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Ceretto cites Unifrax move in calling for wider dialogue

Assemblyman John D. Ceretto, R-Lewiston, is calling for greater dialogue between state lawmakers and the Empire State Development Corp.

Ceretto's proposal comes in the wake of the recent announcement that Unifrax will be moving its operations from Niagara Falls to the Town of Tonawanda.

"While I have been in communication with Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of Empire State Development, since the Unifrax announcement, I believe we could have found a way to keep the company in Niagara Falls and found alternative sites within the city," Ceretto said. "Economic development is too important for Niagara Falls not to involve all the region's lawmakers when determining how this economic development funding will be used."

Previously, Ceretto criticized the $700,000 capital grant that the economic development agency pledged to Unifrax in conjunction with its move to Riverview Solar Technology Park.


Organizers put out a call for market entertainers

NIAGARA FALLS -- Less than a month before the kickoff of the Niagara Holiday Market, organizers are soliciting "performers and buskers" to give free shows during the 37-day event.

The winter festival will feature a designated stage for free performances of all types. Performers will be paid a small stipend for participating and will be able to collect tips. Approximately 100 performance slots are available.

"We're looking to engage the great energy, creativity and artistic expression of the region's performers to bring the streets of Niagara Falls and our market to life during the holidays," said market organizer Mark Rivers, chief executive of Brix and Company.

Artists should submit a link to a YouTube video of their performance to market concierge Erin Reedy at by Friday. Videos should be no longer than two minutes.

The market, aimed at drawing 400,000 people downtown between Thanksgiving and New Year's, also will feature a food and wine festival sponsored by Wegmans, outdoor winter activities in Niagara Falls State Park, a row of more than 40 specialty vendors and artisans, an outdoor ice rink and a concert series.


University Women group offers loans, grants

Students residing in or attending college in Western New York who have completed at least one year of college are eligible for interest-free loans and/or grants of up to $3,000 offered by Buffalo Branch, American Association of University Women.

The next deadline for applications is Dec. 1. Information and application forms are available at, by calling 559-3037 or emailing

Loans and grants are awarded twice a year and students may reapply annually for up to four years. Funds for Chamberlin Loan/Funds for Education are provided by members' bequests, private donations and proceeds of the branch's annual used book sale, to be held next year from May 30 to June 3 at a place to be announced.