Grisanti joins legislators seeking funds for NFTA
Add the name of State Sen. Mark J. Grisanti, R-Buffalo, to the local chorus of local state legislators calling for restoration of $10 million in transit operating assistance from New York State to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.
Grisanti joins Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, D-Buffalo, and Assemblyman Dennis H. Garbryszak, D-Cheektowaga, in writing to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to ask for the $10 million. The first member of the area delegation to petition the governor was Assemblyman John D. Ceretto, R-Lewiston.
The effort is now gaining traction after Albany dispatched $250 million to the downstate Metropolitan Transportation Authority to replace funds stemming from expired local taxes.
"If downstate can get $250 million for their transit authority, then upstate should get $10 million, Grisanti said. "My constituents need access to public transportation to get to work, if they can't get to work, then they will lose their job and go on some sort of public assistance. That is unacceptable on my watch."
County control board plans to reduce spending
The Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority plans to reduce its spending by about 3 percent next year.
Directors of the state-appointed county control board this week unanimously approved a $499,306 budget for 2012 that cuts spending for professional services such as attorneys and financial advisers.
The cuts make up for increases in other areas of the budget, including pension and health care costs, Executive Director Kenneth Vetter told the five-member board.
Post office branches reduce hours for holiday
All post offices in the Buffalo Niagara region will be open the morning of Christmas Eve on Saturday, but window service will close at noon in all but one of them, postal authorities report.
The exception is the Cayuga Branch, 285 Cayuga Road, Cheektowaga, which will stay open until 3 p.m. Mail will be delivered as usual on Saturday.
Post offices will be closed on Christmas Day and Monday, although Express Mail will be delivered on both days. Regular mail delivery and post office hours will resume on Tuesday.
Seneca president backs measure to transfer land
SALAMANCA -- Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter gave his endorsement this week to the American Indian Empowerment Act, a bill recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"A key factor to the Seneca Nation's success story," Porter said, "is our land ownership and unique ability to make quick and decisive decisions about land use, free from the constraints of the federal oversight and approval system. I have no doubt that if other Indian nations had the flexibility we enjoy, they too would see a significant boost in their economic development and job creation endeavors."