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Shining Light on Top Five Myths About Solar Energy

Shining Light on Top Five Myths About Solar Energy

In Western New York and across the entire U.S., home solar installations are on the rise! In 2012, homeowners installed enough residential solar panels to power the equivalent of almost 24,000 homes.

Despite its growing popularity, solar technology remains unfamiliar to many Americans. As renewable energy becomes a mainstay topic for the nation's partisan political debates, consumers may struggle to separate the facts about solar energy from common misconceptions.

Here are the realities behind five common solar myths, courtesy of Buffalo Solar Solutions Inc. and SolarWorld Americas:

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Heavy April Showers Bring Water Woes for Area Homeowners; Tips Will Help Prevent Future Damage

Heavy April Showers Bring Water Woes for Area Homeowners; Tips Will Help Prevent Future Damage

Two inches of rain fell throughout Western New York on Thursday, April 20, causing sump pump failures and flooding issues in many homes. And if you’ve ever stood in those shoes — or boots — you know the aftermath can be an absolute mess!

“When your home suffers water damage, time matters and it’s important to take immediate action,” said Edmund Bedient, owner of Clear Choice Carpet Cleaning Services in West Seneca. “In order to prevent structural damage and mold growth, it’s important to act quickly and contact an experienced company with professional references and an outstanding reputation. This is no time to be scammed by a fly-by-night contractor.

Tax Tips to Help You Determine What Makes a Gift Taxable

Taxpayers who give money or property to others may wonder about the federal gift tax and if it applies. Most gifts are not subject to the gift tax.

Here are seven tax tips about the gift tax and giving:

1. Nontaxable Gifts. The general rule is that any gift is potentially taxable. However, there are exceptions to this rule. The following are nontaxable gifts:

Vendors Sought for Collectors’ Expo; Event to Benefit Three Local Organizations

Vendors Sought for Collectors’ Expo; Event to Benefit Three Local Organizations

Vendors are currently being sought for the first annual Collectors’ Expo, a unique event to take place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, in the historic Buffalo Irish Center, 245 Abbott Road, South Buffalo.

“We envision the event to be something like ‘American Pickers’ under one roof, featuring sports memorabilia, coins, stamps, antiques, original art, trains, toys, bottles, comic books, music and theatre memorabilia, and more,” said Joe Kirchmyer of West Seneca, organizer of the event. “Everyone collects something … and there will definitely be something there for everyone.”

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Elmwood Village Farmers Market to Welcome 19th Season on Saturday, May 13

Elmwood Village Farmers Market to Welcome 19th Season on Saturday, May 13

Weekly yoga classes, several new vendors and two visits from the Buffalo Philharmonic String Quartet are among the highlights of the upcoming Elmwood Village Farmers Market, which returns to the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Bidwell Parkway in Buffalo’s Elmwood Village on May 13. The market will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, rain or shine, through Nov. 25.

Saturday, May 6 is Audubon Birdathon for Ryan Exline Memorial Scholarship

Saturday, May 6 is Audubon Birdathon for Ryan Exline Memorial Scholarship

Jamestown, NY – You are invited to go birding -- or make a pledge to someone who does -- to support the Audubon Community Nature Center (ACNC) and a local student.

On Saturday, May 6, you can join the Audubon Education Staff and their friends to see as many birds as you can on the Fledgling Birdathon, a one-day-only birdathon that raises money for the Ryan Exline Memorial Scholarship.

At 6 a.m., the group will start on the Nature Center grounds and other locations to find as many species of birds as possible. Participants are encouraged to stay at least till noon, but for the ACNC naturalists it will be an (almost) all-day event.

The Ryan Exline Memorial Scholarship is awarded every year to a local student heading off to college with an interest in pursuing the natural sciences. Generous supporters pledge an amount, either per species or in total, and the end result is a $500 scholarship. You can bird with the team or show your support by pledging.

Know these Helpful Tips about Employee Business Expenses

Taxpayers who pay work-related expenses out of their own pocket may be able to deduct them. Generally, employee business expenses are deductible if they are more than two percent of adjusted gross income. In most cases, they go on IRS Schedule A, Itemized Deductions.

Other key points about employee business expenses:

1. They must be Ordinary and Necessary. People can only deduct unreimbursed expenses that are ordinary and necessary to their work as an employee. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in the industry. A necessary expense is appropriate and helpful to a business.

2. Expense Examples. Some potentially deductible costs include:  

·         Required work clothes or uniforms not appropriate for everyday use.