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Schumer blasts Pinnacle plan to cut back on pilot reviews

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., is demanding that Pinnacle Airlines abandon its plan to cut back on its reviews of pilots who make mistakes in training.

In wake of a story Monday in The Buffalo News that detailed Pinnacle's proposal to convene training review panels after a pilot's second failure rather than the first, Schumer wrote Monday to Pinnacle's incoming president and CEO, John Spanjers, to criticize the idea.

Schumer said he expected more of Pinnacle, the owner of Colgan Air, which operated the Continental Connection flight that crashed in Clarence Center in 2009, claiming 50 lives.

"As the owner of the plane that crashed as a direct result of pilot error and questionable mismanagement of personnel, this company has a special responsibility to take every precaution to prevent a tragedy like this from recurring," Schumer said.

Pinnacle, which is in bankruptcy, has asked a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge to approve the change in pilot training as a cost-saving move.


Public Works Dept. offices to close from noon to 1 p.m.

NIAGARA FALLS -- The administration offices of the city's Department of Public Works will be closed from noon to 1 p.m. daily beginning today.

Hours of operation for the department, located at 1785 New Road, will be 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.


YMCA holding summer camp for kids July 2 to Aug. 24

NORTH TONAWANDA -- The YWCA will hold its annual summer camp for boys and girls ages 5 to 12 from July 2 to Aug. 24.

Children can attend any or all of the eight weeks for three or five days a week.

Camp activities include swimming, field trips, arts and crafts, and games. Parents can bring campers between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. and pick them up from 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. at the YWCA of the Tonawandas, 49 Tremont St. Afternoon snacks are provided, but kids must bring their own lunch.

Enrollment is ongoing throughout the summer. For information, call 692-5580 or visit


$3.5 million project begins at Richardson complex

Work has begun at the Richardson Olmsted Complex to redevelop the South Lawn, which includes relocation of the parking lot south of the Towers Building.

The $3.5 million project has begun with construction of new Buffalo Psychiatric Center parking lots and entry to the Strozzi Building. Visible changes between July and September are expected to include construction of newly aligned roadways, a plaza south of the Towers Building, planting of 125 large canopy trees and repair of the iron fence.

Design work was done by Andropogen Associates of Philadelphia, and interprets changes recommended during a public meeting last year, and by the Richardson Olmsted Community Advisory Group at several stages of design development.