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State holding job fair in Buffalo Thursday

The state is holding a job fair at the Sen. Walter J. Mahoney State Office Building at 65 Court St. in Buffalo on Thursday from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The event is an attempt to bring job seekers and businesses together and it part ofthe statewide Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Career Fair 2013 with events in Albany, Binghamton and Syracuse.

For information or to register online, click here for the Department of Labor web site.

How will you spend your tax refund?

Taxpayers are most likely to put this year’s refunds into savings or use it for day-to-day expenses like food, gas or housing in response to lower paychecks because of higher payroll taxes, according to a survey reported this month by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

The telephone survey of 1,011 U.S. adults in March found that 43 percent of those who expect to get a refund view it as more important to their financial situation this year than in past years. According to the report, conducted for AICPA by Harris Interactive, 46 percent expect to save the money, 37 percent will use it for routine expenses and one-third will pay down debt.

Schumer wants Niagara Falls included

Sen. Charles Schumer today urged a tourism company that promotes travel to the United States to highlight Niagara Falls and places of interest in Buffalo.

 BrandUSA failed to include information about Niagara Falls State Park and many significant tourist attractions in Buffalo on its promotional Web site, which is funded by federal dollars.

 Schumer said BrandUSA was off to a good start showcasing much of the State but said much more could be done to attract tourism dollars to Western New York.


- Samantha Maziarz Christmann

A milkshake and fries?

Coming soon to the Larkin District: a vintage diner.

Howard Zemsky’s Larkin Development Group is buying the Newark Diner outside of Rochester from longtime owners Jim and Betty McBride, and plans to relocate it to the Buffalo neighborhood sometime in 2014, adding to the area’s eateries.

The vintage Sterling-brand diner was manufactured in the 1930s by the J.B. Judkins Co. in Merrimac, Mass., and has been at its current location since 1937. It's been owned by the McBrides since 1985.

Zemsky said plans call for relocating it first to the Cleveland area, where a firm called Diversified Diners will oversee a top-to-bottom historic restoration over a six-month period. It will then be installed in the Larkin District, probably in the area that borders Seneca, Exchange and Smith streets.

The price tag: About $200,000, plus added costs for an annex with a basement for storage, a new kitchen and bathrooms.

- Jonathan D. Epstein


Marketing guru Seth Godin talks to Ad Club of Buffalo

Seth Godin, a marketing blogger, author and entrepreneur, discussed the “connection economy,” the value of taking chances and the need to avoid being average today at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

Godin's talk to about 170 professionals was hosted by the Advertising Club of Buffalo. The Buffalo native spoke for an hour and took questions afterward from the audience and Ad Club President Charlie Fashana.

His wide-ranging talk included references to Betty Crocker, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the myth of Icarus and Daedalus, singer Bob Marley and the FarmVille social media game.

-- Stephen T. Watson

Rich Products expands recall

Rich Products has expanded the recall of its Farm Rich products to include all items made at its plant in Waycross, Ga., due to possible E coli contamination.

Here is the company's statment on the recall and a list of products involved.

Continue reading "Rich Products expands recall" »

Wegmans Price Freeze List

Wegmans will again freeze prices on a list of items it says families buy most.

A full list of items can be found here. Prices are good through Aug. 24.

Wegmans will also fill prescriptions for Atorvastatin, a generic form of the cholesterol drug Lipitor, for free through the end of the year.


---Samantha Maziarz Christmann

Paladino's Ellicott fined $44,000 for OSHA safety violations

Carl Paladino's Ellicott Development Co. has been cited by OSHA for 10 "serious violations of workplace health and safety standards" that exposed workers to "lead and fall hazards" at a work site at 2017 Clinton St.

Workers were performing demolition work at the site.

According to OSHA, workers were exposed to lead while tearing down and disposing of walls containing lead paint, and were at risk of a 15-foot fall from an unguarded edge of the roof while throwing materials into a dumpster. The citations followed an inspection by OSHA's Buffalo office that began in December 2012, in response to a complaint.

The company may be fined $44,000.


Do traffic tickets really drive up your insurance?

"Don't get a speeding ticket or your insurance premiums will soar."

That's the common theme everybody always hears, but it's Local scull court money 3not always the case, according to a new study by

The website, part of Bankrate Inc. of Florida, found that 23 percent of Americans had gotten a ticket in the last five years for speeding, running a red light or passing illegally. Of those, only 31 percent  are actually paying more because of it. And the most common increase is less than $100 per year -- a far cry from many drivers' fears.

Younger drivers are the most likely to face the higher charges, as 41 percent of those aged 18-29 reported higher premiums after a ticket, compared to 32 percent of those aged 30 to 49, and just 15 percent of those 50 and over.

But that's also because younger drivers are already perceived as being riskier, so insurance carriers are more likely to scrutinize them more closely, even checking younger drivers' credit reports every six months. By contrast, insurers aren't necessarily checking motor vehicle reports and driving records that regularly for older drivers. So their tickets go undetected.

However, the findings don't apply to more serious offenses, such as driving under the influence, reckless driving or leaving the scene of an accident. Those almost always lead to higher premiums or even termination of a policy, InsuranceQuotes said. Multiple offenses also are more serious than one-off tickets.

Meanwhile, if you do get a ticket, take a defensive driving class to wipe off the points; consult an attorney if you have accumulated several points already; avoid getting more tickets, since many carriers permit one violation every three to five years; and keep your registration, license plates and state inspection up to date so you don't draw unwanted police attention.

-- Jonathan D. Epstein

Gov. Cuomo sees better days

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is a chip off the old block when it comes Cuomo to impassioned speech. The son of a great orator, the current Gov. Cuomo can make a persuasive and eloquent speech on any issue that interests him

Where he differs from his father, the first Gov. Cuomo, is in his commitment to Buffalo. Andrew Cuomo says he is "all in" when it comes to boosting Buffalo's economy. His much publicized "Buffalo Billion" in economic development resources remains a commitment, and Cuomo said he is putting his personal reputation and political prestige on the line with the effort.

That's powerful stuff. The Buffalo economy has struggled for decades, stumbling through the transition from heavy manufacturing to a knowledge-based economy. For the ambitious young governor to pronounce his personal stake in Buffalo, and commit to keeping the rest of the 'billion' coming, it reiterates the importance of this time in the city's history. Change now, believe in the transformation now, or stay in low gear and lament the missed opportunity for decades to come.

Cuomo, speaking to The News editorial board today, challenged the people of the region to get on board, and "believe in" the improving economy. He recalled an economic development speech he once heard in which the true economic ambassadors were identified: the cab drivers, waitresses and hotel clerks. When those people believe in better days, and convey that belief to others, things are really changing.

-Grove Potter

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