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Sarah Metcalf/Organic Growth/Buffalo Culture

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Buffalo ReformED/Camping/Interruptions/Ice Cream


waterfront stories... MAY/JUNE 2011


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THRiVE! The summer months are never boring in Buffalo and frankly it is hard to keep up with it all. After the long winter months, I am telling you Buffalonians take full advantage of the summer months— from festivals to camping to business to farmers markets, to charitable fundraisers, to film, to waterfront fun, Buffalo offers it all. Though it may not be as big and flashy as some other big cities, there really is nothing that we don‘t have. By focusing on those things that we collectively are doing well as a community and region our hope is that you would be inspired and proud to live in Western New York. Our goal is that you would decide to get off the sidelines and observation deck and begin to get your hands dirty doing something good, putting your money where your mouth and putting feet to your vision for your city. Our predominate reader— age 25-40 is tired of business as usual. We know that change doesn‘t happen through more government programs but rather when ordinary men and women decide to do something, take action and give back collectively that real progress is made. When we go beyond talking about the changes and we become the change. So it makes sense that in this issue we highlight waterfronts from around the country as there is no doubt our waterfront is one of our regions greatest assets. While significant progress has been made since last summer‘s announcement that Bass Pro was finally pulling out, we thought we would add to the discussion (thanks to The Project for Public Spaces for their generous contribution) with some creative ideas for waterfront spaces from cities around the Northeast United States, not to mention the section serves as a great urbanists guide to summer travel at the same time. Plus we bring you Buffalo‘s best in our culture pages with ice cream, chicken wings and more. Additionally you won‘t want to miss Stuart Harper‘s update on making progress in the fight against poverty and homelessness in Buffalo, Barbara Byers on the East Aurora Cooperative Market plans and so much more including our photo tour of The Salvation Army by photographer Matt Brown. Again thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing from you soon! If you haven‘t checked out our website and social media pages I strongly suggest you do, with (almost) daily updates and briefings from ―Around Town‖ THRiVE! brings you the best news in town.!

Kyle Patterson, Publisher and Editor


is Buffalo’s leading multi-media platform for young thought leaders and cultural creatives to engage in thought and action around pushing our city forward.

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Western New York has plenty of options for camping trips— near or far. With Memorial Day officially kicking off the season for camping, we compiled a list of some of the must visit places in Western New York for time outdoors. Here are a few ideas: Branches of Niagara: Located right over the bridge in Grand Island, Branches of Niagara Campground and Resort is a one stop destination for campers from all ages—families to couples to individuals—and all types—RVs to tents to log cabins. Branches of Niagara offers enough to keep you busy all week without leaving the grounds, from canoeing and kayaking to zip lines and miniature golf, fishing and swimming (pool) the state of the art 70+ acre campground is the perfect family getaway. Allegany: Open year round with an array of activities for summer and winter, Allegany offers 18 hiking trails on over 65,000 acres of land, making it one of NY State's largest state parks. Allegany has become known for its "primitive forested valleys, un-glaciated landscape, fall leaves and wildlife. Letchworth: One of the most beautiful areas in New York, Letchworth has built a reputation as the "Grand Canyon of the east" which may be a bit of a stretch but none-the-less is a highly recommended spot. Jellystone Park of Western New York: In the heart of Wyoming Country, situated on 100 acres of land lies a camping adventure for families and kids-- Jellystone Park. Featuring Yogi Bear themed events and activities, including its extensive waterpark, for young children this is a great opportunity to get away and have some fun.

Bright Buffalo Niagara, a high-tech initiative re-launched earlier this year, brought Great Lakes investors, entrepreneurs and community leaders to Buffalo on June 9 for the Bright Forum -- a full day of networking and deal-making across the life sciences, energy, IT and advanced manufacturing sectors. Of more than 50 companies that applied to make presentations, 15 were selected to give one-minute pitches to an elite audience of investors and business leaders, while 12 were asked to prepare 10minute presentations. The Bright Forum gives start-up companies a chance to present products and ideas to investors and helps investors, entrepreneurs and community leaders make the connection to build a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Great Lakes region. Trinity Episcopal Church received a $178,615 grant from the Department of Interior, National Park Service (NPS) through the Save America‘s Treasures (SAT) grant program, for the preservation/rehabilitation of the historic church. Built between 1884 and 1886, Trinity Episcopal Church is one of Buffalo‘s historic Delaware Avenue churches that reflect the city‘s late-nineteenth century transformation into a major industrial city. It is significant for art and architecture, and for its association with major designers and artists who produced the existing buildings on the church campus. The church complex is nationally significant as the site of a seminal program of opalescent glass and interior decoration by American master John La Farge. Let them LOL (Laugh Out Loud), a Buffalo based humanitarian organization organized a 5k/1 mile run in June to provide clean water to struggling communities in Sierra Leone, Africa. Every $5 dollars raised provided clean water access for one person and every $5,000 provides finances for one well to be dug. Over 250 people registered for the first of its kind event in Western New York. Over $10,000 was raised with 100% going to Sierra Leone. Memorial Day weekend Buffalo First! presented the first annual indiesound, a day of live musical performances from local favorite artists including Free Henry! and John Allen at various venues throughout Allentown. From Wadsworth to Main Street, in businesses ranging from Café Taza and K. Gallaghers to Positive Approach and The Dress Shop, visitors had the chance to enjoy tons of local musicians while visiting (or re-visiting) the eclectic and vibrant Allentown Business District.

On May 5 hundreds converged on Niagara Square for Prayer in the Square, the annual event held the first Thursday in May in honor of the National Day of Prayer. The event this year took place from 12-1:30PM and numerous pastors and leaders from the evangelical Christian community and Catholic community participated asking God for his Divine providence in the life of our city and nation.

Swinging for Charity—The Salvation Army‘s Annual Golf Tournament takes place this year July 25 at Fox Valley Country Club in Lancaster. "Be The Shield" for our neighbors as we support the programs of The Salvation Army in Buffalo.

Festival Time—The extensive list of Buffalo and Western New York festivals kicked off this season at the Tonawanda Folk Fest, one of the many opportunities to enjoy Buffalo summer! Photo by Matt Brown

Local geographers believe vacant lots in Buffalo can serve a seriously important purpose in restoring life to our community. So much so that professors at The University of Buffalo have developed a systemic guide that serves as a model on how different elements within Buffalo's urban food movement relate to one another and how together they represent an opportunity for urban agriculture. See page 36. The Salvation Army Buffalo is celebrating the 73nd annual National Donut Day in June. If you could justify breaking the diet and allow that sticky, chewy, sugary pleasure, it was all for a great cause. The Salvation Army is widely credited with popularizing the donut in the United States by feeding American soldiers the tasty confection during World War I. Salvation Army volunteers, close to the front lines, used soldier‘s helmets to fry the sweetened dough.

The 10th Anniversary of the Call to Courage Awards Breakfast was held Saturday, April 9, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Buffalo, NY. The high profile sports breakfast is sponsored yearly by the Buffalo Pro Ministry of Athletes in Action. Every spring for the past nine years, former Buffalo Bills quarterback, Frank Reich, who engineered the "Greatest Comeback in NFL History", hosts this outstanding community sports breakfast event. Reich presented the 2011 Call to Courage Award to Washington Redskins two-time All Pro Linebacker and former Buffalo Bill, London Fletcher. The John Carroll University product was a standout for the Bills from 2002 to 2006. An undrafted free agent out of college, the 13 -year NFL veteran also played four seasons with the St. Louis Rams and was part of the Rams Super Bowl Championship team along with former Call to Courage Award Winners, Kurt Warner and Don Davis.

―The Queen City Water Ferry is both a culmination and a beginning,‖ said Jordan Levy of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Center. ―A water taxi has been talked about in Western New York for decades and was one of the top items requested during the public outreach sessions that ECHDC held over this past winter. We can finally say that we‘re done talking – it is here and ready to start taking passengers. More importantly, I believe that this service, by opening up the entirety of our waterfront, will allow our community to get a true sense of the tremendous assets that we enjoy in Western New York.‖

The Great Lakes Experience Festival is an event sponsored by the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation at Canal Side, located on the Inner Harbor in Downtown Buffalo. The festival took place Saturday June 18th from 11am to 6pm focusing on the environment and ecology of the Great Lakes and the heritage of our region and included lots of information about habitat, ecology, science, recreation, tourism, and fun.

This year, Kingdom Bound Ministries celebrates its 25th year of continuous ministry in Western New York with its annual festival at Darien Lake. The event draws large crowds with over 50,000 attending annually. Many people have ―grown up‖ with Kingdom Bound, and now bring their own children to ride the rides at Darien Lake, the popular amusement park where its held, as well as to hear inspiring Christian speakers, singers, and bands. Kingdom Bound takes place July 31-August 3, 2011 at Darien Lake. Headliners include Newsboys, Casting Crowns, Skillet and Chris Tomlin. For more info, visit

Mark Grisanti is either friend or foe depending on your view after he completely disregarded his commitment to his supporters that he would not vote for gay marriage in New York. Buckling to the pressure he did and his actions have left supporters shocked.



Your favorite musician?

As a musician what inspires you? There are so many things that inspire me everyday. Being a worship leader at a church I am just blown away at how God uses little me to help point people to the greatness of who He is. As a songwriter I try to capture peoples grace stories and figure out how to write songs through their perspective giving a voice to what‘s stirring in their hearts. What projects are you working on now? I am currently in the writing process working towards producing a personal album this upcoming year as well as a collaborative band album.

Man, there are so many. It‘s hard to nail down just one musician as a favorite but I would have to say one person that has my attention recently would be Jonny Lang. I have seen him in concert a couple times and he blew me away with not only his guitar skills but his insane vocal abilities. What will your life look like in 5 years? It‘s so hard to say where God will take my wife and I over the coarse of 5 years but whatever he has in store I hope it continues to involve leading people into a deeper and more passionate relationship with Him through music. Your favorite part of living and working in Buffalo? For those who know me well would probably say I would pick food as my number one favorite part of living and

working in Buffalo but honestly I would have to say the people. I haven‘t lived anywhere else so my perspective is limited but I love how everything is so community oriented. Doing life with neighbors and loving people is what it‘s all about! What is happening on the West side and Renovation? Where do I start? God is stirring something up in the West side and at Renovation that I have never seen. Being apart of a community of faith that looks and feels anything like this has been amazing. As we launched Renovation Church I have seen things happen from the ground up with marriages being restored, addictions being conquered, growth, and learning of what a life of worship really means and people being completely transformed by the power of the gospel. You name it, it‘s happened and I am just pumped to be apart of the greater story that God is telling in the city of Buffalo.!

7 Seas Sailing teaches hundreds of locals the art of sailing each year. For only a few hours one summer you can enjoy sailing for a lifetime. The team consists of 5 full time instructors and 15 volunteer.

―I love seeing the confidence on peoples faces for tackling sailing, graduating from our courses and learning a new skill. There is a great sense of community and it so rewarding to see that impact people‘s lives,‖ says Captain Bill Zimmerman of 7 Seas Sailing located on Fuhrmann Blvd. in Buffalo. His organization, 7 Seas Sailing helps hundreds each summer become more comfortable on the water and master the skill of sailing. After all, what better way is there to enjoy the beauty of a Buffalo summer than to take advantage of some of the great opportunities presented by Lake Erie—the warmest and most biologically productive of the Great Lakes? Lake Erie walleye fishery is widely considered the best in the world. 7 Seas has become Buffalo‘s yacht club for the common folk by teaching sailing and supporting the local boating community since 1970. Their claim to fame—they teach and certify sailors for life with just a few hours one summer—something they say anyone can learn. Their success isn‘t surprising when you

consider that Lake Erie is the 11th largest lake in the world— something we often forget as locals. Along with the natural resources as their deposal 7 Seas offers locals the opportunity to fulfill their sailing aspirations at a fraction of the cost of buying their own—rather than just dreaming of owning that beautiful yacht ―someday‖ Seven Seas offers you a slice of your dream today with low cost rentals available to all graduates to get you out on the water with confidence. With new classes starting weekly all summer long, you have the advantage of taking classes when it works for you. As a student of 7 Seas you will receive two 2-hour classroom sessions, one 2-hour dockside and up to 4 2-hour lessons out on the lake. One of the best parts of becoming a certified sailor with 7 Seas is that the classes are fail proof. The team of five captains and 15 volunteer instructors work with you to make sure you are comfortable, confident and prepared for everything Lake Erie can throw at you, which though may not compare with the likes of the Atlantic the waters can get rough, something 7 Seas says they can train you to navigate through. Graduates of either the advanced or beginner programs can look forward to renting boats for their own excursions with friends and family – choose from a variety of options including the Catalina 30, Pearson 26, Catalina 25, Columbia 30 or Irwin 25. Or, if you‘re in the market, they can introduce you to their colleagues at RCR and Navy Point, who will put you into your "second home,‖ out on the water in a fabulous sailing yacht. Prices for rentals are: Half-Day rental: $80 4 Half-Day rentals: $250 Unlimited seasonal rental: $550 Though classes are not required as a prerequisite to legally sailing the Great Lakes, according to Captain Bill Zimmerman they are so important that literally thousands of people in Western New York have already gone through them, ―There are 2332 hours in summer, in 12-14 hours we‘ll teach you sailing for life,‖ explained Zimmerman. With such a small commitment and the resulting confidence on the water along with the personal touch, dealing locally with 7 Seas is the way to go. In addition to all this 7 Seas also offers community programs for handicap sailing instruction, high school student programs, sailabration—which is a Friday night open community event Sailabration and Saturday family days. Tucked off of Furhmann Blvd. through RCR Yachts Marina 7 Seas is the place to be to enjoy sailing on Lake Erie. Find out more on their website at!

Buffalo ReformED is an education reform advocacy organization that brings together parents, teachers, business leaders, and community stakeholders in an effort to revitalize Buffalo through an improved education system. Our mission as an organization is clear: we believe that we can make fundamental changes in education if we put the focus firmly back on the students. We believe that if we base every decision we make on how it will affect students, we can succeed in turning around this entire district, and creating a fundamental change in the way we address reform. To this end, we support and promote an education reform agenda that is parent-driven, as parents are the only stakeholders who put the needs of children first, without conflict of interest. Why did we start Buffalo ReformED? By any measure, our public education system is in a state of crisis. It is time for us all to confront the reality that this challenge cannot be met by continuing to rely on solutions that have not worked in the past, or by implementing incremental changes and hoping for

dramatic results. In order to achieve sustainable improvements, we must demand that parents, teachers, and community leaders prioritize student achievement and teacher quality. In order to create sustained reform, and improve the current relationship between the community and the Buffalo Public Schools administration, we must insist on transparency and accountability at every step. Parents, and community stakeholders must be a part of the conversation, and must be made aware of the everyday decisions that affect their students and children. We will achieve increased accountability by shining a light on the Buffalo Public Schools to demand transparency to better inform parents and our community. We will bring together the community to demand that all decision makers prioritize education with a unified, single-minded focus: what will best serve our students. Buffalo ReformED is run by a dedicated and passionate team. I started the organization nearly 2 years ago after I finished working on federal and state education policy around President Obama's competitive education reform grant, Race to the Top. After watching very well intentioned education reform policies fail to pass in state houses, I recognized the need for locallygrown education policy that is specifically targeted to the needs of the community. At the time, there was no voice for education reform in Buffalo; Buffalo ReformED aimed to fill that void by creating a reform agenda that is focused on always putting students first. After getting the organization on its feet, I brought on board Assistant Director, Hannya Boulos, and Community Outreach

Director, Alan Wynia. All three are Buffalo natives who have returned to the area to try to bring education issues to the forefront, generate community support, and push for effective solutions to the problems our schools are facing. Everyone talks about the brain drain affecting Buffalo—scores of young, educated people never return after graduating college, seeking jobs in greener pastures. Buffalo ReformED is an example of just the opposite; all three of us returned to Buffalo after attending College both locally and out of state. We seized the opportunity to become leaders, and to change the course of education now in order to ensure a more stable and successful future for this city‘s youth. The formation of our organization was a difficult process because there was no seed funding, and sustaining our organization is a constant challenge, because we are not tied to any special interests, nor are we affiliated with any national partners. We operate on a shoestring budget; yet have been able to make great strides thanks to our team dynamic, hard work, and passion for reform. We fight for the changes we want to see happen, and have gained momentum in changing the way Buffalo prioritizes education. Buffalo is behind some cities in terms of its receptiveness toward reform, but in the past year, we have been encouraged and impressed by the growing involvement of parents in the push for reform, the growing media attention dedicated to education issues, and the increased level of accountability of elected officials and administrators in charge of our schools. We have worked closely with parent groups across the district, and we believe true reform cannot happen unless the parents are a part of the conversation. To that end, we are constantly working to support the organization of parents, and helping to provide information about the policies and decisions that affect students. We are also responsible for the introduction of the ―Parent Trigger‖ Bill, a measure that gives parents in low performing schools, 33 schools out of 59 in Buffalo of which this designation applies to, the bargaining power to improve their school in the best interest of their children. Along with writing this Bill, and pushing for its passage, we are providing training and information sessions to parents to help them understand their rights and roles. Along with the Parent Trigger, we are working on various research based projects that will help illuminate and expand

upon the challenges this district faces, while also providing a resource of best practices, and successful reform policies that community members and elected officials can refer to. We are also creating a ―Parent Bill of Rights,‖ and a chain of accountability in order to empower parents to take a more active stance in fighting for good schools, and a quality education for Buffalo students. We‘ve been successful in creating a strong online presence, using YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook to publish news and opinion pieces, and video segments interviewing community members on their experiences with the Buffalo Public Schools. In providing these resources, we strive to empower, connect, and educate the community about successful reform initiatives, and bring education issues to the forefront. Moving forward, our goal as organization is to grow the movement outwards, creating genuine community buy-in and increased involvement of parents and stakeholders. We have a passionate and invaluable group of interns and volunteers, but are always looking to expand our base, and reach out to community members for their ideas and support. Buffalo ReformED has successfully achieved many of our short-term goals, and the dialogue around public education has dramatically shifted in scope to include a students- first agenda. But, there is much work to be done in the fight to provide every Buffalo public school student with an equitably distributed, high quality education. We strive to change the way every elected official, administrator, parent, and teacher thinks about education, and to create a system that genuinely puts the student first.. The time for change is now; we cannot afford to wait any longer, as there is far too much at stake. Education is the backbone of society, and should be the focus of every conversation we have about

. Buffalo‘s wellbeing. We cannot change our neighborhoods without changing our schools, we cannot grow jobs with out changing our schools, and we cannot create future leaders without changing our schools. If you are interested in education reform issues, please visit our website:, and contact us through our forms page. We are extremely receptive to community input, and are always looking for volunteers. How Can You Help: Donate Volunteer Raise your children well Editor’s Note At time of print Buffalo ReformED founder Katie Campos announced she accepted a position on Governor Andrew Cuomo's staff as Assistant Secretary of Education. Buffalo ReformED is now being run by former Assistant Director Hannya Boulos


Contributed by The Project for Public Spaces


A waterfront is often the face of a city. However, from old mill towns to former shipping ports, many urban waterfronts no longer connect to the world through their former transportation and economic functions. Without this bustle, cities are increasingly left exposed, challenged to reveal their personality and values in these unused spaces. Increasingly, waterfronts are where cities are forced to stop their treadmill of economic activity, development and transportation infrastructure, and figure out who they are. Discovering an identity for a waterfront has not been easy for many cities. In fact, it is here where the debate over the soul of cities is perhaps most magnified. The void left on many urban waterfronts attracts the full array of claims on what a city is about and what it most needs. Some waterfronts are being privatized with one dimensional commercial activity, others with housing. Some are being limited to passive use or structured recreation, and many have been reserved for automobiles. Each of these forces is vying for these underperforming spaces, and each time one particular use is allowed to dominate it degrades a waterfront‘s long-term potential. Waterfronts need to not only draw on a dynamic combination of activity to succeed, they must also become greater than the sum of their uses. Here are 5 cities and examples of what is working for them.

Chicago, IL Lakefront Path Lake Michigan shoreline running through South shore, Jackson, Burnham, Grant, and Lincoln Parks Chicago, IL An 18-1/2-mile linear park along Lake Michigan that includes beaches, volleyball courts, playgrounds, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, and soccer fields. Why It Works The lakefront is special because it is a prized place shared by all Chicago residents. Although major divides exist between neighborhoods, the path system unites differing ethnic and socioeconomic neighborhoods - such as South shore, Hyde Park, Lincoln Park and Lakeview - serves as both a recreational and transportation resource to them all. In riding to a soccer field, a public beach, or to one of the free music festivals downtown, path users make the lakefront into a true public place: somewhere to see and be seen, to rub shoulders with neighbors and strangers alike. On a typical day one can see crowds of people swimming, walking, biking, playing chess at path-side tables, buying food and drinks from vendors, relaxing on rented beach chairs (with umbrellas), or having a meal at an outdoor restaurant overlooking a little league game. Easily accessible, with great views of the city's skyline (north, south and west), the bike path widens in the downtown area to include space for outdoor concerts, such as annual blues and jazz fests. Special events, such as road races, running races, and bike events are held along the lakefront path during the spring and summer season.

“On a typical day one can see crowds of people swimming, walking, biking, playing chess at pathside tables, buying food and drinks from vendors, relaxing on rented beach chairs (with umbrellas), or having a meal at an outdoor restaurant overlooking a little league game.”

Pittsburgh, PA Allegheny Riverfront Park Two active park promenades running alongside the Allegheny River, one upland, the other at river level. Allegheny Riverfront Park has invigorated two long, narrow spaces pinched between the Allegheny River and major expressways, reviving relationships among the city, its inhabitants, and its river. The lower level brings you to the river‘s edge and is planted with native floodplain species that can regenerate themselves after flooding. The upper level promenade is more urbane with spectacular views and with plantings and materials traditionally found in Pittsburgh‘s public spaces. The two levels are linked by long ramps that use vines to screen park users from the highway. Pittsburgh has long used its rivers for utilitarian purposes, but not until recently has the city fully recognized their recreational possibilities and their importance as natural resources. Before the park was built, the lower level was an inaccessible parking lot and the upper level was a fairly narrow sidewalk next to a major roadway. The most remarkable thing about this park is the way it has completely transformed these two hostile spaces into a welcoming and well-loved public place. What Makes Allegheny Riverfront Park a Great Place?

Pittsburgh, PA Allegheny Riverfront Park is all about circulation and forming strong ties between downtown and the river‘s edge. The park is extremely accessible and accommodates people arriving on foot,

Cleveland, OH Edgewater Beach

Cleveland, OH on bikes, in wheelchairs, and in boats. Special attention has been paid to making the paved spaces feel special - the upper level is comprised of irregular bluestone paving, the lower level is concrete imprinted with plants. Funding is now being sought to link the park to Point State Park to the west, and the new convention center to the east, thus forming a continuous recreational space along the river. There is abundant seating, positioned to take advantage of the spectacular river views. The trees on the upper level provide shaded spaces to relax in the summer, and the lower level brings you close enough to the river that you can reach down and touch the water. Both levels are great places to bring your lunch. Because Allegheny Riverfront Park is so well-suited to routine uses such as jogging, in-line skating, and dog-walking, the park is very active and there is a constant stream of visitors, making the park feel very safe. Although the park is too narrow for much programmed recreation other than boating, even a quick visit will offer a little respite from the city. Long-term uses strengthens park users‘ awareness of the river in all of its stages. The esplanades are wide enough to accommodate the heavy user ship comfortably, but they are also narrow enough to encourage face to face contact and greetings among fellow park users. The marina fosters camaraderie both among boaters and among those who merely like to look at boats. History & Background Excerpt from the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust website: The concept of a riverfront park has existed since 1911 when the Olmsted Brothers, son and nephew of Frederick Law Olmsted, creator (with Calvert Vaux) of New York's Central Park, proposed the creation of two narrow strips of public land one following the south bank of the Allegheny River and the other running along the north bank of the Monongahela River. The proposal lay dormant until the early 1990s when The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's District Plan called for the creation of a riverfront park to border the northern boundary of the Cultural District. At that time, the Trust's Public Arts Advisory Committee commissioned a first-time collaboration between artist Ann Hamilton and landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh to create the Allegheny Riverfront Park.

Lakeshore beach, woods and grass fields. As simple as it gets: sand, water, horizon; grass, trees, trails, picnic tables. A fishing pier, showers, chess tables, grills. Totemic cubes of stone, rip-rap boulders protect the shoreline from erosion and offend aesthetes, but are beloved by children who scramble over them, lovers who spoon and carve initials as the sun goes down, dogs driven mad by the scent of fish and the odd dropped chicken wing. It's never really empty: there are always runners, bicyclists, bladers, solitary walkers; on a frigid winter evening dogs and their people share the beach with collectors of driftwood; spring has kites, bicycles, bare pale knees in the lunchtime sun. On a sunny summer Sunday all of Cleveland is there, rich, poor, of every age and persuasion, people of dozens of ethnicities cooking, laughing, playing guitar and harmonica, sharing the beach and the grass field and the trails with easy grace, the water full of children and, further out, boats and jet skis; fat, happy women digging their toes into the sand, breezy, unselfconscious (I can say that; I'm one of them). Fall brings rugby, kayakers, truckers stretching their legs (coffee in Styrofoam cups), discreet wine and cheese on lawn chairs on the bluff, sunsets of absurd beauty and persistence, long walks to the far side of the beach where a few teenagers secret a bonfire, a drum circle enchants mermaids of mounded sand left by a local artist... What more could you want in this world? What Makes Edgewater Beach a Great Place? Poor access - by car or through stinking, graffitied tunnels which makes its year-round popularity all the more astonishing. The new lakefront planning process, promising better access, has galvanized immense public participation, at least by Cleveland standards. As you approach, sluiced into a massive parking lot, it looks like nothing. But: leave the car. Approach the water. Take a picnic table under a willow tree. It's fairly clean - as with all great public spaces, users do as much to keep it so as the park staff. The water has good and bad days - some days clear and clean, some days depositing the ice-bound detritus of winter or a fish kill. The dogs dearly love fish kills. There are cops on bicycles and in cars, present but not oppressive. Everyone - all the time - everywhere - doing something simple and wonderful. Salsa lessons in the pavilion - and family reunions, and activist meetings. A talented naturalist. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes! History & Background With the addition of a more secluded wild beach park on Whiskey Island, at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, and a bird sanctuary on Dike 14, both to the east, we will have a complete bike trail along the lake, soon to be joined to another set of trails heading south along the canal, through active industrial sites and abandoned ones being reclaimed by nature, to forest and farmland... Also being planned for the Cuyahoga River is a new eco-boathouse.

Toronto, ON

Boston, MA

Lakeshore Boulevard

Boston Common and Public Garden Beacon Hill to Downtown Boston

This place is an easygoing, entertainment-oriented social space for Torontonians and visitors to mingle. It has stages for live shows, movie projections and dances and songs. It has food stalls, cool breeze in the summer, and a docks to park your motorboats etc. It is protected from the furies of Lake Ontario by a chain of islands. The programming reflects the multicultures of the most multicultural city in the world, Toronto. Mostly free! What Makes Harbourfront a Great Place? Accessible by streetcar connected to the best subway system that money can buy. You can walk, jog, bike, skateboard, or park a car, if you are obese or lazy. No vehicles are allowed on the site itself though parking is nearby. In summer, on weekends you may have to squeeze yourself in. Any garbage is fresh from today's uncivilized. Yesterday's garbage is never in sight. It is safe for all on land, yes do not fall over the dock! All ages are welcome. Activities are too varied to mention! One could doo pottery, glass blowing and visit an art gallery. Music, dances and laughter is not uncommon! If you are sad, come over today! Yes they do show off, meet, mingle with everyone except Martians! People come in groups, in singles or couples. But once there, they are all somehow feel connected!

Dating back to 1634, the Common and Public Gardens provide 75 acres of green space in the heart of Boston's densely packed downtown core. Both park spaces were the first of their kind in this country and have been centers of public life and civic virtue since their inception. Full of activity, the Common offers some of the city's best people-watching. With its grand sweep down from the majestic State House, the Common provides an uninterrupted view of green expanse, historic city buildings, and people. The parks host concerts, plays and other sorts of gatherings and offers facilities and amenities that support a wide range of more spontaneous uses and activities. The Public Garden is famous for its swan boats and has inviting walks and lovely bridge views. While the Common and the Gardens are adjacent (bisected by Charles Street) and serve a unified purpose, the two parks spaces have vastly different characters. The larger, more pastoral Common supports recreational activities and flexible uses, while the Public Garden is devoted to ornamental design. The Common contains walking paths, open green spaces, a "frog pond" with a fountain frequented by children on hot steamy days, play areas, and a war monument. The Garden has a variety of flora and a centrally featured Swan Pond.!

ORGANIC GROWTH HOW THE EASt aurora cooperative grew to over 500 members with no Building, no vendors, no general manager and no product. BY Barbara Byers

In late 2009, over coffee, a conversation began among a small group of friends in East Aurora. At the time, the topic at hand – opening a food co-op – was a ―what if, pie-in-the-sky‖ conversation that merely scratched the surface of next steps and commitment levels. The friends went their separate ways, and a funny thing happened. None of them could stop thinking about the idea. Flash forward 18 months: On April 25, the East Aurora Cooperative Market, Inc., reached a major milestone by welcoming its 500th member-owner! And all simply on a promise. ―This may be considered a faith-based effort,‖ laughingly said Sheila Conboy, president of the EA Co-op board of directors. ―What our memberowners are demonstrating is a deep faith in our conviction that we will open our doors and begin serving them, and we couldn‘t be more grateful.‖ The concept of faith runs deep because, as of today, there is no building, no vendors, no general manager and no product. But what the co-op does have, in addition to more than 500 members, far outweighs what it lacks: An eight-member board of directors, more than 50 volunteers, five committees, a strategic plan, a temporary home on Main Street in the Village of East Aurora and unbridled enthusiasm. In true co-op fashion, the East Aurora endeavor is a grassroots effort and one that its founders believe will have positive and lasting effects on the broader community. Its mission is to cultivate a sustainable co-op that is built by and for East Aurorians and the Southtowns through the maximal efficient use of local resources. ―The adage that ‗a rising tide lifts all boats‘ is apt here,‖ Conboy said, ―in that we intend to increase the potential of our local farmers and producers by carrying as many locally produced products as possible. We want to create a ripple effect that will improve the health of our community, both nutritionally and economically. ―

Throughout the 18-month whirlwind the co-op has experienced, the Lexington Co-op in Buffalo has been an inspiration and a mentor for so many things, not the least of which was support for a feasibility study that recently concluded. That research validated that ―we can successfully sustain a sizable cooperative market in East Aurora,‖ Conboy said, and ―confirmed that, when combined with the strong support from our community, is a recipe for success.‖ The co-ops goal? Contributing to the local economy while supporting as much local farming as possible which keeps money in our community all while promoting the health of local residents who are now able to access quality and affordable food grown in their home town. While not all products will be local, their goal is to provide food that is high value at a fair price. Their goal now is to increase membership owners who enjoy benefits like being able to give input and direction to the co-op, share in the profits plus more of your dollars stay in the community when you shop at the co-op. The goal is to have over 1,000 members as a permanent location is sought. With a co-op, profits are typically either given back to the member-owners, or invested back into the business so that it can continue to grow, create jobs for the community, and offer a wider selection of food. In addition, people who shop at or belong to co-ops often report feeling more connected to their communities, and feel good about keeping the money they earn in their community. The co-op movement across the country is something locals believe have great economic significance on city‘s and regions. Across the country efforts to create a more local sustainable economy are at the forefront of many minds and a grassroots movement on multiple levels exist in other thriving local economies. All share the same values that doing business locally has a domino effect. The co-op concept offers yet another opportunity to push our city forward. The East Aurora Cooperative Market, Inc. is on track to open in fall 2012. Learn more at its website, and on Facebook, at Contact the co-op at!

The Salvation Army is in the people business. People will always be here, there will always be needs. What is most fulfilling is that we entertain the needs of people from all walks of life. It could be somebody who just lost their job who comes to The Salvation Army for assistance, but most people with severe basic needs will come to us for assistance. We don‘t really want to know how you got there, we just want to help get them back on their feet. Usually in that process we find out what the total story is. We are here to provide basic needs to people who come to us for that specific service. It could be food, clothing, shelter, it could be prescriptions, referrals, perhaps even counseling and direction. That is why we‘re here. People will always be here and to be honest with you The Salvation Army will always be here. The Salvation Army always places themselves in the areas where it is most depressed and we have no problem doing that because that is where the need is, not only is the United States but all over the world. The most challenging part is securing adequate funding to do it and to do it effectively. We network with other agencies, we use those services that they may offer that we don‘t offer. Continuity of service is the bottom line, if we don‘t do it, it is our business to know who does. The Salvation Army is a church. Many people don‘t know that. They see the social arm of The Salvation Army and they think that is all that we do. Right here on this location we have a church community. The clients that come into this building, we have ministers or officers that are responsible for ministering to the people who come in here. Every department knows it is the officers responsibility. If there is a need for spiritual counseling or prayer or to have a sit down with the pastor, we make sure that happens. You don‘t

just come in here and get food, when I say the continuity of the services, the spiritual aspect is part of the service that we render. In fact it is first. In fact this area of services was not always here. When The Salvation Army came here it was to build up the ministry in the area and to evangelize.!

Stories of Hope By Stuart Harper

Our society pours millions of dollars and thousands of man hours into programs supporting the poor and homeless and we have to ask ourselves, “Are we making any progress?” From my vantage point at the Mission, I say absolutely YES. The reason I can say yes is because I see the progress each day in people‘s lives. I was at the market the other day and saw one of our program graduates working. He was explaining to a woman about the difference between two different cuts of meat. I have to admit I felt like a proud father. One year ago this man was unrecognizable to even his own family. His recovery is remarkable. He is living proof that through God anything can happen. The progress I see is individual. One person digging out of the hole they dug over many years and successfully living and contributing to our society. Our goal is to help the individual and through them to help others. Just like the movie Pay It Forward; someone helped me, so I will help someone else. I can not explain to you the courage it takes for a person to walk through our doors and ask for help. Americans are proud people and when you add in family heritage and tradition, the pride is almost palpable. The biggest barrier to recovery is pride. That is why many have to lose everything before they can ask for help. For those of you that know my story that was something I had to overcome to find my way back. The results of misplaced pride are some of the saddest stories you ever want to hear. So if progress is gained one person at a time and that person helps another and so on, then what you get is momentum and momentum is a very powerful

force. When one of our men and women go back into the community they become missionaries. Missionaries of Hope. They are a living example of Grace. Their example will show others that recovery is possible through faith, hard work, responsibility, accountability and help from others. They prove that a person can change and through that change become a contributing member of society. The progress is not ours alone but progress is made possible by a myriad of community partners covering the entire spectrum of needs. Each organization plays a vital role in each person‘s success. I went through our records for one of our recent graduates and no less than six agencies provided support of some kind to this man over the past twelve months. Each organizations houses experts in their field. This man used Lake Shore Mental Health, Neighborhood Legal Services, Crisis Services, Christian Nurses Association, Food Bank, and The Matt Urban Center. All of these agencies played an active role during this man‘s recovery and subsequently this man returned back to the community to become a contributing member of society. Today he has gained custody of his daughter and is living with her in their apartment on the east side. Dad and daughter are thriving thanks to the contributions and commitment of this community.!

WHY WE LOVE DUFF’S DUFF’s is one of those restaurants that defines Buffalo’s food culture. From the flaming hot wings to the many glasses of PEPSI that help wash them down, every time you visit is an experience that leaves you wanting more, after you have had time to recover that is. Anyway you slice it chicken wings are just part of our culture. After a careful scientific analysis and extensive research we figured out ten reasons why Western New Yorkers love chicken wings—specifically from Duff‘s. After all the restaurant is now a famous destination after President Obama even stopped by for a bite and they are expanding internationally, specifically into Canada. And we know nothing sits better with locals than a good success story out of our own backyard.

Reason # 4 Best Selling As their disclosure warns: Medium is hot. Medium hot is very hot. Hot is very, very hot. Their best selling wing according to owner, Jeff Feather is medium, which is actually hot. So, I guess we‘ll say both! Reason # 5 The Community Duff‘s is involved in numerous ways of giving back to the community, one of those being gift certificates and fund raisers for those going through sickness. Reason # 6 The Sauce Duff‘s very own proprietary sauce has people coming back for more. Reason # 7 Take Out. Get them to go and enjoy out on the town.

Reason # 1 Wing Power Duff‘s is a chicken wing powerhouse selling roughly 500,000 lbs. of chicken wings—roughly 10,000 per week.

Reason # 8 Selection. More than just wings— sandwiches, starters, sides and kids menu. Reason # 9 President Obama likes them. On his 2010 visit President Obama made a stop and ordered five regular, five extra crispy.

Reason # 2 Wait Time Wait time is about 12-15 minutes before you are served a sizzling hot entrée of fresh wings. Reason # 3 PEPSI Nothing washes down hot wings like a good cola or shall we say, ―pop‖. PEPSI is the drink of choice according to Duff‘s owner Jeff Feather.

in again.

Reason # 10 Relationships. According to owner Jeff Feather, ―The best part of my job is dealing with the customers, satisfying them and seeing them come It‘s all about the relationships.‖!

With locations all throughout Buffalo, Anderson‘s Ice Cream is a great family friendly place to go for a nice sweet treat on a hot summer day. Their delicious homemade ice cream comes with a large variety of choices and flavors. Famous for their frozen custard, Anderson‘s also offers soft serve ice cream, as well as some healthy options such as their no fat, no-sugar added ice cream, lemon ice, and sherbet. Not to mention their amazing ice cream cakes. Holly Anderson, co-owner and partner recommends the Pistachio Custard ice cream and a few of their new flavors such as White Chocolate Raspberry Custard and Coffee Caramel Custard. Anderson‘s also offers a wide variety of lunch and dinner entrées at a very reasonable price. So whether you‘re ready to indulge into a large cone or want to find a healthier option, Anderson‘s has something for everyone. My personal recommendation: Pistachio Custard on a cone. It‘s a unique and refreshing summer flavor sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Charlaps, located in Boston, NY is known for their delicious homemade ice cream. This very cute 50‘s style ice cream shop, complete with Marilyn Monroe and James Dean posters and Elvis cut-outs, has a fun atmosphere and a wide variety of cool treats at a very moderate prices. The variety spans from the classic creamy hard ice cream, thick soft serve custard and milkshakes, to some healthier options such as non-fat yogurt smoothies and fat free and sugar free ice cream, to some more unique items such as crunch crème, which is all the name brand candy bars blended with soft serve custard, and they also even have jet tea smoothies. All of their ice cream is made right at the shop site. They also have some to-go items, such as half gallon and quart size hard ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, as well as some other various dairy products. Charlaps recently expanded to new locations in Hamburg and West Seneca. My personal recommendation: Coconut hard ice cream or PB and Pretzel hard ice cream. The coconut is light and refreshing to cool you down, and the PB and Pretzel, which is chocolate covered pretzels in peanut butter ice cream, is just the right blend of sweet peanut butter and chocolate with salty pretzels. Make sure you come hungry, because the portions at Charlaps are huge!

Perry‘s delicious ice cream was started in 1918, established by Morton Perry. It all started in Akron, NY, and is currently located at One Ice Cream Plaza in Akron. Each batch is made one at a time through a slow cooking process to make sure their ice cream is at the highest quality. They not only distribute to New York, but to Pennsylvania, Ohio, New England and Virginia. Perry‘s homemade, take home ice cream, which you can find at most grocery stores, has a very wide variety. They have their regular creamy ice cream, light ice cream, sherbet, frozen yogurt, crème Brule and gelato. Perry‘s old fashion values transfers through to their ice cream to make a delicious summer treat. Although all of Perry‘s ice cream is delicious, what is most famous with the Buffalonians is their Buffalo Bills Blitz and Sabres Top Shelf Sundae. Everyone knows that Buffalo fans are the best fans around, who love to celebrate our teams- so what better way to do that than with Perry‘s ice cream! You can also check out their website- to learn how they make their ice cream! My personal recommendation: Blueberry Cheesecake or a new summer Neapolitan. The blueberry cheesecake is a creamy blend of blueberries and cheesecake-flavored ice cream has little pieces of graham cracker crust and pieces of cheesecake. The Neapolitan is a mix of coconut, pineapple and mango- a perfect refreshing summer flavor.

Elmwood is a great place to go for a walk in the summer months. With all the small, unique shops and boutiques it‘s a great way to spend a summer day. If you need to cool down, stop into Sweet Tooth, located on Elmwood Ave. Sweet tooth has been opened for about twenty years, and was started by a group of friends. It‘s a classical ice cream parlor that offers a relaxing atmosphere to sit and wind down after an afternoon of shopping. Sweet Tooth is famous for, well, their sweets! They make whole cakes, party trays, tarts and candy, all on site for some great fresh treats. They offer both an eat in or take out option for you to try their treats. They also have a pick up or delivery option for larger orders. For a cooler treat, they offer sundaes, cones, shakes and sodas, and smoothies. You can get a cone or a cup, or go bigger to get a pint or a quart or their homemade ice cream. My personal recommendation: the Banana Boat Sundae. It‘s a classic and yummy summer day treat that tastes a whole lot better at Sweet Tooth.!

By Sarah Kuziomko

Sometimes moving forward begins with preserving the past. That‘s the delicate balance the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation (CTRC) is trying to strike as it races to preserve the old Buffalo landmark, while creating a space for generations to come. This spring the CTRC unveiled its master plan for the ―preservation, restoration and rehabilitation‖ of the terminal. It includes keeping the main concourse open for public space, while bringing businesses and entertainment into the remainder of the area. In turn that will allow the complex to retain its history while giving the community a place to come together. But before the CTRC can start updating, it has to stabilize the structure and maintain its historical features. Years of harsh Buffalo weather and neglect have taken a toll on both the interior and exterior. While the structure is rebuilt it will continually be checked for stability and any future threats to its condition. For the CTRC this is equivalent to laying down tracks before driving the train down them. Once the structure is stabilized the real fun can begin. One of the major components of this plan is to divide the complex‘s 50,000 sq. ft. into distinct sections. The object is to reintegrate the terminal back into the city. During its heyday the Buffalo City terminal was the lifeline of the region. In 1925 a plot of land was bought 2.5 miles downtown with the intention of building a railroad station. Construction on the terminal began on March 29th, 1926. Two years later it opened its doors to the public. Despite soon running into the Great Depression, the terminal boasted the ability to transport 3200 passengers and 200 trains each day. Buffalo quickly became a link between the Northeast and the Midwest, helping it grow into the 2nd largest railroad center in the country. It also spurred Buffalo‘s economic growth. However, several lines placed around the city soon began to

cause congestion and delay traffic. The solution was to create a ―union station that would connect all the different rails, and later become the Buffalo Central Terminal. The terminal was built at the intersection of Lindbergh (Memorial Drive) and Lovejoy (Paderewski Drive) and designed by New York City architectural firm Fellheimer and Wagner. The firm also designed Union Station in Washington, D.C. The terminal not only survived the Great Depression but lasted through 10 presidents and helped propel Buffalo to become the 8th largest city in the United States. However, in 1979 it was bought by a private owner. That year its trains took their last ride, the doors closed, and the people who worked and used the station were sent home. In 1986 it was foreclosed. That‘s until 11 years later when local preservationist Scott Field bought the 18-acre site, including the concourse, tower, and four story baggage building for $1 dollar plus the assumption of back taxes owed to the city of Buffalo. The Central Terminal Restoration Corporate was then founded in 1997. Since then the restoration progress has had its ups and downs ranging from receiving large sums of money from the government, to dealing with tons of debris and asbestos. But fortunately the community has rallied around the project, excited to watch the terminal brought back to life. What sets this project apart from the others is its impact on the community. As Marty Biniasz, the Media Relations Coordinator for the CTRC points out, ―There‘s an emotional connection to the building that a lot of other structures don‘t have.‖ In other words, it‘s about the people. This was a place friends and family waved goodbye, or were reunited with loved ones. In many ways the terminal is a part of their family history. And now the CTRC wants to make it apart of their future. After the concourse is stabilized the next step will be to make it a functioning transportation center again. The garage will be renovated to accommodate tenants and guests, rails will be added to connect the city with the suburbs, and lastly, the CTRC has goals to bring in a high speed rail. Supporters of this plan say Buffalo makes the ideal location for a high speed because it is the only place near downtown that can connect Chicago with New York City. Locally it will transport people to and from the airport and from the city to its surrounding suburbs. In addition to trains, the CTRC hopes to bring it buses and taxi services as well. A second section will be dedicated to office and retail space,

with the intent of attracting green industries. In an era of re-us, it just makes sense to recycle old buildings instead of building new ones. Another area will allow entertainment companies to host events and lastly, the CTRC will bring culture into the area through museums and traveling exhibits. Outside the complex visitors will be able to enjoy what has been named the Urban Habitat Classroom. This city landscape will be sustainable and used as a ―living‖ classroom for schools, community centers, churches and residents. When completed it will be unlike anything Buffalo has offered before. The CTRC is a non-profit organization, 100% grassroots run, and often depends on the donations of generous individuals. If you want to get involved with the CTRC‘s mission there are plenty of ways to do it. For skilled labor the organization offers several ―roll-up-your-sleeves‖ events throughout the year as well as several volunteer opportunities. Additionally, the CTRC holds a number of fundraisers. Coming upon June 24th, the organization will host ―Deco Fest‖ to celebrate the ―Swing and Style‖ of the Central Terminal. There will be live music, swing dancing, food and drinks. Tickets cost $15 or $20 at the door. For more information about these events or to help visit!


When she couldn‘t find earrings she liked to match her dress for a wedding, Megan Speice, founder of Unique Style by Megan, decided she would make her own. Friends and family urged her to make custom pieces after seeing some of her beaded work, she decided to start her own line. Starting in December of 2008, later opening her online store in June of 2009, Unique Style by Megan took off. Speice says, ―It‘s unique because no two pieces are the exact same. Some of the materials, colors and beads, yes, but every piece has a unique flare… hence the store‘s name!‖ She said the best part about making her own custom jewelry is she can make anything she wants from the colors, the size or the style of beads. ―If you have a shirt that you can‘t find anything to go with, I could make it.‖ Her line is also unique because she has expanded it from just jewelry to beaded and gem sun catchers and bookmarks. As her business has begun to thrive, Speice is also starting to host small parties. In the future, Speice hopes to create more ―out there‖ pieces that you can‘t find anywhere else and to broaden the line with more items that aren‘t jewelry. ―There are days when this is all I do because creativity strikes me randomly. I wish I could only do this for my career! It would be wicked fun,‖ she said. Check out her website, to see some of her unique pieces, or contact her through the website if interested in ordering a special item.

Located on Main Street in East Aurora, Petrocy Jewelers is a great shop to get high-end jewelry. This store not only offers pieces from collections such as Pandora or Lorenzo, but also offers custom one of a kind designs. Petrocys is a family owned business, opened by Peppy Petrocy in 1943. It was originally located in Cheektowaga, but is now located in the historic town of East Aurora. Later, his son Tracy Petrocy, the current owner, opened the store in its current location in the early 2000‘s. Tracy, who entered the jewelry field straight out of high school, graduated from the University at Buffalo, where he went to learn the art of jewelry making. Petrocy said he loves making jewelry, especially rings, for those special moments, such as engagements. Down in the basement is where the magic happens, in his studio where he creates all of his works. While most jewelry pieces are made in factories now, Petrocy still does things the original way, making each piece one at a time with patience and careful precision. In addition to custom jewelry Petrocy also offers watch repair services, something only a few places in the Western New York area still do and a unique value they offer the community.

Wild Things, located on Elmwood, was established in 1988. It all started with just a couple of friends and ―by candlelight,‖ taking their transactions through a cigar box. This extremely small business has transformed into a small thriving boutique style shop. Stephanie Robb and Karol Kirberger currently own this gallery of Artisan expression, where they started making jewelry as a hobby. At the gallery there is hand made jewelry, custom designed jewelry, and they also do bridal work where they custom make jewelry to match the gowns in the wedding. There is a wide variety of products, from vintage pieces to more contemporary pieces. It all started when the Wild Things ladies wanted to create a space for all of them to get together to create art and be able to sell it. This small idea turned into a business, one big enough to be a large part of bringing the Elmwood Art Festival to Buffalo. Their focus is to bring a sense of community to the store, and to show off all the local designers. There is also drawings and ceramics created by local artisans available.!

Enemy Opposition may not be the most well known sporting team in town, but the underground group of extreme sports junkies are on a mission to help kids escape the trap of drugs, alcohol and destructive life styles that they say, they were almost all a part of. While anything but just another support group, the team is somewhat of a band of brothers touring the town sharing the good news that there is hope to break the addictions and find wholeness while still enjoying the sports with the gravity defying air-ness, and yet do it for a good cause. The team will be touring various venues across the area this summer and all events are free and open to the public. Trevor Kaufman, cofounder and one of the organizations mainstays over the last 10 years says after all the extreme demos are done and the crowds are awed by the team there is a deeper purpose behind their work, ―The best part of the work for me is seeing guys lives changed. A lot of our team grow up with addictions or divorce n their family and they grow up without a stable environment. As a team we are there to provide that for them and point them to true purpose through faith in Jesus Christ.‖ The team is very active in their local church and says reaching out to the community is something they love doing. The team can often be found at X-treme Wheels on Hertel Avenue which features BMX, roller blading, skate boarding, a video arcade and live entertainment.!

agriculture organization, and scholars and practitioners attending conferences where Metcalf and Widener presented preliminary research. The diverse elements of the local food system that the geographers' map addresses include affordability, public health, community resilience, support for the local economy, public perception of urban decline, and the potential adoption of a "green code" that could make it easier to sustain urban farms. ―As more residents choose local food from sustainable sources, familiarity and community support for urban agriculture can improve,‖ says Metcalf, who also serves as assistant professor of geography. Individual choices are constrained by affordability and access, but aggregate to impact community resilience through environmental, social and economic sustainability. "The causal map is useful for visualizing feedback," Metcalf says. Relationships are inherently invisible, and by making them visible, stakeholders can debate them. A good model can inform policy."

UB geographer Sara Metcalf believes vacant lots in Buffalo can serve a seriously important purpose in restoring life to our community. So much so that she has developed a systemic guide that serves as a model on how different elements within Buffalo's urban food movement relate to one another and how together they represent an opportunity for urban agriculture. The guide or ―map‖ lays out how vacant land is really an opportunity for city dwellers to increase their support and consumption of local food and cultivate urban farms in their own neighborhoods. The mapping process developed by Metcalf

serves to inform dialogue among farmers, policymakers and community advocates. Imagining a single linkage within the food system is simple, but visualizing a complex system is not. Besides the causal map, Metcalf along with associate, Michael Widener wrote an extensive article including a geographic analysis of local access to grocery stores, conducted by Widener, that reveals urban areas with a grocery gap. The map detailed in the paper reflects the input of the Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP), a Buffalo-based sustainable

Metcalf continues to interact with MAP, Buffalo Growing and other "locavores" to develop a social model of awareness about and commitment to the local food movement.!

Branches of Niagara Campground and Resort is a stunning new edition to Grand Island, and one of THRIVE!‘s recommended places for spring, summer and fall family fun. The newly built 90 plus acre campsite opened last year and attracts families from across the nation who may be in town enjoying some of the wonders of our area not the least of which is Niagara Falls, just a 10 minute drive from the grounds. Whether a camper, vacationer, RV camper or tourist, Branches offers a getaway without leaving any known trace of civilization enabling you to enjoy the camp experience and if needed escape to a local pizza joint for dinner. The campground, started by a group of already successful local business people is not just another profit engine but a way to contribute to the beauty of our region, something they are counting on to keep the business strong. The distinct mark of Branches is its ability to tie in a ―camp‖ experience for kids, while the whole family gets a weekend away. With things like crafts, zip line, scavenger hunts and community sports along with the resort like pool, boating, fishing and hiking, Branches ties together structured and free time in a combination that suits visitors like a glove. While one of the most difficult parts of camping for any family can be the cleanliness of the facilities Branches shines with clean facilities, modern amenities and good upkeep along with family bathrooms for extra privacy for families with little ones. The standard cabins comfortably fit a family of 4-5 with one master bed, one pull out futon bed and a loft which easily sleeps another 2-3 whether on a blow up mattress or sleeping bags. Upgraded ―suite‖ cabins with full kitchen and bath are also available on first come first serve basis.!


Western New York is a treasure trove of unique architecture. This is no secret to anyone who lives here. Increasingly, Buffalo is attracting the attention of Hollywood Producers who are smitten by the Queen City's unique assets. "Henry's Crime," a comedy produced by Keanu Reeves, starring Reeves and Buffalo filmmaking veteran James Caan is the latest example of Buffalo's irresistible charm—released in April of this year. Reeves spent part of his childhood in nearby Ontario and was familiar with Buffalo. Caan's 1980 directorial debut, "Hide in Plain Sight" also filmed in Buffalo. Writer Sasha Gervasi's script is set in Buffalo, so shooting the movie here was a natural choice. Local Residents would be surprised to hear that "there is something filming in Western New York almost every day of the year," according to Tim Clark of the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission. Just last year "Unstoppable" starring Denzel Washington filmed in Olean and a major Bollywood musical was filmed in Niagara Falls and Downtown Buffalo. "Making money on a movie is harder than winning the lottery," says Buffalo native James Stephens, a New York City based actor and filmmaker. "Producers need to make every dollar count and it's expensive to film a movie in the United States so states started offering tax incentives to bring film productions to their areas." New York State heavily subsides movie makers, with a thirty percent tax credit given to filmmakers willing to work in the state. Western New York too uses its low cost of living and substantial talent to make it more lucrative to producers than downstate. "New York City is a key production city. The reason is that Mayor Lindsay decided decades ago to make the city more attractive to professional TV and movie production," says Edward Summer, President of the Buffalo International Film Festival. Buffalo's recent good fortune in having several scenes from "Henry's Crime" shot here are because the writer envisioned it here. "The primary reason that they shot the film in Buffalo is probably two things," continued Summer, "the location fit the script and New York State tax incentives."

"The audience desire for authenticity in their movies has compelled filmmakers to go to actual locations to shoot a film," Stephens says. Niagara Falls cannot be replicated, and there are other delights that attract producers to Western New York. The Buffalo Niagara Film Commission, a part of the Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitor's Bureau, offers a one-stop shop for production companies which are interested in filming in Western New York. The film commission website lists shooting venues, incentives and local talent pools. Buffalo is home to unique buildings such as the Central Terminal, the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society Building (the last site left from the 1901 Pan-American Exposition) and the Richardson Complex. There are also several designs by noted architects Frank Lloyd Wright and E.B. Green and a park system designed by Frederick Law Olmstead. "Most people are blown away when they see what we have here. There is architecture from virtually every period. You can get to a rural area, a ski slope or Niagara Falls in twenty minutes," says Clark. New York State is working hard to bring movie money to its cities. A movie production can bring millions in revenue to a city in a single day. Most of the movies end up being made in New York City because there is such a wide range of resources available to them there, but there is also plenty to draw producers to Western New York. Buffalo needs to increase the percentage that comes to this part of the state. Movie Production "brings money to community -- hotels, food, gasoline, location permits," says Summer. "They pay people for the use of their homes. Local people with the right skill set get hired. In New York City they make untold millions of dollars." The key to attracting producers to Western New York is community involvement and preserving our architecture, says Summer. "Buffalo offers tremendous promise, but if all the buildings are torn down, you may as well shoot in a cornfield in Kansas." Western New York must become more invested in keeping it's unique architecture up and running. That, along with local talent is what draws Hollywood to Buffalo. "Community plays a big part," says Clark, "Buffalo truly is the City of Good Neighbors. It's not just a slogan."!

Walking down Grant Street, it is easy to see the impact that Karen refugees have made on our city in the short time since their arrival. As I pass the Lin Market, a newly opened Karen store, I smile at an emerging Karen woman, who gives me a cheery wave. Posted on the window are notices for events at the Karen church, a congregation of about five hundred that meets every Sunday. For the last three years, the Karen have hosted two annual festivals which they have opened to the Buffalo community, ―The Wrist Tying Ceremony‖ and ―Happy Karen New Year.‖ Buffalo has become a magnate city for Karen refugees, not only receiving thousands directly through our local resettlement agencies, but also receiving many families who moved to Buffalo after having been resettled elsewhere. Families have begun to purchase houses, making Buffalo their permanent home, which is now one of the largest Karen communities in the country. Despite their growing presence and impact, the plight of the Karen refugee is relatively unknown. The Karen people are a minority ethnicity originating from Burma in South East Asia, currently known as Myanmar, which lies near the border of Thailand. The Karen have been engaged

in civil war in Burma for the last five generations, and with a desire for self-rule, they are fighting for the right to cede from Burma and become their own state. Initially, the response of the Junta, the Burmese government, was to target those actively participating in the guerrilla movement. Later, the junta implemented the ―Four Cuts Policy,‖ which was designed to cut the flow of resources being channeled to the anti-government movements. Unfortunately, it targeted civilian populations as the main source of those resources, which resulted in a government-led ethnocide against the Karen population living in Burma. Military troops burned homes and crops, tortured those they captured, used Karen captives as human anti-mine detectors, raped the women and ran forced labor projects. The United Nations and the Human Rights Watch have documented the atrocities committed against the Karen. Many Karen began to flee into refugee camps in neighboring Thailand, and many stayed in those camps for over ten years. Many of the children who are currently in Buffalo were born in the refugee camps and have never seen their motherland. In 2008, the Karen began to arrive in Buffalo. After about ten years in the camps, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) made the decision that peace was not likely to return to Burma in a reasonable period of time, therefore, other options needed to be explored. The decision was made by the UNHCR to remove the Karen from Thailand and resettle them to other countries, with the United States agreeing to take the largest number of Karen refugees. The Karen that have come to Buffalo are legal refugees, ready to make a new start for themselves and their children. In the brief period since their arrival, they have contributed to local business and have begun to buy homes. Joseph, whose first child was born in Buffalo,

expresses, ―I want my child to know what it means to have a home and I am going to work hard to provide that.‖ As a group, the Karen are quite diverse. Coming from a variety of religious backgrounds, they have opened not only a church, but also two monasteries. The Karen Baptist Church, which meets on the West Side of Buffalo in the Loretto Ministry Center, has a congregation of over 300 people. Having the ability to create a thriving religious community is an accomplishment not usually made so rapidly. The ―Wrist Tying Ceremony‖ is a religious ceremony that dates back to their traditional religion. The ceremony centers on the connection between spirit and body, while also serving as a community reminder of what it means to be Karen.

The Karen also do not speak one single language, but rather one of the many languages categorized as Karen dialects. The importance of passing on both language and tradition are highlighted through community gatherings, especially through cultural songs and dances at all the festivals. ―We want our children to know what it means to be Karen,‖ says a young mother. ―My baby might never see a Karen State, but she can speak the language and know why we are here.‖ The Karen living in Buffalo have not forgotten those they have left behind. ―I want to be a lawyer,‖ states Thay Win, a determined young Karen man, ―I will go back and fight for my people. I want to get educated here, so that when I go back, I will be ready.‖!

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It seems that Jesus' life was full of interruptions. Everywhere he went he ended up seemingly working off book by healing someone or helping someone, or even having to answer questions from critics who interrupted his teaching. Literally, his life seemed to be a string of interruptions. I hate interruptions. They totally mess me up. I'm pretty flexible, but generally speaking I like to get after something and not succumb to distractions. Like when I am writing my dissertation, or working on a message, or planning for the future (I would add "sleeping" to that list as well, but it just didn't seem to look smart enough or professional enough. But, I really do hate being interrupted by that stupid alarm). Some of us are just wired to focus on stuff more than others - and, of course, there are those that can do forty things at once and like it. They have issues, and I am convinced they need evaluation and treatment (though they would be saying the same thing about me, huh?).

But to miss our sensitivity to interruption is to potentially miss God do the miraculous. Sure, there are those that interrupt you that lack any kind of courtesy or sensitivity to your schedule. But, there are also moments where God interrupts us, through people or circumstances, so that He can accomplish something greater than what we planned. In fact, it just happened to me in another country. I was prepared to do some seminars for pastors, in a multidenominational setting, related to the vision of reaching every man, woman and child in that country. Then my host, whose energy level was like Tony Robbins on steroids, decided that he wanted to change it up and wanted me to speak on a different thing than I had prepared for that evening. So, my plan was interrupted. Badly. I had no messages in my pocket, and I needed a fresh word from the Lord for these people. But God used that interruption to speak a word to me about this country from His Word, and as I shared it that night, God revealed Himself to all of us in an amazing way. Truly, God did something greater as a result of the interruption than would have occurred had we gone along according to our plan. It was uncomfortable, and for me, it probably always will be. But Jesus was interrupted too. A lot. In fact, the first miracle he ever performed (in John 2 at the wedding) was as a result of an interruption. Further, if you read the gospels in their totality, you can conceivably trace nearly every miracle that Jesus performed to an interruption of some type. Think about that. Jesus' life was so in tune with the Father and Spirit that He was prepared at every turn to answer, minister, teach, rebuke, heal, or lead in every interruption that came up. His dependence on God was fuel for the miraculous and a revealing of God's glory. What this does NOT say to me is that we should all fail to plan. I think that is silly. Simply, I think that we just need to be sensitive to God's Spirit in the planning, and if He chooses to change the plan. Why? Because it seems that interruptions are fertile ground for the miraculous. Now leave me alone so I can get back to work...!

Jerry Gillis is lead Pastor of The Chapel at Crosspoint in Getzville.


THRiVE! May June 2011  

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