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Friday, November 20, 2009

Zen Buddhist Monk to Visit Bona's

Olean native and Zen Buddhist monk John Sojun Godfrey will give a lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, in the auditorium of the William F. Walsh Science Center at St. Bonaventure University.

Godfrey comes to campus as part of CLAR 401, The University Plenary Forum, where students attend lectures, workshops or exhibitions about topics involving social and natural scientists, humanists, philosophers and theologians.

Godfrey’s lecture is titled “Living Words, Dead Words: Sutras in Zen Buddhism.”

Sutras are Zen Buddhist scriptures. Many seekers of Buddhism begin their journey by studying the sutras. Godfrey will speak about his experience with the sutras, his life in a Japanese Zen monastery and how it changed the way he views life.

After receiving a bachelor of arts in religion and East Asian studies from McGill University in Montreal, Godfrey lived in Japan for eight years. He studied at Daitoku-ji, a Rinzai monastery in Kyoto, where he was ordained a Zen Buddhist monk. He returned to the U.S. in April.

The lecture is sponsored by the University’s Franciscan Center for Social Concern and Clare College.

McKean, Potter Counties Included in USDA's NY Disaster Declaration

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has granted disaster designation for six New York Counties and McKean and Potter Counties in Pennsylvania were included as contiguous disaster counties. U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson was notified today of the designation.

The USDA determined the disaster designation was warranted due to cooler than normal temperatures that occurred June 15, 2009 and immediately thereafter.

“This designation will allow producers to be considered for Farm Service Agency emergency loans and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program when the program becomes available,” Thompson said in a news release. “Governor David Paterson of New York has been very good about applying for such disaster designations and the eligible county in his state is Allegany."

Cattaraugus County is considered a contiguous disaster area in New York.

Local Farm Service Agency offices can provide affected farmers with further information.

Santa Claus is in Town

After the "Cruisin' Into Christmas" parade, Santa went to his headquarters at 25 Main Street to listen to some Christmas wishes.

Cruisin' Into Christmas ...

Amber Bacha drove the Zippo Car in the "Cruisin' Into Christmas" parade, followed by Scott Douglas, followed by Dan Griffin driving the WESB/HERO van.
Dan was accompanied in the van by the lovely Amanda, along with Eleanor and Mallory.
The Christmas House Characters made an appearance in the parade, and they'll be making appearances at their new location this year -- Beacon Light -- during the holiday season. (John Pockey will be on Monday's LiveLine to talk more about that.)
The Bradford Alliance Church reminded people about the "reason for the season."

Gary Hoy and other members of the Street Dreams Car Club got decked out for the occasion. And, Santa arrived in style before making his way to his headquarters at 25 Main Street.

Crusin' Into Christmas ..

... today at 5:30 in Downtown Bradford.

The parade starts at Main and Davis streets, goes up Mechanic, to Barbour, to Bushnell, to Chautauqua Place around Veterans Square and back down Main Street.

Woman Charged with Posting
Nude Picture on Facebook

A Falconer, New York, woman is facing charges after allegedly posting a naked photo of a Warren woman on Facebook.

Police say 22-year-old Lindsay Head posted the picture without the consent of the 21-year-old victim, who is dating Head's ex-boyfriend.

Head is charged with dispersing obscene and sexual materials.

The picture has been removed from Facebook.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

'Christmas Belles' Cast Announced

Veteran director Cindy Matteson has announced the 11-member cast of both new and familiar actors for “Christmas Belles,” the Bradford Little Theatre’s holiday comedy in December.

“This is the most delightful cast to work with, and wow, do they bring a lot of talent and energy to every rehearsal. I am so very excited for this show to hit the stage because, if our practices are any indication, this is going to be one of the highlights of the holiday season in our area,” said Matteson, BLT secretary.

The two-act comedy about a church Christmas pageant gone haywire in the small town of Fayro, Texas, will be presented at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s Bromeley Family Theatre in Blaisdell Hall. The 500-seat venue will host the show at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 18 and 19 and at 2 p.m. Dec. 20.

The show is written by the same trio who penned BLT’s opening comedy, “The Dixie Swim Club,” which recently sold out all three performances. The award-winning writers are Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, who spent many seasons as writer/producer of television’s classic “The Golden Girls.”

Matteson, who previously directed BLT’s “The Diary of Anne Frank,” announced the cast as follows:

Carrie Russell of Smethport as Honey Raye Futrelle, oldest Futrelle sister and new director of the Christmas pageant;

Rick Frederick of Bradford as Dub Dubberly, Frankie’s husband moonlighting as Santa and passing a kidney stone;

Kristin Asinger of Bradford as Frankie Futrelle Dubberly, cranky and overdue with her twins;

Lori Powers of Bradford as Twink Futrelle, serving time for arson in her attempted revenge on her ex-boyfriend;

Amanda Uhl of Bradford as Gina Jo “GJ” Dubberly, Frankie and Dub’s daughter;

Tim Asinger of Bradford as Justin Waverly, young interim pastor at the Tabernacle of the Lamb who is in love with Gina Jo;

Marcia McAndrew of Bradford as Geneva Musgrave, town florist and past Christmas program director;

Tomas James of Bradford as Raynerd Chisum, idiot savant and part-time employee at the Dairy Dog;

Dani Brien of Smethport as Rhonda Lynn Lampley, manager of the Dairy Dog;

Martha Madden as Patsy Price, town heiress and snob, who buys her way into the pageant with surprising results; and

Travis Cowburn of Bradford as John Curtis Buntner, deputy sheriff pressed into performing while guarding Twink.

Only Frederick, Brien and Madden have performed with BLT before.

Tickets are available through the BLT Web site www.bradfordlittletheatre.org at a cost of $7 each in advance or $8 at the door. They will also be available at BLT’s regular outlets: Tina’s Hallmark, Ott & McHenry Pharmacy, Graham’s Florist and Smith’s. Discounts are available for groups of ten or more by contacting BLT.

More on the Johnstown Flood Tax

An article in Monday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explains the rationale behind diverting the Johnstown Flood Tax from the state's general fund to financially troubled municipalities.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09319/1013414-155.stm

Hay Wagon Involved in Mishap

A man towing a hay wagon that didn't have an emblem indicating it was a slow moving vehicle has been charged following a crash Wednesday evening.

Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies say 27-year-old Anthony Mikula of Cassadaga was charged with impeding traffic after his tractor and hay wagon were rear-ended by a vehicle driven by 55-year-old Darlene Shoup of Jamestown.

Deputies say the hay was stacked so high on the wagon that the safety lights on the vehicle were not visible.

Shoup and Mikula were taken to hospitals with unspecified injuries. Route 60 was closed for about an hour following the crash.

Dump Truck Crash Closes Route 5

Traffic on Route 5 in Dunkirk was re-routed for several hours this morning after a dump truck left the road as the driver tried to avoid an accident with another vehicle.

Sheriff's deputies say 47-year-old Maurice Smith of Westfield had to take evasive action to avoid hitting a vehicle that suddenly stopped in front of him.

After leaving the road, the dump truck went into a ditch and hit a utility pole.

Smith was treated for minor injuries. No charges have been field.

Route 219 Work is Winding Down

Work is continuing to wind down for the season on the Route 219 Bradford Bypass project.

Next week, crews will work during daytime hours on highway lighting and camera pole installation. Motorists can expect short lane closures in the northbound and southbound lanes.

No work will be done on Thanksgiving.

Thompson, Others Learn About I-80 Tolling Application

At a briefing on Capitol Hill today, members of the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation had an opportunity to learn how the Federal Highway Administration plans to evaluate the current application from the Turnpike Commission to toll Interstate 80.

Congressman Glen Thompson delivered a three-inch thick binder of news articles from the state on the different opinions on the tolling plan and the recent scandals involving the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, which would manage I-80 if the application is approved.

A policy adviser to administration administrator Victor Mendez explained that the application must show that “the only way the state could reconstruct or rehabilitate was through tolling.”

Congressman Paul Kanjorski told Mendez that he did not think the state had exhausted all other possibilities.

PA Jobless Rate Holding Steady

Pennsylvania's jobless rate is holding steady at 8.8 percent.

The jobless rate is the highest it's been since 1984, but Governor Ed Rendell says the numbers are an economic bright spot and evidence that the state may be poised for recovery.

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate is below the national rate of 10.2 percent.

Roswell Park Cancer Institute Physician Awarded Grant

BUFFALO, NY – Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) physician Roberto Pili, MD, has been awarded an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the role of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors in treating renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The two-year grant is for $675,000.

Dr. Pili is the principal investigator on a study with three goals: to further define the role of specific HDAC inhibitors; to evaluate novel combination strategies for targeted agents such as mammalian-target-of-rapamycin (mTOR), which are likely enhanced by use of HDAC inhibitors; and to conduct clinical studies with a combination of HDAC and mTOR inhibitors.

The study is expected to provide new insights on the role of HDACs in the renal tumor microenvironment, as well as early clinical evidence that combining HDAC inhibitors and molecular targeted inhibitors increases the antitumor effects. The study will also provide the foundation for future clinical trials in RCC patients.

Dr. Pili is Chief of the Genitourinary Section in the Department of Medicine and Co-Leader, of the Genitourinary Program at RPCI. He was named one of the Best Doctors® in America for 2009-2010.

Hamot, Shriners Partner

Erie Shriners Hospital is moving its inpatient surgeries and procedures to Hamot Medical Center.

Same-day surgeries and outpatient services will continue at the Shriners hospital on West Eighth Street.

The announcement comes four months after Shriners International voted to keep all 22 Shriners hospitals open, but encouraged them to partner with other area hospitals to reduce costs.

http://www.hamot.org/about/news_view.php?article=241

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tax Incentives for Hunters

Senator Chuck Schumer has proposed a tax deduction for deer hunters who donate their processed venison to food pantries and soup kitchens.

He says hunters would be able to deduct the cost of the processing, which is about $75.

Tax incentives would also be provided to processors who work for non-profit organizations that pay to have the game processed then donate it to food pantries.

Tougher DWI Laws in NY

New York lawmakers have agreed on tougher penalties for people who drive drunk with a child in the vehicle.

When passed, the new law will make the crime a felony. It will also require offenders to have breathalyzer-type devices in their cars that keep the engine from starting if they're drunk.

Leandra's Law is named for 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, who was killed when a station wagon full of children driven by a mother who has been since accused of drunk driving crashed in Manhattan on October 11.

Police Investigating Sexual Assault

State police in Emporium are looking into a report of statutory sexual assault that happened at the old tennis courts in Shippen Township.

Police say a known 21-year-old man had sex with a 13-year-old girl.

Police are continuing their investigation.

Witte Wins, Officially

It's official. Olean will have a new mayor next year.

The results from the Cattaraugus County Board of Elections show that Linda Witte garnered 1,921 votes to current Mayor David Carucci's 1,726.

That's a difference of 195 votes. The unofficial results on Election Night showed a difference of 185 votes.

Carucci said he wouldn't concede until all the absentee votes were counted and the results were made official.

Salamanca Principal on Leave

The principal of Seneca Elementary School in Salamanca has been placed on administrative leave, but there's no word on why.

Chuck Crist was removed from the position last week, but district officials say they can't comment on the reason because of the district's policy regarding personnel matters.

Officials are conducting an internal investigation.

The school board has named Jean Pascarella interim principal.

UPB Resident Assistant
Waives Hearing on Assault Charges

A Resident Assistant at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford has waived his preliminary hearing on charges of aggravated indecent assault and related charges for an alleged incident with another student last month.

According to papers filed in District Judge Rich Luther's office, Javier Patino and the female victim were in his room when he tried to kiss and undress her. She said he ripped her pants off, forced himself on top of her and attempted to have intercourse with her.

The victim said he eventually stopped and she thinks that might be because she was crying.

Patino told police the sexual contact was consensual and the victim removed her own clothes.

Police say Patino's initial story didn't match his final story or his written statement.

Hearing on Theft Charges Waived

A Bradford man accused of stealing a number of items from a car and using a stolen credit card to buy more items has waived his preliminary hearing.

According to court papers in District Judge Dom Cercone's office, on August 1 Matthew Jones broke into a vehicle on Williams Street and stole a TomTom GPS, Sirius Radio, cell phone charger, loose change and a wallet.

Jones then allegedly went to two convenience stores, bought about $340 worth of merchandise with a stolen credit card and signed the victim's name.

Jones is free on his own recognizance.

Man Accused of Stealing Knives

A Kane man accused of stealing from Microtech has waived his preliminary hearing.

Zacharcy Harter is accused of taking $3,000 worth of money orders and three knives, according to papers filed in District Judge Dom Cercone's office.

Harter was supposed to sell the knives, but had the companies that were buying them make the money orders out to him.

According to the court papers, he didn't turn over the money orders or the knives until after he was fired from Microtech.

Tax-Exempt Properties Pose
Budgetary Problem

By ANNE HOLLIDAY
WESB/WBRR News Director


Every year when budget time rolls around, Bradford officials lament the number of tax-exempt properties in the city.

This year, the problem is even more glaring as the city faces a budget deficit and dwindling sources of income.

Between 33 and 35 percent of the properties in Bradford have been tax-exempt for years, according to City Clerk John Peterson.

By contrast, in Clarion Borough 72 to 73 percent of its properties are tax-exempt.

"I can't fathom 70 percent. Thirty-five percent is bad enough," Peterson said during a city council work session Tuesday night.

The state Legislature is not blind to the problem.

In May, Senator John Pippy started calling hearings to discuss the impact tax-exempt properties have on the fiscal status of Pennsylvania municipalities.

"I’ve heard many concerns from cities and urban areas about tax-exempt properties and their impact on tax revenue and long-term growth," Pippy said.

In all but one of the 11 Pennsylvania fiscally distressed municipalities reviewed in the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee report, local governments (county, municipal, and public schools) accounted for the largest share of tax-exempt property. After local government structures, churches tend to account for the next highest share of tax-exempt property.

Pippy noted that many tax-exempt properties, such as the University of Pittsburgh, make voluntary payments to communities in lieu of taxes.

"While we recognize there is no uniformity when it comes to these payments, we also recognize that not all nonprofits are alike," Pippy said. "These tax-exempt entities provide a valuable service and economic engine for growth and development in the Commonwealth. While finding a solution for our distressed municipalities is essential, any decision impacting tax exempt entities has to be reviewed."

During Tuesday's work session, Peterson made a similar statement, saying "You're providing services to your non-profits. Everybody benefits from it."

However, the Legislature did have a chance to help communities in which more than 20 percent of the properties are tax-exempt. Peterson explained that a piece of legislation dealing with the Johnstown Flood Tax and an optional county sales tax died in Harrisburg.

He said an estimate was that Bradford could have gotten as much as $1 million if the bill passed.

"No more budget crisis. Gone," he said.

Peterson did say a watered down version may still may it through the Legislature.

Locally, people are trying to come up with solutions, too. City employees made a suggestion they think would mitigate the impact tax-exempt properties have on the city's finances.

During a work session last week, employees suggested to city council that the city charge a service fee to entities that don't pay property tax.

City officials are still working on next year's budget and trying to decide whether to apply for the state's Early Intervention Program for financially troubled municipalities.

http://1490newsblog.blogspot.com/2009/05/committee-looks-at-impact-of-tax-exempt.html

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Early Intervention Explained

By ANNE HOLLIDAY
WESB/WBRR News Director


Just a reminder – Bradford isn't alone in its financial situation.

Harry Krot, Local Government Policy Manager with the state Department of Community and Economic Development, mentioned that during his presentation on the Early Intervention and Act 47 (distressed cities) programs during a Bradford City Council work session Tuesday night.

"It's a sign of the times," that municipalities are in trouble and looking for help, he said.

Before explaining the plans, Krot said Act 47 "is the absolute last resort and we try to avoid that at all costs."

As for the Early Intervention Program, he said, "If not anything else, it provides an outside, objective look at the municipality."

He said the program is "designed to be a pre-emptive step for municipalities if they have a serious financial situation that needs addressed but they're not yet declared formally in distress."

He likened it to a personalized financial plan for a municipality.

The EIP is grant program that requires a 50 percent match from the municipality that would go toward hiring an independent financial consultant who would do an analysis of the municipality.

The consultant would make recommendations and it would be up to the municipality to implement the recommendations, either trying to avert a distress situation or maintain their solvency.

Among the areas a consultant would look at and make recommendations on are staffing, contracts, organizational structure and costs of providing services

"The state doesn't come in and make you implement any of these recommendations," Krot said, adding that the state would encourage the city to follow the recommendations and, if funds were available, they would support the implementation of the efforts.

For example, he said, a recommendation to Jefferson County was to automate their record keeping, and DCED provided additional funding.

He said, boiled down, the EIP says, "based on the facts, this is want we recommend." The municipality is also given a time frame to implement the recommendations and a guide to work toward averting financial distress.

He added that he didn't want to harp on the voluntary aspect of implementing the recommendations, "but it's not going to do any good if the plan is made and the recommendations aren't carried out, at least to some extent."

Krot did say that some of the recommendations may be politically unpopular, but "sometimes those types of decisions need to be made.'

Chris Maras of DCED talked about Erie's success in working on the plan over the last four years.

"Working together as a team, they've really brought the city's finances back," he said. "They're not completely out of the woods. Every township, borough and city across the Commonwealth has financial problems with the downtown over last the few years."

"But they've worked together. It can be done. The bickering is gone," he said of Erie officials. "I'm not saying they don't disagree. It's OK to disagree. Don't make it personal. You don't have to be disagreeable when you disagree. So they worked as a pretty good team."

"I think can be done here," Maras said. "You've got some problems here ... but teamwork is number one and that's what you're going to have to do."

He said one of the keys is setting aside political and personal differences.

"If you can do that, you're going to be very successful in the next few years," he said.

Krot also mentioned that a common thread in the Early Intervention Program is sharing resources such as equipment and code enforcement officers with neighboring municipalities.

Councilman Ross Niedich asked Krot about the increasing number of municipalities applying for the programs.

"Does the state Legislature not see those numbers and figure out, maybe, we need some help?" Niedich asked rhetorically.

He said they always hear about pending legislation that's supposed to help everyone who's in the same boat with declining populations, declining revenues and increased taxes, but then the legislation dies.

He said it's a vicious circle of increasing taxes for people who can't afford them and laying workers off so they're not providing services for people who are paying more taxes.

City Clerk John Peterson added that, for years, they've been hearing that the Legislature was going to release the Johnstown Flood Tax money. This year, a plan that had the full support of all municipal organizations (the county-optional sales tax) died in Harrisburg.

Bradford probably would have had an infusion of $1 million if it went through, Peterson said.

"No more budget crisis. Gone," he said.

"It's incumbent on the folks here to talk to your legislators," Krot said. "Any Third Class city is pretty much in the same boat."

As for Act 47, Krot said as bad as Bradford's financial situation may seem, the city is not in distress.

He suggested that if city council decides to get into either plan, Early Intervention would be the way to go.

Krot said it takes six to eight weeks to get started in the program and another couple of months before the consultant would have a recommendation plan.

Pictured, Harry Krot (right) speaks with Mayor Tom Riel and City Solicitor Mark Hollenbeck.

http://www.newpa.com/get-local-gov-support/directory/index.aspx

Obituary:
James Edwards Ericson

James Edwards Ericson, 64, of 160 Jackson Ave., a beloved husband and father, passed away Monday, November 16th, 2009, at Bradford Regional Medical Center.

Born March 9, 1945, in Bradford, he was a son of the late Webster C. and Jean (Edwards) Ericson-Graham. He was a grandson of the late Lester R. and Caroline Edwards.

On January 5, 1980 in Bradford he married Louise Marlayne Dodaro who survives.

A 1964 Graduate of Bradford High School, He also attended Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg and The DeVeaux School in Niagara Falls, NY. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wagner College in 1969. In 1967, during his time at Wagner, he was awarded a scholarship to study music abroad in Bregenz, Austria.

After graduating from college he worked at the Continental Bank in Philadelphia. During the course of his life, Mr. Ericson was involved in several businesses in the Bradford Area, including Bradford Coca-Cola, The Holiday Inn and The Bradford Era. He was a partner in the Orchard Apartments and formerly owned and operated Emery Travel Service with his wife. He was also the owner of The Winter Haven Herald, a weekly newspaper in Winter Haven Fl., from 1977 until 1980.

He was a member of the Northern Star Lodge 555, F & AM, a member and past monarch of the Orak Grotto, the McKean County Shrine Club, and a member and past director of The Royal Order of Jesters, Erie Court 58. He was also a former member of the Kiwanis Club of Bradford and a member and past president of the Exchange Club of Bradford. He was a member of the Bradford Club, The Pennhills Club, and various social and fraternal organizations throughout the community.

Known for his sense of humor and laid-back attitude and love of adventure, Mr. Ericson was an exceptionally talented pianist. He was an avid boater and hunter. He also enjoyed fencing and skiing.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Lara Nicole Ericson of Hilton Head Island, SC,
a son, Mark David Heitzinger of Burlington, VT; a sister, Patricia 'PJ' (Paul) Murray of Tierra Verde, Fl; several cousins, three nieces and four nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Curtis R. 'Buzz' Ericson, who died July 5, 2009.

The family will be receiving friends on Saturday, November 21, 2009 at the First Presbyterian Church from 9:45 to 10:45 AM, at which time masonic services will be conducted by members of Northern Star Lodge 555 F&AM, followed by funeral services at 11 AM with Rev. W. LeRoy Beckes, pastor, officiating. Burial will be in McKean Memorial Park.

Memorial contributions can be made to Shriner's Hospital for Children 1645 W. 8th St. Erie, PA 16505, The McKean County SPCA, P.O. Box 113, Bradford, The ELF Fund, PO Box 287, Bradford, McKean County Care for Children, PO Box 616, Bradford or the charity of the donor's choice.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes, Inc.

Online condolences may be made at www.hollenbeckcahill.com

Surgeon Named Top Orthopedist

Dr. Bradley Giannotti, orthopedic surgeon at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital’s Champion Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, was named one of America’s Top Orthopedists by the Consumers’ Research Council of America, a professional consumer research organization based in Washington, D.C.

Physicians are selected by the CRC using a point value system which takes into consideration years of experience, training, professional memberships and board certification.

Dr. Giannotti has been a member of CCMH’s medical staff for over 12 years. He is an American College of Surgeons and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons fellow and is an associate master instructor for the Arthroscopy Association of North America. He also serves on the scientific advisory board at Kfx Medical, a company he co-founded. In addition to his orthopedic practice in Coudersport and Olean, NY, he also serves as a team physician for several area high school sports teams as well as St. Bonaventure University and the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

Bills Fire Dick Jauron

The Buffalo Bills have fired coach Dick Jauron today.

The move comes in the wake of Sunday's 41-17 loss at Tennessee, which dropped the Bills to 3-6 on the season.

Owner Ralph Wilson says this was a very difficult decision, but one he felt was necessary for the best interest of the team.

Wilson didn't say who will take over coaching duties, but it's expected that either defensive coordinator Perry Fewell or assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Bobby April will take over.

http://buffalobills.com

Rohrer to Announce Candidacy

State Representative Sam Rohrer will formally announce his decision to run for governor during a statewide webcast at 6:30 this evening.

The Berks County Republican will join Attorney General Tom Corbett and Congressman Jim Gerlach in seeking the GOP nomination.

Democrats who have announced their candidacies are Auditor General Jack Wagner, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, former Congressman and Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel, Philadelphia businessman Tom Knox and Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty.

Live updates will be posted at http://samrohrer.org

Rohrer was in Bradford in August of 2007 for a House Game and Fisheries Committee hearing on deer management.

CARTS Expands Grocery Runs

Jamestown, NY -- Chautauqua County Executive Gregory J. Edwards is pleased to announce that Chautauqua Area Regional Transit System (CARTS) has recently expanded the grocery runs that are available to County residents who may need transportation to their local supermarket.

According to Cheryl Gustafson, CARTS Senior Project Coordinator, the service is open to the public and may be scheduled by calling the CARTS office. Gustafson said the service has been available in Jamestown for some time now, and is branching out to other areas of Chautauqua County.

Edwards said it is difficult for some residents to get to the store in order to purchase their groceries. "CARTS blocked out time during the normal service times to accommodate those in need and will provide assistance to the door of a residence by carrying groceries if needed. By doing this we are not increasing costs to the system and are able to provide a reduced fare if trips are scheduled during these designated days and times."

The current schedule provides service on Mondays to the Mayville Quality Markets and on Tuesdays to the Westfield Quality Markets. Jamestown area residents can go on Tuesdays to Farm Fresh Foods, Quality Markets, Tops, Wegmans, Aldi's or Walmart. Dunkirk area residents can also go on Tuesdays to Walmart, Aldi's, Quality Markets or Tops.

Designated times for each store have been set up and may be scheduled by calling CARTS at 665-6466, 366-4500 or 1-800-388-6534.

Pictured, from left, Don Colf, Nancy LeBaron, Michele Westphal, April Lapp, Ashley Siliano, Cheryl Gustafson, Greg Edwards
(Photo courtesy of Joel Keefer)

Horne Portrait in Smithsonian

A portrait of Marilyn Horne is now on display in the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

The portrait by John Foote was installed in the gallery's "New Arrivals" exhibition on Thursday.

Foote created the portrait of Horne in 1971 to honor her debut at the Metropolitan Opera the previous year. The painting was originally displayed in “Portraits of the American Stage, 1771–1971,” an exhibition the National Portrait Gallery organized in recognition of the opening of the Kennedy Center in 1971.

You can see the portrait at the National Portrait Gallery's Blog.

Roswell Researchers Get Grant to
Study Tamoxifen Therapy Outcomes

BUFFALO, NY – Two Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) researchers have been awarded a two-year, $650,000 grant by the National Institutes of Health to study a novel approach to treating breast cancer with tamoxifen. Gokul Das, PhD, and Swati Kulkarni, MD, are co-lead investigators.

The study should provide screening guidelines to identify patients who are likely to be responsive to tamoxifen therapy. In addition, it will help avoid unnecessary exposure of patients with tumors unresponsive to tamoxifen. Dr. Das remarked, “This study will be a major step towards personalized breast cancer medicine.”

Tamoxifen is approved for the treatment of women diagnosed with certain types of early and advanced stage breast cancer. However, a large number of these women do not respond to the drug or develop a resistance to it. Several plausible reasons for such resistance have been suggested, however, the mechanisms remain largely unclear. Although these two pathways have been extensively studied separately for the past several years, whether there is a direct link between these two antagonistic pathways has remained unclear.

Drawing upon the push in the cancer research sector for translational research, Dr. Das, of RPCI’s Pharmacology and Therapeutics department and Dr. Kulkarni, director of the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment and Prevention Program and the High Risk Breast Cancer Clinic at RPCI submitted a joint grant application. Dr. Das will direct research operations and Dr. Kulkarni will direct clinical operations for the study.

The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. RPCI, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit RPCI’s website at http://www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email askrpci@roswellpark.org.

Cruisin' Into Christmas

Bradford will be “Cruisin’ into Christmas” a little early this year with a parade on Main Street that will be held on Friday evening beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The lineup will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the corner of Davis and Forman Street. Special police will be available to help with traffic.

The lineup of units will be as follows: The Bradford City Police Chief, DARE car, Bradford City Fire Department, Derrick City Fire Department, Hilltop Fire Department, Bradford Township Volunteer Fire Department, Lewis Run Volunteer Fire Department, Lafayette Fire Department, Corydon Township Fire Department, DIVE Team, The Christmas House Characters float, YMCA/Flames Gymnastics Team, McKean County SPCA, Bradford Alliance Church floats, McKean County Fair Queen, Zippo car, Floyd Fretz Cheerleaders, McKean County Fair PACE car, Toe Heel Twisters and Not So Country Dance Groups, Lil’ Miss Street Dreams and Barbie, Diamond Steppers from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Street Dreams Car Club cars and the Santa Claus float.

“The community has really come together for this event and it is wonderful to have the support” said Main Street Manager, Anita Dolan. “There will be something for everyone in this parade,” Dolan added. “We will have the fire trucks that children love, plus all of the traditional holiday characters. The Christmas House float will have about 13 characters that will be in addition to the elves and other Santa helpers that will be a part of the parade and there will also be the Street Dreams Car Club cars. There really will be something for everyone to enjoy.”

The parade will begin at Main and Davis Street, continue down Main Street, go around Veterans’ Square and go back up Main to Davis. Santa will be available following the parade at 25 Main Street. He can also be seen at the Option House on Sunday, December 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again on Friday, December 11 during the Old Fashioned Christmas at 25 Main Street.

Santa will also be reading children's letters from 5:15 to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday on 1490 WESB starting the day after Thanksgiving. Kids can drop off their letters in Santa's mailbox at Tops on Main Street in Bradford.

Some Townships Get Money

Although the Department of Environmental Protection hasn't decided yet if it will accept the area's sewage facilities plan, some municipalities are getting reimbursement for some costs associated with permitting on-lot sewage systems.

Bradford Township will get $402; Foster Township, $264; and Lafayette Township $568.

Also receiving money are Corydon, Eldred, Hamilton, Hamlin, Sergeant and Wetmore townships.

Department of Health Updates
H1N1 Vaccine Distribution Effort

Harrisburg – The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, has allocated a total of 1,686,100 doses of H1N1 vaccine to Pennsylvania to date, the Department of Health said today.

The vaccine has been distributed to 1,312 certified providers including pediatricians, family health practitioners, obstetricians, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities that agreed to target the groups of people considered most vulnerable to complications from the H1N1 virus.

Priority groups for receiving the H1N1 vaccination include pregnant women; persons six months to 24 years old; healthcare providers and emergency medical services personnel; parents, household members or caregivers of children under six months; and those under 65 with certain underlying medical conditions.

The department will conduct statewide clinics from Nov. 20–22 to administer free H1N1 vaccine to individuals in the recommended target groups that have not had previous access to the vaccine. Appointments must be made ahead of time at www.H1N1inPA.com, or by calling 1-877-PA HEALTH (1-877-724-3258).

Northwest Community Health District

· Clinic #1 (covering Lawrence, Mercer, Crawford and Venango Counties)

Mercer County State Health Center, 25 McQuiston Dr., Jackson Center 16133

· Clinic #2 (covering Forest, Clarion, Jefferson and Clearfield Counties)

Intermediate Unit #6, 270 Mayfield Rd., Clarion 16214

· Clinic #3 (covering Warren, McKean, Elk and Cameron Counties)

Fox Twp. Ambulance Garage, State Route 948, Sheeley Rd. and Main St., Kersey 15846

Monday, November 16, 2009

UWBA at 43 Percent of Goal

The United Way of the Bradford Area has made great gains in recent days, announcing today that the organization has to date raised 43% of its $325,000 goal.

“We couldn’t be more excited about this,” says Executive Director Kelly Case.

“When we were going through the figures and updating our system, we knew we had received a substantial amount of pledges in, but were honestly shocked to be able to make such a leap!”

“It’s always inspirational to see the generosity in this community during the United Way campaign,” says Pat Ryan, Futures Rehabilitation Center’s Director of Operations and United Way campaign co-chair. “Even in difficult economic times, people in Bradford respond to help their friends and neighbors in need.”

The organization is continuing this week with presentations at various businesses and organizations, and has begun the follow-up process for some of the divisions that comprise the campaign.

“We will be issuing friendly reminders to the community that they still have the opportunity to contribute to the appeal,” says Assistant Director Mandi Wilton Davis. “We are looking to have the majority of the pledges accounted for by December 15, which is the last day of solicitations.”

“In 94 days, we’ve accomplished a great deal,” says Case, “but, we expect the last 29 days to really showcase the community’s understanding of the United Way and its impact on our friends, family and neighbors.”

If anyone would like more information on the United Way or its funded agencies, or would like to offer support towards campaign 2009, feel free to contact the office.

Wireless Internet Now An Option For Guests at Bradford Regional

For people with laptop computers, there's a new option available at Bradford Regional Medical Center to make their hospital stay pass a little more quickly.

Officials from Information Technology services at the hospital say that infrastructure upgrades now provide patients the opportunity to use their personal computers for Internet access during medical visits, via hospital-issued passwords.

"It's a customer service, similar to what individuals would expect at hotels and restaurants," explains Terry Palmer, BRMC's Chief Information Officer (CIO). The free service is accessed via patient request to the nursing staff. From there, arrangements are made through the Information Systems Department to obtain the user ID and password for the patient to provide them internet access for their personal laptops. The service is also available to vendors who visit the Medical Center for business purposes, via the hospital's IT Help Desk. The user ID and password can only be used for specific time periods, either one- or seven-days, to match the user's length of stay.

"It's expected that individuals will surf the 'net, check their email, or log onto the hospital's website at www.brmc.com to see what's new," Mr. Palmer says. BRMC's website also features a health information library, MedlinePlus, which offers health news, drug encyclopedias, interactive tutorials and surgery videos.

The idea was originally patient-generated, Mr. Palmer explains, initially through the hospital's ICU area and oncology unit where individuals obtain out-patient treatments for several hours at a time.

"They would be there a while and were interested in bringing their own laptops so we decided it would be a good customer service," Mr. Palmer notes. With a minor investment over the past few months, upgrades were made to install wireless access points in various areas of the facility including patient rooms, the Cancer Care Center in the Outpatient Services Center on the main campus and in general meeting rooms. However, the hospital officials reminds patients and visitors that they are responsible for any personal items brought into the facility. "We assume no responsibility for the safety of their equipment," Mr. Palmer reminds the public. Laptops users are reminded that the user ID and password is only tied to the laptop it's assigned to. "If patients bring in a different laptop during their hospital stay, they'll have to obtain a different user ID and password. These aren't transferable," he explains.

While the technology is being offered to patients and other visitors to ease the stress of waiting time and to provide a recreational tool, officials remind everyone that internet safeguards will be in place. With regard to restrictions over inappropriate sites, Mr. Palmer urges patients to use common sense, and asks parents to use the same oversight they would use with their children at home. "There are restrictions that we have on certain inappropriate sites," he says. Physicians may also use the service, Mr. Palmer notes, with user IDs and passwords which must be renewed every 30 days.

Pictured, Skye Ognen (standing), Clinicial Information Systems Analyst at Bradford Regional Medical Center, demonstrates a new amenity for patients and visitors to staffer Kelly Engel, CNA. Free wireless internet access is now available in several areas of the Medical Center via special user IDs and passwords, available to patients on request. Individuals must provide their own laptops
(Photo courtesy of BRMC)

300 State Workers Laid Off

More than 300 state employees are being laid off because of spending cuts in the state budget.

138 of the workers are in the Department of Environmental Protection. 85 are being laid off from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, according to Rendell Administration Secretary Naomi Wyatt.

More than 600 workers have been laid off since the fiscal year started in July.

Paterson Poll Numbers Slipping

New York Governor David Paterson is losing popularity among voters, according to a Sienna Research Institute poll released this morning.

The polls says if the gubernatorial primary election was held today, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, would beat Paterson 75 percent to 16 percent.

That's a 9 percent drop for Paterson from last month's poll.

Paterson would also lose by three points to former Congressman Rick Lazio, the only Republican to announce his candidacy so far.


Siena Research Institute.