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Good Morning, Buffalo: Not-so-Great Lake: Health of Lake Erie is poor, according to U.S. and Canada

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COMPILED BY BRIAN MEYER

Sept. 29, 2022

Lake Erie sunset

The sun dips below the Fort Erie, Ont., horizon as a sailboat floats by on a quiet night on Lake Erie in 2021.

Not-so-Great Lake: Health of Lake Erie is poor, according to U.S. and Canada

The state of the Great Lakes is fair, but the health of Lake Erie is poor, according to the State of the Great Lakes Report.

“That’s extremely concerning. Where do you go from poor?” said Kerrie Gallo, Deputy Executive Director of Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper. 

Lake Erie scored a good rating in two categories: drinking water and ground water. Swimming, consumption of fish and harmful pollutants are rated as fair.

Erie got a poor rating for supporting healthy and productive habitats to sustain native species; being free from nutrients that promote unsightly or toxic blooms; and being free from invasive species and from other substances, materials or conditions that may negatively affect the Great Lakes.

The News’ Barbara O’Brien reports that the health of the Great Lakes is the focus of a forum held by the United States and Canada in Niagara Falls, Ont., this week. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act and Great Lakes Quality Water Agreement between the Canada and the U.S. to restore and protect the Great Lakes.

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WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT

Banned debt collector who owes $60M makes offer to pay fines and restitution: Douglas MacKinnon was once called the “kingpin” of Buffalo debt collectors. How much of the debt he is offering to pay is unclear – the proposal was not described during a status conference in federal court Monday or in any publicly filed court documents. Read more

Jury awards Erie County man $30 million in sex abuse suit against former Lutheran pastor: The damages verdict issued by an Erie County jury likely is the largest award so far for a Child Victims Act case in Western New York, but it’s unlikely the plaintiff will be able to collect on much, if anything. Read more 

D’Youville U Food Farmacy fights food insecurity amid national hunger summit: In its first year, the program provided 20,683 pounds of food – enough for 17,235 meals – to 690 households, and the partners say they can accommodate many more. Read more

Poll shows Trump's GOP poses fundamental problem for Lee Zeldin: No Republican has won statewide in New York since George Pataki in 2002, and neither has any statewide Republican espousing Pataki's moderate views. Now a new poll shows Republican Lee Zeldin substantially trailing incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul in the race for governor, prompting questions about whether the "party of Trump" can ever win again in such a Democratic state. Read more

GOP blasts Democratic mailer with prefilled mail-in ballot request: Republicans slammed as an "abuse" of election law the recent move by state Democrats to mail to an unknown number of voters absentee-ballot applications with several fields on the form prefilled. Democrats urged recipients to cite fear of contracting Covid-19 at a polling place as their reason for requesting an absentee ballot and pre-checked this selection. Democrats defended the mailers as an appropriate measure to encourage New Yorkers to vote without having to worry about their health as Covid-19 cases stubbornly persist. Read more 

Common Council to hear settlement proposal for man disabled by water shut-off incident: The Buffalo Common Council’s Claims committee approved a settlement of more than $500,000 with a plumber left permanently disabled in an accident involving workers from the city’s water department. Read more


COLUMNS

Rod Watson: Feeling disenfranchised by two flawed candidates for NY governor: With his backing of the “big lie” regarding the 2020 presidential election and her blatant disregard for the Second Amendment and the U.S. Supreme Court’s warning, Rep. Lee Zeldin and Gov. Kathy Hochul both thumb their noses at the underpinnings of our constitutional republic. It leaves voters concerned about the democratic process with a Hobson’s choice in this year’s race for governor, Watson says. Read more


BUFFALO NEXT

3AM Innovations strives to keep first responders safe with tracking software: Through mobile apps, smartwatches and GPS radios, the company’s software tracks first responders in real time and displays their locations on a map. Read more

ECIDA approves tax breaks for Cedarland’s 950 Broadway project: Dr. Fadi and Kevin Dagher's $11.7 million plan to bring new apartments, a day care and an urban farm to a former East Side department store building has won nearly $600,000 in tax breaks from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency. Read more


BILLS

Bills cornerback Dane Jackson returns to practice: 'I can’t do nothing else but smile': On Wednesday, Jackson participated in practice for the first time since leaving the game against the Tennessee Titans in an ambulance after a violent collision with teammate Tremaine Edmunds. Read more

Mark Gaughan: If Bills need to lean on Josh Allen while run game sorts itself out, let 'er rip: "Allen drives the bus. The Bills are a passing team. They always should be a passing team as long as No. 17 is on the field," writes Gaughan. Read more


SABRES

Observations: Eric Comrie delivers promising debut for Sabres in loss: Eric Comrie’s poise and precise positioning in net ensured the Sabres had a chance to mount a comeback, but ultimately they lost 4-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Read more


WITH YOUR MORNING COFFEE

local wild art foliage Cantillon (copy)

Enjoy the foliage on a drive through Cattaraugus County.

 Author F. Scott Fitzgerald once remarked that “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” Avid leaf peepers would likely agree. News contributor Nancy Parisi highlights nearby spots where visitors can enjoy fall colors on foot, bike, train and even aboard a ski lift.

 As we ponder autumn adventures, you might want to take a weekend getaway that blends foliage with stunning stalactites, stalagmites and underground waterfalls. Only in Your State’s Christy Articola showcases a “different kind of adventure” at Howe Caverns, a popular tourist destination that’s about a four-hour drive from Buffalo in Schoharie County.

• An educator in Chautauqua County is planning a three-day hike from Jamestown to Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park to raise money for two worthy causes. Erienewsnow.com reports on Patrick Smeraldo’s ambitious trek that will be tied to the Buffalo Bills’ Nov. 13 match against the Minnesota Vikings.

• Western New York has an "active opera scene,” WGRZ’s Carl Lam reports. A pillar in the local opera arena is retiring after leading Buffalo Opera Unlimited for the past 37 years.

Check out our #EveryDayAPhoto series to see our favorite image of the day.


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