The Williamsville School Board got a briefing last week about the district's performance on the 2010-11 New York State Report Card for the district. As usual, the region's largest and wealthiest suburban district did well overall.
Graduation rates remain exceptionally high, according to Marie Balen, assistant superintendent for instruction. Only 1 percent of students dropped out of high school or received a GED instead of a diploma.
In core academic areas tested, however, students at lower proficiency levels generally fell below state averages.
More students take Advanced Placement exams than in the past, and more than 80 percent received a passing score, she said. Ninety-five percent of students went on to a two- or four-year colleges.
Superintendent Scott Martzloff, meanwhile, noted that Williamsville high schools stand among the top 1,000 in the nation in Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report rankings. The 2012 Washington Post Challenge Index puts the high schools in the top 1,400 nationwide, he said.
Also this week:
The Williamsville Village Board will meet at 7:30 p.m. Monday in Village Hall, 5565 Main St. The meeting will be preceded by a work session at 6 p.m.
The Sweet Home School Board will conduct a special meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the district office, 1901 Sweet Home Road. The board expects to immediately move into executive session to discuss matters related to negotiations with the Sweet Home Educators Association.
The first witnesses will be called Tuesday in the nonjury criminal trial of Beth Lynne Hoskins on 74 misdemeanor animal cruelty counts tied to her Morgan horses. The trial gets under way before Aurora Town Justice Douglas W. Marky at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday and also is set to continue at 4:15 p.m. Thursday.
The courtroom is located on the second floor of East Aurora Village Hall, Main and Paine streets.
In other happenings, the Greater East Aurora Chamber of Commerce has launched planning the community's First Annual Taste of East Aurora event, sponsored by First Niagara, Tops Markets and West Herr-East Aurora. The event, featuring local restaurants, is being planned for Sept. 15.
Also this week:
The Town Board will meet in regular session at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the auditorium of Town Hall at 300 Gleed Ave., instead of Monday, due to Memorial Day. On the agenda is an agreement to convert the town's website, as well as discussion about the Reed Hill subdivision drainage district and information about a dog agility trial event at Knox Farm State Park.
The East Aurora School District will hold its annual spring concert in the high school on Center Street at 7 p.m. Wednesday. A day later, the districtwide Art Show and Tech Fair will be held at the high school at 6 p.m.
The kindergarten spring concert at Parkdale Elementary School on Girard Avenue will be held at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
An official vote on whether the city's control board goes "soft" is scheduled to take place Tuesday.
The Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority has called a special meeting for 4 p.m., where it is expected to vote on a shift from a "control period" to advisory status that would take place on July 1.
Board member George K. Arthur along with Mayor Byron W. Brown and Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, both of whom have seats on the board, have previously stated they believe the control board should shift to "soft" status.
The control board was put into place by the state in 2003. Under state law, it has the power to shift back into "hard" status and will exist in some form until June 30, 2037.
The meeting will take place in the first-floor conference room of the Market Arcade complex at 617 Main St.
Also this week:
The Common Council will hold its premeeting caucus at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Room 1417 of City Hall.
The Buffalo Urban Development Corp. will meet at noon Tuesday in the Erie County Industrial Development Agency offices at 143 Genesee St.
The Council will meet in regular session at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Council Chambers.
The Buffalo Sewer Authority will meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Room 1038 of City Hall.
Cheektowagans will honor Memorial Day with a 1 p.m. Monday ceremony in front of the All Veterans Monument in Cheektowaga Town Park.
The guest of honor at the Memorial Day event will be William P. Miskell, the American Legion's commander for Erie County.
Also this week:
The Town Board will hold a 6 p.m. Tuesday work session in the council office conference room at Cheektowaga Town Hall, 3301 Broadway.
The Cheektowaga Sloan School Board will hold a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the board room of the Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, 166 Halstead Avenue. The meeting will be a closed session regarding "personnel contractual matters," according to the district website.
The Town Planning Board will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday in the council chambers at Town Hall.
Fifth-grade students from Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in the Cheektowaga-Sloan Union Free School District will prepare for 2012-13 by paying a visit to John F. Kennedy Middle School, 305 Cayuga Creek Road, Thursday morning.
A new member coffee hour will be held at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at the Cheektowaga Senior Center, 3349 Broadway, to help interested seniors learn about what the center has to offer.
Early bird sign-ups for the Town of Cheektowaga's Summer 2012 recreational programs will be held for Cheektowaga residents only from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, at the Alexander Community Center, 275 Alexander Ave. Registration opens to everyone on June 4.
The town's Memorial Day Parade will begin at 11 a.m. Monday at Clarence High School and end at Clarence Town Park at 10450 Main St.
A ceremony led by the American Legion will be at noon at the park. The Clarence Hollow Association's Chiavetta's chicken barbecue at the Town Park pavilion will go from noon until it is sold out. There will also be a ticket auction, children's activities and music. Call 759-1055 for details.
Also this week:
The Youth Bureau's volunteer recognition ceremony will be 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Clarence Fire District No. 1, 10355 Main St.
The Planning Board will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Town Hall.
The opening day of the season for the Clarence Hollow Farmers' Market will be 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at 10717 Main St.
The Flight 3407 Memorial 5K Race will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Town Place Park, 1 Town Place Center in Clarence Center. Details are at www.3407race.com.
A public dedication of the Flight 3407 memorial on Long Street in Clarence Center will be 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
The third annual Bikes in Bloom, a season-long garden walk featuring bikes decorated with live flowers and plants, is getting under way in Clarence Center. The Meet in the Center Merchants Association expanded this year's edition beyond the Four Corners to include residents and businesses around the hamlet, said Deborah Tangelder, the group's vice president.
About 30 bikes are expected to be displayed this year. "We've been amazed at how creative people have gotten with their bikes," Tangelder said.
Tour maps will be available at a number of Clarence Center businesses in early June, and a directory map will be posted at the Four Corners.
> Grand Island
War veterans on Grand Island will begin their tribute to fallen veterans bright and early Monday and keep the remembrance going all day long.
Members of the Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial Post 9249, Veterans of Foreign Wars; Post 1346, American Legion; and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 168 will assemble at the island's six cemeteries Monday for brief Memorial Day tributes. The day will begin at Whitehaven Cemetery on East River Road near the Holiday Inn at 7:40 a.m., with a live trumpet rendition of "Taps" and a 21-gun salute.
The ceremony will be repeated at Maple Grove Cemetery on Stony Point Road near Whitehaven Road at 7:55 a.m., Staley Cemetery on West River Road near Staley Road at 8:15 a.m., Assumption Cemetery on Whitehaven Road near 4th Street at 8:30 a.m., Trinity Cemetery on Whitehaven Road at Old Trinity Church at 8:45 a.m. and St. Stephen's Cemetery on Baseline Road behind Old St. Stephen's Church at 8:55 a.m.
The public is invited to follow along to each cemetery and witness the ceremonies.
At 10 a.m., the veterans invite the public to assemble at Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial Park on Grand Island Boulevard and Baseline Road for additional Memorial Day services.
Megan Karpie, valedictorian of the Class of 2012 at Grand Island High School, is one of two winners of the annual Thomas E. Hewitt Sports Award, which includes a $2,000 scholarship for scholar athletes.
Grand Island Schools Superintendent Robert Christmann said about 15 district students have won the annual scholarship since 1979. The award, sponsored by Mount St. Mary Hospital's board of associates, is in memory of a former editor of the Niagara Gazette.
Grand Island High School placed 850th out of 22,000 schools nationally in U.S. News & World Report's ranking of the best high schools for college readiness. It ranked 110th among New York schools. The high school moved up from 1,100 in the 2009 rankings of 1,800 schools nationally.
The district received a $75,000 member grant through State Sen. Mark Grisanti. Christmann has asked administrators and the Board of Education for ideas on the best use for the funds.
The grant is in addition to another one for $75,000 secured by Assemblyman Sean Ryan that is being used for equipment for the district's pre-engineering program.
The school district has received a $78,567 check from the state that represents an underpayment of state aid from two years ago. Christmann said it will be added to revenues for the 2012-13 school year.
The board reinstated an art teacher for the 2012-13 school year, enabling another 80 students to take art classes. Christmann said the cost is $14,500.
A golf tournament to benefit district student scholarships will be held June 25 at River Oaks Golf Club. Entry is $115 per golfer.
To register or make donations, contact Paul Krull, a member of the Board of Education, at 909-4634. The event, which includes 18 holes of golf, lunch and a steak dinner, is sponsored by the Grand Island School & Business Alliance and the Chamber of Commerce.
Also this week:
The Town Board will meet in Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road, for a workshop at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday.
Village crews have begun paving village streets, Public Works Superintendent Marc Shuttleworth said.
Village Board members have appointed Christopher J. Podpora crew chief in the Public Works Department. His 12-month probationary period will start June 9, and his salary will be $54,000.
Village Board members also approved a retainer agreement for another year with Village Attorney Edward J. Murphy III for $25,000.
Also this week:
Run the 'Burg for Autism, a 5K run, starts at 11 a.m. Saturday through the streets of the village. Prerace registration and a post-race party will be conducted at J.P. Fitzgerald's Restaurant, 4236 Clark St. The first 1,500 registrants will receive a T-shirt.
Children's Day at the Penn Dixie Site, 4050 North St., will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. June 3 with special events for children and their families. "Tilly the Trilobite" will greet visitors, Messinger Woods Wildlife Care & Education Center will have live birds, rocket launches will be conducted by "Rocket Rich" Spencer at 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. and Hamburg YES organization is painting faces. There also will be fossil collecting and fossil contests for children with prizes, and telescopes for viewing sunspots and solar flares.
The Farmers' Market is open from 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the village municipal parking lot. Imagine Hamburg will provide music at the market from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
The village swim center on Torry Drive opens Saturday for its 45th season. The center will be open from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. weekends and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays until June 16, when regular summer hours begin.
The Lackawanna Memorial Day Parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday from the Col. John B. Weber VFW Post 898, 2909 South Park Ave., to Veteran's Stadium, where a Memorial Day Ceremony will take place.
Matthew Glab Post 1477 is hosting the event.
Also this week:
The School Board will receive sealed bids until 10 a.m. Wednesday for Medicaid services and speech language pathologist services.
Bids must be delivered to the McKinley School Building, 245 South Shore Blvd.
Specifications and bid forms can be obtained at the board clerk's office.
Also coming up, three new members will be added to the Lackawanna High School Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame on June 8. The 2012 inductees are Dr. James Dunn of the Class of 1945, Dr. Brian Reed of the class of 1980 and James Anticola of the class of 1964. The inductions will be part of the high school's annual Class Day Ceremony.
Area high school students are invited to register for Regents Exam preparation sessions sponsored by the Town of Lancaster Youth Bureau.
The after-school sessions start as soon as Tuesday and run as late as June 19 in the following subjects: Integrated Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2/Trig, Biology, Chemistry, Global History & Geography II, and U.S. History and Government, Pre-Calculus and Physics.
Students can call the bureau at 683-4444 for more information or to register.
Also this week:
Town Clerk Johanna M. Coleman is reminding residents that state law requires them to register every dog that is at least 4 months old and kept in the state for longer than 30 days.
Licenses cost $13 for a spayed or neutered dog -- owners must provide a certificate from a veterinarian -- and $20 for an unsprayed or unneutered dog. The fees are reduced for senior citizens who own dogs.
Owners also must provide proof of rabies vaccination.
For more information or to download an application, go to www.lancasterny.gov or call the Town Clerk's Office at 683-9028.
The Town Board will meet in a regular session at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall, 5 Clarence Center Road, following a work session at 7:15 p.m.
Items on the agenda include the shared public works facility with the village of Akron -- a $4 million facility on Clarence Center Road, which combines the village and town public works departments under one roof -- and the Murder Creek slope mitigation project.
The meeting was moved from its regular Monday schedule because of the Memorial Day holiday.
> Orchard Park
The town apparently will have to go it alone this year in sponsoring the annual July 4 parade.
"Unfortunately we have not been getting a lot of support from organizations," Councilman David Kaczor said at Wednesday's work session.
The town will sponsor the parade for this year and look for help next year.
"Next year we're going to have to have some outside support," Kaczor said.
The Orchard Park Chamber of Commerce pulled out of sponsoring the annual Fourth of July parade this year, after receiving a letter from the town outlining fees for special events. The letter sparked a discussion on whether the organization should continue sponsoring the parade, and it was decided the parade does not forward the Chamber's mission of benefiting business, according to Chamber officials.
Virgie Majchrzak, the wife of Councilman Eugene Majchrzak, stepped up to help organize the parade this year for the town.
Eugene Majchrzak said the town's insurance will cover the parade.
"Otherwise the volunteers were going to have to take out insurance," he said.
"We're trying to make it happen," Supervisor Janis Colarusso said.
In the past, the sound system had been donated, but not this year, Kaczor said.
Also this week:
Village officials remind residents that due to the Memorial Day holiday, garbage collection will be delayed until Wednesday. Grass clippings and landscape trimmings will not be picked up by the Village. They should be bagged and put out for regular garbage pickup.
Village taxes will be collected from Friday through July 2 without a late charge.
The Friends of the Orchard Park Library quarterly book sale will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday in the library, 4570 S. Buffalo St, for members of the organization. The sale opens to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday. Proceeds will benefit the library.
> Southern Erie County
The Elma Planning, Conservation, and Town boards will hold a joint meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Town Hall, 1600 Bowen Road.
On the agenda will be landscaping; suggestions for the town website; a code for stripping land without a permit; building fee permits; and storm water.
Also this week:
The Elma Historical Society will hold an ice cream social from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Village Green Park on Bowen Road. The event is free to the public.
The Elma Memorial Day Parade will be held at 9 a.m. Monday. The parade will start at the Elma Public Library, Rice and Bowen roads, and proceed up Bowen to the Veterans Memorial at Town Hall.
The Eden Planning Board will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall, 2795 E. Church St.
The Eden Conservation Board will meet at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall.
The Eden Zoning Board of Appeals will meet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Town Hall.
The Marilla Memorial Day Celebration will be held at 1 p.m. today. The parade will start at Tomarsue Drive and Two Rod Road, ending at the Veterans Memorial on Bullis Road. Free hot dogs and beverages will follow the ceremony provided by the Kiwanis Club of Marilla.
A Marilla Town Board work session will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall, 1740 Two Rod Road.
Wales will commemorate Memorial Day at noon Monday with a parade from Hunters Creek Road to the Town Hall at 12345 Big Tree Road. A brief ceremony will be held in the Veterans Park. Afterward, a chicken barbecue will be available across the road at the Wales Center Fire Hall.
> City of Tonawanda
Following the public approval this month week of a $29.5 million spending plan, the Tonawanda City School Board was confronted with looming layoffs by the head of the district's teachers union during its meeting last week.
Ronald Sesnie, president of the Tonawanda Education Association, asked the board and district administrators to address the projected elimination of 17 full-time equivalent jobs that was established in the 2012-13 budget.
Following the meeting, Superintendent Whitney Vantine said the district would address the projected layoffs by the end of the current school year in June.
> Town of Tonawanda
Parking scofflaws affected by Kenmore's new local law targeting repeat offenders have until Friday to pay up or risk having their vehicles towed.
An amnesty period expires Thursday for payment of more than $500,000 in unpaid parking tickets dating back to 2003. Come Friday, offending vehicles spotted within the village could be towed and impounded.
If that happens, owners with three or more unpaid tickets must pay the outstanding fines, as well as towing and storage fees.
Earlier this month, Assistant Police Chief Peter J. Breitnauer told lawmakers that approximately $25,000 had been collected. The local law was adopted March 6 and the amnesty period began April 3.
Updated figures on the fine payments weren't available this week.
"I don't have any figures at the moment," said Breitnauer, who added the response "was not the big return I had hoped for, though."
Also this week:
Registration closes Tuesday for the Ken-Ton YMCA's inaugural Youth Triathlon, which is scheduled for Saturday. The event is open to children ages 6 to 14 and the registration fee is $35. For more information, visit the YMCA at 535 Belmont Ave. or call 874-5051.
The Town Clerk's office announced that extended summer hours -- 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily -- will be in effect June 4 through Aug. 31. Passport applications will be processed only until 3:30 p.m. daily, however.
> West Seneca
Seniors in the West Seneca Central School District have been counting down to graduation since September. This week, some of the year's biggest events will occur.
The cap and gown graduation rehearsal will be held at 9:20 a.m. Wednesday in the auditorium at East Senior High School, 4760 Seneca St.
East seniors will feast on their class senior breakfast at 8:45 a.m. Friday at the school before attending the Senior Prom from 6 to 11:30 p.m. at the Statler Towers in downtown Buffalo.
At West Senior High, the senior class presentation and breakfast will be held in the school auditorium, 3330 Seneca St., starting at 7:40 a.m. Friday. The West Senior Prom will be held at Samuel's Grande Manor, 8750 Main St., Williamsville, from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday.
Other events in town this week involve Memorial Day. They will be celebrated today and Monday.
At 11 a.m. today, there will be a Veterans Memorial Mass at St. John's Lutheran Church, 3512 Clinton St. Then, at 2 p.m., St. Matthew's Cemetery Field of Valor, in conjunction with the Pvt. Leonard Post Jr. VFW Post 6251, will hold a ceremony at the 180 Old French Road cemetery's Veterans Plaza.
On Monday, starting at 9 a.m., a ceremony will be held at St. Matthew's Cemetery's World War I and II monuments at the Field of Valor. That event will be held in collaboration with the town's Veterans Committee. Refreshments will be served.
The annual Memorial Day parade will follow in West Seneca. It will begin at 10:30 a.m. at Southgate Plaza, heading north on Union Road. The parade will process to Veterans Park near West Seneca Town Hall, 1250 Union Road, where a ceremony will follow at Veterans Monument.