprawl is not allow. THIS IS SPRAWL.
  6. This is segregation by design. The City Campus will now have “workforce development and GED” programs while North Campus in Amherst has the degrees that will move towards a 4 year degree.
  7. A trip to North Campus from Buffalo’s West Side requires 2 buses and takes one hour each way. With over 30% of the City of Buffalo without an automobile, ECC should be expanding downtown – where we have over 30 bus lines that feed into downtown!

Here is the common council agenda

You can read the study report that EASILY justifies the need for downtown development over Amherst here:

Here are some older articles for you:

Bernice, Greg and Jim meet with Council Member Pridgen and Former County Ex. Joel Giambra about ECC.

Bernice & Nate’s Birthday Party – Friday 7/19 at the Croatian Club!

Come celebrate! Birthday Party for Bernice & Nate!!
Bernice turns 27 on 7-16! (yes, Buffalo’s area code!)
Nate is celebrating his DIRTY THIRTY on 7-18!


COME PARTY with us on Friday, July 19th at the historic (and very awesome) Croatian Club (226 Condon Street, Buffalo (at Vulcan)) from 7pm -11pm. Free to enter. Bring $$ for beer, your dancing shoes and your Buffalove!

More info on the Croatian Club:

Bernice and Nate Party

ECC CHOOSES SPRAWL: BRO Article by David Steele

ECC chooses Sprawl: From David Steele on Buffalorising 7/11/13


Spend 10 minutes of your day reading this. Thank you!

Erie Community College unveiled  its long-awaited facilities evaluation report called the space needs analysis and space utilization assessment. It was touted as a tool for determining how and where to spend  substantial new capital development money (i.e. where to expand with a new building).  College officials hailed the report as proof that their plan to add a new $30,000,000 building to the ECC Amherst Campus was right after all.  In good “spread the limited resources around to make everyone happy” style the Report recommends  investment and revision of the educational mission for all three college campuses but reserves the biggest investment for the north campus in Amherst.  The Report recommends that Amherst remain the biggest and most important campus with the most comprehensive selection of course offerings designed for students planning further academic  advancement beyond the 2 year program.  The city campus curriculum would be redesigned for those seeking blue-collar style career paths. I guess the assumption is that the dumb old people in the city don’t need no real college or something.  I could not find anything in the  Report that gave explanations for  how this split in course offerings was determined.

The North Campus has long been the campus with the highest enrollment  with the city campus bringing up the rear as the smallest.  ECC officials continually point to this as a major reason they need to expand the north campus.  What they fail to mention is that the North Campus has a higher student population most probably because that is where college administrators have decided to offer the most classes.  In my opinion the Report is designed to confirm what officials wanted it to confirm.  In my reading I find no objective reasoning which points to the North Campus as the best place for expansion and no where did I read a thorough study of the reasoning for continuing a three campus system.  In fact with minimal effort you can list several objective reasons why the North Campus is a horrible place for this campus. For example:

  1. Almost half of all ECC students live in the City of Buffalo. This alone is reason to concentrate classes in Buffalo.
  2. 52% of North Campus students come from Buffalo. That is 2,994 buffalo residents to 668 Amherst residents.
  3. Land costs, which is cheaper? The Report says one big reason for using the North for expansion is that the  college already owns the land.  This means, they say,  that no money need be spent on purchasing new property.  This is true, sort of.  The college owns huge tracts of mostly empty space at both the north and south campuses.  But this empty land is not free. Any simple cost benefit analysis would include a tally of lost real estate tax on that land.  It would also include in the ledger a sum for what the land could be sold for.  The only way you can compare the true cost of land for a new building on any of the campuses it to compare all of these costs.  It is highly likely with a true comparison of all costs of land and facilities the determination would be that expansion in the city is cheaper.  This is very basic math, the kind they teach in 100 level business school classes.  If this comparison is in the Report I could not find it.
  4. Transportation? The city campus is the obvious choice if ease of transportation is a criteria for locating facilities. In this case it seems transportation was not an important factor in determining where investment should be concentrated.  The City Campus is served by 4 major highway spurs radiating out into the metro.  It is also served by 35 bus lines and by Metro Rail. There are 32,000 parking spaces near the campus.  Additionally there are nearby dense and attractive neighborhoods within walking distance which cater to all economic levels. It is by far the most accessible campus to the most people in the metro area.  The 3 campuses are served by an NFTA run campus bus shuttle but service is sporadic and the round trip between campuses is over 2 hours.  A quick use of the NFTA’s online trip planner makes no mention of this shuttle but does guide you to several options from downtown which include multiple transfers and a 1 hour trip minimum each way.  Don’t miss that last bus or you are in trouble. You can drive to Amherst of course but then you have to own a car. 30% of buffalo residents do not own a car. Are we saying that low-income Community College students need to own a car to have  reasonable access to an education?  I did not find any discussion of this in the report.  The report did list complaints about the shuttle system often being late.
  5. Access to jobs: Even after 60 years of decline Downtown Buffalo is still the dominant  job hub in the region, with the densest concentration of jobs.  In recent years the downtown work force has expanded and will take a huge leap forward as UB adds its medical school and Children’s Hospital moves to the Medical Campus.  ECC north and South campuses have minimal to no connection to local job centers.  Students already burdened with a  1 hour or more bus ride will be hard pressed to make connections with local employers from the remote and desolate suburban campuses.

College officials originally floated the idea for the new $30,000,000 building at the North Campus to concentrate and expand their offerings of medical services and technician training courses.  Many pointed out that these MEDICAL type educational services would be a great complement to the growing concentration of MEDICAL facilities in the  the Buffalo Niagara MEDICAL campus in downtown Buffalo and wouldn’t downtown be a more logical place for this new ECC facility for both staff and students?  College administrators quickly changed the name of the building eliminating any mention of medicine.  The Report uses a new trendy acronym for labeling the proposed building’s use, STEM.  This stands for Science, Technology,Engineering, and Math.  The Report provides a long list of careers related to these core subjects including chemical technician, aerospace,  web developer, physicist, etc. most of which will not be located in the new building.  The Report goes on to recommend that the new building to be designed to meet the needs of 10 educational offerings.  8 of these 10 subjects are for MEDICAL related fields!  So, the so-called  ”STEM” building is going to be primarily for MEDICAL training after all!Image

Teamwork 2013! 7.13 @ The Waiting Room

I hope you can attend Teamwork 2013. Chae Hawk is one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. His passion, enthusiasm and drive for making music is boundless. He is constantly pushing to reinvent himself and raise expectations – which is something we should all do more of. Go Chae!

Please support him and go to this event on Saturday – 7.13.13.

From Mentors to Musicians, Buffalo’s Bright Lights Building Together
Team Radio Presents: Teamwork 2013 with Chae Hawk, Grabbitz, and Crooks at The Waiting Room on July 13
BUFFALO, New York, 2 July, 2013 – Team Radio is proud to present Teamwork 2013, the music label’s flagship and second annual community celebration, featuring local recording artists Chae Hawk, Grabbitz, Crooks, while being hosted by Billy Drease live in concert on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 9 PM. The concert will be held at The Waiting Room, located at 334 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY.  Tickets are available for $8 presale at Cowpok (177 Elmwood ave), and at the door day of the event for $10.
Check out the promotional video for Teamwork 2013
Last year on March 3rd was the first annual Teamwork party which packed 700 Main Street snug, and the Team Radio brand took a huge leap forward. Following that event, Hawk and Grabbitz have shared stages with the likes of Talib Kweli, LL Cool J, Curren$y, as well as the Summer of 2012 Salt N Pepa  Rocks the Harbor sellout show. Their respective careers have continued to catapult their music’s success at an alarming rate.
“The Teamwork parties are allowing me to help mentor, develop, and give local acts that I appreciate a platform to get in front of a more diverse audience. The goal is to have every act work together to promote a gathering of people who come to enjoy an awesome, diverse music experience,” says Hawk. “This year I felt it was appropriate to bring on a local charity to share the platform and bring awareness to a cause that reflects the meaning of teamwork. All of this through the power of music!  We had to make Teamwork 2013 really have an impact not just on those who attend, but the community as a whole, and Compeer is an organization all about making impacts. They strive on the qualities that help to make Buffalo truly the city of good neighbors.”
Compeer, a non-for-profit group, is a national mentoring program for those who are striving for greater mental wellness.  Teamwork 2013 is a Team Radio / Compeer collaboration, and partial proceeds from the event will be donated to Compeer. The event is also sponsored by Cowpok and New Era.
“By partnering with Teamwork 2013, we hope to reach more people, especially, young people, looking to make a difference,” adds Michele Brown,Compeer Executive Director.
Observing the body of work, the reputation, the true essence of what Team Radio is and will become, in hand with a group like Compeer, as they join together in their efforts, one has to believe that this is an inexplicable positive light shed on Buffalo, and sure hope the rest of the city recognizes its dire need for more of these lights.  Mark your calendar on July 13th for this one of a kind event: Teamwork 2013.
For More Information:

550 7th Street: Amazing News!!!

Great News About 550 7th Street!!!!

I cannot express how much 550 7th Street means to me. This 2 unit Italianate West Side cutie was on the City Demolition list and slated for demolition in January of 2012. We begged the City to give us 6 months to find an owner, and they agreed to give us time.
550 7th was the first house ever to be #heartbombed by Buffalo’s Young Preservationists in Feb. 2012! This is the house I discussed in my Keynote speech, in front of thousands of people at NESEA BE12 to explain the need for rehabbing/reinvesting in our cities, not building new in the suburbs. This is the house that made Jason Wilson and I realize that we have to start Buffalove Development AND this is the house that sparked my interest in cracking the code of the #vacancyvortex .

I am happy to let you know that as of today, this $600 dollar house built in 1890 will now be brought back to life instead of thrown in a landfill!!! Thank you Neil LeFort for believing in this house and being persistent with the City purchasing process.
I cannot wait to see this house back to its glory!!! Go Buffalo!Image