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February, 2016:

Friday, February 20

ART247 Black and White Exhibition


March, 2016:



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Saturday, January 2, 2016


Another calendar year has come and gone and we begin anew, filled with the promise of change and the hope of perfection.

My hope for perfection lasted just a few short hours, as the second story I penned in 2016 had a glaring error -- in the headline, no less: "Today's foreacast: Mostly cloudy with a high near 31." You see that, right? In Friday's weather story? "Foreacast." Not a word. So with my first mistake out of the way quickly, I can throw aside the unattainable goal of perfection and work towards "pretty darn good," which isn't a bad goal, either.

Friday morning when I awoke from my slumber, I glanced at the daily email update and noticed the glaring error, fixed it, dusted off my shattered ego, and got right back to work, attending the inauguration ceremony for Lockport elected officials at the Historic Palace Theatre.

It was a nice ceremony, about the right length with a decent -- but not overwhelming -- amount of pomp and circumstance. Mayor Anne McCaffrey gave a speech. Other elected officials said a few words. Mike Niethe was sworn in as police chief and Pat Brady was officially sworn in as fire chief. The city attorneys were also sworn in. There was the pledge to the flag and the national anthem, sung -- as always -- by Pete Robinson. Afterwards there was punch and snacks. And later still, there was a fancy shindig held by city Democrats at the Kenan Center complete with tasty sandwiches, cake and Bloody Marys.

All-in-all, 2016 got off to a decent start. Now for the rest of it.

This is not going to be a column filled with resolutions; but plans, rather. Or plots, even. As I've been told, "It's better to plot than to plan. Plans fall through." I know this all too well.

East Niagara Post, which quietly celebrated its two-year-anniversary in November, plans plots to continue to grow, adding more contributors, more content, and more news.

We're starting right away with a brand new bi-weekly column (first and third Saturday of each month) penned by Dr. Scott Geise beginning today. Geise's column, a "series of historically relevant articles," will highlight local history, focusing largely on the Historic Lockport Mill Race. Geise previously published a column with the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal but came to us for this new series. We're glad to have him. He hopes (as do we at ENP) that the series of articles will promote the area and bring in some tourism dollars.

For those of you who prefer to stay indoors, we're also adding a cooking column. Also running every other week, the new column will be penned by my sister, Natilie Cavnar, an award-winning chef who graduated "most likely to succeed" from the Culinary Institute of America, Her column will run the second and fourth Saturday of each month beginning Jan. 9, and will feature recipes, "plus talk about culinary information, whether it be about seasonal food, GMO food, food allergies, and also offer a question-and-answer section as well."

The food allergy thing will be a particularly nice addition here for the staff at ENP as my partner, Heather Grimmer, is pretty much allergic to everything edible. No, really. At the Democatic celebration Friday, a couple people suggested I bring her back some food. But it all had wheat in it. Every. Single. Thing.

Heather was unable to attend due largely to her ongoing "allergy" of being the victim of a hit-and-run accident back in April. She continues -- eight months later -- to recover from her concussion, while being (at times quite visibly) irritated by the fact that it happened.

So after months of not being allowed to work -- doctor's orders -- Heather was given permission to return to light-duty ... just in time to put on her latest hat, that of owner of ART247, formerly Market Street Art Studios. In other words, the little amount of time she has to do work right now is being spent on that awesome endeavor.

If you missed the story about her taking over the immense former Western Block building, catch up here (link). And while the history is impressive, it's not nearly as cool as the future. Check out a rendering of Heather's plans for 247 Market St. here (link).

I'm proud of you, Hx.

East Niagara Post has called 247 Market St. home for a while now, sharing an office with Heather's other business, HG Design Studios. We'll continue to operate out of the building but are moving down the hall to our very own office.

Our new office, located in suite 205, will allow me more space, which will be very beneficial for our radio endeavors. We'll be adding a few new programs to East Niagara Radio to complement our current live broadcasts of Lockport Express hockey games and other live events. We're still hashing out details on those but keep your eyes here (and your ears on ENR) for announcements soon.

Okay -- so everything above is through the planning and development stage and simply awaiting implementation. The things below are more ideas that I'm working towards with no real date in mind -- other than "this year."

I'm hoping we can bring in another staff writer who will be able to take some of the day-to-day stuff off of my plate. Someone who can turn press releases into stories, who can write small features on upcoming events, and maybe write up police reports. This, in turn, will allow me more time to focus on my true love: politics.

In fact, I'm going to make a greater effort to attend local Common Council and County Legislature meetings. As much as I abhor meetings, I also abhor reading things I didn't already know about in the US&J and/or Buffalo News. Like it or not, sometimes those stupid meetings have real news in them.

In addition to the staff news writer, I'm hoping we'll be able to bring in beat writers to report news out of the four school districts we cover: Lockport, Newfane, Roy-Hart and Barker. Having one person dedicated to each school district will ensure that we stay ahead of the competition and help make ENP the only news source you need.

One other major addition I'm hoping for in 2016 is the addition of a sports writer to cover local sports. While I feel we do a bang-up job of covering the Lockport Express, the rest of our sports coverage is, admittedly pretty non-existent. In truth, though, that's kind of by design. Local sports is huge. And without a person dedicated to covering it, we couldn't do so adequately. Our philosophy before now has been that if we couldn't do something adequately, we didn't want to do it at all. My philosophy now is "let's get a person in here and get it done." Stay tuned.

Aside from everything above, we are constantly approached by people who want to contribute to ENP in some way or another. To them, I say, get ahold of us. Our new columns by Geise and Cavnar are coming in to reality because they both approached me and asked to contribute. They wanted to share their passion and realized that the Post was the best method of delivery. For others with a passion and no outlet, consider us. I'm always hoping to grow the family.

All these new plans plots require funding. Which is why we're happy to announce the return of Damien Brady as a sales consultant. He joins Simon Chavers, who was added to our sales team in mid-2015. If you own a local business, don't be surprised to find one of them at your doorstep. You're also officially invited to contact them and inquire about display and/or audio advertising.

Long story short (too late?), 2016 is going to be a great year for #TeamENP and we're excited about it. Expect more news, more sports, more radio, and just plain more East Niagara Post. We'll deliver it same as we always have -- via EastNiagaraPost.com and shared to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Vine, Periscope, YouTube, and our ENP Mobile Android App. And to those of you who have been hoping for an iOS app, this is your year, too.

+Scott Leffler is the news editor for East Niagara Post and program director for East Niagara Radio. He (clearly) is not allergic to food. Follow him on Twitter @scottleffler or email him at scott.leffler@eastniagarapost.com



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