Monday, November 23, 2009

Quote of the Day

Over the last three decades, as thousands of acres of trees, bushes and other vegetation in New York have been paved over, the land’s ability to absorb rain has declined significantly.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thought of the Day


The most elusive and desired quality of leadership is vision.
Vision is the perfume of the mind. --Harriet Rubin

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Niagara The Park - A Vision Since 1998

Preserving nature will help region's tourist industry
Niagara Gazette, 19 March 1998
The generations of the Niagara region have neatly placed their responsibilities into tightly sealed bags. We have divided them so they don't overlap. We see our responsibilities as existing only in our lifetimes. It's time we look at the world around us in a communal sense, in a realm of continuation. We can do this by supporting The Niagara Heritage Partnership and its "Niagara The Park" concept.

The Niagara River has endured much abuse at the hands of our forefathers. In our inactivity we are equally guilty. We live in an area rich in potential, yet we have polluted it and tainted its natural beauty. With the deterioration of the land around us, so too, does our economy fail. If we look to Canada we see massive tourism. This tourism Is greatly influenced by the care the Canadians have given to the land.

The Niagara Heritage Partnership has adopted the "Niagara The Park" concept, which proposes to boost the economy by returning this natural beauty to our side of the gorge. This can be done by the removal of the Robert Moses Parkway along the top of the gorge from the Schoellkopf Museum to Lewiston and the restoration of parkland and native flora that once grew there. The Niagara Heritage Partnership proposes that this will "attract positive national and international attention in the ecotourism market, the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry."

The Niagara River stretches approximately 45 miles. We have polluted, developed and virtually destroyed the natural beauty of our side of the river. To restore this land would give this area a much-needed boost to the economy with tourism and it would force those traveling to use alternate routes such as Main Street, Buffalo Avenue, Hyde Park Boulevard and Pine Avenue. The current route of the Robert Moses allows people to travel through Niagara Falls without passing any local businesses.

We owe it to our future generations to revitalize the economy and our natural resources. We are caregivers to land but our actions show us as thieves in the night slipping over the fence to rob the garden, leaving waste. We can no longer pack responsibilities in air-tight bags.

Christine Patrice Gebera, North Tonawanda

Monday, November 9, 2009

Why We Need Libraries - Freedom

TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM . . . Monday, Nov. 9, 2009
WORD archives, commentary and reader discussion at

Freedom to Roam

"With a library you are free, not confined by temporary political climates. It is the most democratic of institutions because no one--but no one at all--can tell you what to read and when and how."
--Doris Lessing, writer and winner, 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Rare Bird Alert

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dial-a-Bird is a service provided by your Buffalo Museum of Science and the Buffalo Ornithological Society. Press (2) to leave a message, (3) for updates, meeting and field trip information and (4) for instructions on how to report sightings. To contact the Science Museum, call 896-5200.

Highlights of reports received October 29 through November 5 from the Niagara Frontier Region include NORTHERN GANNET, SABINE'S GULL, EVENING GROSBEAK, PINE SISKIN, SNOW BUNTING and NORTHERN GOSHAWK.


The November influx of gulls to the Niagara River has started. October 31 and November 1, juvenile SABINE'S GULL in the Niagara Falls gorge, with 3 LITTLE GULLS and L. BLACK-B. GULL, plus COMMON GOLDENEYE and PIED-BILLED GREBE. Another LITTLE GULL on the upper river a Beaver Island State Park on November 3 and 4, and 2 LITTLE GULLS on the lower river at Lewiston.

Other arriving winter visitors across the region - one EVENING GROSBEAK at a feeder in the Town of Colden. PINE SISKIN with AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES in Holland. Three SNOW BUNTINGS on Housington Road in Cherry Creek. AMER. TREE SPARROWS in the Iroquois Refuge, and a NORTHERN HORNED LARK in the Town of Yates.

November 1, on Wolf Run in Allegany State Park, a passing NORTHERN GOSHAWK, plus NORTHERN SHRIKE, HERMIT THRUSH, EASTERN MEADOWLARK and flocks of EASTERN BLUEBIRDS and DARK-
EYED JUNCOS. Also, a MERLIN at Holt Run in the park.

From East Aurora, October 28 and 31, a reported NORTHERN GOSHAWK on Reiter Road, one mile south of Route 20A.

Also this week, MERLIN at Shirley and Bailey Avenue in Buffalo. FOX SPARROWS still at several feeders, along with RED-BELLIED WDPKRS., TUFTED TITMICE, WHITE-THR. SPARROWS and WHITE-CR. SPARROWS. At Fort Erie, Ontario, numbers of SURF SCOTERS and BLACK SCOTERS. And at the Robert Moses parkway viewing area in Niagara Falls, New York, 10 CANVASBACKS and several RING-NECKED DUCKS, with GREATER SCAUP and LESSER SCAUP.

Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space: Seattle Mobility Plan

Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space: Seattle Mobility Plan

Active Transportation For America Report : TreeHugger

Active Transportation For America Report : TreeHugger

BookCrossing - The World's Biggest Free Book Club - Catch and Release Used Books

BookCrossing - The World's Biggest Free Book Club - Catch and Release Used Books
Just signed up to participate in Bookcrossing after finding the site on Postcrossing where I recently sent a postcard to the Netherlands.

I like the idea of a random book being found just when I need it. Click the title above to learn more and join. Right now, I'm the only one playing in Niagara Falls, NY.

Here are the simple instructions, as posted on the website:
Grab a book, any book.

Register it with and jot its unique BookCrossing ID (BCID) down in the book, along with the website url Get nifty labels here or here. (If it's already a BookCrossing book, you can skip this step.)

Read your book and then use the BCID to make a journal entry on it. You'll find a place to do that here on the home page or through the link on the left side bar.

Release the book out into the wild and wait for it to write home to you. (You can also give the book to a friend, send it on a book ring etc-- just be sure to make a release note on it when you send it off into the world.)

Sounds fun, doesn't it?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, November 2, 2009

Leadership Niagara and the Parkway Preservation Committee

Bob, I have a prior commitment that evening and am unable to attend the event.

I would have sold/purchased tickets for employees of my husband's company, but LN has never recognized EHA as my sponsor, except for my email. I originally applied to LN under Wild Ones, however, EHA sponsored me when I sent my "tuition" in. EHA was with me at the opening "retreat." To my knowledge, tuition is same for everyone.

I'm only supplying a basket under Wild Ones because I enjoyed all of my classmates and found the opportunity to
experience LN enlightening.

Just as point of interest: If you cross reference the members and officers of Niagara USA Chamber here: with the members of this organization:

you may be as surprised and as disappointed as I am.

Response To Chris Brown As it Relates to Politics, Leadership-Elected or Not- and the Robert Moses Parkway

When the small businesses of Niagara Falls are paying $14.00/1,000 more in taxes than the residents, the city has an obligation to support every business district. The Robert Moses bypasses every one. It's time for our elected to stand behind their small businesses.

Perhaps a passage from the Buffalo Niagara Partnership's Blue Print Buffalo, Regional Strategies and Local Tools for Reclaiming Vacant Properties in the City and Suburbs of Buffalo will be more effective?

Doesn't Niagara Co. Legislature hold a membership in the Buffalo Niagara Partnership? Does the BNP need to "get real?"

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership quotes...the Conservation Fund and the Trust for Public Land!

page 73.
"Green Infrastructure and Green Printing

According to the Conservation Fund (, green infrastructure is a strategically planned and locally managed network of protected green space with multiple purposes. Green infrastructure includes a wide range of landscapes, such as natural areas (wetlands, woodlands, waterways, and wildlife habitat); public and private conservation lands (nature preserves, wildlife corridors, greenways, and parks); and public and private working lands of conservation value (forests, farms, and ranches). These landscape hubs are then linked with a network of trails and greenways.

Principles of green infrastructure also translate well for urban and suburban communities. The Trust for Public Land ( employs a strategic planning process they call green printing that integrates these networks of open space, parks, and greenways into community land-use plans. They use state-of-the-art GIS models to inventory and analyze community data and then design maps that can guide the community’s vision for growth and redevelopment along with protecting recreational opportunities, sensitive natural areas, and farmland. Beyond the mapping and planning, TPL works with communities to secure resources for land acquisition, land stewardship, and program administration.

Green infrastructure could easily become the cornerstone initiative of Buffalo’s land bank. By following a community-driven green print plan, the land bank could work closely with civic leaders, residents, and property owners to identify and select neighborhoods and properties; target the tax-delinquent and seriously blighted properties; and provide incentives for voluntary acquisitions. While green infrastructure might be an interim use (20+ years) for some properties, Buffalo’s weak housing and business markets mean that many of these sites will remain dedicated parks and pathways. Green-infrastructure planning enables the city to prioritize lands it would like to see remain green in perpetuity and to restore natural features of the land (i.e., daylighting buried streams, restoration of floodplains that are currently developed, reawakening industrial waterfronts as greenways and river walks).

The “greening” process will interact and overlap with efforts..."

Green Spaces Are Not A Luxury, Study Shows 15 out of 24 Major Physical Diseases Are Significantly Lowered

Thursday, 15 October 2009 15:19 UK

Green spaces 'improve health'

Illustration Omitted: Oak tree on a hill. The best health benefits come from living less than a kilometre (0.62miles) from a green space

There is more evidence that living near a 'green space' has health benefits.

Research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health says the impact is particularly noticeable in reducing rates of mental ill health.

The annual rates of 15 out of 24 major physical diseases were also significantly lower among those living closer to green spaces.

One environmental expert said the study confirmed that green spaces create 'oases' of improved health around them.

The researchers from the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam looked at the health records of 350,000 people registered with 195 family doctors across the Netherlands.

Only people who had been registered with their GP for longer than 12 months were included because the study assumed this was the minimum amount of time people would have to live in an environment before any effect of it would be noticeable.

Health impact

The percentages of green space within a one and three kilometre (0.62 and 1.86 miles) radius of their home were calculated using their postcode.

On average, green space accounted for 42% of the residential area within one kilometre (0.62 miles) radius and almost 61% within a three kilometre (1.86 miles) radius of people's homes.

Coronary heart disease
Neck, shoulder, back, wrist and hand complaints
Depression and anxiety
Respiratory infections and asthma
Migraine and vertigo
Stomach bugs and urinary tract infections
Unexplained physical symptoms

And the annual rates for 24 diseases in 7 different categories were calculated.

The health benefits for most of the diseases were only seen when the greenery was within a one kilometre ( 0.62 miles ) radius of the home.

The exceptions to this were anxiety disorders, infectious diseases of the digestive system and medically unexplained physical symptoms which were seen to benefit even when the green spaces were within three kilometres of the home.

The biggest impact was on anxiety disorders and depression.

Anxiety disorders

The annual prevalence of anxiety disorders for those living in a residential area containing 10% of green space within a one kilometre (0.62 miles) radius of their home was 26 per 1000 whereas for those living in an area containing 90% of green space it was 18 per 1000.

For depression the rates were 32 per 1000 for the people in the more built up areas and 24 per 1000 for those in the greener areas.

The researchers also showed that this relation was strongest for children younger than 12.

They were 21% less likely to suffer from depression in the greener areas.

Two unexpected findings were that the greener spaces did not show benefits for high blood pressure and that the relation appeared stronger for people aged 46 to 65 than for the elderly.

The researchers think the green spaces help recovery from stress and offer greater opportunities for social contacts.

They say the free physical exercise and better air quality could also contribute.

Dr Jolanda Maas of the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam, said: "It clearly shows that green spaces are not just a luxury but they relate directly to diseases and the way people feel in their living environments."

"Most of the diseases which are related to green spaces are diseases which are highly prevalent and costly to treat so policy makers need to realise that this is something they may be able to diminish with green spaces."

Professor Barbara Maher of the Lancaster Environment Centre said the study confirmed that green spaces create oases of improved health around them especially for children.

She said: "At least part of this 'oasis' effect probably reflects changes in air quality.

"Anything that reduces our exposure to the modern-day 'cocktail' of atmospheric pollutants has got to be a good thing."

Niagara County Standing Committee - Niagara River Greenway

(Pursuant To Host Community Relicensing Settlement Agreement
Addressing Non-License Terms and Conditions Dated June 27, 2005)

The Host Community Relicensing Settlement Agreement Addressing Non-License Terms and Conditions dated June 27, 2005 (the AHCRSA@) provides for organization of the Host Community Greenway Fund Standing Committee (>HC Committee=) to administer and oversee projects financed by The Greenway Recreation/Tourism Fund. (Section 7 of the Host Community Settlement Agreement is attached hereto as Appendix A). The HC Committee has sole responsibility for selecting projects to be financed in whole or in part by the Greenway Recreation/Tourism Fund pursuant to the HCRSA.
Host Communities B Vehicle for Participation and Inter-Community Relations
The Power Authority and the Host Communities in a manner approved by the Host Communities and in accordance with the by-laws of the Niagara Power Coalition (ANPC@) or a successor agreement, if applicable, governing such establishment; shall establish the Greenway Recreation/Tourism Fund. It is understood, however, that the Power Authority has had no role in development of the Niagara Power Coalition by-laws.
Standing Committee Membership
Each Host Community shall have one vote and designate a member to serve on the AHC Committee@ and an alternate to serve in case the principal member cannot attend a particular meeting or is unable to fulfill his or her duties. The Power Authority shall similarly have one vote and designate a member and an alternate. To the extent practicable and consistent with the laws and rules governing each Host Community and the Power Authority, each principal and alternate member shall be authorized to act on behalf of his or her respective entity.

The AHC Committee@ shall convene quarterly and more frequently as necessary. A quorum for all meetings shall be no fewer than six (6) members. Members shall be notified of all meetings either by adoption of a regular schedule of meetings or, unless otherwise agreed, by ten (10) days= notice[1] of individual meetings. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, the Chairperson or two (2) other members may call a special meeting of the AHC Committee@ on not less than two (2) days= written notice to all members. Meetings shall be open to the public. The Power Authority will undertake to include notice of meetings on the Niagara relicensing website ( or successor website; but failure to include such notice shall not be grounds for invalidation of a meeting or action taken at such meeting if other notice has been provided. Minutes of meetings will be recorded and the Power Authority will post such minutes to the website. If a member or an alternate is unable to attend a meeting in person, the member or alternate can participate in the AHC Committee@ meeting, including the Standing Committee=s deliberations, by telephone or other real-time method.

Committee Procedures
The AHC Committee@ shall work in a cooperative manner and shall make a concerted effort to achieve consensus in all decisions. For matters other than (a) determining the consistency with the Niagara River Greenway of proposed projects with the criteria set forth in the HCRSA, (b) identifying projects to receive funding and determining the appropriate level of funding pursuant to AFurther Selection and Funding@ below, and (c) amendment of this Protocol below; if the members cannot in good faith achieve consensus on their first attempt to decide on a particular matter, the decision at issue shall be made by majority vote of all members, not simply a majority of those present. In the event of a tie vote on any matter, such tie shall be deemed a negative result.

Consistency Determination
To be eligible for funding, a project must meet the consistency criteria described in the HCRSA. In the event that the AHC Committee@ should fail to reach consensus on whether a project meets such consistency criteria at two meetings separated by a period of not less than thirty (30) days, the project may still be eligible for selection and funding, as described later in this section, under the following circumstances. At the second of the two aforementioned meetings of the AHC Committee,@ the members who do not believe that a project is consistent shall then, if they have not already done so, articulate their reasons orally or in writing. (Every effort should be made to provide the reasons at least one (1) week prior to the second meeting.) Proponents of the project at issue shall have a like opportunity to respond to such statement of reasons. Following such statements and responses, each member of the AHC Committee@ shall state such member=s position on the issue of consistency of the proposed project. If Aconsensus@ is still not achieved, then and in such event, the following procedures shall apply:
The AHC Committee@ shall vote and if a minimum of Five (5) members of the AHC Committee@ shall determine that a project is consistent with the Greenway Plan, then the proposed project shall be deemed consistent with the Greenway Plan and shall be eligible for Selection and Funding.

Criteria for Project Approval
The criteria for projects set forth in Section 7.3 of the HCRSA (included in Appendix A) shall be the bases for project approval by the AHC Committee.@

Further Selection and Funding
From the projects that have been determined to be consistent, as described in the preceding subsections on ACommittee Procedures,@ the Host Community Sponsor(s) of each project shall be solely responsible for: (a) identifying projects that will receive funding; and (b) determining the appropriate level of funding for each selected project.
Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Secretary
At the first meeting and annually thereafter, the members shall select a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson from among the membership. The Chairperson shall conduct the meeting and serve as a spokesperson for the AHC Committee.@ In the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson shall substitute for the Chairperson. The Power Authority representative may not hold the office of either Chairperson or Vice Chairperson. In the event that a proposed project under consideration is sponsored by the entity represented by the Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson shall fulfill the Chairperson's obligations with respect to such consideration. A Secretary shall also be selected to keep minutes and to maintain the AHC Committee=s@ records.
Sponsorship and Funding of Proposed Projects

Host Communities may sponsor their own proposed projects consistent with Section 7 of the HCRSA and the NPC by-laws referenced therein or a successor agreement, if applicable, governing such matters. Two or more Host Communities may propose joint projects, pooling their respective portions of the Greenway Recreation/Tourism funding.
Entities other than Host Communities may offer projects to the AHC Committee@ provided that such projects are consistent with the geographical requirements of Section 7 of the AHCRSA@. Such entities shall do so by seeking the sponsorship of the Host Community within whose geographical boundaries the proposed project would be located. No such project shall be entertained in the absence of such sponsorship and, subject to the conditions stated below in this paragraph, no such project shall be approved over the objection of the Host Community within whose geographical boundaries the proposed project would be located; provided, however, that, if a particular Host Community=s objection is to the contribution of funds otherwise available to such Host Community, such project may be approved by decision of the remaining AHC Committee@ members if it is determined other funds would be used for such project. The County of Niagara=s authority to object pursuant to this paragraph shall not apply where the proposed project is located within the geographical boundaries of any of the other six (6) Host Communities, provided that the project is Aconsistent,@ as described in this Protocol, does not require uses of its funds and complies with all applicable local, State and Federal laws, rules and regulations, and the authority of any of the other six (6) Host Communities to object shall not apply to a County-sponsored project located within such other Host Community=s individual geographical boundaries, provided that the project is Aconsistent,@ as described in this Protocol, and does not require use of its funds and complies with all applicable local, State and Federal laws, rules and regulations.

Nothing contained in this Protocol shall be construed as authorizing any diminution in the percentage funding allocations established in the by-laws of the Niagara Power Coalition.

Written evidence of consultation with Niagara River Greenway Commission (but only if such Commission is still active in accordance with the purpose for which it was created), chief elected official, or designated representative, of any affected municipal, county, tribal entity and appropriate State and Federal agencies (collectively, AConsulting Parties@), shall be as follows:
In such consultation, applicant shall have provided a description of the project, how it is consistent with the Greenway Plan, and maps or drawings showing all phases. Consultation period shall end ninety days after initiated whether or not a response is received and whether or not the consulting party agrees the project is consistent and consultation shall be considered complete.

If project proponent receives comments from Consulting Parties, project proponent shall indicate how comments were addressed. (In Aaddressing@ comments, project proponent should demonstrate that it has understanding of comments and should indicate whether proponent agrees or disagrees with comments and why. It is not required that proponent agree with Consulting Parties; but, if proponent has changed proposal to accommodate comments, they should be noted.)

Implementation of Projects (Disbursement of Funds and Monitoring)
On or before the payment dates specified in the HC Settlement Agreement, the Power Authority shall deposit $3 million into the Greenway Recreation/Tourism Fund; as established by resolution of the AHC Committee@ and approved by the Host Communities. The Greenway Recreation/Tourism Fund amounts shall be deposited in a manner consistent with the ABanking Arrangements and Procedures@ section below and the amounts shall remain on deposit until decisions are made as to their use pursuant to this AHC Committee@ Protocol and funds are released as provided below.

Banking Arrangements and Procedures Banking arrangements for the Greenway Recreation/Tourism Fund are as follows:
A master account consisting of a AClearing Account@ and seven (7) individual AFund Accounts@ one for each of the seven (7) Host Communities shall be established in a commercial bank (the ABank@) within Niagara County. Both types of accounts shall be interest-bearing accounts.

A Finance Committee, consisting of three (3) AHC Committee@ members= representatives shall oversee the Clearing Account and the Fund Accounts.
Each Host Community shall deposit into the Clearing Account its specified share of administrative expenses of the AHC Committee,@ determined pursuant to the percentage allocations stated in the NPC by-laws or a successor agreement, if applicable, to be used toward such administrative expenses. Issuance of checks for administrative expenses of the Standing Committee shall require the signature of the Chairperson (who shall not be a member of the Finance Committee) and one member of the Finance Committee.

The Power Authority shall make its deposits of $3 million per year into the Clearing Account.
As soon as practicable after receipt of the Power Authority deposit, the Bank shall, unless otherwise directed by all eight (8) members of the AHC Committee,@ transfer the funds from the Clearing Account to each of the Host Communities Fund Account, pursuant to the percentage allocations stated in the NPC by-laws or a successor agreement, if applicable. To the extent that the Bank requires any authorization to make such transfers, any member of the Finance Committee, is authorized to direct such transfers.
Each of the seven (7) Host Community members shall be an authorized signatory for its individual Fund Account.

Funds not used in one year by a Host Community shall remain in that Host Community=s Fund Account and be available to future projects of that Host Community. Use of funds for on-going costs, such as debt service, that have previously been approved as part of project costs, shall not require separate approval before each release. Administrative costs of the Standing Committee not otherwise recovered as part of project costs described above shall be paid by the seven (7) Host Communities in accordance with the percentages established in the NPC by-laws or a successor agreement, if applicable, governing such matters as among the Host Communities. Such administrative costs may be paid from the interest accumulated on the funds on deposit and, if such funds are not adequate to cover such costs, from the principal on deposit.

Release of Funds
Issuance of a check for a particular project shall require the signature of the Host Community sponsor of the project from their individual Host Community Fund Account.
Funds shall be released for approved projects from the Host Community=s Sponsors relevant Fund Account(s) within thirty (30) days of approval and selection and funding. It is anticipated that, for most projects, a single check will be issued each year for each project. The sponsor shall be responsible for ensuring that all necessary documentation (e.g., individual invoices) is retained for later reporting and auditing. No check will be issued in support of a project in a successive year until an annual report from the project sponsor, containing the information required by Section 7.5 of the HCRSA, is provided to the AHC Committee.@
Qualifying project costs shall consist of costs consistent with the limitations of Section 7.3 of the HCRSA, including but not limited to:
1. Costs associated with planning and development of approved projects.
2. Personnel costs directly associated with planning, development and implementation of approved projects.
3. Costs associated with approved construction and/or rehabilitation of the projects.
4. Operation and maintenance costs, including but not limited to project-related and Standing Committee administrative costs, on a case-by-case basis for approved projects.
During construction of any project and longer if so required by the AHC Committee,@ the project sponsor shall provide the AHC Committee@ with a quarterly report detailing the status of the project, including its operations and a summary of all fund expenditures. Thereafter, such report shall be made annually. The AHC Committee,@ at the expense of the project and consistent with Section 7.4 of the HCRSA, shall monitor and audit the construction process to ensure proper use of Greenway Recreation/Tourism Fund.

General Audit
A program and financial audit of the Standing Committee shall occur every three years. The audit shall be conducted by the New York Office of State Comptroller or an independent auditor agreed upon by all members of the Standing Committee

The project sponsor shall be responsible for reimbursing the Greenway Recreation/Tourism Fund for any improper use of funds on a project or otherwise as determined by a program or financial audit. Such sponsor shall forfeit access to the fund until reimbursement is complete.

Relationship to Other Procedures
Nothing contained herein and no statement or writing heretofore made, or action heretofore taken or not taken, by or on behalf of any or all of the Host Communities shall be construed as agreement by the Host Communities to or acceptance by the Host Communities of the current ANiagara Power Project Relicensing Settlement, Greenway Funds B Standing Committee Protocol,@ developed and agreed to by any standing committees other than this AHC Committee,@ or any future version thereof.

Amendment of Protocol
Except as described below, in the event that one or more members propose to amend this Protocol, the members shall work in a cooperative manner and shall make a concerted effort to achieve consensus as to such amendment. In the event that the members are unable to achieve consensus as to an amendment, the amendment may be adopted by an affirmative vote of five (5) members.
No amendment to any section of this protocol can be made if such amendment would be contrary to the HCRSA of 2005.

Consistency Determination/Further Selection and Funding
Any amendment to the AConsistency Determination@ & AFurther Selection and Funding@ provisions shall require the members to make a concerted effort to achieve consensus as to such amendment and, if the members are unable to achieve consensus, then an affirmative vote of 6 members shall be required to amend either of these two provisions.

[1] Except where preceded by Abusiness,@ all references in this document to Adays@ shall be understood as signifying calendar days.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund Standing Committee Grant Guidelines & Application

Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund Standing Committee

Grant Guidelines & Application

I. Introduction

These Eligibility Requirements, Guidelines, Priorities, Schedule and Application will be used by the Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund Standing Committee (“Standing Committee”) to make grants from the Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund (Fund) that will be made available to it from the New York Power Authority (NYPA) pursuant to the Settlement Agreement entered into between the NYPA, the County of Erie (the County), the City of Buffalo (the City) and the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy (BOPC) as part of the relicensing of the Niagara Power Project.

The NYPA will pay a Trustee to be selected by the Standing Committee the sum of $2 million per year for each of the next fifty years or until 2057. The Fund is to be used to improve and enhance the Niagara River Greenway as more fully described in the Settlement Agreement, the Greenway Plan that was approved by the Niagara River Greenway Commission, and in accordance with these Eligibility Requirements, Guidelines, Priorities, Schedule and Application.

The Mayor of the City of Buffalo, the County Executive of the County of Erie, the NYPA, and the BOPC shall each appoint a Standing Committee representative and an alternate representative. The Standing Committee Chairmanship shall be rotating.

The four standing committees formed by the Niagara Power Project Relicensing Settlement Agreements considered the adoption of “Standing Committee Protocols” that establishes a common approach for the operation of each Standing Committee. The Standing Committee has, by consensus, adopted the Standing Committee Protocols dated October 17, 2007 and these Eligibility Requirements, Guidelines, Priorities, Schedule and Application. These Eligibility Requirements, Guidelines, Priorities, Schedule and Application are deemed to be in compliance with the Standing Committee Protocols.

II. Funding Priorities & Uses

Priority shall be given to the projects that achieve the most favorable balance of grant priorities from among eligible projects. It is not expected or required that any one project achieve all priorities. The Standing Committee will determine which project or projects have the most positive impacts. The Standing Committee reserves the right to not fund any or all projects in a grant cycle if it determines that the projects do not have sufficient positive impact to merit an award.

1. Public Access to the Waterfront- Priority will be given to capital projects that connect existing park and greenway resources through the development of way finding, new trails, paths or other amenities;

2. Improving and Sustaining Existing Resources- Priority will be given to capital projects that open up or improve inaccessible or underutilized existing parks, park facilities or natural features in the Niagara River Greenway area of Erie County;

3. Maximization of Impact- Priority will be given to projects that bring resources such as grant funds, private philanthropy, or corporate partnerships;

4. Consistency with Master Plans- Implementation of the Committee member’s adopted Master Plan(s);

5. Accepted Use of Funds- Funds may be used for the following costs of approved projects:

a. Capital improvements;

b. Environmental improvements including legal, architecture, planning investigation or remediation;

c. Operating expenses including staff costs, supplies and services;

d. Professional consultant services;

e. Promotional services related to approved projects to promote public awareness of the Greenway and its resources, and;

f. Land acquisition.

6. Prohibited Uses of Funds-

Funds may not be used to conduct any lobbying activities as such term is defined in the Internal Revenue Code;

Funds may not be used to support or oppose any candidate for public office;

Funds may not be used to support, oppose or participate in litigation;

Funds may not be used to support any fund raising activity of any organization;

Funds may not be used to create or enhance an endowment for any organization;

Funds may not be used to pay prior debts, to satisfy any bankruptcy order, to satisfy a claim for damages made by an employee, vendor or other third party or to pay a settlement or judgment related to litigation;

Funds may not be used to pay the personal expenses of any person;

Funds may not be used to pay for, or reimburse any person for travel related expenses, for expenses associated with attendance at a conference, trade show or exhibition or for the costs associated with educational activities;

Funds may not be used to pay the salary or benefits of any employee of any city, town, village or county, except as outlined in 5(c);

Funds may not be used to carry out, support or advance or to oppose any religious activity or purpose.

7. Payment Arrangements- The Standing Committee reserves the right to pay awards in draws, to make partial payments, and to fund projects in whole or in part. Grant payments may be withheld and the grant may be cancelled if conditions or requirements associated with the grant are not achieved.

8. Multi-Year Projects- An applicant may request funds for a single project that will be spent over a number of years, however, the Standing Committee will not fund a single project or single phase of a project that cannot be completed over a five-year period or that seeks more than five years of funding from the Standing Committee.

The Standing Committee may make a contingent future year award that depends upon the applicant achieving certain milestones such as obtaining additional funding from sources other than the Standing Committee. If the milestones are not achieved the award may be cancelled, or extended if the Standing Committee determines that such an extension with new milestones is in the best interest of the Greenway.

Future and multi-year commitments will be limited to no more, in the aggregate, than 20% of a future year’s fund. Debt service, including principal and interest, is an eligible use of funds if part of a multi-year commitment.

III. Eligibility Requirements

1. Applicant Legal Status- Applications may be submitted by Standing Committee members, individuals or organizations with an interest in the Erie County section of the Greenway. Applicants must be or be partnered with at the time of the submission:

a. A non-for-profit corporation that has received a determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service stating that it is a 501(c)(3) entity;

b. A city, town, village or county located in Erie County;

c. A public benefit corporation organized under the laws of New York State;

d. The City of Buffalo, the County of Erie and the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy can apply for funding and are not precluded from participating in the decision making by reason of such application.

Project Location- Projects must be located within the boundaries established by the Niagara River Greenway Commission Plan, which includes but is not limited to the Olmsted Park and Parkway system in the City of Buffalo.

Ability to Proceed with Project

Applicant must demonstrate that they have or will have the ability to proceed with the project within the time frame described in the application;

Ability to proceed can be demonstrated by site control, an option to obtain site control, a letter(s) of commitment from other funders, a well conceived, realistic plan to obtain funds, approval from governmental agencies and support from neighborhood and community groups who will be impacted by the project;

Ability to proceed in most instances will involve more than one of the above factors and may involve other factors. The application must demonstrate that the project will not be prevented from moving forward as planned.

IV. Pre-Application Consultation

A. Prior to submission to the Standing Committee, applicants are required to submit their proposal for consultation to:
(1) The Niagara River Greenway Commission;
(2) The chief elected officer, or a designated representative, of any municipal, county and Indian nation affected by the proposed project; and
(3) Appropriate State and Federal agencies, (It is recognized that it may be difficult to identify the appropriate state and federal agencies for purposes of consultation. The standing committees will be flexible in administering this requirement and will provide guidance to the extent they can on state and federal agencies to be consulted).
(4) The BOPC if the proposed project is located on or will impact any Olmsted Park or Parkway System.

B. Information to be supplied to Consulting Parties is expected to include, at a minimum:
1.) A description of the project including any necessary maps and drawings as well as any past or subsequent phases;
2.) A description of how the proposed project is consistent with the Niagara River Greenway Plan (NRGP) and;
3.) A description of how the proposed project is consistent with other applicable legal requirements.

Project proponents shall submit to the Consulting Parties information as outlined in the above paragraph. The consultation period will officially end 90 days after the project proponent initiates consultation unless comments are received sooner.

It is strongly encouraged that applicants notify the Standing Committee when they begin the consultation process with the Greenway Commission and other Consulting Parties.


Funding requests may be proposed by standing committee members or by individuals and organizations with an interest in the Greenway. Funds will be awarded to eligible applicants who submit a written application. The application must be complete and submitted on or before the established deadline.

1. Applicants will provide:
(a) Organization name and mailing address;
(b)Federal ID number and/or Charities Registration number;
(c) Point of contact for the project.

The Standing Committee requires Greenway project funding requests to include written documentation of the following:

2. Evidence of consultation with: (a) the Niagara River Greenway Commission regarding a project’s consistency with the NRGP; (b) the chief elected officer, or a designated representative, of any municipal, county and Indian nation affected by the proposed project; and (c) appropriate State and Federal agencies (collectively, Consulting Parties as provided for in Article V).

For purposes of this section, evidence of consultation will include:
(a) A list of all materials submitted to the Consulting Parties by the project proponent including a copy of the Application submitted to the Niagara River Greenway Commission;
(b) Copies of written comments provided by Consulting Parties to the project proponent; and
(c) Documentation describing the manner in which the project proponent addressed the Consulting Parties’ comments. In “addressing” comments from a consulted party, the project proponent should demonstrate that it has an understanding of the comments and should indicate whether the proponent agrees or disagrees with the comments and why. It is not required that the proponent agree with the consulted party. However, if the proponent has changed its proposal to accommodate a comment, this accommodation should be noted.

3. An operation and maintenance plan for the proposed project or an explanation as to why an operation and maintenance plan is not needed for the proposed project;

4. A description of the project’s consistency with the NRGP, including a discussion of the project’s relationship to the principles, goals, and criteria established by the NRGP;

5. A description of the project’s consistency with other State and Federal laws or regulations where applicable;

6. A description of the project proponent’s efforts and/or opportunities to obtain matching funds;

7. A statement that the Greenway funds requested will not be used to defray: (1) any obligation existing as of August 31, 2007 or (2) operation and maintenance costs associated with any project existing as of August 31, 2007;

8. A description of current and proposed land ownership associated with the project; and

9. An overall project budget and cash flow summary including all phases for which relicensing greenway funds would be sought.

10. Applications should be submitted to:
Robert Daly
New York Power Authority
5777 Lewiston Road, LPGP
Lewiston, NY 14092

VI. Standing Committee Approval Required
Funds will only be awarded to applicants who are approved for funding by the Standing Committee as provided for in Part III, IV and V.

VII. Procedures to Determine Funding Approval
Project funding will be determined by the Standing Committee as provided for in this section and based on a projects consistency with the Greenway Plan, meeting Eligibility Requirements in Section III and Funding Priorities in Section II.
1. The Standing Committee shall seek to make all funding decisions by consensus of its four members as the term consensus is defined in the Standing Committee Protocol.

2. If there is not a consensus of the members the following procedure shall be used;
a. If one or more members do not support the project because they do not believe the project is consistent with the Greenway Plan, the project shall not be considered for funding until at least thirty days have passed. At the next meeting after the thirty day period, a project may be re-considered by the Standing Committee and deemed to be consistent with the Greenway Plan if it either:
i. Receives a consensus of support for consistency by all members of the Standing Committee, or;
ii. Three Standing Committee members support the project as consistent and the Greenway Commission indicates the project is consistent with the Greenway Plan.
b. If a project is not determined to be consistent with the Greenway Plan as outlined above, the project shall be considered not consistent with the Greenway plan and thus not eligible for funding;

c. From the projects that have been determined consistent with the Greenway Plan, the standing committee will:
(1) Identify projects that will receive funding; and
(2) Determine the appropriate level of funding for each selected project.
The standing committee will strive to reach consensus on such decisions. If, after attempts at two standing committee meetings, separated by a period of not less than 30 days, a consensus of the members can not be reached, then a majority vote of the standing committee will be required to identify projects for funding and establish associated funding levels. The standing committee will advise the project proponents of the decision of the standing committees on the consistency of each proposal and if the project will be funded.

3. The Standing Committee will make every effort to ensure that the projects supported by this Fund represent the priorities, mission and geography of the City, the County and BOPC with respect to the definition of the boundary of the Niagara River Greenway Plan and the Principles, Goals and Criteria contained therein, as determined by the Committee. A review of the effort will be undertaken after every three years of the standing committee operations if requested by either the City, the County, or BOPC. The basis on which further funding decisions are made will be unanimously agreed upon by these three parties and these protocols will be amended as necessary.

VIII. Grant Schedule 2009

December 10, 2008 Deadline for submission of applications.

To Be Announced Meeting for public presentations of submitted projects

February 10, 2009 Announcements of Awards.

Applications should be submitted to:
Robert Daly
New York Power Authority
5777 Lewiston Road, LPGP
Lewiston, NY 14092

Standing Committee Members:

New York Power Authority
Robert Daly
5777 Lewiston Road, LPGP
Lewiston, NY 14092
(716) 286-6912

County of Erie
Holly A. Sinnott, Commissioner
Department of Environment and Planning
Edward A. Rath Building
95 Franklin Street
Buffalo NY 14202
(716) 858-6716

Staff Contact: William Murray, Deputy Commissioner
(716) 858-4809

Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy
84 Parkside Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14214
Attn: Anne Harding Joyce
716-838-1249 ext 10 for Joanne Marzullo

City of Buffalo
Karen Stanley Fleming
Director of Urban Affairs
Department of Administration, Finance, Policy and Urban Affairs
Room 203 Buffalo City Hall
65 Niagara Square
Buffalo, NY 14202
(716)851 5713

Thought of the Day

It's important that people should know
what you stand for. It's equally important
that they know what you won't stand for.

Mary H. Waldrip

Leading Blog: A Leadership Blog @ LeadershipNow: LeadershipNow 140: October 2009 Compilation

Leadership Now: Here are a selection of tweets from October 2009:

* Effective crisis leadership is really imagining a future that brings you beyond the status quo ~Ron Dufresne, St Joseph’s Univ

* We're Governed by Callous Children

* RT @hulmevision: “People in distress will sometimes prefer a problem that is familiar to a solution that is not” | Neil Postman

* RT @MargieMcKinney: "The secret of being boring is to say everything." ~Voltaire

* In order to lead and influence others, we have to be available and intentional in our relationships. ~Becky Robinson @LeaderTalk

* Discussing definitions of leadership not any good unless it affects the way you do your job.

* RT @hulmevision: Rehabilitating Stalin

* On the pain involved in most change: There is no fruit that is not bitter before it is ripe. ~Publilius Syrus (85-43 BC)

* For a short-term fix, fear based leadership wins out every time.

* RT @HarvardBiz: Don't Let Your Strength Become Your Weakness
* Taboo or not taboo? Some new office guidelines

* Generational differences have to do with life stages, not date of birth

* Spouse Test: Before you submit a proposal ask your spouse to read it. If they can’t make sense of it, rewrite it.

* My Nobel Prize for Leadership would recognize individuals who have unquestionable moral authority, says Alan Webber

* RT @stevefarber: The Best Advice Ive Ever Gotten #1 - // Good read. "Assume he was right and go from there."

* Overconfidence: When leaders stop listening to the advice of others.

* RT @hulmevision: Lights make light not noise—unless they are defective. // What kind of an example are you?

* Sometimes the greatest act of courage and show of character is the willingness to change.

* What kind of person do you need to become for you to be the leader you need to be?

* As a leader, sometimes you need to change; sometimes you need to be changed.
* How to compete in an upside down world: Leading managers do not wait for crises to concentrate their minds

* The upside of anger

* Strengths become weaknesses: We need tough, strong, confident leaders. But how can we prevent them from spiral.

* “Every age has its own outlook,” wrote CS Lewis. Tradition must have a voice but not a veto.

See more on twitter.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Red-breasted mergansers on Lake Ontario

from New York Outdoors Blog by newyorkoutdoors

By ELIZABETH KELLOGG,, link to original post
On and on they came, flying low over the water. One thousand, two thousand, three thousand -until 15,000 had passed the observer on the west beach in Port Hope. This week, red-breasted mergansers have arrived in large numbers on Lake Ontario.

Red-breasted mergansers are a fish-eating duck. They dive to catch their prey. When they surface, the opportunistic gulls will swoop in and try to steal a fish.

Often, large flocks of red-breasted mergansers can be found because of the gulls swirling around above them. Most of the thieves are herring gulls, although today, there were a number of great-blacked gulls in the flocks.

All mergansers have a bill with a serrated edge. The serrations point backwards to help them hold onto their slippery prey.

The red-breasted merganser male has a green head with a pronounced crest which gives it the look of a punk hairdo. It has a white collar and reddish brown breast. White wing linings and speculum with dark primaries make it easy to identify in flight and even at a distance. The female has a brown head and whitish throat, grey body and white belly. The female has a similar pattern of white and dark on the wing as the male. Young birds and males in eclipse plumage have similar plumage to the females.

The red-breasted merganser breeds throughout the northern hemisphere, in Greenland, Iceland, Scandinavia and Russia as well as northern Canada and Alaska.

The species is widely distributed in Ontario Canada, breeding mostly in Northern Ontario, although there were many records in the Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario 2001-2005 from around Georgian Bay and Lake Huron.

In southern Ontario, most records were from Prince Edward County and the Thousand Islands.

They typically nest close to water along lakeshores and forested riverbanks. They also like inland and coastal islands. The nests are built in a depression on the ground and are usually sheltered by trees, stumps, driftwood or shrubs.

Most of the red-breasted mergansers which are being seen on Lake Ontario now are passing through en route to wintering grounds on the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico. Populations from further west winter on the Pacific coast.Along with the thousands of red-breasted mergansers are other diving ducks — a few common mergansers, scoters (black, surf and white-winged).

As the seasons passes, the mergansers will be replaced with scaup, long-tailed ducks, common goldeneye and bufflehead. These species are all fish eaters, although some also eat invertebrates such as zebra mussels.

Also in the mix are many common loons, often a few red-throated loons and grebes, most commonly red-necked and horned grebes. Like the mergansers, these species have just begun to arrive in numbers. Cormorants in the flocks will soon be departing for the Gulf of Mexico.

If you want to see the passage of the mergansers, you should be at the shore fairly early in the morning. By mid-morning, there are many fewer birds to be seen. Two years ago, several northern gannets, a bird of the Atlantic Ocean, turned up on Lake Ontario in these swirling masses of diving du

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]