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By Tim Fenster When Larry Ball, a Cassadaga retiree and part-time farmer, decided to add a solar system to his new home, his financial advisor cautioned him that the savings may not be worth the cost. But Ball knew what he was getting into. His new solar system — bought to supplement his existing solar and wind turbine systems — has allowed him total energy indep…

By Devon Dams-O’Connor If you’re ready to make the leap into houseplants but aren’t sure where to start, a fun, crafty option is to grab a friend and head to a Plant Nite. Held at Western New York bars and breweries, these hands-on parties invite participants to get their hands dirty as they create a take-home tabletop garden of succulent plants, rocks, and accent…

By Devon Dams-O’Connor Houseplants finish a room like no other knick-knack, throw pillow, or accent lamp. Healthy green leaves complement any color scheme and style, from a Norfolk pine in a woodsy, rustic study to a simple orchid in a minimalist, Zen-like sunroom. They add a touch of life – literally – with foliage that filters the air and brings the outdoors in.…

by Kristi Runyan Many of us fondly remember our magical summer camp experiences — sitting ‘round a campfire in the dark next to a new friend, learning a new skill, just reveling in the joy of being young. But it’s more than just having fun; experts say the experience of summer camp can help children grow in beneficial ways. “Having some structured playtime…

by Cherrie Messore Thirty-somethings Dave and Ashley Segal of Kenmore have been married for a couple years. They have good jobs, a nice house, three dogs…and no estate plan. Their views on the topic differ. Dave thinks it’s too expensive. Ashley doesn’t think it’s a priority unless you have dependents. While they know it’s a future consideration, it’s not…

by Kevin Snow There’s something for everyone in the Elmwood Village, including a pair of unique stores that have added another level of style to the hippest part of Buffalo. High-end kicks To refer to Sole High as a store that sells athletic shoes would be doing a disservice to the footwear industry. While the store carries a full line of sneakers at various …

by Devon Dams-O'Connor As a teenager, Jason Jerome played football and ran track at a large public high school in Aurora, Illinois. But while many varsity players dream of becoming world-class athletes, Jerome worked his way up the ranks to become a world-class strength and conditioning coach for professional and Olympic stars instead. And now he’s in Buffalo. J…

by Jana Eisenberg In a different angle on recent “coming home” stories, interior designer Philippa Radon has officially moved to Buffalo after first visiting here with her husband Peter, a Lackawanna native, almost 20 years ago. “I felt instantly at home here, even as my flight landed for the first time on a snowy tarmac,” recalled Radon, a native of the U.K.…

As part of this year’s Athena Awards, The Buffalo News (publisher of Buffalo Magazine) has the honor of naming the first-ever [BN]spired winner, an award given to a local “Say Yes” college scholarship recipient who has achieved the highest levels of academic, community and personal success. The winner is Danielle E. Burruss, a junior Public Communications major at…

by Martin Haumesser Every year, 10 finalists are named for the region’s most high-profile award honoring local women: the ATHENA. And every year, their collective accomplishments – in the business and non-profit world, and in their personal lives – are awe-inspiring. We wanted to find out more about what makes them tick: how they find time to do it all; what…

Feel like you’ve let your social life hibernate over the past few months? There’s no better time to get out and enjoy the perks of living in Western New York. Get a taste of our impressive dining scene, celebrate the area’s craft beverage boom, uncover what’s on trend in the world of home design and more with these carefully curated events. Local Restaurant Week…

by Tim Fenster Chris Kreiger, co-founder of the non-profit veterans’ assistance organization WNY Heroes, Inc., knows all too well the obstacles veterans face upon returning home from combat duty. A 10-year U.S. Army veteran, Kreiger served a 12-month combat tour in Iraq. He returned home with injuries to his right leg and lower back, hearing loss in both ears an…

By Kristi Runyan When a new year dawns, words like “change” and “resolutions” are frequently batted about, usually regarding our physical health. But what about our state of mind? According to the National Institute of Mental Health, there were an estimated 43.6 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States with a mental or emotional disorder in 2014 …

by Jessica Kelly The scoop: One of Syracuse’s most beautiful neighborhoods, Armory Square is home to cozy cafes, notable restaurants and charming shops. Boasting plenty of character via its historic buildings, the neighborhood always held high importance due to its vicinity to railroads and the Erie Canal. There’s a lot to do, buy and taste in Armory Square, so c…

By Tim Fenster Just as Buffalo is shedding its downtrodden image, so too is the local restaurant scene moving farther away from the sort of greasy, artery-clogging pub food that brought the city international culinary fame. In fact, the latest crop of new and recently-opened restaurant are on par with those in much larger and trendier cities: ethnic foods from across th…