> CIVIC ACTION
Rally seeks enforcement of living wage ordinance
A rally held Thursday at City Hall pushed for stronger enforcement of the living wage ordinance.
Organized by the Coalition for Economic Justice, the event was attended by Rural Metro emergency medical service providers and employees of Buffalo Public Schools, as well as representatives from the community and faith-based organizations. The rally called on Mayor Byron W. Brown and city officials to expand the reach of the city's law.
The rally focused largely on emergency medical service providers. More than 130 emergency medical technicians in the city are paid less than the official living wage of $9.03 per hour with benefits, with many earning as little as $7.90 per hour, according to officials of Rural Metro.
> NEW YEAR'S EVE
Mayor, family to preside over First Night events
Mayor Byron W. Brown, his wife, Michelle, and their son, Byron III, will be honorary chairmen of Independent Health Foundation's First Night Buffalo, which will be held New Year's Eve in Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.
First Night -- the annual alcohol-free New Year's Eve celebration -- will feature hypnotist Michael Blaine, the Dinner Dogs band, Dennis George Variety Show, Comedy Sportz, musician Glenn Colton, the Niagara Falls Housing Authority Youth Chorus and animals from Nickel City Reptiles and Exotics.
Activities will last from 5 to 9 p.m. Admission will be $7 in advance or $10 at the door. Tickets are available at area Wegmans stores.
> OCTOBER STORM
FEMA disaster center to close Saturday
The Disaster Recovery Center at the Brighton Golf Course, 70 Brompton Road, Town of Tonawanda, will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Saturday, when it will shut down, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Western New York residents have made more than 1,700 visits to the site since it opened on Nov. 4. It was one of two centers set up to serve residents of Erie, Genesee, Niagara and Orleans counties who suffered losses in the Oct. 12-13 snowstorm. The center in Buffalo closed last Saturday.
After Saturday, residents requiring assistance will be able to talk with FEMA representatives by calling the agency's help line at (800) 621-3362.
Additional information is available online at www.fema.gov. Those who experienced losses during the storm are urged to register for assistance by calling the same numbers, or registering online, by Dec. 23.