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Friday, August 28, 2015
Mayor Brown And The City Of Buffalo, U.S. Attorney's Office, U.S. Marshals Service Team Up In Historic Demolition Of Drug Houses
August 26, 2015 - Today Mayor Byron Brown joined U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. as he announced that six drug houses used by the Anderson family drug trafficking organization are being demolished following a historic agreement reached between the City of Buffalo and the U.S. Marshals Service. The houses were forfeited as a result of the Office’s prosecution of the Anderson organization. All members of the organization have been convicted, with Theresa Anderson receiving a sentence of 188 months in prison.
"This is what it’s really about when we take something and then turn it back over to the community and revitalize a neighborhood,” said City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. “Today’s demolition is the first of six demolitions of forfeited properties from the Theresa Anderson drug prosecution and marks the end of a long chapter. This was a team effort to make our city even better and it worked. The partnership between the City of Buffalo, the United States Attorney’s Office and the United States Marshals Service has proven to be a significant tool in strengthening the quality of life in our community and fighting crime, contributing to the over 25% drop in overall crime in Buffalo since 2005.”
“Drug dealing in houses such as this has the potential to cause physical, psychological and emotional harm to an entire neighborhood,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “By removing this blight, law enforcement and the City send a strong message that Buffalo continues to make positive progress, while restoring confidence to those who call this community home. We look forward to continuing our efforts to make Buffalo and its neighborhoods safer and healthier places to live.”
Also in attendance today were United States Marshal Charles Salina, NYS Police Captain Steven Nigrelli, Drug Enforcement Administration Resident Agent in Charge John Flickinger and Deputy Buffalo Police Commissioner Kim Beatty as the wrecking ball began to tear down these neighborhood eyesores.
From approximately 2005 to 2012, the Anderson drug trafficking organization controlled drug sales in a multi-block neighborhood on the East Side of Buffalo, including Swinburne and Deshler Streets. The organization employed family members to sell crack cocaine on a daily basis, and engaged in violence in order to monopolize narcotics sales in the area. Organization members also purchased several homes in the area which were used for selling and storing the illegal narcotics.
As part of the prosecution, over $50,000 in U.S. Currency was seized and eight drug houses were forfeited. Two of the houses were destroyed by fire. Read More...
Mayor Brown Announces New BSA General Manager
August 26, 2015 - OJ McFoy accepts position as General Manager of the Buffalo Sewer Authority
Appointed in 2006, McFoy served as the Chief Engineer for the Buffalo Sewer Authority, responsible for executing the Authority’s $380 million, 20 year plan to minimize the effects of combined sewer overflows on our local waterways. Throughout his tenure with the Authority, he has served in the roles of Chief Operating Officer, leading the asset management efforts, and Chief Financial Officer, managing the $54 million annual budget.
In 2007, McFoy was appointed Chairman of the Buffalo Water Board by Mayor Brown. As Chairman, he oversaw the 2010 transition of the management team, and negotiated a $55 million, ten year public/private agreement with Veolia Water, to provide reliable and professional delivery of water to Buffalo residents. In addition to his chairmanship, McFoy serves on the State Board of New York Water and Environment Association and serves on the Erie County Joint M/WBE Certification Committee.
McFoy stated, “I thank Mayor Byron Brown, members of the Buffalo Sewer Authority Board and BSA Chairman Herbert L. Bellamy, Jr. for their confidence in me. I am honored to take on this opportunity and to serve the citizens of Buffalo to the best of my ability.”
Herbert L. Bellamy, Jr., Chairman of the Board for the Buffalo Sewer Authority stated, “OJ McFoy exemplifies professionalism at all times and it’s been a pleasure to watch him grow and prepare for this leadership position with the BSA. His sound guidance helps educate our board on a regular basis about the state-of-the-art water quality initiatives and technology that will continue to make Buffalo even more efficient, with the best yet to come.”
McFoy, a Buffalo native, graduated from Hutchinson Central Technical High School in 1993. He continued his education through the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program, graduating from Clarkson University in 1998 with his Bachelors of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. Prior to his appointment at the Buffalo Sewer Authority, McFoy was employed for over 8 years as a Project Engineer, Project Manager, and Discipline Leader at Wendel Companies, a private consulting engineering firm.
McFoy has been the recipient of numerous awards, most notably a 2004 Business First Pathfinder Award and a 2007 Black Achiever’s in Industry Award from 1490 Enterprise’s. In 2013, McFoy was honored to co-host the Annual Black Achiever’s Awards Banquet. McFoy is a member of the Water Environment Federation, American Water Works Association, American Public Works Association, Leadership Buffalo, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
McFoy is also involved in the community. He is a featured speaker at schools, raising awareness and generating interest among young people about engineering careers. He currently volunteers as a Technical Advisor for the Buffalo Engineering Awareness for Minorities (BEAM) program, overseeing its Saturday Academy middle school program.
McFoy resides in the Buffalo Willert Park neighborhood with his wife, Monika, and three young daughters.
Mayor Brown Welcomes City Job Seekers To First Informational Job Session About Solar City Buffalo
August 24, 2015 - Session Aims to Increase Awareness on training and skills needed for upcoming hiring spree
“Preparing our workforce for the jobs of the future is critical and today we’re letting city job-seekers know that if you attend this session, you’ll learn what it will take to land a potential job at Solar City Buffalo,” said Mayor Brown.
Director of People Empowerment of Solar City Buffalo Dan Harvey and representatives from the New York State Department of Labor will lead Wednesday’s session. The purpose of the public informational session is to increase awareness on the training and skills need for Solar City’s upcoming hiring process.
The Buffalo Employment and Training Center (BETC) brings together a variety of workforce development organizations and partner agencies with a primary goal of assisting residents of Buffalo and Erie County to gain employment and assist employers in finding qualified workers.
The purpose of the Center is to conveniently bring employment, training and other workforce services to residents and employers in a one-stop environment. The Center is open to anyone seeking employment.
Mayor Brown Unveils New Public Art In The Elmwood Village
August 19, 2015 - AT&T gifts newly installed public art piece to City of Buffalo
"Buffalo is rich with artistic works and I encourage residents and visitors to enjoy Buffalo’s growing ‘Outdoor Museum’,” said Mayor Brown. “Buffalo’s public art collection is a reflection of our city’s diversity and vibrant cultural identity. I thank AT&T for its commitment to Buffalo and helping us further promote public artwork, a highly cost-effective way of driving and expanding our economic revitalization efforts.”
Mayor Brown has been working in partnership with the Buffalo Arts Commission and the Albright-Knox public art initiative to further strengthen the City’s public art program. He graciously accepted this gift from the corporate art collection of AT&T.
“AT&T is proud to present this original work of art to the City of Buffalo – a sculpture from which we hope residents and visitors will draw enjoyment and inspiration,” said Marissa Shorenstein, New York president, AT&T. “Eden complements the various magnificent statues and sculptures that are found throughout the city, while contributing to the momentum of the robust public art movement in the region. Public art is an essential component of enhancing great cities such as Buffalo and we couldn’t be happier that Eden has found a home in the Queen City. ”
The sculpture “Eden”, a bronze piece made up of two components, is the work of renowned contemporary artist Judith Shea, who traveled to Buffalo to attend today’s event. She’s been a practicing artist for over 30 years. Trained as a fashion designer, she has used clothing to explore the nature and history of a sculpture. “Eden” is an example of one of her best known series of works in bronze in which she creates two empty clothing forms in the shape of a man and a woman, suggesting figures that are not present. The work stands approximately five feet tall and is now located at the intersection of Elmwood Avenue, Bidwell Parkway and Potomac.
AT&T’s corporate art collection consists of paintings, prints, sculptures and photography from a broad spectrum of artists with a variety of approaches. The collection was established in 1985 and has grown exponentially since its inception through numerous mergers and acquisitions. In the past five years, AT&T has gifted more than 200 works of art valued at over $750,000 to communities, nonprofits and charitable organizations around the country. “Eden” is the single most valuable work of art that has been gifted to a community or organization in New York State from AT&T’s corporate art collection.
"The Buffalo Arts Commission is pleased to have such a fine piece of work be added to the City of Buffalo Art Collection through the generosity of AT&T,” said Catherine Gillespie, Chair of the Buffalo Arts Commission. “As Buffalo continues its magnificent recovery, it is especially important that public art has prominent visibility. This project has been underway for several years and involved the cooperation of many different city departments. The Arts Commission has been grateful for the supportive efforts of the Mayor's office and the Department of Public works."
The sculpture is attached to a concrete base that was recently installed by Titan Development. There is a dedicatory plaque affixed to the base that gives recognition to AT&T and artist Judith Shea.
NFJC Supports City Of Buffalo Opportunity Pledge
August 19, 2015 - Mayor Brown thanks the leadership and staff of the National Federation for Just Communities for joining individuals and organizations across Buffalo in signing the pledge
As momentum continues to build for the City of Buffalo Opportunity Pledge, Mayor Byron Brown was pleased to welcome support from the leadership of the National Federation for Just Communities (NFJC). NFJC President Lana Benatovich and NFJC Board Members, including Board Chair John Horn, traveled to Buffalo City Hall to sign the pledge today. NFJC’s mission is to overcome racism, bias, and bigotry by building a just and inclusive community through education, advocacy and engagement. Those are also the core values of the Buffalo Opportunity Pledge
“As economic growth and opportunity continues in Buffalo, it’s important that all residents and business owners benefit from the city’s rising prosperity,” said Mayor Brown. “I thank the leadership of the National Federation for Just Communities for signing the Buffalo Opportunity Pledge, a reflection of their continued commitment to helping us build a culture of diversity, inclusion and equity in Buffalo.”
NFJC President Benatovich stated, "The NFJC is proud to partner with so many organizations that support and promote inclusion and diversity. We encourage building "one Buffalo" as a strong and prosperous community that respectfully embraces our differences and in our daily work encourage others to do the same. Thank you Mayor Brown for continuing to shine a light on the importance of such initiatives in every sector of WNY and we look forward to being an instrumental part of Buffalo's growth and to the lasting commitment to people of all races, cultures, religions, sexes, and sexual orientation!"
The Buffalo Opportunity Pledge, part of an initiative that is moving Buffalo toward the goal of shared prosperity for all residents, kicked into high gear last month with the debut of the newly designed logo for the pledge. To date, 2,533 individuals and 105 organizations have signed the pledge, with additional organizations requesting and scheduling ‘signing events’ with Mayor Brown in the weeks to come.
The pledge initiative continues Mayor Brown’s efforts to break down barriers for minorities and women that includes the hiring of the most diverse workforce in the city’s history, as well as incorporating community benefits into many of the city’s largest economic development projects.
The City of Buffalo Opportunity Pledge encourages businesses, organizations and residents to commit to building a culture of inclusion and equality in Buffalo. View and sign the pledge at: www.city-buffalo.com/BuffaloOpportunityPledge.
Mayor Brown, GObike Buffalo Host National and Statewide Experts to Enhance Bicycle Friendly City Ranking
August 18, 2015 - Mayor Byron Brown, the City of Buffalo and GObike today hosted representatives from across New York State and the National League of American Bicyclists. The purpose of the gathering was to discuss the steps Buffalo has taken to become a bicycle friendly community.
'34andMORE Buffalo Recycles' Kicks Into High Gear
August 17, 2015 - Simple messages in print and on billboards and bus shelters coincide with launch of a new website and social media campaign designed to help Buffalo double its recycling rate
Mayor Byron W. Brown and a number of community members today launched the next phase of the ‘34andMore Buffalo Recycles’ initiative. This phase includes a citywide outdoor public awareness campaign composed of simple messages in print, on billboards and bus shelters in well-trafficked neighborhoods. At the same time, a new recycling website and social media campaign made its debut.
“The ‘34andMore Buffalo Recycles’ initiative kicks into high gear and plays a very important role in encouraging and educating city residents about the importance of recycling,” said Mayor Brown. "We are saturating the city with fun and fresh information on how residents can participate in the city’s comprehensive recycling programs. I thank you, in advance, for your support.”
Mayor Brown unveiled the campaign strategy on Earth Day, 2015 and today officially launched the city’s first ever outdoor advertising campaign aimed at encouraging city residents and visitors to keep recycling. This campaign, funded by a Recycling Education Grant given to the city as part of its contract with Republic Services, is part of a comprehensive recycling marketing plan put together by Block Club, Inc. It’s designed to help the City of Buffalo increase its recycling rate beyond the national recycling rate of 34%.
As part of this next phase of the campaign, colorful posters with simple messages have been placed on billboards, bus shelters and in publications.Read More...
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Photos by Angel Art LTP, compliments of the Greater Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additional photos by Adrian Roselli, compliments of Algonquin Studios