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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Riverwalk Concert Series announces four dates

JAMESTOWN -- Four dates have been set for the Riverwalk Concert Series at the Riverwalk in Brooklyn Square here, the Downtown Jamestown Development Corp. and the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce announced.

The free Thursday evening series begins June 28 with Star Sirch Production karaoke, with members of the public invited to show their talent. The Kokomo Time Band will play July 12. Jack Rabbit Slim is featured July 26. The series concludes Aug. 9 with a second round of Star Sirch karaoke. All concerts begin at 7 p.m.

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Chamber backs land transfer to Erie Canal Harbor group

The Amherst Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday expressed support for transfer of outer harbor lands owned by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.

The announcement deals a public relations setback to Mayor Byron W. Brown, who is seeking City of Buffalo ownership for the 384 acres of waterfront.

The Chamber said it views the harbor agency as "extraordinarily effective in its focus on projects and programming along Buffalo's inner harbor."

"A singular focus on waterfront development is required for this initiative to reach its full potential and, for that reason, the Amherst Chamber of Commerce fully supports the ECHDC takeover of the outer harbor from the NFTA," the Chamber said. "ECHDC is the logical destination for this transfer as it is the state sanctioned agency whose sole strategic focus is the development of Buffalo's waterfront."

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Summer Reading Carnival will be held Saturday

A Summer Reading Carnival from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday in the Central Library in Lafayette Square is among the first of a schedule of free activities in the 2012 Summer Reading Program sponsored by the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. Among the attractions will be crafts, games, prizes, a magic show and a Zombie Walk.

The Summer Reading Program, which runs through Sept. 1, kicked off Wednesday in the Central Library with a ceremony that included Jeffrey W. Cannell, state deputy commissioner for cultural education.

Two highlights of the reading program are the Read Down Your Fines Program, in which youngsters 16 and under can reduce or eliminate their overdue library fines by reading, and the 14th annual Battle of the Books, a team trivia competition Aug. 4 for students entering grades six through nine. For a full schedule at all library branches, visit www.BuffaloLib.org.

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Senate approves increase in historic preservation tax

A statewide bill that would increase the maximum amount of funds available through the historic preservation tax credit from $5 million to $12 million has passed the State Senate.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has indicated support for the legislation, which is stalled in the House.