University Heights, Buffalo, NY

Friday, February 26, 2010

Amanda's Law: Giving a Voice to the Silent Killer

Amanda's Law: Giving a Voice to the Silent Killer

On Monday Governor David Paterson signed "Amanda's Law" into New York State law, making it mandatory for all homes to be equipped with a carbon monoxide detector. The law is named after Amanda Hansen, the 16-year-old West Seneca girl who lost her life to a carbon monoxide leak while at a sleepover party. The bill that became Amanda's Law was drafted by South Buffalo Assemblymember Mark Schroeder at the behest of the Hansen family.

Carbon monoxide leaks are particularly prevalent in multi-unit homes, such as those throughout the University Heights, where shared utilities often cause mechanical problems. Carbon monoxide is known as the 'silent killer' because it is undetectable without a CO detector and can kill within minutes.

As of right now, there is no funding to distribute carbon monoxide detectors on a large scale. However, everyone should take it as a personal responsibility to provide their homes with these life saving devices and ensure those in your home will be protected.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors can be bought at hardware stores, such as ABC Rental on Bailey Avenue for $26.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sign Up for Summer Home Repair Event

Group Workcamps, a national Christian-based youth mission organization, will make basic home repairs to 100 selected homes in the University Heights area for a week in June. The work crews will consist of high school students with adult chaperones. The volunteers will paint, build or repair wheelchair ramps, weatherize and repair steps and porches for elderly, disabled or low-income residents.

Local sponsors of the program are the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, UB’s Office of Community Relations, the City of Buffalo, Nichols School (where the visitors will stay) and the Erie County Department of Health.

Several sponsors are also members of Wipe Out Lead, a Western New York coalition dedicated to educating the community about the dangers of lead. Used in many homes built before 1978, leadbased paints pose a serious health hazard, especially for children.

Applications for Group Workcamps home repair are being accepted until Feb. 28. To apply, contact Linwood Roberts, neighborhood outreach coordinator in the Office of Community Relations, at 829-3524 or

Interested homeowners should have insurance, have someone present at the home during the event in June, and be physically or financially unable to make repairs.

Photo by Enid Bloch

Friday, February 12, 2010

Free Tax Preparation Services Available at UB

IRS-certified accounting students from the University at Buffalo School of Management will again provide free tax preparation services to individuals and families with annual incomes below $49,000.

Area residents and students are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity, which will be held on UB's North and South campuses. The IRS estimates that using such free services can save taxpayers between $100 and $300 in preparation fees.

This service can be especially valuable to low-income tax filers by helping them apply for earned income-tax credits that can provide a needed boost in annual income. The tax credits, which can reduce or completely eliminate income taxes by refunding taxes already withheld from wages, can mean as much as $5,028 for a family with two children.

Earned income-tax credits also can be collected from back tax filings. The service will prepare tax filings for the two previous years, as well as 2009.

Free tax preparation will be offered from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis in 109 Allen Hall, South Campus, on Feb. 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28, and in 106 Jacobs Management Center, North Campus, on March 27, 28 and April 3, 4, 10 and 11.

Participants must bring proof of identification (government-issued ID for each adult, such as driver's license, state-issued ID card, passport, military ID card, etc.); original Social Security card for each filer and dependent; date of birth for self, spouse and dependents; wage and earning statements (Forms W-2 and 1099) from all employers; interest and dividend statements (Form 1099); a copy of last year's federal and state tax returns, if available; and bank routing numbers and account numbers, if direct deposit is desired.

The tax service is coordinated by the UB chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, an international honors organization for accounting, finance and information systems students, with help from the UB Accounting Association.

Frequently asked questions as well as maps and directions can be found at Additional questions can be directed to or 716-533-1553. Services on the South Campus are available thanks to support and equipment provided by the UB Office of Community Relations.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

An Open Letter to the"Answer Lady"

To whom it may concern, but I think just about everyone knows who you are………

I am very tired….. very tired of your negative blogging. Many of us in the University District are working hard to improve the living conditions in the area we have all chosen to call home. Your type of anonymous and generally venomous commentary does absolutely nothing to help those of us that are trying to generate positive change. I for one, not that you probably care, am retired and have chosen to give back to the community in many different and satisfying ways and I know that we have a long slog ahead of us. There is an old saying that should become the motto of all of us that have chosen to give their time to the enrichment of our community. “If you are not part of the solution you are probably part of the problem”.

I am available, at your convenience, to discuss your comments…. But I would be very surprised if that occurred.

Fred Brace

Monday, February 8, 2010

Less is More: Promoting Recycling and Waste Reduction in Western New York

Join us in the Allen Hall Theatre on 2/23 at 7pm to learn more about recycling and waste reduction efforts that are happening in Western New York! Heard about single stream recycling? Wondering what it is? Come here to find out! We'll be talking about all that is new and exciting about waste and recycling in our region!

Moderator: Erin Moscati, UB Green Environmental Educator


Andrew Goldstein: Community Recycling Expert
Susan Attridge: Area Manager, Abitibi Bowater Recycling Division
Ted Osborne: Buffalo Recycling Enterprises