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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ellicottville's Jazz Weekend

Event Date(s): Fri, 07/30/2010 (All day) - Sun, 08/01/2010 (All day)
Enjoying the Jazz Weekend
This event will be held at:
throughout the Village of Ellicottville Ellicottville, NY, 14731
Phone: 1-800-349-9099

Musicians from throughout the region are highlighted as they appear in local restaurants, bars, streetside and the Village Square. Enjoy as many as 20 performances in a three block area.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chautauqua Lake Tornado

MAYVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — A tornado tore through western New York on Saturday, ripping the roof off a condominium and damaging 17 others and causing widespread power outages.

The National Weather Service said the twister touched down in Mayville in Chautauqua County at 4:48 p.m.

Chief Don Emhardt of the Dewittville Volunteer Fire Co. said the twister damaged some 18 condo units in a complex overlooking Chautauqua Lake as well as a nearby golf course.

Jim and Mary Conway of Shaker Heights, Ohio, were in their vacation condo when the tornado tore the roof off and part of the walls.

"I jumped up and all of a sudden the windows were breaking, glass was everywhere and rain was hitting us," said Mary Conway.

Matt Munson was in the clubhouse of the Chautauqua Point Golf Club and saw the twister approaching.

"Three seconds later you hear, 'Bang, bang, bang," as plastic chairs from the course struck the clubhouse, Munson said.

Munson said the tornado struck a vacant restaurant on the golf course property, scattering its pink insulation.

"It looked like a pink tornado going across the field," he said.

There were no reports of injuries. A National Grid spokesman said the storm left 12,500 homes without power.

Emhardt said he was amazed that no one was injured.

"Everyone walked out of here without a scratch," he said.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

St. Susan Center Preparing For Annual Soup Fundraiser at Italian Fisherman

By Dave Emke,

POSTED: July 19, 2010

To help keep putting food on the table for community members who need it every day, St. Susan Center is calling for help to make some bowls.

The soup kitchen is currently asking for volunteers to paint ceramic bowls for its third annual Souper Summer Event - formerly known as the Empty Bowl Lunch. Sue Colwell, executive director of St. Susan Center, said the soup kitchen is hoping to have 800 bowls painted by members of the community and available for sale at the Aug. 18 event in Bemus Point.

''We're continuing to look for people - youth groups, scout troops or individuals - who want to come down to the Center to paint bowls, or who want to pick up their own and do it at home,'' she said. ''It's a lot of fun.''

Ms. Colwell said the Center will provide all materials needed to decorate the bowls, including brushes and paint. A church group from Florida recently came to St. Susan's to paint bowls and spent several days there on the task, she said.

All told, the 800-bowl goal is about halfway met, Ms. Colwell said. In addition to volunteers for the painting task, she said she is also looking for community volunteers to donate painted glass and handmade ceramic bowls to help toward the goal.

''As much as the community can give us will help,'' she said.

At the actual fundraiser event in August, held on Lakeside Drive in Bemus Point next to the Italian Fisherman, more than a dozen restaurants will gather to share their soups, Ms. Colwell said.

For $10, people will be able to receive three bowls of soup as well as the handpainted bowl of their choice.

All proceeds raised at the event will go toward the services provided by St. Susan's Soup Kitchen - and there will be other fundraising activities on top of the bowl sales.

Denny Wright from Magic Moment Carriage Rides will be there, and he will donate all proceeds he raises, Ms. Colwell said. Andy Dawes from Bemus Point Pottery will also make 100 special bowls for the event, Ms. Colwell said, with sales supporting the soup kitchen.

A fundraising activity that has already benefited the Center, Ms. Colwell said, was orchestrated by Southwestern Middle School students.

''They made ceramic bowls and sold them, and then they donated the proceeds to St. Susan Center,'' she said. The project raised $287 for the soup kitchen, and the students donated the leftover bowls to the Souper Summer Event, she added.

Ms. Colwell said that parents who are looking for a summer activity for their children should contact the Center and bring them down to express their creativity by painting bowls.

''There are some really good artists, but it's just really neat to see the kids paint the bowls and put their thought and ideas into it,'' she said. ''If you have kids, I would think a parent might want to come down and purchase their child's bowl or another bowl that was painted by one of the kids.''

The soup kitchen is serving approximately 50 to 100 more meals each day now that students are out of school for the summer, Ms. Colwell said. Combine that with the fact that donations are traditionally down during the summer months, and fundraisers such as the upcoming Souper Summer Event are of the utmost importance to the Center.

''People tend to think of us as soon as November hits - lots of people do fundraisers then,'' she said. ''But we are open 365 days a year.''

The Souper Summer Event will be held on Lakeside Drive in Bemus Point on Wednesday, Aug. 18, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Local artists will also be playing on the Bemus Bay Pops Floating Stage during the event, including keyboardist/singer Michael Lettieri and 9-year-old jazz performer Chance Scott. For more information about the event, including to donate items or to paint bowls, call the Center at 664-2253.

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Holiday Valley Bowhunters Open

Event Date(s): Thu, 08/12/2010 (All day) - Fri, 08/13/2010 (All day)

This event will be held at:
Holiday Valley Mountain Resort
Holiday Valley Road
Ellicottville, NY, 14731
United States
Phone: 716-699-2345 or 800-323-0020

The "Holiday Valley Bowhunters Open" is open to non-qualified shooters of all ages. It is held on Thursday and Friday and cost of entry is $50. Membership in the IBO is required, but you can call the IBO at 440-967-2137 for a complimentary 6 month membership for the Open.

For more information on this event please visit (external link)

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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Antique Boat Show Roars Into Casino On Saturday

By Sharon Turano
BEMUS POINT - William Reynolds III would like to invite others to "take a trip down memory lane" with him and about 50 other antique and classic boat owners who will dock this weekend at the Village Casino.

Reynolds said classic boat enthusiasts from across the country will visit, as the Chautauqua Lake Twin Tiers Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boating Society Inc.'s 13th annual show takes place. He said the local chapter that puts on the show was begun by the North Coast Ohio Chapter of the boating society before local members took the area group over about four years ago, beginning their own chapter and keeping the event on Chautauqua Lake. About 66 members belong to the local chapter, but the boat show has drawn thousands to look at the antique vessels.

Reynolds said his interest with classic and antique boats began at a young age when his grandparents had a cottage across the road from Eddy's Boat Shop.

"I was fortunate enough to see, smell, touch all of these old wood boats," he said, adding he then got a chance to ride in one of them: a speed boat called Little Thunder, which was from the 1920s or so. I became fascinated," Reynolds said, adding he would like to find that boat.

He had several fiberglass boats on which he cruised Chautauqua Lake, keeping up maintenance on them. He then tried sail boats and racing them competitively. None satisfied his interest like the wood boat hobby. Reynolds said wooden boats take more time, energy and money to keep, as wood must be preserved while one takes a trip back to nostalgic days of early boating. He began working on wood boats with other in the area, who also enjoy the hobby.

That work included restoring canoes for the YMCA. He now has his own boat.

"The love of it offsets the cost," he said, "A whole industry of craftsman is falling away."

He does not want to see that happen, serving as president of the local chapter of a national organization that has about 8,000 members. In addition to the annual Bemus Point boat show being held this weekend, the local group has a youth development committee, website, holds a winter gala, workshops and more.

This weekend, however, they will get together to ride on the lake, share memories and tips about repairing old boats, along with sharing their love of the boats with others.

"The beauty appeals to a whole variety of people," Reynolds said.

In addition to the boat owners, he said, those who remember wooden boats or perhaps a ride they took on one will come, as will craftsmen, school children, and entrepreneurs.

Registration begins at 10 a.m. Friday, when Reynolds said there will be "a bee hive of activity." On Saturday, there will be boats for sale in the village park, a boat shop, where nautical gifts will be available, a Chinese auction and more. At 10 a.m. Sunday, a boat parade and cruise will be held.

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Friday, July 02, 2010

Steamship Sound Back On Chautauqua Belle

MAYVILLE - A rare and intricate musical instrument is aboard the Chautauqua Belle, and local residents have a unique opportunity to hear it played both on shore and at sea.

A steam calliope has been placed temporarily on the steamship's deck, and Mat Stage - president of U.S. Steam Lines LTD, which operates the Belle - said that the response has been overwhelming in the week the intoxicating music has been playing from its pipes.

''It's absolutely amazing when we play it going into Chautauqua Institution or into Mayville - everyone gives the biggest round of applause we've ever received in the boat here,'' Stage said. ''They just are awestruck listening to this beautiful music.''

Steam calliopes were regular entities on riverboats in the age of steam. The ship's propulsion boiler provides the steam that is piped through the organ, with a keyboard player controlling the release of steam from whistles to create the music.

Today, the Chautauqua Belle is one of only four steamships in the United States that is 100 percent steam-powered, and the only one without its own calliope. Stage said the ship did feature its own calliope when it was built, but that the not-for-profit Chautauqua Belle eventually lost the instrument as a donation to a museum. It now resides in Kingston, Ontario.

However, the original calliope on the Chautauqua Belle was one of the largest ever built and used up too much of the ship's steam anyway - meaning that it could not be operated while the ship was on Chautauqua Lake, only while it was docked.

''They wouldn't be able to play it and run the boat at the same time,'' Stage said. ''This is a much better situation for the boat here. It's a little bit smaller, but it sounds beautiful.''

Dave Morecraft, the Indiana-based calliope enthusiast who brought the instrument to the Chautauqua Belle, said that he travels around the country with his Morecraft Mfg. Steam Calliope 44 in the back of his circus wagon. He reverse-engineered calliope whistles after getting his hands on a set in 1979, he said, and began building the instruments. He has built seven fully functioning calliopes to date, he said, including the one that plays on the Belle of Louisville - the oldest operating steamboat in the United States - and the American Queen on the Mississippi River.

''The first instrument I ever heard was the Delta Queen's, which I heard in Cincinnati when I was a little kid in probably 1964-65,'' Morecraft said. ''The sound just kind of stuck with me, how it filled the Ohio River Valley.''

Each of the whistles on the calliope has a rolled copper sheet bell, Morecraft said, which he personally rolls and cuts to size individually to tune. Morecraft plays a variety of songs on the instrument, from has been entertaining visitors to the Belle - as well as neighbors from around the lake - throughout the week with performances.

''We had one gentleman today who lives across the lake, near Maple Springs, who said he's just loved listening to it,'' Morecraft said.


During the county Independence Day celebration in Mayville on Saturday, Stage said the Chautauqua Belle will cancel its normal 11 a.m. run so that the calliope can be played for interested people on shore.

''We'll play for about a half an hour up here in Mayville Park,'' Stage said. ''People will be able to come on board and look at it - most people have no idea what it is. It's really neat just to watch it play.''

The next night, those who take part in the Chautauqua Belle's July 4 fireworks cruise to Bemus Point will receive a special treat, Stage said.

''One of the things I'm excited about is that we're going to go down to the bridge so that we can play it and hear the reverb off the bridge,'' he said. ''We're going to play it after the fireworks, play all the patriotic songs. It's really going to top everything off.''

And while the Morecraft Mfg. Steam Calliope 44 will only be on the Chautauqua Belle for about another week, Stage said there are plans in the works to get a permanent calliope producing music on the steamship in the near future.

''In the long run, we're looking to have one built for the boat, that's what we're hoping for,'' Stage said. ''We have everything piped in for a calliope to be installed - we ran all the new steamlines and all that. It's the next project we have for the boat here, to have an authentic calliope just like all the other steamers that are left in our country.''

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Thursday, July 01, 2010

Cornell Scientist to discuss ‘What Lies Beneath’ Chautauqua Lake

POSTED: July 1, 2010
LAKEWOOD The Chautauqua Lake Association is sponsoring a symposium entitled "What Lies beneath Chautauqua Lake" led by aquatic scientist Robert L. Johnson, manager of Cornell University's Research Pond Facility, on July 12 at 7 p.m. at the Casino in Bemus Point. A second workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, July 13 at 7 p.m. at the Chautauqua Suites in Mayville. The events are free to the public.
The workshops will give the community an opportunity to see, identify and learn about the different plant and insect species residing underneath aquatic vegetation in the lake. Topics include how certain species of insects help control the weed population naturally.
Participants can become familiar with the insects and plant species that play an important role in the delicate balance of the ecosystem of the lake.
The CLA, an organization that maintains the health and beauty of the lake, supports a "green" approach to controlling nuisance vegetation like Eurasian milfoil.
For more information about the workshops contact the Chautauqua Lake Association at 763-8602.

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7 Things All Borrowers Should Know About FHA Loans

RISMEDIA, July 1, 2010--FHA Pros, LLC, a national FHA condo approval service, has developed a list of facts speaking to the top misconceptions associated with FHA loans in order to help home buyers better navigate an already confusing market. FHA loans are mortgages issued by qualified lenders and insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

"We have seen home buyer interest in FHA loans go from practically zero three years ago to upwards of 87 percent today," said Christopher Gardner, founder and president of FHA Pros, LLC. "Despite this rapid rise in popularity, many buyers still do not fully understand the benefits of these loans, and we believe it's time to change that."

1. FHA Loans Are Not Only For Lower-Income Borrowers. FHA loans are available to everyone. In fact, even Bill Gates can get one. There is no maximum income restriction associated with FHA loans. Borrowers do need to substantiate income and assets by submitting proper documentation. This requirement ensures that borrowers are well-vetted and truly able to afford their future homes.

2. FHA Loans Are Not Only For First-Time Buyers. Many people believe FHA loans are available only to first-time homebuyers. This is not the case. Whether borrowers are making their first home purchase or their fifth, they can look to FHA loans as a home financing option.

3. FHA Loans Are Not Just Small Loans; In Fact, Loan Amounts Can Be As High As Almost $800,000. The government recently raised the maximum loan amount from its original cap of $362,790 to $793,750 as a way to help stabilize the housing market. The amount a buyer can borrow varies from county to county. Later this summer, condo buyers interested in FHA loans can visit to instantly identify FHA-approved condo associations and review maximum loan amounts for a given location.

4. FHA Loans Are Not Affiliated With The Section 8 Housing Program. While both programs are administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), FHA loans have nothing to do with low-income subsidized housing. FHA loans are simply mortgages insured by FHA. This insurance provided by the federal government allows lenders to lend more freely by assuring them that they will be repaid in the event of default. Most traditional lenders, including Wells Fargo & Co., JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup are able to provide FHA loans to their customers.

5. FHA Loans Are Often More Affordable Than Conventional Loans. While FHA loans typically offer the same interest rates as other loans, borrowers benefit from a much lower down payment of as low as 3.5 percent.

6. FHA-Approved Condo Developments Are More Desirable To Buyers. With 87 percent of home buyers indicating that they plan to use FHA loans, condo associations that are not FHA approved are missing out on a significant pool of prospective buyers. Under rules in place since February 2010, an entire condominium development must now apply to HUD and be granted FHA approval before a buyer can purchase a unit in an association with an FHA loan or before an existing unit owner can refinance into an FHA loan.

Due to the general unwillingness of today's lenders to extend credit with respect to conventional loans, many borrowers find that FHA is their best bet. Lenders don't mind lending when the federal government (FHA) assures them of repayment.

Homeowners associations (HOAs) should note that although FHA-insured mortgages might be easier to obtain, they are not "risky" loans, due in large part to the strict "full documentation" requirements placed on borrowers.

Individual buyers or sellers can initiate the approval process or current owners can encourage their HOA to apply. More information about the FHA- approval process is available at

7. FHA Loans Are Assumable. In addition to lower down-payment and credit-qualifying requirements as compared to conventional loans, FHA loans are assumable. This means that when a seller with an FHA loan sells his or her property, the loan and its financing terms (interest rate) can be transferred to the new buyer. This unique feature will certainly make a property more valuable in times of rising interest rates.

"Now, more than ever, buyers and sellers need to understand the options available to them when it comes time to buy a home," continued Gardner. "At FHA Pros we have worked with countless HOAs, attorneys and individuals to easily and efficiently navigate the historically tricky FHA-approval process."

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