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Robert Moses Parkway designs

The Robert Moses Parkway from downtown Niagara Falls to the city's North End will be ripped out. The southern part of the road -- from the North Grand Island Bridge to Niagara Falls State Park -- will remain. (Photo: Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

By Charlie Specht


New plans for the Robert Moses Parkway, announced this afternoon, are sure to be viewed as both complicated and controversial.

For those interested in all the details of the plans -- and for those on each side of the argument -- I have posted links to all three of the proposed designs below. 

Keep in mind that all three designs include some common elements like removal of the parkway between Main Street and Findlay Drive, the redesign of Whirlpool Street as a park-like road, and a new multi-use pedestrian trail that ties into surrounding streets.

State officials they will get started on those elements even as the other details -- the future of the parkway north to Lewiston and to state parks along the way -- are figured out.

 After another round of public comment, these three designs (of the original six) will eventually be whittled down to one (designs 1, 2 and 5 have been eliminated):

Design 3: Two-lane park road to Lewiston ($52 million)

Design 4: Parkway removed at Power Project ($49 million)

Design 6: Full parkway removal to Lewiston ($33 million)

Comments on the designs should be emailed to

Love Canal audio and video


Workers in 2011 found Love Canal-era chemicals in this sewer on Colvin Boulevard in Niagara Falls. Residents say those chemicals rushed into their homes and basements. (Photo: Charles Lewis/Buffalo News)


By Charlie Specht

Here's some audio and video to go along with Part I and Part II of our Love Canal series this weekend. 

The first video, by Derek Gee, is of the Herr family worrying about the health and safety of their children. You get a sense of what the neighborhood really looks like. The second, by Charles Lewis, is a tour of Love Canal with Mike Basile of the EPA.

Also check out this audio of Dan Herbeck and I speaking this morning on WBFO about our series.

Continue reading "Love Canal audio and video" ยป

Another unique hazardous waste site

A unique hazardous waste site in New York state recently failed a test for cancer-causing emissions.

But this one's not in Niagara County.

Norlite, the state's only commercial hazardous waste incinerator, exceeded the amount of dioxin it emitted during a self test last fall, according to the Albany Times-Union.

The facility is located in the City of Cohoes, in Albany County.

CWM Chemical Services, located on Balmer Road in the Town of Porter, hosts the only commercial hazardous waste landfill in New York.

--Aaron Besecker



Review online chat with State Sen. George Maziarz

Check out an archive of the live chat we had today on with State Sen. George Maziarz:

EPA pollution data available on web

CWM Chemical Services, the commercial hazardous waste landfill in Lewiston and Porter in northwest Niagara County, was the seventh biggest polluter in the state in 2009, according to EPA data. (Charles Lewis / Buffalo News file photo)

I reported today that Western New York has seven of the top 25 polluters in New York state.

Data about environmental discharges was sent to the Environmental Protection Agency by the facilities, and was amassed as part of the annual Toxics Release Inventory.

On the agency's website, anyone can look through the data -- including every facility and type of waste they release -- with the TRI Explorer.

Here's the data from all the facilities in Erie County and what they released; here's the data for Niagara County facilities.

--Aaron Besecker

Beach at Wilson Tuscarora State Park reopens

The beach in Wilson Tuscarora State Park in Wilson has reopened to swimmers, state parks officials announced this afternoon.

The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation temporarily closed the beach on Sunday after heavy rains, which are typically followed by increased bacteria levels in the water.

Results of water sampling were "satisfactory" to reopen the water to swimmers, officials said in a press release today.

Beach at Wilson Tuscarora State Park temporarily closed

State parks officials have announced the temporary closure of the beach at Wilson Tuscarora State Park to swimmers. For more details, visit this post at Buffalo News Live.

Advisory board-sponsored talk on radiological contamination at NU

A Washington State University professor who has studied radiological contamination will speak tonight at Niagara University in a session sponsored by the Lake Ontario Ordnance Works Restoration Advisory Board.

Read more at the Buffalo News Live blog.

Lewiston-Porter reverses itself on CWM donation

The Lewiston-Porter School Board has reversed itself and is no longer willing to accept a potential donation from CWM Chemical Services.

The board on Tuesday night voted to rescind a measure it passed May 25, a measure which would have made the district eligible to receive a donation from a charity golf tournament to be held by CWM's parent company at the Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston later this year.

Some believed the May 25 resolution may have been used by CWM -- which operates a hazardous waste landfill facility which sits in the towns of Lewiston and Porter -- to gain favor from the state in its attempts to obtain an expansion permit.

The school board voted last year to oppose the expansion proposal.

Board members Robert J. Weller and Edward B. Waller voted against rescinding the measure on Tuesday, while President Keith M. Fox, and members Michael J. Gentile, April D. Fideli and Wendy Swearingen voted to overturn the board's previous decision.

Fox and Gentile voted last month to make the district eligible for the donation from CWM.

--Aaron Besecker

Greenway projects in Buffalo, Niagara County endorsed

1812garden for web
Christopher Brown of Buffalo looks over a historical informational display during a ceremony on Sunday to dedicate the First U.S. War of 1812  Bicentennial Peace Garden, at 269 Dearborn St. in Buffalo. A new proposal for the neighborhood, which calls for a multi-purpose trail, has been endorsed by the Niagara River Greenway Commission. (Charles Lewis / Buffalo News)

Eight projects have received the endorsement of the Niagara River Greenway Commission, a move that opens the door to millions in available funding.

The commission tabled one project -- a proposed dog park in Lewiston -- when it met Tuesday.

Once a project is endorsed by the commission, the applicant can make a request to any of the several standing committees which control $9 million in annual funding specifically for Greenway projects.

The Greenway Commission authored a 2008 master plan for a series of interconnected parks, trails and green spaces along the Niagara River from Buffalo to Youngstown.

Here are the projects that were endorsed Tuesday, though the vote tallys of the commission were not immediately available:

War of 1812 Trail in Black Rock - Buffalo
The proposal calls for a the development of a multi-purpose trail highlighting spots of historic significance to the War of 1812 in Buffalo's Black Rock neighborhood. The project, which would include sites on Niagara, Amherst, Hamilton and Dearborn streets, has a total budget of $115,000, according to the organization's application. The project is a collaboration between the Black Rock Riverside Good Neighbor Planning Alliance, the Dearborn Street Community Association, the Northwest Buffalo Community Association and the City of Buffalo. Read the full proposal here.

Education and Interpretive Center at Joseph Davis State Park - Lewiston
A $195,000 project to improve avian habitat in the state park in Lewiston, as well as build interpretive facilities on the site. It is a collaboration between Audubon New York, the state parks office and the Buffalo Audubon Society. Click here to read the full proposal.

Comfort station at Fort Niagara State Park soccer field - Youngstown
The state parks office wants to build a new comfort station that is closer to the playing fields and that will be open year-round. The estimated cost for the project is $560,000, according to the agency's application. Here's the full proposal.

Comfort station at Four Mile Creek State Park - Porter
State parks officials want to replace an existing comfort station at a total estimated cost of $540,000, according to the agency's application. Read the full proposal here.

Kiwanis Park improvements - Lewiston
Town officials want to install a new safety surface on the ground, add a multi-use court, separate park equipment based on ages of users, and make the park compliant with the American's with Disabilities Act. Total estimated cost for the project for the park on Oxbow Lane is $240,275, according to the town's application. Read the full proposal here.

Sanborn streetscape improvements
Town of Lewiston officials want to build 5,700 linear feet of sidewalk on Saunders Settlement Road and Buffalo Street in Sanborn. The project's estimated cost is $323,799, according to the town's application. Click here for the full proposal.

Sanborn Area Historical Society expansion

The organization wants to build a 5,000-square-foot building that will include a museum and artifact display area, according to the group's application. The $260,000 project will make improvements for bus and emergency entrances, as well as make the complex compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Here's the full proposal.

Village of Lewiston Historic Piper Law Office

The village moved the historic building across Center Street into Academy Park last year. Officials are looking for $54,000 to renovate the building to open a welcome center. Read the full proposal here.

Here's the project that was tabled:

Town of Lewiston dog park
Town officials have proposed creating an off-leash dog park on 1.3 acres at the Lewiston Plateau. The total cost of the project would be $51,500, including costs for fencing, landscaping and amenities. There will be separate sections of the park for big and small dogs, according to the town's application. Annual maintenance will be paid for by the town. Click here to read the full proposal.

--Aaron Besecker

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