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October 8, 2018

WNY open-government group lauded for “critical work” by state-level reformers

It got pretty geeky at the Buffalo Niagara Coalition for Open Government’s recent forum featuring Susan Lerner from Common Cause and Alex Camrada of Reinvent Albany, two state-level advocacy groups seeking to establish local connections.

Subjects ranged from the need in smaller communities for elected representatives to file financial disclosure forms to the state comptroller losing the ability to review contracts and how that contributed to the Buffalo Billion corruption as well as professionalizing the state’s board of elections and making sure “shadow government affiliated non-profits” follow the same open meeting and FOIL laws as [...]

 
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July 22, 2018

Corning GlassBarge fires up N.T. on tour of Erie Canal

Residents of the Twin Cities on Wednesday stepped onto a barge on the Erie Canal and learned about the art and science of glass and its role in the history of New York State.

“In 1868, the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company relocated to Corning N.Y., via the New York Waterways, and evolved into the company that is today known as Corning Inc.

To honor the 150th anniversary of this journey, the Corning Museum of Glass launched GlassBarge—a 30’ x 80’ canal barge equipped with its patented all-electric glassmaking equipment— in Brooklyn Bridge Park on May 17.

GlassBarge travelled north on the Hudson, then westward along the [...]

 
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August 6, 2017

Niagara Water Protectors march across Goat Island to highlight water’s sanctity

“Life is Water! Water is Life!”

On Saturday, Niagara’s Water Protectors called attention to the thousands of gallons of untreated sewer water and filter backwash discharged into the Lower Niagara River last week, taking place in front of hundreds of tourists — some of whom got sick, according to reports.

“Life is water! Water is life!” is what the marchers shouted out again and again in front of a different set of hundreds of tourists. They marched one mile onto Goat Island, to Terrapin Point, and then back across to the bridge.

At first, I was there as an observer, [...]

 
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March 31, 2017

Municipalities in Niagara urged to improve self-reporting, info on websites

If you’re wondering how to advance the existing state of affairs in Niagara County and Western New York then the subject of transparency in government deserves your sustained attention.

Unfortunately, our region currently suffers from local governments that don’t provide the kind of transparency its citizenry deserves.

“When government operates openly and honestly, we, the people, can hold our elected officials accountable, fulfilling our duties as an informed citizenry,” said Paul Wolf, an attorney based in Wulliams ville, who recently published a report about the level of transparency in WNY’s municipal websites.

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