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>2 lawmakers want audit and no toll increases

Two area lawmakers Tuesday called on State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to audit the New York State Thruway Authority.

The separate calls from State Sen. Dale M. Volker, D-Depew, and Erie County Legislator Timothy M. Kennedy follow a recent announcement by the authority that it would be seeking a 20 percent increase in tolls by 2010.

"Now is not the time to talk about increasing any tolls, nor taxes, for the foreseeable future," Volker said. "I am going to hold hearings in Buffalo to ensure that [taxpayers'] concerns are addressed."

Added Kennedy: "The authorities of New York State continued in the best interests of themselves instead of the taxpayers who fund them."


>Final public meeting on Olmsted system set

The last in a series of public meetings on a 20-year management and restoration plan for Buffalo's Olmsted parks and parkways will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Parkway.

A summary of the detailed prospectus for the 1,200-acre system will be presented, including designs for each park, followed by open discussion. The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy will use the public comments and suggestions to fine-tune the plan.

Admission will be free. For information, call Brian Dold, Olmsted landscape architect, 838-1249, Ext. 33, or e-mail To review the 20-year plan, visit


>Literacy Volunteers plans Coffee & Chocolate

Literacy Volunteers of Buffalo & Erie County will hold its annual Coffee & Chocolate fundraiser from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday in Shea's Smith Theatre.

The funds will help support the training of new volunteer tutors, purchase of materials and maintainence of 10 drop-in centers run by Literacy Volunteers.
Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased by calling 876-8991 or going


>Johnson reconfirms plans to retire

Cheektowaga Council Member Thomas M. Johnson said Tuesday he is not a candidate for the Town Board seat being vacated by Alice Magierski, who last week was elected town clerk.

After the balloting, Johnson led some political insiders to conclude he is having second thoughts about his plans to retire at the end of the year.

But Johnson confirmed that he will retire and said he is supporting Stan Kaznowski III for appointment to Magierski's seat. Kaznowski, president of the Town Park Homeowners Association, lost the Democrat primary by six votes and then was defeated when he ran in the general election as the endorsed candidate of the Independence and Working Families parties.

"[Kaznowski] is a nonpolitician, as I was when I first ran for office, and I respect that," Johnson said.

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