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Friday, February 27, 2015

Nearly 60 photos contributed from 19 artists compose a month-long exhibit opening Sunday at Market Street Studios, 247 Market St.

A gala opening will be held from from 1-4 p.m. Sunday with awards given to the top three photographs selected by judge Richard Baird.

“We’ve held a photography show every two years,” says Bonni Haney who oversees the hanging of the exhibitions “and its always proven to be one of our most popular attractions.”

The show was open to all photographers and established names like Andrea Clare, Karen Gast and Robert Rimmer will be alongside newer names such as Richard Primo and Debbie Hasley. ENP photographer and co-publisher Heather Grimmer is also featured in the exhibit.

“The one thing they all have in common,” Haney said, “is that they are all enormously talented.”

The exhibit, which runs from Sunday through April 2, will be shown in Market Street Studios' first-floor gallery, named the Whalen Gallery.

Refreshments will be served at the opening and the public is invited to attend. There is no fee for visitors to Market Street Studios.

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Seldom does a day pass when I don't write a story for East Niagara Post about someone getting arrested for marijuana possession.

Seldom do I post a story about someone getting arrested for marijuana possession when we don't get Facebook comments about the unjustness of the state's drug laws, either pointing out the dangers of alcohol in relation to pot, the scant amount of weed that the arrestee had on him/her, or how ENP has somehow ruined that person's life by publishing their arrest.

Seldom do I read comments about the unjustness of the state's drug laws when I don't think to myself, "So do something about it."

Personally, I don't have a problem with people smoking pot. I see no societal value from preventing people from growing, buying, selling, owning or smoking the stuff. But as I don't make a habit of growing, buying, selling, owning or smoking it myself, I see no personal value in fighting the laws which prevent people from growing, buying, selling, owning or smoking it either. Frankly, it doesn't affect my life one way or another.

Some people, though, it would seem, are incredibly offended by these laws. They feel their friends (or maybe complete strangers, for all I know) have been unjustly charged with a crime and had their name smeared in the press, ruining their chances at a good life ... or something.

So to those of you who feel that way, I say, "Do something about it."

The United States is a nation governed "of the people, by the people, for the people," as Abraham Lincoln so eloquently put in the Gettysburg Address. Our representatives at every level are Americans just like us, out to represent the rest of us.

Those who represent us, from our local municipal officials to county legislators, state legislators, and U.S. congressmen, have the power to create, change or strike down laws. They get the impetus to do so from the rest of us.

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form. In New York, a very stringent medical marijuana law was passed last year. Many believe this to be the first step to complete decriminalization in the state. Four other states have completely decriminalized it already, allowing recreational use — although often with strict guidelines. There's no reason that New York couldn't be the fifth.

As stated previously, our elected officials have the power to change these laws. Our representatives have the power to strike down laws that they feel are unjust or unnecessary. But they have no real motivation to do so without their constituents asking them to. Basically, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. So if people aren't clamoring for a law to be created, changed or eliminated, they're going to focus on other laws that people are passionate about.

On the executive level, police are instructed to enforce the laws and Constitution of their state and the United States as a whole. However, there have been several documented cases of local municipalities instructing their paid police forces to ignore certain laws. In other words, the Niagara County Legislature could instruct the Niagara County Sheriff's Department to ignore the state's marijuana laws. This could create a bit of a schism because the police have taken an oath stating that they would uphold state laws and continue to feel obligated to do so. But it's not unheard of.

A more assured method would be to band together with like-minded individuals to pressure state legislators to change or eliminate the law altogether. If police have no law to enforce, there's nothing to get arrested for. But that requires time and diligence on the part of those opposed to the law. And would likely have at least some opposition from those who for one reason or another want the law to remain in place.

Look, I'll be completely honest, I hate writing stories about people being arrested for having "a small baggie containing a green vegetable-like matter" on them or "some weed," as we published the other day. It seems trite to me. But ENP publishes all arrest reports. ALL of them. We do this as a matter of fairness. I don't feel qualified to pick and choose what arrests are "important enough" to publicize. So we publish them all. We're not about to change that, no matter how much complaining people do on Facebook.

If you want to not read any more stories about people getting charged with pot possession, the onus is on you to make pot possession legal. In other words, do something about it.

+Scott Leffler is the News Editor of East Niagara Post and has better ways to spend his time than writing about minor violations like pot possession. So do something about it. Also, follow him on Twitter @scottleffler

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The National Weather Service says expect a chance of snow showers this morning, otherwise, mostly sunny with a high near 13 and an overnight low around 2.

Saturday looks to be mostly sunny with a high near 20 and a low around 3. Sunday calls for snow with a high near 27 and a low around 21. Monday, there's a chance of snow showers with a high near 29 and a low around 7.

Tuesday, rain and snow are likely — possibly mixed with sleet. The high will be around 34 and the low will be around 31. Wednesday, there's a chance of rain and snow with a high near 36 and a low near 16.
Thursday offers a chance of snow showers with a high near 26.

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BUFFALO — The Buffalo Sabres scored four goals in the third period to win 6-3 over the visiting Vancouver Canucks.

The Sabres' six goals came on only 24 shots, starting with Torrey Mitchell's first period goal at 13:07, assisted by Matt Moulson and Brian Gionta. Vancouver tied the game at 1 at 14:09 of the first on a goal by Shawn Matthias. Nick Bonino and Dan Hamhuis assisted.

In the second period, Vancouver went up 2-1 on a Jannik Hansen goal at 5:42, assisted by Hamhuis. Chris Stewart tied it for the Sabres at 8:59, unassisted.

The third-period offensive explosion started at 4:46 with an Andrej Meszaros goal, unassisted. Daniel Sedin tied it one more time for Vancouver at 7:27. Sedin assisted. At 12;43, Mitchell put the Sabres up 4-3, assisted by Moulson and Gionta again. Brian Flynn made it 5-3 Sabres at 18:28. Chris Stewart and Mark Pysyk got the assists. Gionta added an empty netter at 19:58 to make the 6-3 final.

The Sabres next play Saturday against the Carolina Panthers.


  • Torrey Mitchell (2+0) posted his second career two-goal game. He recorded the other as a member of the San Jose Sharks on March 23, 2011 against Calgary.
  • Mitchell, Brian Gionta and Matt Moulson were each plus-4. It was a career-high for Mitchell, the highest rating for Gionta since his career-best (plus-five on Feb. 21, 2004) and tied Moulson's career best set on Oct. 13, 2011.
  • The Sabres did not take a penalty; it was the first game without a Buffalo penalty since March 20, 2011 vs. Nashville.
  • Brian Flynn registered a career-high ice time of 20:57 tonight.
  • With a goal and an assist, Chris Stewart now has four points (3+1) in two games against Vancouver this season.
  • After recording two assists, Matt Moulson has five points (1+4) in his last five games.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

PENDLETON — An 18-year-old Starpoint Student was arrested today and charged with third-degree falsely reporting an incident, a class A misdemeanor.

According to New York State Police, the student — whose name was not released — reported an unsubstantiated threat at Starpoint Central School.

The teen was arraigned in the Town of Pendleton Court and scheduled to re-appear at a later date.

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TOWN OF LOCKPORT — A 34-year-old Blasdell man was charged early this morning with driving while impaired by drugs and other infractions after being pulled over on Forestview Drive.

Niagara County Sheriff's deputies had responded around 2:23 a.m. to a complaint of a reckless driver on Tonawanda Creek Road and caught up with the offending vehicle eastbound on Tonawanda Creek Road near Willow Wood Drive, following it briefly before pulling it over.

As patrol was interviewing the driver, Mark W. Fox, 3299 Bethford Dr., Blasdell, he was determined to be impaired. He was taken to ENH-Lockport for a drug/urine test, which revealed he was impaired by drugs, according to NCSO.

In addition the charge of impaired driving, Fox was also charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, failure to keep right, and driving a vehicle with an interlock device.

He was held in Niagara County Jail on $750 bail and ordered to appear in Town of Lockport Court on Wednesday.

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Lake Effect Ice Cream announced Wednesday afternoon that they're hiring
help for the upcoming 2015 season. Frey's Tasty Treat is doing the same.
A pair of popular scoop shops announced recently that they're looking for staff for their impending spring openings.

Lake Effect Ice Cream announced via its Facebook page Wednesday afternoon that they are looking for "hard working, dedicated, and creative individuals to work in our cool little scoop shop this spring, summer, and fall!"

Lake Effect owners said they're in search of shop workers, managers, ice cream makers and ice cream cake decorators. "Maybe even some freeze pop makers too!"

The scoop shop will open sometime in April. Applications, which are available online, are due by March 13th.

Frey's Tasty Treat followed by announcing this afternoon that they are hiring, as well. Their Facebook post was simple and to the point: "Application available online - #‎momshours‬ ‪#‎11to3‬."

A response to a question on the Facebook page clarified that the store is "accepting applications for evenings and weekends too!"

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