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Independence: All Men Are Created Equal?

Independence:  All Men Are Created Equal?

Righteous:  acting in accord with divine or moral law.

Rightful:  having a just or legally established claim.

© Merriam Webster 2011


"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

- Preamble, The United States Declaration of Independence, 1776 


Independence Day, or the Fourth of July, is a celebration [and federal holiday] in the United States to recognize the Declaration of Independence of 1776.  A statement adopted by the Continental Congress declaring that thirteen American colonies [then at war with Great Britain], were now independent states, no longer a part of the British Empire.

Program on Human Trafficking: Speaker from the International Institute of Buffalo

Program on Human Trafficking: Speaker from the International Institute of Buffalo

Join us in a fascinating program as Elizabeth McIntyre of the International Institute of Buffalo speaks about the practice of human trafficking locally. In addition, Historical Society Director of Collections Walter Mayer will present an artifact and story from the 1870s. The program takes place on Wednesday, June 8, 2011 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

According to the International Institute of Buffalo, even today, in the twenty-first century, and even here, in Western New York, there are slaves. Every day and everywhere there are people who have been tricked or forced to leave their homes and then find themselves in jobs where they are paid little or nothing, held captive, unable to be self-sufficient, abused and exploited. These people are modern-day slaves. They are victims of human trafficking, the exploitation of people for others’ financial profit. They escape or are rescued often with nothing but the clothes on their back.

Congressman Higgins Announces Grant Workshops for Local Firefighters

 Congressman Higgins Announces Grant Workshops for Local Firefighters

This year Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) will host two workshops for local firefighters interested in applying for federal fire grant funding through the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS).   At the workshop, participants are invited to learn first-hand from a DHS Fire Grant Specialist how to put together a qualifying application.  All applications are then submitted to DHS and go through a non-partisan, merit based review ranked by factors established by a panel of fire service professionals. 

“The federal fire grant process is highly competitive and will get more so as resources become limited,” said Higgins, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee.  “Our workshops give local firefighters the best opportunity to try to bring these federal dollars home.”’

Nothing is Sacred: Saleem Shahzad

Nothing is Sacred:  Saleem Shahzad

What is truth? According to Merriam-Webster, truth is defined as: fact, the body of real things, an idea that is true or accepted as true, and reality.  What then is a journalist? A journalist is a writer who aims at a mass audience through the medium of journalism. Journalism is writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or a description of events without an attempt at interpretation. This means a journalist is a writer that writes truth without personal opinion based upon fact and reality.

Syed Saleem Shahzad was the Pakistan Bureau Chief of Asia Times Online, covering issues of global security, focusing on Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Shahzad has reported on Islamist movements, taking him to Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, Syria and the UAE.

Shahzad introduced the world to Al-Qaeda and Sheikh Essa  His interviews include:

Common Council Report for May 31st, 2011

Common Council Report for May 31st, 2011

Designating the Cross-Border Niagara Region as an International Corridor of Peace—The Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Council Members Michael J. LoCurto, Michael P. Kearns, Joseph Golombek, Jr., David A. Rivera, and David A. Franczyk designating the cross-border Niagara region as an International Corridor of Peace and Cooperation. The cross-border region was at the frontline of the War of 1812, a seminal period in the process of nation building in both the United States and Canada. Within this region, many decisive battles were fought, reporting the greatest number of casualties and the longest continual period of conflict. The War of 1812 significantly affected civilian populations on both sides of the Niagara River, especially when the flames of war burned British-Canadian, American and Tuscarora settlements along the Niagara River in December of 1813.

Congressman Higgins Announces New 'Congress On Your Corner' Locations

Congressman Higgins Announces New 'Congress On Your Corner' Locations

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced the June schedule for his Erie County edition of the Congress on Your Corner program, which provides local residents with access to the Congressman’s office through satellite office hours at locations in the district.   Over 600 Congress on Your Corner events have been held over the last five years and another 135 outreach events are scheduled for 2011.

This summer, members of Congressman Higgins staff plan to visit locations across Erie County to provide specialized assistance with various federal agencies.  In addition, staff will visit several public libraries throughout Erie County to provide constituents with computer literacy training for those interested in navigating federal agency websites.

Assemblywoman Peoples Stands Up for Superintendent Williams

Assemblywoman Peoples Stands Up for Superintendent Williams

On May 11th, Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes called a 1:30 press conference in support of Superintendent of Buffalo Public Schools James A. Williams, in front of Johnnie B. Wiley Stadium on Buffalo's East Side.

Joined by present and past Buffalo Board of Education members, parents, community members and a few local polititions, including Councilman Demone Smith, who acts as education chairman for the Buffalo Common Council, Assemblywoman Stokes called up Dr. Williams accomplishments, while questioning those who would detract from them.

"Dr. Williams has been working tirelessly to garner results to improve the system," Peoples-Stokes stated. "[He] is proof that sometimes aggressive plans that are focused on putting children first can thrive under the right administration.  We must support him to ensure that it does happen; putting children first and foremost in the district's agenda."