American Council of the Blind

Western New York Chapter

The monthly meeting of the American Council of the Blind of Western New York was held on Friday, July 10, 2016 at The Plaka Restaurant.  The meeting was called to order at 6-32 PM.  Present were Walter Gramza, Kathy Lyons, Karleen and Richard Fiorello, John Spencer, Alex Meister, Mindy Bess, Robert Blachowicz, Kelly Blachowicz, Anita Williams, Bernadette Johnson, Paul Jerge, Karen Blachowicz, Doug Whitford, Lynn Lum, and  Edna Rouse attending by

Karleen Fiorello offered the invocation.  Rob Blachowicz read the minutes of the June meeting; Kathy Lyons moved to accept the minutes as read, Wally seconded the motion and the motion was approved by the group.  Alex gave the treasurer’s report.  The account balance was 2016 dollars with 501 nollars and 14 cents in the scholarship fund.  Lynn Lum moved to accept the treasurer’s report, Kathy seconded the motion and the motion was carried by the group.

Several group members were working on getting donations for our August 7th fundraiser at Rob’s Comedy Playhouse.  The fundraiser committee planned to meet on Monday July 20th at 6-30 at The Plaka Restaurant with any member who wished to help welcome to attend.  In the matter of pedestrian safety, an audible signal will be installed at Lake Ave.  and Route 5.  This intersection was identified as problematic by a member who travels there regularly using fixed-route metrobuses. New member Bernadette Johnson mentioned that there are poorly lit intersections in Niagara Falls.  John Spencer asked if there is a way we can be notified as to where construction is taking place because noise and obstacles can make independent travel difficult for blind and visually impaired pedestrians.  John will join the pedestrian safety committee.

Rob reported on the community involvement committee.  He has been in contact with Frank Camarata from the Gie County Office for the Disabled.  Lynn Lum will attend meetings of the Erie County Senior Outreach Committee when notified of them.  We are on the contact list of the city of Buffalo ADA coordinator.

President Karen Blachowicz reported on the monthly outreach meeting of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.  Some consumers are reporting problems in using the new phone system for fix-route buses.  The contact person for anyone having problems in NFTA matters is Vivian Rogers 716-855-7286

Rob Blachowicz moved to adjourn the meeting, Anita Williams seconded the motion, the motion carried and the meeting was adjourned at 7-55 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Lynn Lum
Secretary, American Council of the Blind of Western New York