As the semester comes to an end and the University at Buffalo campus becomes a desolate wasteland, students living in the surrounding areas will begin the search for inexpensive ways to enjoy their time away from books and lectures.Luckily, Buffalo is host to a variety of art festivals during the summer months.Perhaps the most well-known and popular festival, the Allentown Art Festival, will be celebrating its 53rd year in the Allentown Historic Preservation District on Sat.
Fred, a 20-year-old grizzly bear from the Buffalo Zoo, was euthanized on April 9 due to age-related neurological problems. As of now, the Buffalo Zoo only has seven bears left, six of which are nearing the end of their life spans. "Bears typically live [to] between 20 and 25 years old," said Jennifer Fields, public relations coordinator for the Buffalo Zoo. "Some may live longer, but those numbers are the average ages. Our bears are [in that range] right now." Fred came to the Buffalo Zoo in 2002 from the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in Montana. He was removed from his native Alaskan habitat after he became dependant on human garbage. For the safety of both Fred and the people around him, the bear was moved to Montana and then later transferred to the zoo. As of now, the zoo only has one young bear, Anana, a 9-year-old female polar bear. The zoo has decided to not acquire any more bears for a few years because it is planning to build a new state-of-the-art polar bear habitat, which will become the focal point of the bear exhibit. "We felt like taking on new bears when we are going to be renovating the exhibit would be pointless," Fields said. "There is no use getting new bears when we will have to relocate them soon after." However, the remaining male polar bear, Nanuq, may not be around to live in his new home. According to a press release from the Buffalo Zoo, the 22-year-old male polar bear is in the last stages of his life. Age is certainly a problem; the other bears in the exhibit are showing signs of age and illness and may not be around for much longer. Diana is a 31-year-old spectacled bear and is the third oldest spectacled bear in North America. However, signs of age are apparent in her. "[She] has developed some age-associated changes, including hair loss and arthritis," Fields said in the press release. Furthermore, Hannah, the other spectacled bear, has just been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma and will be undergoing chemotherapy. Although dying in captivity is a normal occurrence, the Buffalo Zoo underwent scrutiny in 2007 when People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called to revoke the Zoo's membership in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums after the deaths of at least three polar bears, a hyena and a sea lion in that year. "PETA's request [came] after the group examined U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection reports," said PETA's website. "The violations cited in the reports describe trash-strewn enclosures, a negligent and incompetent staff and judgments by decision makers that led directly to animal suffering." PETA has become aware of the recent deaths of the zoo animals and Lisa Wathne, the PETA captive exotic animals specialist, believes that the zoo does not have a good track record when it comes to the safety of their animals. "As far as [Fred] goes, his death seems reasonable because  is old for a bear," said Wathne. "However, if it so happens that [the Buffalo Zoo] is culpable for [the deaths of more animals] … then [PETA] will ask the United States Department of Agriculture and the AZA to revoke the zoo's accreditation and license," Wathne said. However, the zoo feels protective of its animals and plans to relocate the spectacled bears to the Vanishing Animals Exhibit, featuring endangered animals, while renovations for the polar bear display are underway. Anana will most likely be able to enjoy her new habitat, but her considerably older mate, Nanuq, will probably have passed away by the time the exhibit is finished. The zoo plans to get another male bear and will also have room for whatever offspring they may produce. "The bears are incredibly special animals and are beloved by our staff and visitors," said Dr. Donna M. Fernandes, president/CEO of the Buffalo Zoo, in the press release. "While they are certainly showing signs of age-related issues, the Buffalo Zoo remains committed to providing high quality care for them for the duration of their lives." E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fear the beard.The playoffs are in full force, and if the Sabres have anything to say about it, faces will be starting to look a little scruffy around campus.The Buffalo Sabres, in association with the entire NHL, will be holding its first annual Beard-A-Thon.
Nearly 200 runners met at Baird Point Sunday morning for the Nicholas Orrange Memorial Scholarship 5K run in memory of a University at Buffalo student who died in a car crash on Jan. 14. The event was put on by the Student Association, of which Orrange was the special interest service and hobbies coordinator before his death. According to Katherine Ruiz Meneses, the assistant race director and SA sports club coordinator-elect, the event was a huge success. "We raised over $2,500 in admissions," Meneses said. "There are also a lot of donations which [as of press time] have not been counted yet." Race participants paid $20 until April 9 and $22 on the day of the event. The fee included a T-shirt and admission to a post-race party, where there was food, beverages and raffle prizes. Supporters who did not race were asked to donate $5 to attend. All proceeds will be sent to the Nick Orrange Memorial Scholarship Fund, which was set up by his family at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute. "It was a nice mix of students and outside runners," said Shervin Stoney, the race director, current SA sports club coordinator and vice president-elect. "On Friday, there were only about 50 people signed up, but we got about 70 people [on Saturday] and then about 75 more people showed up [on that day]." Stoney says that there were approximately 300 runners, volunteers and supporters on Sunday. The course started at Baird Point, went around Alumni Arena, looped through the Academic Spine and finished at Baird Point. Along the way, there were over 70 volunteers with water and cheers for the runners as they went by. "Having those extra voices [of encouragement] really helped," said Kathy Fretthold, 49, a winner of the 46-55 age group. "And the fact that they had water [and aid stations] was [helpful]." The run was open to not only UB students, but any other interested parties. Medals were awarded to the top three winners in each age group – 17 and under, 18-25, 26-35, 36-45, 46-55, 56-65 and 65 and over. The first runner to complete the course was John French, with a time of 15:56.00, while the first female runner to complete the course was Caitlyn Curry, with a time of 20:17.00. Other runners included Thomas and Wendy Zuch, who estimate that they run in 30 races a year. The Zuchs admitted that they did not know Nick, but Thomas worked with a member of Nick's family, who he saw at the run. In addition, many members of Nick's family ran for their age groups. David Orrange, Nick's biological father, won third place in his age group. "This was a very nice outcome," David said. "[I'm so glad] that Nick has a legacy [at UB]." David hopes that the race will be come an annual event for people to compete in and hopes to be in better shape next year so that he can get a higher position. "The family was very touched by the event," Meneses said. "They seemed happy because there was such a huge [amount of support]." According to Meneses, the Buffalo-native rock band the Goo Goo Dolls will be playing at Darien Lake this summer and plan to donate over $100,000 to the Nicholas Orrange Memorial Scholarship Fund. "We're excited about that; it's a big deal," Meneses said. She also stressed the importance of continuing the tradition in the coming years. As the sports club coordinator for next year, Meneses expects to make the 5K an annual event. "Nick wasn't a show-horse; he was a very humble guy," Stoney said. "I think that he would have found [the event] amusing, more than anything." E-mail: email@example.com
Students and faculty alike gathered in the Student Union Thursday to bring awareness and raise money for Haiti. The event, called Carnival for a Cause, was held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the SU lobby. Proceeds made will go towards the Haiti Relief Fund, which is run through the American Red Cross. The carnival portion featured a combo slide, a jousting ring, popcorn and pizza, all of which could be enjoyed after purchasing a certain number of tickets. Participants and passersby could hear the yelps of mirthful jousters, blaring of fun music, and crunching of popcorn across the SU. The Campus Ministry Association was the sponsor of the event. The CMA incorporates all recognized religious chapters on campus including Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Jehovah's Witness. "Our goal of the event is to benefit all students. All proceeds [we raise] will go to Haiti relief," said Joe Davis, Co-convener of CMA and Director of the Hillel chapter on campus. For a campus that usually appears so divided, the community and camaraderie of so many different faiths working together towards a common goal was both refreshing and inspiring. The CMA attempted to draw students into the event by displaying graphic images of the devastation in Haiti, and the great deal of assistance the small island still needs. Many attending the event were inquisitive as to why an event aiding Haiti would be held now, a considerable amount of time after the earthquake. Tim Stewart, the campus director for campus ambassadors, explained why. "We want to raise awareness, because Haiti has [recently] fallen below the radar. The situation is just as bad as it was, if not worse," Stewart said. "We want to make [their situation] known as best we can." The students that were enjoying the festivities and visiting the concessions appeared to have no complaints. Others, however, disagreed with certain aspects of the event and the entertainment costs not equating with the poor turnout. "[I think] it is an irresponsible waste of money," said Jennifer Thompson, a freshmen English major. "The cost to rent everything [the rides, games, and supplies] won't even out with all the money they raise. I know it's for a good cause, but with the [recent University at Buffalo] budget cuts, I don't know how they can want to spend and raise all this money that doesn't really affect myself or UB." Tim Lewis, a freshmen nuclear medicine technology major, agreed with Thompson's views to a point, but considered a different angle. "I do see [this event] as a bit of a waste, but it's important to help [Haiti] out. After the earthquakes in Chile, Taiwan, Thailand, and Mexico, as well as the volcano eruption in Iceland, [Haiti] has gone out of focus," Lewis said. "[I didn't see] a lot of people participating, and [from the looks of it] there are going to be a lot of leftover supplies and food." Lewis explained that he has donated some $50 to Haiti and the other recent disasters through separate on campus events, most notably the Latin American Student Association. "I don't always see college students being active or donating [to international charity relief]," Lewis said. "It's always the same people from the same clubs on campus, that's probably why this event didn't take off." Despite the criticism it garnered, some students, such as Mark Shehata, a freshmen biomedical science major, took the event for what it was and had a genuinely enjoyable time. "[The carnival] was a lot of fun. It's for [an important] cause, and that's always good," Shehata said. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Jan. 14, Nicholas Orrange, a senior University at Buffalo student and the special interest service and hobbies coordinator for the Student Association, was tragically killed in a one-car accident at the intersection of Harlem Road and Sheridan Drive. On Sunday at 9:30 a.m., friends, family, students and community members will gather together at Baird Point to honor him during the first Nick Orrange Memorial Scholarship 5K Run. "Nick was the SISH coordinator and he was someone we worked with very closely. He was known as very happy and very active and we thought that this would be a great way to honor him and raise funds for the scholarship that his parents set up," said Katherine Ruiz Meneses, assistant sports club coordinator for the SA. Sports clubs and the SA have joined together to sponsor the event during Sports Club Weekend. Meneses explains that it is a time for the 31 recognized clubs and four temporary clubs to recruit new members and explain to the student body who they are and what they do. "We thought it'd be great to introduce this now because it's a weekend associated with Sports Week…and we thought it'd be a great [tribute to] Nick," Meneses said. Shervin Stoney, SA sports club coordinator and vice president elect, explains that normally an event of this size takes a year to plan. However with the help of other SA members, he and Meneses have been able to put together the event in only a few weeks. "It's coming together fairly well, which is probably due to the Linda Yalem run because with [the previous event], I had a model to go off of," Stoney said. Stoney will act as the race director on Sunday. He explains that he wanted to create a 5K run in respect of Nick and the great friend and student that he was. "We lived together and we were pretty good friends. We [also] worked next to each other," Stoney said. "I know he wouldn't have run in [the 5K] because he hated running. He was a swimmer…but I'm sure he would have appreciated it." According to Meneses, 70 volunteers have registered to help with the event from security to clean-up. However, only 40 runners are currently registered to participate on Sunday. "The turn-out is not as big as we've expected, but it's the first year that we're doing it…we hope in future years that it will grow bigger and be repeated," Meneses said. Stoney is confidant that more students and community members will sign up to run as the event gets closer. However, Meneses feels that students may not register for the event because of the cost. According to the event's Facebook page, students can purchase tickets for $20 at the SBI ticket office until Friday, or they can pay $22 on the day of the race. "It's a little bit expensive and it's something that not a lot of people want to do…I'd like to lower the price [for next year] and get incentives," Meneses said. For those who choose to participate, Stoney explains that the course will begin at Baird Point and will go around Alumni Arena, loop around the Academic Spine and will finish back at Baird Point. Medals will be awarded to the top three male and female runners in the seven age categories. The event will take place until 12:30 p.m. where there will be a post-race party at Baird Point for all runners. Those who did not participate may pay $5 for food, beverages and raffle tickets for door prizes. After registering, students will receive a packet of coupons from businesses that have donated to the event, a bracelet and a T-shirt. The packets can be picked up on Friday at 350 Student Union from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. For those registering the day of the race, they will need to arrive at Baird Point between 8 a.m. and 9:20 a.m. to receive their packet. "[As the] sports coordinator for next year…I plan on having this event again…and hopefully we'll get more people [to participate] and start advertising sooner than we did this year," Meneses said. Stoney hopes that the run will be a success and will become an annual event to honor Orrange and the free spirit that he was. "All proceeds go to the Nick Orrange Scholarship Memorial Fund that his parents set up at [St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute]…whether we raise $100 or $500, it will be a success because it's for charity," Meneses said. E-mail: email@example.com
Band geek no more. The transformed nerd is a Bon Jovi sex-god ready to rock out in style, or at least this is what every University at Buffalo girl can hope for Wednesday at Battle of the Bands in the Student Union Theatre. Tim Britt, music director for Battle of the Bands and a member of Student Association Entertainment, has been preparing for the competition for weeks. The five bands playing vary in genre and were selected from a competitive pool of performers. Dubs, Fanch, AUTOPUNCH, The Balesteri Band and Sunday Radio will be battling it out Wednesday in the Student Union Theater. Each band was given a packet of information to outline the basics of the show and prepare them to give students a mind-blowing experience. According to Britt, the bands must provide a Press Kit to be considered as one of the bands to play in the competition. "A typical college press kit consists of a picture, a [musical] demo and a paragraph about how they started out," Britt said. Each band will play about three songs over the duration of 25 minutes. The competition will be determined on crowd reaction and scoring from three judges, potentially giving favor to the bands with a larger fan-base, Britt explained. According to Britt, the first place winner will receive $500. The other two cash prizes, set aside for second and third place, are valued at $250 and $100, respectively. Matt Fanciullo, a sophomore sociology major and lead guitarist of Fanch, scrambled to form a band for the competition. "The band formed last week when we found out about the Battle of the Bands in the Student Union. There wasn't much advertising for it so we only found out last Wednesday," Fanciullo said. "I have been playing music for a good eight years, and the other members of the band have been playing similar amounts of time." Through originality and energy, AUTOPUNCH singer and saxophone player Dan Wallace, a music business major at SUNY Fredonia, is optimistic that his band will win over the UB crowd on Wednesday. "We have a lot of energy [and] stage presence… we've got funk, a lot of blues, a lot of rock. [There is] a little something for everyone in there," Wallace said. AUTOPUNCH won Supernova Battle of the Bands at the Tralf Music Hall in Buffalo this past March, and Wallace believes this will give his band an edge over the competition. "It definitely gives us an extra boost of confidence," Wallace said. Wallace is excited to participate in the event for the first time with his band mates and anticipates a good turn out. "It'd be nice to see a couple hundred people come out [to the event]," Wallace said. Win or lose, Fanciullo is excited for the opportunity for his band to gain exposure. He believes that 15 minutes of fame could lead to something a little more. "I suppose I hope to become a rock star-playboy-millionaire before the world ends in 2012," Fanciullo said. The Student Union Theatre will open its doors Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. for the show, which is free for all UB students. Additional reporting by Jessica Brant, Asst. Life Editor E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For the first time, the Buffalo WellFest series will be available to University at Buffalo students in Alumni Arena on Saturday. "WellFest is Western New York's largest and most comprehensive healthy living exposition," said Randy Murphy, marketing director for Harmony Expositions. "There will be over 100 vendors present." WellFest was initially just available to employer groups, but Harmony Expositions, Inc., in partnership with BlueCross BlueShield Western New York, decided that it was time to get students and the community involved as well. "There is no better time to learn good habits than when you're a student," said Nancy Murphy, the president of Harmony Expositions. "A lot of students start smoking or developing bad eating habits because [the years at school] are so stressful, but that stress carries on after school as well." The first day of the WellFest, Friday, is only for UB faculty and staff, while the exposition on Saturday is open to all UB students and the community. According to Randy, health screenings, body strength testing, bone density tests, alternative and traditional medicine providers and healthy food tasting will all be available at WellFest. "UB not only provides the space available to have [WellFest], but it also has a large population of students that are invited to go," Randy said. "Having the event at UB also gets the community onto the campus, which doesn't happen often." Nancy stresses that one of the main points of the event is the idea that properly taking care of oneself can be fun; it doesn't have to be drudgery. "[Everyone] feels better when they are properly taking care of [themselves]," Nancy said. In addition to vendors and health professionals, there will be various healthy activity demonstrations, including Pilates, ballroom dancing and martial arts. There will also be a raffle and prizes to win, including spa vacations, movie tickets, bicycles and gift baskets, among others. The WellFest series has three separate dates, the first of which is at UB. The second is on May 15 at the Buffalo Bills Field House, and the third is June 2 at the Buffalo Convention Center. There will be many vendors to choose from at the events, but they will vary depending on the location. "At the event at UB, there will be more vendors from the Northtowns, at the Field House more vendors from the Southtowns and at the Convention Center, the majority will be from the downtown area," Randy said. Complimentary admission is available to the public with a coupon that can be obtained online at www.bcbswny.com or in person at BlueCross BlueShield's corporate headquarters on West Genessee St., according to a press release. Students are able to get in without a ticket by showing a valid UB card at the door. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. E-mail: email@example.com
Many students were still in high school when the end of an era rang through the University at Buffalo. The student body had worn out PJ Bottoms for decades – the bar, not the bedtime garment – and enjoyed the "food, booze, and boogie" with their notorious $0.10 chicken wings, $3 bottles of Labatts, and disorderly crowd belting "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison until the sun came up. Daniel Focher, an urban planning graduate student, says he will never forget PJ's "wings." "They were amazing," Focher said. "Plump, jumbo, sashaying – whatever adjectives you want to apply – they were pure bliss. And the chicken wings were great, too." Focher might be referring to another aspect of the bar's infamous existence – a hangout for salacious underage college students looking to pick up incoming freshman meat. Unfortunately, this was what eventually led to PJ's demise. On Dec. 15, 2005, the State Liquor Authority raided the bar located on 3270 Main St. Charges were brought against 20 minors for underage drinking and three bartenders who were accused of serving them alcohol. PJ Bottoms was "temporarily" shut down – and after years of unanswered rumors of the bar's return to UB, students began to expect the closure was permanent. Until now. Michael Bolton, who earned his B.S. in business administration from UB in 1987, is now being celebrated as the hero who will bring the "food, booze, and boogie" back to the university. After the bar's nearly five-year hiatus, Bolton obtained a new bond and liquor license. PJ Bottoms is expected to re-open its doors in September. But they won't be the same doors or even the same location that UB graduate students and super seniors remember – because Bolton decided to bring the bar a little closer to home. "I approached the university last year about moving the bar on campus because then many students won't have to worry about transportation, and also because I've seen bars on other campuses, such as St. Bonaventure University," Bolton said. Initially, University at Buffalo's administration did not buy Bolton's proposal. They pointed out that the UB student population exceeds that of St. Bonaventure by 25,000, so safety concerns are multiplied. They said UB doesn't have the resources for adequate safety personnel to be on duty monitoring a bar every night. Bolton switched gears and approached representatives from the Commons, a location that, while technically still on campus, offers land-lease flexibility and public-private partnership options. After receiving much a much more favorable response, Bolton realized that they were the perfect fit. PJ Commons will be across from Burger King in an area formerly occupied by a variety of office space. Construction will begin next week, and the project will set Bolton back around $2 million. Bolton, who says he spent nearly every weekend of his college life at the old PJ's, says he's going for a nostalgic design. "It will be just as students remember it," Bolton said. "Wood paneling, cheap beer and wings while watching Sunday football, sticky floors, the hockey pucks in the urinal, darts, pool tables and all your best friends around you enjoying every minute – perfection." Bolton has just received final approval by the university to accept Campus Cash because he doesn't want students to worry about handling cash or credit cards. However, one thing he insists on all students bringing with them is a valid I.D. "The major difference between the old PJ's and the new PJ's will be the underage drinking. I'm going to make sure the bar doesn't get shut down this time," Bolton said. The big comeback is tentatively scheduled for September 30. Bolton says a massive '80s party is scheduled for the grand re-opening to commemorate the decade when he considered PJ's his second home. Jesse James, the television personality best known for cheating on Hollywood royalty for the tattoo-faced "Bombshell" McGee, is expected to host the '80s blowout. "Jesse and I are good friends from my Choppers days. I told him about what I was doing here [in Buffalo] and he promised he would come out," Bolton said. "This party is definitely going down in UB history." Depending on the success of PJ Commons, Bolton says he's considering looking into re-opening other old UB hotspots to complement the bar. "Everything is still in the works, but I would love to open a Sal's Pizza next to the new PJ's," Bolton said. If all goes well, the upcoming fall semester will mark the beginning of a new era – or at least the return of an old one. Just as their predecessors did, University at Buffalo students will soon be chugging cheap beer before stumbling over to Sal's for a slice of pizza, which, in their drunken haze, will be the most delectable creation their taste buds will ever experience. And the tradition will live on. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
As the University at Buffalo continues to make strides toward a more environmentally friendly campus with programs like RecycleMania and groups like the Student Association Environmental Department, students remain skeptical of their efforts. According to the UB Green Web site, state agencies are required by law to recycle at least 50 percent of their "solid waste stream." However, offices in the University complex recycle only 30 percent of their waste, and the Residence Halls recycle even less. Mike Dupre, associate vice president for University Facilities and current chair of the UB Environmental Task Force, hopes to increase these numbers. "We are working toward creating more green projects on campus to combat the recycling problems," Dupre said. "We, as a community, need to bring awareness to the issue and continue our fight toward minimizing our environmental impact." Environmental advocate Chris Llop, director of SA Environmental, also finds the university's lack of recycling to be a serious problem. "I can't tell you how many times I see students throwing plastic bottles, cans or paper into the trash can," Llop said. "The recycling bins are clearly labeled, yet students don't seem to care, or they don't want to take the extra time to do their part in supporting the environment." Llop explains that once a recycling bin has been contaminated with roughly ten percent of other garbage, the janitorial staff is instructed to throw out the entire bag. "It really upsets me when I see a janitor mixing recyclables with other garbage," said Bobbi Taylor, a senior botany major. "I try to do my part toward going green with recycling, but it feels like a wasted effort." Even if a bin remains clean, both Llop and Taylor remain curious about whether the bag escapes the landfill and makes its way to the recycling center. Robert McLovin, a third-year member of the janitorial staff, admits to emptying the recycling bins for his own use and taking the items to the nearest bottle return. "On a good day, I'll collect from the bins, head over to Wegmans, and walk out with $60," McLovin said. "But lately, I haven't been doing as well. The recycling bins are empty by the time I get to them." Llop and Dupre are unsure if the decreasing number of recyclables is due to students recycling less, or if someone else has discovered the potential profits in collecting from the bins. Although Dupre explains that the university does not receive substantial profits from the recycling center, this doesn't stop big names on campus, like Vice President of Student Affairs Dennis Black and President John Simpson, from engaging in a little late night bin raiding. "I was in Capen last Thursday night studying for an exam when I saw President [John] Simpson and Dennis Black come into the library. They emptied the recycling bins into a big trash bag, and then quickly ran away like giddy school girls," said Andrew Ham, a junior political science major. Some of the duo's coworkers explain that Black and Simpson were feeling pressure from members of the campus community to decrease the university's spending and increase its available funds. "I'm a straight shooter – UB 2020 isn't going to happen," Simpson said. "We don't have any money to do the things that we planned to do. But in an effort to save face, so that I don't have to admit that I drastically underestimated how long my plan would take to implement, I'm trying to find and save any extra money that I can." Simpson explains that although stealing recyclables from the school wasn't his best idea, he was doing it with his students and the benefit of the university in mind. "Since we throw half of our recyclables away anyways because students are too stupid to read the labels on the bins and the janitors are too lazy to remove a couple of bottles from the garbage can, I figured it wasn't a big deal," Simpson said. "I put all the money from the bottle returns into a secret drawer, cleverly concealed in a sock." However, Black explains that he went along with President Simpson's recyclable stealing plan for a different reason. "President Simpson said that he wanted to steal recyclables for UB 2020. To be honest, I have little to no idea what that is," Black said. "I was just looking for some extra cash to put toward my next Mister Universe Pageant." E-mail: email@example.com