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WHERE WE LIVE / A town-by-town digest of what's happening in our communities

Amherst

The Town of Amherst is attempting to settle a high-profile lawsuit against Highway Superintendent Robert Anderson.

In 2007, Kathy Kaminski, the town's first and only female Highway Department crew chief, ran against Anderson, her boss, in a bitter contest for the highway superintendent's seat. During the campaign, Kaminski was forced out of her Forestry Division office and confined to doing cleanup work in the highway yard.

After losing the election by a narrow margin, Kaminski filed suit against Anderson and the town in 2008, claiming that she was subjected to retaliation and suffered work-related illnesses stemming from her reassignment.

She sought $500,000 in general and punitive damages against Anderson.

In recent weeks, the board has been discussing settlement terms with Kaminski for a lower amount of money, with the stipulation that she leave town employment and agree not to make any other claims against the town.
Kaminski ran against Anderson again in 2011 and lost by a wider margin.

Also this week:

*Amherst's annual spring brush pickup will begin on May 21 and will run for approximately two weeks. The Highway Department asks that all brush, logs and stumps be out for pickup by this date. The town will collect large, unmanageable piles of logs, brush and tree stumps only.

No mixed piles containing lumber, concrete, railroad ties or nonorganic materials will be collected. Leaves, small trimmings and other yard waste should be put in containers, paper yard waste bags or bundled for regular weekly collection.

*The Town Board's Monday afternoon work session has been canceled. There will be no Town Board meeting this week.

***

Aurora

Sidewalks in the Village of East Aurora continue to be a hot topic, when it comes to putting in new ones where none previously existed.

The Village Board last week did not reach consensus on whether the village should cover the full tab or implement the 5 0/5 0 split of the cost between the village and the property owner.

When sidewalks need replacing, the village's current policy is to pay 50 percent of the expense, with homeowners picking up the remaining 50 percent.

"We may take a step back and relook at the law," Village Administrator Bryan Gazda said. "Sidewalks are not cheap. The question it comes down to for a lot of individuals is if you don't have a sidewalk in your neighborhood, do you want one?"

Some of the ones being considered for new sidewalks are South Street, heading toward Center Street near the new Cazenovia Nature Sanctuary; Church Street; and portions of Chestnut Hill. Sidewalk estimates are $12,000 for Church Street, $33,150 for South Street and $22,360 for parts of Chestnut Hill.

The Village Board approved buying a new K-9 police vehicle. The village is trading in its 2005 Ford Explorer and purchasing a 2013 Ford Explorer through DeLacey Ford. With the trade-in, the cost is $23,731 -- which is coming out of the village's current budget.

Village officials are talking with a citizens committee overseeing the new Cazenovia Sanctuary about potential plans to enhance the area and offer handicapped parking. The board will be reviewing different ideas since the sanctuary is village property.

Also this week:

*The Aurora Town Board meets in regular session at 7 p.m. Monday in the auditorium of 300 Gleed Ave.

*The East Aurora School Board meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday on school election day in the library of the Middle School, 430 Main St.

***

Buffalo

The Common Council will hold a public hearing on Mayor Byron W. Brown's proposed $482.6 million budget at 5 p.m. Monday in Council Chambers.

Council members have publicly proposed almost no changes to the mayor's spending plan and have until May 22 to approve a budget.

The spending plan includes no increase in the residential property tax rate and an 8.5-percent cut in the commercial property tax rate.

A public hearing on the budget for Buffalo Public Schools will follow at 6 p.m.

Also this week:

*The Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority, the city's control board, will meet at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the first-floor conference room of the Market Arcade complex at 617 Main St. The board's Audit, Finance and Budget Committee will meet at 12:30 p.m. in the same location.

*The Common Council will hold its premeeting caucus at 2 p.m. Monday in Room 1417 of City Hall.

*The Council will publicly interview five new candidates for the vacant South District seat at 10:30 a.m. in Council Chambers.

*The Council will meet in regular session at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Council Chambers.

*The Preservation Board will meet at 3 p.m. Thursday in Room 901 of City Hall.

***

Cheektowaga

A free educational presentation by Dick Helmbrecht, "Fun with Flags," sponsored by the Cheektowaga Historical Association, will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Cheektowaga Senior Center banquet hall, 3349 Broadway.

Helmbrecht -- the "Flag Man" -- will discuss the history of Old Glory as well as how the flag should be properly handled and cared for as part of the town historical society's monthly program.

The event is open to the public.

Also this week:

*The Depew Board of Education will hold a regular business meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Cayuga Heights Elementary School, 1780 Como Park Blvd., where the annual school budget vote is being held from noon to 9 p.m.

*The Town Board will hold a 6 p.m. Tuesday work session in its council office conference room at Cheektowaga Town Hall, 3301 Broadway.

*Traffic Safety Commission will hold a 7:30 p.m. Tuesday meeting in the Senior Center.

*The town's Zoning Board of Appeals will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Council Chambers at Town Hall.

*The Maryvale School Board will hold a meeting at 6 p.m. Monday in the district administrative office, 1050 Maryvale Drive. A report on the district's New York State report card is on the agenda.

*The Cleveland Hill School Board will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the community room at Cleveland Hill High School, 105 Mapleview Road.

*"Let There Be Song," Maryvale High School's chorale show, will be held at 7 p.m. Friday in the school auditorium, 1050 Maryvale Drive.

*A chicken dinner district fundraiser in honor of the late Marcie A. Dudek, the Cheektowaga Central Schools volunteer coordinator who died of cancer in August 2009 at age 47, will be held at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Cheektowaga Central High School cafeteria, 3600 Union Road.

***

Clarence

The Clarence Industrial Development Agency is on track to hire a part-time economic development officer to promote business growth.

The IDA's board discussed the idea at a special meeting last week. The IDA expects to take further action on the plan at its regular monthly meeting at 8 a.m. Thursday in Town Hall.

"The number one thing I would like to see this person do is bring new business to Clarence," said David C. Hartzell Jr., the IDA's chairman. The development officer would also be involved in working with existing businesses in the town, he said.

Plans call for the IDA to do the hiring, but for the job to be under the supervision of the town supervisor, Hartzell said.

Also this week:

*The Chamber of Commerce will hold an after-hours blender from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday in Dragonfly Studio and Salon, 8290 Main St. The event is open to the public. RSVP at 631-3888.

*The newly renovated animal shelter will hold an open house from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at 6185 Goodrich Road, behind the Highway Department. The shelter was expanded to 16 dog runs from six.

*The Garden Friends of Clarence's Perennial Plant Sale and Auction will be Wednesday at the Town Park Pavilion, 10405 Main St. The sale will be noon to 6 p.m., and the auction will be at 6:30 p.m.

*The Planning Board will meet at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Town Hall, following a 6:30 p.m. work session. Towne Mini is scheduled to request preliminary concept review of a new stand-alone dealership planned for 8240 Main St., across from Mini's current location. Also on the agenda, Niagara County Produce is requesting an action under the state Environmental Quality Review Act and concept approval of a new facility at 8555-8595 Transit Road.

*The Building Department will hold an open house from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, at 6221 Goodrich Road, as part of Building Safety Month and to raise awareness of building safety. For more information, visit www.buildingsafetymonth.org.

*The Erie County Sheriff's Office will provide free safety checks of child passenger seats and offer photos and fingerprinting of children, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Eastern Hills Mall, next to the cinemas.

***

Evans

The boating season has arrived in the Town of Evans.

The Sturgeon Point Marina, 618 Sturgeon Point Road, opens on Tuesday.

Cost is $7 to launch or $125 for a season pass. A season pass for senior citizens is $95.

Offerings at the marina include 24-hour security and launching, overnight dockage, gasoline from dawn to dusk, bait and ice, restroom facilities and a hot dog stand.

For more information contact the town's Parks and Recreation Department at 549-0970.

Also this week:

*The Town Board will hold its regular board meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Town Hall, 8787 Erie Road. An agenda meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

***

Grand Island

The school district is benefiting from the legacy of a late member of Niagara Sunday Fliers, a chapter of the Academy of Model Aeronautics.

Through the estate of Everett McQuaid of Grand Island, who died March 3, about 20 radio-controlled model airplanes will be used as part of the club's educational program that includes the district's technology students.

A new flying field is being prepared for the club, which dates to 1968, on Staley Road. The Town of Grand Island is doing some work at the site, which formerly was a baseball field that had been used by the school district.

Also this week:

*The town will cut the ribbon on Fisherman's Landing, officially unveiling the newly completed waterfront public access point on the site of a former abandoned wastewater treatment facility.

The beautification project was funded by the Niagara River Greenway, Department of State Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, Town of Grand Island and the state Dormitory Authority's Capital Assistance Program.

*The ceremony will take place at noon Tuesday at the park, 1501 East River Road, near the South Grand Island Bridge.

*Grand Island Post 1346, American Legion, celebrates the 65th anniversary of its charter this month.

An information table in Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road, will display membership forms and applications for Honor Flight Buffalo, which provides veterans transportation to view war memorials in Washington, D.C.

*The Town Board and the Police Department will have a workshop meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday in Town Hall.

*The Town Board will meet for a workshop in Town Hall at 8 a.m. Friday to discuss the town's signs and zoning code.

*Orientation for kindergartners registered for the 2012-13 school year will be held at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Charlotte Sidway Elementary School. There will be classroom presentations beginning at 2 p.m., followed by a short ride aboard a school bus for parents and the prospective kindergartners.

From May 29 to June 7, 20-minute screenings for incoming kindergartners will be held at the school. Parents should bring a record of their child's physical exam and immunizations. Anyone with questions about registering a child for kindergarten can call the school at 773-8800.

***

Hamburg

Hamburg may be the latest town to allow chickens outside agricultural zones. The Town Board will conduct a public hearing on the proposal at 7 p.m. Monday in Town Hall, 6100 South Park Ave.

The town Planning Board Wednesday will discuss plans for the proposed Willow Woods subdivision on the south side of Taylor Road and hear a plan from Suburban Adult Services on a proposal to construct an apartment building on vacant land behind 3050 and 3060 Abbott Road. The board also plans to discuss mitigation plans for the overclearing of trees at the Whispering Pines subdivision.

Also on the agenda is a proposal from David Burke for an apartment complex on the north side of Lake Avenue east of South Park Avenue. The Planning Board will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Conference Room 7B in Town Hall, 6100 South Park Ave.

A Special Event Day and a "Dig with the Experts" program will be held at the Penn Dixie Paleontological and Outdoor Education Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Spring rains have exposed thousands of fossils waiting to be found at the former quarry. Telescopes will be available to view sunspots.

Hamburg Theater Under the Stars will hold auditions for George Kaufman and Moss Hart's classic comedy "You Can't Take It With You," from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Wesleyan Church of Hamburg, 4999 McKinley Parkway, Door 5, Triplex Room. The play requires 12 adult males and seven adult females. No appointment is necessary.

Also this week:

*The Town Board will hold a work session at 6 p.m. Monday in Conference Room No. 1 in Town Hall, followed by a public hearing on various changes to the town code and a regular meeting at 7 p.m. in the court room.

*The village Architectural Review Committee will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Village Hall, 100 Main St.

*The Blasdell Village Board will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Village Hall, 121 Miriam Ave.

*The Frontier School Board meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Frontier Educational Center, 5120 Orchard Ave.

***

Lackawanna

Keith Lewis, Lackawanna's 4th Ward councilman, will host a "town hall" meeting from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday in Queen of Angels Parish Hall, 144 Warsaw St.

The meeting was rescheduled from May 9, after the Lackawanna School Board rescinded approval for Lewis to use the Martin Road Elementary School auditorium.

Baker Victory Services will be on hand at the meeting to do a presentation on a proposed $15 million facility on its Martin Road campus. Residents from all city wards are welcome to attend.

Also this week:

*The Lackawanna Board of Education will hold its monthly work session at 6 p.m. Monday in the Superintendent's Conference Room 202, 245 South Shore Blvd.

*A special meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Martin Road Elementary School auditorium, 135 Martin Road, to certify the results of Tuesday's School Board elections and budget vote.

*The board's regular business meeting will immediately follow the special meeting.

***

Lancaster

The Town Board last week approved a Right to Farm Law that aims to "preserve the rural character and traditions of the town" by protecting agricultural operations in Lancaster from nuisance complaints.

The law passed after farmers, people who keep farm animals on their property and their advocates packed the April 2 Town Board meeting to urge board members to approve the law.

Lancaster becomes the 23rd of Erie County's 25 towns to pass right-to-farm legislation, leaving Cheektowaga and Tonawanda as the only holdouts.

Even though Erie County and New York State have their own right-to-farm laws, advocates say the local laws are needed to raise awareness of farming in these communities and to make it easier to resolve disputes at the local level.

"In the face of incessant pressure for suburban housing development and commercial development to produce more tax base, it takes a vision to take a stand in favor of open space and the farmers who help keep it that way," Hans Mobius, chairman of the Erie County Farm Bureau Right to Farm Committee and owner of Maple Row Farm in Clarence, said in a statement.

There are believed to be a half-dozen or so working farms in Lancaster, Mobius said.

Also this week:

*The Village Board meets at 7 p.m. Monday in the Municipal Building, 5423 Broadway.

*The town Planning Board is meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Town Hall, 21 Central Ave.

*The village Planning Commission meets at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Municipal Building. The commission will review the site plan for a proposed expansion of Harper International's campus at 100 W. Drullard Ave. in the village.

*The town Zoning Board of Appeals meets at 8 p.m. Thursday in Town Hall.

*The NorthPoint Free Will Baptist Church is sponsoring a free Family Fun Day starting at 6 p.m. Saturday on West Main Street in the Village of Lancaster.

The event includes pony rides, carnival games, snacks and an outdoor showing of "The Adventures of Tintin." Movie viewers are invited to bring lawn chairs.

For more information, visit www.northpointbuffalo.com or call 683-2921.

***

Orchard Park

The town Comprehensive Plan Implementation Committee will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the Municipal Center, 4295 S. Buffalo St.

Also this week:

*The Village Board will meet at 8 p.m. Monday in the Municipal Center.

*The town Economic Development Committee will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Municipal Center.

*The School Board will conduct public hearings on the code of conduct and Internet safety policy at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the high school, 4040 Baker Road. A regular meeting will follow the hearings.

*The town Public Safety Committee will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Municipal Center.

*The town Zoning Board of Appeals will consider several requests for variances at 7 p.m Tuesday in the basement meeting room in the Municipal Center.

*The Town Board will conduct a work session at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the supervisor's conference room in the Municipal Center, followed by a regular meeting at 7 p.m. in the court room.

The village Zoning Board of Appeals will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Municipal Center.

***

Southern Erie County

The Boston Conservation Advisory Council will meet at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall, 8500 Boston State Road.

Also this week:

*The Boston Town Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday to review the agenda before its 7:30 p.m. meeting in Town Hall.

*Members of the Boy Scouts of America, Venture Crew, will hold an encampment Saturday featuring period activities and demonstrations at the Asa Warren House in Eden. The house on South Main Street will be open for tours. The house was built in 1815 by Col. Asa Warren, a veteran of the War of 1812.

*The Elma Planning Board will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall, 1600 Bowen Road.

Bryan Young, developer of Sylvia's Place, a senior citizens apartment building nearing completion on Bowen Road, will answer charges by the building inspector that he is in noncompliance for failure to put in enough trees, a split rail fence, privacy fencing and pole lighting as outlined in the approved plan.

*The Elma Town Board will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Town Hall. On the agenda will be a temporary use permit for Seasonal Nursery to set up offices at New Bullis Road off Transit Road and use a nearby vacant lot for stock until a building is completed at the Bullis Road site.

*The Marilla Planning Board will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday in Town Hall, 1740 Two Rod Road.

***

City of Tonawanda

A planned debate between people running for the Tonawanda City School Board on Thursday night ended up being literally one-sided, as only one out of three candidates participated in the event.

Brenda Boyle, a newcomer looking for her first term on the board, was the only candidate that participated. Incumbents Jennifer Mysliwy and Sharon Stuart did not attend but statements from both the candidates were distributed. The three are running for two open seats on the board, both for three-year terms.

Mysliwy could not attend due to a reported work conflict. Stuart sent an email to media outlets just prior to the scheduled debate explaining that she would not attend if all three candidates could not be there.

***

Town of Tonawanda

Art students from Herbert Hoover Middle School won $1,000 in prizes in the Art'scool "Inspired" competition at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

Prizes were awarded Thursday at the gallery, where an exhibit of selected entries continues through June 17. All entries can be viewed at the online gallery at albrightknox.org.

During the past six months, participating classes from throughout Western New York had guided tours of the gallery through its Art'scool program, then teachers submitted artwork produced in response to that visit and related classroom lessons.

Students of Emilie Sears won third place, and $500, for their computer images of large, altered photographs of animals, based on the paintings of Franz Marc. Students of Jamie Kubala won two honorable mentions, worth $250 each.

Also this week:

*Kenmore Village Improvement Society is holding its monthly meeting -- and fourth anniversary party -- at 7 p.m. Monday in the Kenmore Community Center, 135 Wilber Ave.

*Kenmore Rotary will honor a student from each of the five high schools in the community with its Medalist Award during a luncheon Monday in the Holiday Inn, 1881 Niagara Falls Blvd. Lunch is at noon and the awards ceremony at 1 p.m.

*The Kenmore Village Board meets at 8 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers at the municipal building, 2919 Delaware Ave. A work session begins at 6:30 p.m. in the mayor's office.

***

West Seneca

The 170th anniversary of the Buffalo Creek Treaty between the Seneca Nation and federal government will be commemorated Friday morning at the Burchfield Nature and Art Center, 2001 Union Road, on the former Buffalo Creek Territory.

The 11 a.m. event memorializes the May 20, 1842, treaty that acknowledged the sovereignty of tribal lands and provided federally protected treaty rights to the Seneca Nation.

The event coincides with a new Native American art exhibit at the Burchfield, "They Are Creative -- Art of the Haudenosaunee, People of the Longhouse." The Native Roots Artists Guild is exhibiting paintings, beadwork, photography, cornhusk creations, basketry and other native arts.

A Native Artists Vendor Day will be held in the park from noon to 6 p.m.

***

Town of Hamburg:

56,936

***

AGE:

Median: 42.2
Percent under 5: 5.1
Percent under 18: 22.4
Percent over 65: 15.8

***

Population by sex:

52.1% female
47.9% male

***

Population by race

97% white
2.1% Hispanic
0.8% black
0.6% Asian

***

HOUSING:

Total units: 24,692
Percentage vacant: 5
Percentowner occupied: 75.3
Percent renter occupied: 24.7

***

HOUSEHOLDS:

Total: 23,447
Average size: 2.4
Percent with husband-wife: 50.8
Percent with husband-wife andkids under 18: 20.5