Town of Grand Island Supervisor Nate McMurray

Welcome Center Will Be Boon to Grand Island

January 24, 2017 Reporter 0

By Nate McMurray;

Town of Grand Island Supervisor

Welcome Center 

As you may have heard, a brand new, state of the art Welcome Center is coming to Grand Island. The Governor visited last week and he mentioned it specifically in his speech. I’ve been pushing for it as soon as I heard of the possibility, and so has our Chamber of Commerce, led by Eric Fiebelkorn’s efforts. It’s a fantastic thing!

And we are not just talking about something like the old dump of a building near the roundabout. That place is a nightmare. If I had the power to tear it down tomorrow, I would. Yes, I was thankful that they put in the new giant flag and did some other subtle improvements. But let’s be honest. Even at its height that old building served one purpose—selling bus tours to lost tourists on behalf of a private company. Actually, it might have been a decent gas station once, long ago. I can’t remember. But it was never truly a Welcome Center. It was a trap.

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Yellowstone National Park is evocative of "the popular image of Buffalo as a wintry cold place" in "Buffalo Views", the new book by Larry and Lyn Beahan.

“Buffalo View” chronicles WNY Ecology Scene

January 12, 2017 Staff 0

Readers of the Buffalo News are no strangers to the guest editorials written by local author and noted environmentalist Larry Beahan of Williamsville. Now a number of his thoughtful and erudite columns, spanning two decades, have been neatly tied together in book form, entitled “Buffalo View”.

Wide-ranging topics from climate change (“Dunkirk’s Fossil Fuel Trap”) to wildlife protection (“Kodiak Island Fox” and “Disturbing Sturgeon”) and his beloved parks under threat (“Allegany for Sale”) to poignant personal memoirs, have all served as the fascinating focus of this committed conservationist’s pen.

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Grand Island Supervisor: An Island without fear Part 3.

December 26, 2016 Reporter 0
Island Without Fear Part 3 of 4:
by Nate McMurray
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Freedom from the fear of others

Diversity is not just an empty motto. It’s an ideal we strive for because diversity brings strength. Even on a basic level, genetic diversity helps us survive and adapt. And cultural diversity (meaning drawing upon the ideas and skills of those with different backgrounds and perspectives) can help us find solutions to new challenges.
To put it in silly terms, would the Avengers be better off with 10 Captain Americas or would it help to throw in a Hulk, a Thor, a Spider-man, and an Ironman? When different people with different backgrounds and talents come together, the result is strength.

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National Attention to Buffalo Police Shooting Dogs

October 20, 2016 Staff 1
Nathan Winograd, father of the No Kill movement and widely considered the leading animal advocate in the USA.
Nathan Winograd, father of the No Kill movement and widely considered the leading animal advocate in the USA.

By Nathan Winograd

(Editor’s note: A world renowned animal advocate, Nathan Winograd is considered to be the father of the No Kill movement. His comments on our Oct. 13 article “SPCA Report Contradicts Police Version of Shootings that Killed Pit Bulls in Drug Raids” for his national animal rights audience on Facebook drew wide attention. He has kindly consented to have his comments republished for Artvoice.)
Winograd authored the seminal “No Kill Equation,” the bible of the No Kill movement, which describes steps animal shelters should take to achieve a policy where no healthy animal is euthanized. Here he lends supports to the concept detailed in the Artvoice article of using CO2 fire extinguishers instead of guns to subdue, rather than kill, potentially aggressive dogs during no knock raids of homes of citizens suspected of drug sales.)

Every year in the U.S., over 10,000 dogs are shot by police. Some police departments kill more than others. The Buffalo, NY Police Department is one of those agencies. And one of its officers — just one — shot and killed more dogs than all New York City police officers — the entire New York City Police Department — combined, in the same time period.

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Nathan Winograd posted the above picture of a Buffalo child and his dog, which appeared in Artvoice, on his Facebook page and commented: “An innocent dog killed by police in front of his family, including this little boy. Deputies raided his home based on the false information of a snitch – “a criminal who acted as an informant to get out of being arrested.” No one was arrested, no drugs were found, and the family was left to clean up the bloody mess.”

While every Buffalo officer who kills dogs claims the dogs are “aggressive” and argues that the shootings were justified based on fear of attack, a necropsy by the SPCA in one of those shootings contradicted the officer’s version of events that the dog was threatening at point blank range. And an exposé found innocent dogs being killed in front of families, including children, based on the false claims of police “snitches.”

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Attorney Matt Albert is passionate about defending the rights of dog owners whose dogs were killed by police.

SPCA Report Contradicts Police Version of Shootings that Killed Pit Bulls in Drug Raids

October 13, 2016 Frank Parlato 1

Lawsuit may hinge on necropsies of Damian and Gotham

Buffalo, NY – Necropsies by the Erie County SPCA on a pair of pit bulls shot and killed during ‘No Knock’ raids last summer contradict ‘Use of Force’ reports of the law enforcement officers who fired the fatal shots.

The SPCA reports support claims by two Buffalo pit bull owners, Michael Urban, 36, and Corey Meer, 23, that their dogs presented no danger when police shot and killed them.

Meer and Urban are represented by Buffalo attorney Matt Albert, and both have filed a notice of claim for Federal lawsuits (42 USC 1983) against, respectively, the Buffalo Police Department and the Erie County Sheriff Department.

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Bonnie Fitzgerald

West River Road Resident Gives Her Side of Bike Path Story

October 6, 2016 Staff 7
Bonnie Fitzgerald
Bonnie Fitzgerald

Invites Public to “Come and Enjoy” the Glorious Eight Miles of West River

By Bonnie Fitzgerald

West River Rd. Resident

Grand Island NY — In connection with the debate raging about the proposed West River Parkway bike path, we believe that the recent article entitled “The Great Nimby” was written in poor taste, biased, one-sided and unequivocally not true.  Unfortunately, it has incited anger and hatred toward us, and we would like to tell you our side of the story.

The residents of West River are kind, generous, hardworking people who are by no means rich or wealthy. We take great pride in where we live and are the true groundskeepers of West River. That special area of Grand Island looks as beautiful as it does only because of us. After a long week of work and running the kids to various activities, we clean our houses, trim the bushes, pull the weeds, wash the windows and mow our lawns. Once we are done with all of our own household chores, we cross the street to mow the land that is supposedly being maintained by New York State. If we didn’t do this, the grass would be waist high nearly all summer, and filled with rodents and snakes.  A number of us also take out the vegetation permits in spring and fall that allow us to trim trees and clear the brush by the river’s edge. In the spring, many West River homeowners walk along the shore to clean up the garbage that appears after a long winter. Our tax dollars are supposed to go toward the maintenance of this area, but we have been told by the NYS Office of Parks that its budget permits only TWO grass cuttings a year. But we don’t complain; we just keep working to maintain its beauty for all to enjoy.

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If nothing else, world class views will be available to many more people on state-owned land in Grand Island if the bike path becomes a reality.

Grand Island Bike Trail Plan to be Examined by West River Road Residents at meeting this evening

October 6, 2016 James Hufnagel 0
 It might be fair to say that with the simple expedient of closing down West River Parkway to motorists and making it accessible to bikers and hikers, the region will add a jewel to its waterfront parks system. A world class nature park will open up before our very eyes, drawing people seeking "pensive contemplation", as Fredrick Law Olmsted called it, to enjoy the heretofore almost unexplored and glorious West Branch of the Niagara River - as viewed from one of the world's great fresh water islands, marvelous Grand Island, New York.
It might be fair to say that with the simple expedient of closing down West River Parkway to motorists and making it accessible to bikers and hikers, the region will add a jewel to its waterfront parks system. A world class nature park will open up before our very eyes, drawing people seeking “pensive contemplation”, as Fredrick Law Olmsted called it, to enjoy the heretofore almost unexplored and glorious West Branch of the Niagara River – as viewed from one of the world’s great fresh water islands, marvelous Grand Island, New York.

If all goes according to schedule, opponents of the West River Greenway Connector Trail, the $2.5 million state and federally-funded initiative to close the West River Parkway and convert it into a bike trail, will meet tonight at 7 p.m at Grand Island High School, 1100 Ransom Road, in the main auditorium.

As we reported last week, a backlash from some West River Road residents against the project, which was originally approved by various government agencies going back to 2013 and has been the subject of public meetings and information sessions over the past two years, is taking shape.

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The Great NIMBY’s Want West River All to Themselves

September 29, 2016 James Hufnagel 24

Opposition to Grand Island bike path heats up as Public Meeting to be held next week

A group of NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) -inspired residents on Grand Island appear to be gaining momentum in their efforts to halt New York State Parks’ plans to convert the virtually unused West River Parkway into a beautiful bike path along miles of the glorious west branch of the world famous Niagara River. 

These residents, who, to a man and woman, live on West River Road, claim they object to the state’s proposed bike path for various reasons such as safety and the urgent need to keep two parallel roads.

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Tesla, The Power of the Sun … And Progress on Grand Island

September 15, 2016 Reporter 2

By Nate McMurray

Supervisor of Grand Island
I read a book about Nikola Tesla earlier this year called “Wizard, The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla.” I thought I knew about Tesla, and especially his work at Niagara Falls. It was Tesla who finally mastered the mighty cataracts to generate electricity and transmit it over long distances. But Tesla did so much more, including research and development of technologies related to remote control, super-conductivity, fluorescent lighting, the bladeless turbine engine, and many other works that helped define the modern world.

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Former Erie County Deputy DA Mark Sacha

DA Candidate Sacha Calls for Lead State Prosecutor in Pigeon Case to be Removed!

September 1, 2016 Frank Parlato 1
Former Erie County Deputy DA Mark Sacha
Former Erie County Deputy DA Mark Sacha

Mark Sacha, the former Erie County Deputy District Attorney who is credited for launching the investigation into alleged election law violations of G. Steven Pigeon that led circuitously to his indictment, is now “concerned” that Pigeon’s due process rights are being compromised.

Pigeon was charged by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office of nine felony counts of bribery and extortion.

Sacha, who is running for Erie County DA, claims Schneiderman’s office is “allowing politics to influence” the Pigeon case and that the lead prosecutor for the state, Assistant Attorney General Susan Sadinsky, must be removed because of a “clear conflict of interest.”

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w-r-parkway

Two Grand Island residents give opposing views on Supervisor McMurray’s bike path

August 27, 2016 Reporter 0
west river arkway
A classic case of property owners opposing changes in public land use.

Two readers have offered their opposing views of a state plan to create a bike path on Grand Island that is supported by Grand Island Supervisor Nate McMurray.

Kris writes:

Nate McMurray’s campaign for Grand Island Supervisor was about keeping our beautiful, quiet Island rural and to stop the tourist homes from attracting “transients” and now the idea is to attract millions of people to stop here to use the West River waterfront? Where there is no beach to swim at, no boat launches, (not one public boat launch on Grand Island!), and the Canadian border is so close to GI it would not exactly be the ideal place for utilizing the waterfront. The W. River Parkway is underutilized, but the parallel road (30 mph speed limit) is already barely used for bikers – there’s nothing but homes! Not even a place to stop for a hot dog and a cola. This has become more than just a bike path plan! And it certainly doesn’t support Mr. McMurray’s original campaign plan of keeping Grand Island a rural, quiet community. As quoted in this article it’s currently “a quiet place where 20,000 or so residents find respite from the urban environs to the North and South”, and we’d like it to stay that way.

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A grand idea for Grand Island? Development key to future

August 25, 2016 Reporter 7

By Mike Hudson;

A great percentage of the visitors coming to see Niagara Falls arrive via the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. About halfway between the airport and the falls themselves is Grand Island, a charming, almost rustic community in the middle of the Niagara River that tourists must cross to get to the falls.

For most of its history, Grand Island has served as a bedroom community for Buffalo and Niagara Falls, a quiet place where 20,000 or so residents find respite from the urban environs to the north and south.

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