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Prominent names misspelled on signs

Maybe they should have used a spell-checker.

That could have avoided at least two mistakes that were caught by one of Fix-It's sharp-eyed readers, who noticed the misspelling of the names of two legendary artists -- one on a food court wall, the other on a plaque on Elmwood Avenue.

Noting that the region has an acclaimed arts community, John Weiksnar said he caught one of the mistakes when he was having lunch at McKinley Mall in Hamburg.

"I noticed their new, permanent, relief-lettered sign on the main food court wall," he said in an e-mail. "It's a quotation about nature by the famous artist Georgia O'Keeffe -- and they misspelled her last name."

When contacted by The News, McKinley Mall General Manager Jeff Ohle took time away from his "Black Friday" duties and looked into the problem.

After checking out the spelling, Ohle agreed that the name was misspelled. Since the lettering is raised, he said he would need to contact his construction manager to fix the problem.

"I will follow up and make sure it gets corrected," he said.

A similar problem was found on sidewalk plaques installed this summer commemorating famous locals on Elmwood and Potomac avenues in Buffalo.

"There again someone signed off on another expensive lettering job that misspelled the name of Katharine Cornell," Weiksnar said.

The actress, writer and producer is a well-known figure in Buffalo's cultural history, and in fact has a theater named in her honor at the University at Buffalo.

Fix It put in a call to the Elmwood Village Association on Friday to try and find out who is responsible for the plaques, as well as the Buffalo Historical Society, but has not heard back from either. If any of our readers knows who is responsible for the plaques, please contact Fix It and we'll see if we can get that mistake corrected also.

Fix It has tackled everything from faulty roads to poor street lighting to broken public drinking fountains. Readers may submit potential items three ways: through regular mail by writing to Fix It, c/o The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, Buffalo, NY 14203; by e-mail at; or by calling the Fix It voice mail line at 849-6026. Fix It considers every suggestion received but is not able to respond to all who sent them in.

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